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The Doors - Morrison Hotel CD (album) cover

MORRISON HOTEL

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.27 | 285 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars To fans and rock critics alike, Morrison Hotel was considered a gigantic relief from The Soft Parade. No more horns, strings, or pop-oriented material on the lines of "Touch Me" and "Tell all the People". They returned to a more-blues based sound, but to be honest, I actually enjoyed Waiting for the Sun more than I did Morrison Hotel. Morrison Hotel is just a plain "overrated but still not bad" album, the kind I level at Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon or the Who's Who's Next. Let's examine some of the songs: "Roadhouse Blues" is by far the most recognized song on this album, it seemed a bit too generic blues for my liking, but it's still a staple of classic FM rock stations. "Waiting for the Sun" is great, it's the Doors sound of old! Love that eerie organ and synth (I'm sure Paul Beaver was responsible for the Moog you hear here). It was mysteriously left off on the album by that same name, which I wished wasn't (if only "Yes, the River Knows" or "Wintertime Love" was replaced by that song, Waiting For the Sun, the album, that is, would be even better, but it's only those two songs I don't care for on that album). "Peach Frog" has a rather nice funky sound, and Ray Manzarek's organ certainly gives this great song character. The song segues into "Blue Sunday", which I felt was a rather sappy ballad. "Indian Summer" was an outtake from their debut and you can easily tell it's definitely an older song. It never made it on their debut, to be honest, I can see why: this song was never exactly a winner for me. It strangely has a similar structure to "The End", but MUCH shorter, and instead a love song instead of something much more disturbing. "Maggie McGill" is a nice bluesy number. So on this album there are only three songs I don't care for, the overrated "Roadhouse Blues", "Blue Sunday", and "Indian Summer", the rest is rather good, but as a "proto-prog" album it falls flat. But the blues-oriented material is something they'd explore even further on their next (and final album with Jim Morrison) L.A. Woman. Still worthy of a four star rating because of the musical quality overall, not how "prog" or "not prog" it is.

By the way, the front cover came from a real hotel in Los Angeles called Morrison Hotel, with absolutely no connections to Jim Morrison, and on the back a Los Angeles bar called The Hard Rock Cafe, which has absolutely nothing to do with the tacky chain we all know and love (or hate). The chain we know came from some Doors fans who gave them permission to use "Hard Rock Cafe" as the name of their joint, probably by that time, the original LA joint with that name was out of business.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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