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The Doors - Morrison Hotel CD (album) cover

MORRISON HOTEL

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.36 | 340 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review Nº 454

"Morrison Hotel" is the fifth studio album of The Doors and was released in 1970. It's sometimes known with the name of "Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Cafe". It happens because "Hard Rock Cafe" is the title of the first side of the LP and the second side is titled "Morrison Hotel". "Morrison Hotel" was largely seen as a return to the original form for the band.

The cover photo was taken at the actual "Morrison Hotel", in Los Angeles. The band asked the owners if they could photograph the hotel, but as they declined, the band went inside when nobody was looking and took the photo. The rear cover features a photograph of the Hard Rock Café, also in Los Angeles, which no longer is open. Curiously, the founders of the famous Hard Rock Café world chain later used that name because they saw it on The Doors' album.

"Morrison Hotel" has eleven tracks. The first track "Roadhouse Blues" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is a blues/rock song which appeared on the B side of "You Make Me Real", which was the first single released from this album. This song represents, for me, one of the best musical moments on the album. The second track "Waiting For The Sun" written by Jim Morrison is curiously a song with the same name of their third studio album. Sincerely, I don't know, if by unknown reasons, it should have been included on that album or not. Anyway it only appears on "Morrison Hotel" and I'm very glad with that because this is a great song. It's slightly a psychedelic song that changes from the quiet to more heavy musical passages, with an excellent musical work and a very melodic vocal performance. This song represents the highlight of the album and is one of the few songs with some progressive lines. The third track "You Make Me Real" written by Jim Morrison was, as I said before, the song chosen to be released as the first single of this album. Despite be a song with good piano and guitar works, it doesn't sounds very pleasant to my ears and it also sounds to me a bit outdated, almost a revival musical number. The fourth track "Peace Frog" written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger is a song that blends seamlessly into the next fifth track "Blue Sunday". Because they're two very short songs and, in a certain way, they were joined together, it was very common that some radio stations played both songs together too. "Peace Frog" is a song with good lyrics and good rhythm, nice guitar and good keyboard playing. The fifth track "Blue Sunday" written by Jim Morrison is a nice ballad with a very soft sound and where Jim Morrison's voice sounds delicate, subtle and calm. The sixth track "Ship Of Fools" written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger is a very vulgar song, not particularly good nor particularly bad. I think the main thing that saves the song it's the nice keyboard sound all over the song, which makes of it an enjoyable and nice song to hear. The seventh track "Land Ho!" written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger is another song nice and pleasant to hear with some creativity, fine musicianship and some good guitar parts. However and despite all I said before, we are in presence of another uninspired song with a low creativity level. The eighth track "The Spy" written by Jim Morrison is a song that has a blues feeling. It's a soft, calm, quiet and personal song with a good piano work. Personally, I don't like very much of this kind of songs and I also must confess that I'm not a great fan of the blues. Still, I must say this isn't a bad track and it's even a nice and pleasant song to hear. The ninth track "Queen Of The Highway" written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger is an anthem song of The Doors. That is believed the lyrics are about Jim Morrison's girlfriend Pamela Courson. This is a nice song with good lyrics and where the keyboards are the real king on it, providing a kind of a mysterious sound. The tenth track "Indian Summer" written by Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger is a very interesting and mysterious song with some strange oriental sound. It's a song with a very slow and nice delicate sound where Jim Morrison's voice sounds delicate, subtle and calm. It reminds me a bit "The End". The eleventh track "Maggie M'Gill" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is, without any doubt, one of the best songs on the album. It's a song full of great guitar work and with some beautiful keyboard parts. This is a song that returns the album to a harder sound. It isn't a great song but closes the album in a good way.

Conclusion: After their more experimental and less conventional previous work "The Soft Parade", which wasn't very well received by critics and fans, the band went back to their more traditional roots. On this album, there is a slight steer toward the blues, which would be fully explored by the band on their next studio album "L.A.Woman". As I said before, when I reviewed "The Soft Parade", I'm not pretty sure if "The Soft Parade" is weaker than "Morrison Hotel". It's true that "Morrison Hotel" is more uniform and well balanced than "The Soft Parade" is. But it's also true that it hasn't practically any highlight, with the exception of "Waiting For The Sun". By the other hand, "The Soft Parade" has the title track, one of the best and most progressive tracks ever composed by The Doors. Anyway, be one or the other the weakest, "The Soft Parade" and "Morrison Hotel" are the two weakest studio albums of The Doors with Jim Morrison.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |

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