The Doors have released a few greatest hits albums, and those were the only tastes I had had of the band. Now, of course I enjoyed these albums, especially The Best Of The Doors
, but I wanted to dig deeper. I wanted more than just the hits and what was supposedly the best of The Doors. What I desired was a studio album, so I went out to Wal-Mart and purchased 1970's Morrison Hotel
for $9.72. The album has two sides, Hard Rock Cafe
and Morrison Hotel
. Of course, on a single disc, you can't flip sides like on a record, but still.
This album is just typical Doors material. Mostly blues, but it explores some other genres, even having a mild psychedelic feel with Waiting For The Sun
and others. Upon listening to the first four tracks, I was amazed. Starting to ponder what rating I would probably end up giving the album, my first thought was a 5. After those ecstatic and fun first four tracks, I was anticipating getting on a computer and rating the album full marks. This sounded like classic material. Roadhouse Blues
is exactly what it's supposed to be: blues for a roadhouse. The aforementioned Waiting For The Sun
was just a good and fun song that came from the sessions of the band's third album, 1968's Waiting For The Sun
. You Make Me Real
was also fun, and it was a lesser-known highlight of the album, providing some of Robby Krieger's jazz-influenced guitar at its best. And of course, Peace Frog
was just flat-out wonderful, also providing some of Robby Krieger's catchiest guitar work. These two couples of songs were superlative, 5/5 material. However, not every album a band puts out can be wonderfully consistent. Blue Sunday
is nothing more and nothing less than a filler track, trying to make the album a few minutes lengthier. It slows down the pace, and it just turns out to be a painfully average and generic love song, done Jim Morrison-style. Luckily, it's only two minutes and ten seconds, so it flies by quite quickly. This is the weakest song of the first part of the album, entitled Hard Rock Cafe
. What comes next, Ship Of Fools
, could or could not be considered filler, because it is just decent. It does provide an appropriate ending to the first side.
The second side of Morrison Hotel
is entitled Morrison Hotel
. This is basically the same as the first side, except it's not as good. The two sides don't differ much from each other. Like I mentioned near the beginning of the review, this is mostly blues, with some regular old rock here and there and maybe a few mild psychedelic moments, that aren't even really too
psychedelic at all. Land Ho!
is a pretty well-done rock song, but it is nothing too amazing whatsoever. And that's basically what the first two tracks of the side are like. The Spy
is just a pretty good song.
The rest of side two is quite impressive though. Queen Of The Highway
is a song that has an uncertain meaning, yet it's most likely about Jim and his girlfriend Pamela. Here is a sample of the lyrics:
"She was a princess / Queen of the Highway"
- This is a description of Pamela Courson.
"He was a Monster / Black dressed in leather"
- This being a description of Jim, and probably an accurate one too.
The song has an impressive groove, and while it may be very short, it delivers.
is a just a short little outtake from the band's self-titled debut album. This was recorded in 1966, and while it may be a decent song, it's relatively slow, and doesn't excite me much at all. It's just one of Morrison's poetic pieces.
Energy is an important aspect of the album. Throughout the first side, there is a high amount of energy, especially in tracks like Peace Frog
and Waiting For The Sun
. So the perfect way to end Morrison Hotel, side two, is with an average-sized energetic track. Maggie M'Gill
is a four minute track packed with lots of energy, and it goes by fast, yet it is a good way to end the album.
This ends the actual album, but my CD is the expanded edition, so I shall speak briefly about the outtakes and such. There are a few short tracks that clock in at less than a minute and just happen to be not much of nothing at all. However, the lengthy Roadhouse Blues
tracks are actually very impressive. They are nothing more than some takes of the album recorded in '69, but they are very enjoyable. And lengthy. The two of the Roadhouse Blues takes tracks clock in at about twenty minutes in all.
Overall, Morrison Hotel
is an excellent album, and it is my first Doors studio album. It is supposedly overlooked by many people, but I don't know why. It's very enjoyable, and it's just good old blues rock/psychedelic rock. Highly recommended for those who are Doors fans yet haven't heard it. It's all just good fun, expanded edition or not.
+ Excellent songs
+ Not too long
+ Outtakes on expanded edition are cool
- Blue Sunday
- Some filler