The Doors – Morrison Hotel (1970)

The end is always near

The fifth studio album by The Doors is kickstarted by a fantastic song, “Roadhouse blues”. It may be the song that turned me on The Doors in the first place. I love its sweaty sexiness.

But one great song doesn’t make up my mind of a whole album. My ratings are on the complete album, mind you. As I spin this LP in preparation for my top list of the year of 1970, I consider it as a whole. What is it that draws me towards The Doors? 

Clearly Jim Morrison had a magnetic voice. His cool dude persona is embedded in the music, the singing, the performance. The style is blues-rock that is not my favourite genre, but the charm of Jim and his band is winning me over.

The first side of the LP is heavily dominated by “Roadhouse blues”, the whole album is. But the songs “Waiting for the sun” and “Peace frog” are also enjoyable. There was a “party band” playing covers at one firm I worked at a long time ago. Those guys played some Doors-songs I think. It was happy times but being young and carefree, many of those memories are foggy.

On the second side “Maggie M’Gill” is a heavy blues rock thingy, quite nice. “Queen of the highway” is also a good track.

In the end this is an album with only one really great song. Yeah, we’re going to the Roadhouse, the Topanga Corral. The 40th Anniversary CD bonus tracks also shows this unbalance where almost all the extra music is different takes of “Roadhouse blues”. I love these extended versions of the song, but it is what it is.

As a full album it lacks the overall punch. It may get some spins late nights during whiskey intoxications…

My rating: 5/10

Side A:

  1. Roadhouse blues
  2. Waiting for the sun
  3. You make me real
  4. Peace frog
  5. Blue Sunday
  6. Ship of fools

Side B:

  1. Land ho!
  2. The spy
  3. Queen of the highway
  4. Indian summer
  5. Maggie M’Gill

Best songs: “Roadhouse blues”

Released on February 9, 1970

Media: Reissued 180 gram vinyl, 2009, gatefold

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