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The Doors - Morrison Hotel CD (album) cover

MORRISON HOTEL

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.37 | 314 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A three star hotel

With The Doors having appeared to be treading water on their previous two albums, the omens were perhaps concerning when the needle hit the vinyl for the first time on "Morrison Hotel". "Road house blues" is an orthodox blues which is very reminiscent of Bob Hite's work with Canned Heat around the same time. It is a fine performance make no mistake, but it has the sound of a band in full regression.

The mood quickly changes though for the west coast psychedelia of "Waiting for the sun" (curiously omitted from the album of that name), with its heavy guitar riffs alternating with the light organ sounds. The repetitive pop chorus is very much of its time. A change of style again for "You make me real", a straight forward rock and roll song, not unlike Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" in fact. The fourth style in four tracks is in the form of the funky "Peace frog", with its rather strange brief poetry section midway. No sooner has that leaped away, but we are into an easy listening ballad, "Blue Sunday". It's only when we get to "Ship of fools" that the diversity of sound is effectively put on hold, as we encounter a pretty standard Doors track, with little to distinguish it.

Things settle down on side two of the album, with more prosaic Doors offerings, such as the soft shuffle of "The spy" ("I'm a spy in the house of love, I know the dreams that you're dreaming of"). "Indian Summer" is a hauntingly delivered sparse number demonstrating, perhaps one last time, Morrison's ability to deliver such a song. The closing "Maggie McGill" has an infectious shuffle beat and some fine guitar and organ interplay.

From a prog perspective, "Morrison Hotel" is perhaps a step backwards for the Doors. It does not for example display their proto- prog credentials or influence to any great extent. Indeed by the time it was released, prog has become a fully formed genre, arguably leaving bands such as the Doors behind. With this in mind, the album can be seen as a pleasant diversion, which offers a fine diversity of sounds, but offers little of genuine relevance.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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