23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2004
Amazingly, Morrison Hotel marked a return to form for the Doors - and what a return to form! Gone the brass of the Soft Parade and the psychedelia of Strange Days, replaced by a ballsy, raw, bluesy sound. And Morrison's voice had gained depth and soul - the upside of heavy smoking?. There isn't a duff song here. Roadhouse Blues is the textbook road song - and full of classic quotes. Ship of Fools, Land Ho, Maggie M'Gill all plough a similar bluesy furrow. But other songs conjure other moods, take Blue Sunday and Indian Summer for example. These are soft, atmospheric songs. Indian Summer sounds different too because it was recorded four years earlier in 1966 during the recording sessions for the first album. Notice the difference in Morrison's voice!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 October 1999
This has to be one of the best albums ever made by the Doors in my opinion. The range of differences in the album make it so interesting to listen to. For example if you listen to a song such as Peace Frog it has a superb drum beat and bass line that intermingles with Jim Morrison's vocal talent, thus creating a more hard hitting rock feel than the usual Pschadelic feel associated with the Doors. But, on the other hand, if you were to take a song such as Indian Summer you can almost feel the psychadelia coming out of your hifi. Morrison's voice croons softly, the guitar rifts are plucked with an equal delicacy by Robby Krieger to Morrison's calming voice. These two songs are just examples of how fantastic this album actually is. My advice is to buy the album and experience it for yourself because there will never be another band like the Doors.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The general perceived wisdom is that the Doors made two outstanding records at the outset and then it was a story of continual decline except for the odd highlight track until Jim Morrison's death in a bath in Paris. Well, listening to the remastered set of Doors CDs, leaves one feeling that 40 odd years on that initial assessment may be up for challenge.
The reason being that listening now to "Morrison Hotel" one is not left feeling that this was a group in exit mode. Instead it was one that could still lay down a full set of energetic and memorable songs all well sung and played and well recorded and produced by the duo of Paul Rothschild and Bruce Botnick. The three musicians show yet again why LA always had a harder edge than SF in the late 1960s when it came to playing rock and blues. While a number of songs may recycle prior ideas not least due to Morrison's continual plagiarising of book titles to inpsire his song writing, they are none the worse for that.
When it came out this record got panned based largely on people's memories of those first two recordings and claims of it being just more of the same. However the lack of over inflated workouts ("The End" and "When the music's over") and a better focus on shorter and sharper songs plus a greater energy and sense of rock and roll ("Roadhouse Blues" & "You make me real") make for my ears a much better overall set. Special highlight is Robbie Krieger's guitar playing throughout of short and memorable solos and licks - a continual joy and sadly heard too little of post the Doors demise. It is no surprise that such energy was also on show in the subsequent Live double LP set.
With the final recording "LA Woman" yet to come, "Morrison Hotel" has no sense of decline or despair about it - it is just great music that as a whole is a much more enjoyable listen in 2006 than the now rather thinner sounding first two LPs.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
After a couple of albums that were more noted for hit singles that smacked too much of pop music for their fans, namely 1968's "Waiting for the Sun" with "Hello, I Love You" and 1969's "The Soft Parade" with "Touch Me," the Doors got back to their roots with "Morrison Hotel." This is clear from the opening track on this 1970 album, the rock 'n' booze anthem "Roadhouse Blues," which blasts this album into the stratosphere. Robbie Krieger's opening riff sets the tone and Ray Manzarek pounds away on the piano to establish the mood, with the whole thing capped off by Jim Morrison's vocalized howls. You can hear live versions of "Roadhouse Blues," but unfortunately none of them were ever performed in the perfect locale, which would have been a bar. But you can imagine how great it would sound to hear this one blasting the top off of some juke joint.
There are not any hit singles on the group's fifth studio album, which is undoubtedly why it went over better with the fans of the Doors, even if it only made it to #4 on the Billboard album charts. To help validate the blues the Doors brought in the great sessions jazz guitarist Ray Neopolitan, albeit as a bass player (the Doors never really bothered with one). The requisite touch of the exotic can be found in songs like "Waiting for the Sun," "Queen of the Highway," and "Indian Summer." Morrison, who was noticeably disengaged in terms of both his lyrics and his singing on previous albums, is back to waxing poetic big time, as evidenced by "Ship of Fools," which mixes nihilistic imagery with prospects for hope. Again, Morrison is found commenting on the counterculture, singing about how "Everyone was hanging out/Hanging up and hanging down/Hanging in and holding fast." Musically the instrumental break is where the group gets to indulge in some showmanship where the emphasis is decidedly on jazz and no longer on pop.
