You may recall that the last Doors album, “The Soft Parade”, featuring songs like “Touch Me”, was a pretty notable departure from their rock and roll roots. Today’s album, “Morrison Hotel” brings us back to that place, with a good dose of blues rock injected as well. Some of their very best guitar-based songs emerge on this album, and I remain impressed at their productivity in the shadows of Jim Morrison’s continued descent into an alcohol and drug-marred daily existence.
The album opens with “Roadhouse Blues”, one of their very best songs, and is then followed by a classic mystical desert song from Jim, “Waiting for the Sun”. Also on side one, we have “Peace Frog”, perhaps their funkiest and best guitar track ever recorded. Any Doors album is always the Jim Morrison show first and foremost, but guitarist Robby Krieger really shines on this album. In addition to being their second-most productive songwriter (behind Jim), he really brings a wide array of sounds and style to the different songs we hear from the Doors, and along with Ray Manzarek, forms an extremely tight two-person melody machine.
Two other great songs on this album are “Ship of Fools” and “Land Ho!”, which features another great Krieger riff interwoven with a great vocal performance from Morrison. This album did not chart any high-selling singles, but with time it has proven to be one of their deepest and best albums, probably my favorite since their debut album. The world may be closing in on Jim and the Doors, but they still find a way to deliver impactful and lasting songs on this album.