The other great track is "Peace Frog," which comments on the "Blood in the streets," but is more notable for Morrison's musings on an episode from his childhood in some of his most searing imagery (e.g., "Indians scattered on dawn's highway, bleeding to death") and poetic (e.g., "Blood is the rose of mysterious union"). Again, Krieger and Manzarek provide the appropriate musical accompaniment to the verbal images of cultural unrest as the end of the turbulent Sixties being thrown out by Morrison. The Doors often commented on what was happening in the streets without ever offering a solution, and this song is one of their best efforts in that regard. One final track of note remains, and that would be the slow blues tune "The Spy," simply because its music, if not its lyrics (e.g., "I know the word that you long to hear/I know your deepest, secret fear"), anticipates the last great Doors song to come on their final album, "L.A. Woman."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2012
This is the 5th album from The Doors and one of their best. Released in 1970, it kicks off with the incendiary classic 'Roadhouse Blues' - a song of raw power, a good-time blues played with gusto. We then go into the more introspective 'Waiting For The Sun' - but there is a hard edge to this music. "You Make Me Real' is a piano-driven slice of rock leading into the infectious beat of 'Peace Frog'. Then we have the laid-back ballad 'Blue Sunday' with gorgeous vocals from Jim Morrison. There are wonders to discover on this album. 'The Spy' is just sublime. "Indian Summer' is the sound of a flower-power West Coast summer's day with beautiful guitar playing throughout. 'Maggie McGill' is as good a blues-rock track as you'll find. This is The Doors with a rough, bluesy edge and the whole album works wonderfully. Recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2013
This gets 5 stars not because it's the best Doors album, although it's still excellent, but because it hasn't 'suffered' too much from the interfering of the Remastering Brigade. Why don't they just leave things alone? The original vinyl is the best, this comes a close second.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2002
Even though I'm a big Doors fan, I still haven't heard The Soft Parade, which apparently isn't too good. This album was the follow up, and an almighty effort it was too. The powerful opener "Roadhouse Blues" is fantastic and became a popular live song for the band to perform (one of which is heard on "The Best Of" album). "Waiting For The Sun" is equally as unique and powerfull, with surreal noises eminating from the background as Morrison croons lovingly over the top. "You Make Me Real" is another classic Doors song, but it's the truly funky "Peace Frog" that keeps things rolling nicely. One of their most controversial songs it indeed is, and at mid-point in the song Jim breaks out into a poem - "Ghosts shroud the children's fragile egg shell minds". The song eases nicely onto the next track "Blue Sunday" without the listener noticing, which is a clever technique for the early 70s. Another highlight of the album is the soothing "Indian Summer", which really could have been made longer (it stands at only two minutes and a bit). It seems strange that Morrison missed the opportunity to make another epic, but in the end it just shows their brilliance by being able to produce epics, or be remarkably concise. "The Spy" uses blues as its roots, hinting at what would come in their stunning final album (as the original four piece) "L.A. Woman". Morrison Hotel isn't perfect, though. "Land Ho" is just plain corny and "Maggie 'M'Gill", whilst interesting, is not really worthy of a second listen. On the whole, a strong album that returns the four members to their absolute best, well, almost anyway.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2009
Probably the third best Doors album behind the debut and "L.A. Woman", this one rocks quite comprehensively. Highlights are the way "Peace Frog" blends into the beautiful "Blue Sunday" and the start-stop of "You Make Me Real" with its honky-tonk piano riff. There's no single track to touch "Riders On The Storm" or "The Crystal Ship", but it's a solid effort. I prefer it to "Strange Days" where the production is oddly lacklustre.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2011
The Doors are one of the best bands ever, if not THE best. And they themselves wrote almost all the songs on their 6 studio albums.
But one word of warning - if you want the original authentic recordings DO NOT BUY the "remastered" cds released in 2007 as these are actually remixes. Buy the remastered series of cds released around 1989, of which this is one.
Incidentally I saw the Doors at the 1970 Isle of Wight Pop Festival and they were fantastic - the best act there.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2001
It was 1969 and The Doors were starting to close wernt they?
After their first three stunning albums the Soft Parade had appeared to lukewarm response,even though today it is rightly recognised as an excellent album.
Orchestra strings and trumpets were not what we had come to expect.
Then in early 1970 BANG they respond and release
this and literally blow everyone else off the ball park.
No other album of that year came close to matching it save the MC5s Back in the USA and Cosmos Factory by Creedence which came closest.
This is the doors at their most listenable.There is no The End,When the Musics Over or Five to One on here.
Every song from Roadhouse Blues to Maggie MacGill is a joy.
Its all here Boogie Rockers,Love Songs and Psychadelia combined with the group at the peak of their musicianship.
Listen to Kreigers wah-wah assault on Peace Frog.
Roadhouse Blues,Ship of Fools,Indian Summer are quite simply classic Doors.Waiting for the Sun still sends shivers down the spine even today.
If you have never bought a Doors album and are not familiar with their music this is the album to kick of with.Quite simply there is not a dud track in sight.
"This is the strangest life i!ve ever known"
You better believe it.