Jim Morrison Lester Bangs - Essay

Lester Bangs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Morrison Hotel opens with a powerful blast of raw funk called "Roadhouse Blues."… This angry hard rock is that at which the Doors have always excelled, and given us so seldom, and this track is one of their very best ever, with brooding lyrics that ring chillingly true: "I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer / The future's uncertain and the end is always near."

From there on out, though, the road runs mainly downhill. It's really a shame, too, because somehow one held high expectations for this album and wanted so badly to believe it would be good that one was afraid to listen to it when it was finally released. The music bogs down in the kind of love mush and mechanical, stereotyped rock arrangements that have marred so much of the Doors' past music. "Blue Sunday" and "Indian Summer" are two more insipidly "lyrical" pieces….

This could have been a fine album; but the unavoidable truth—and this seems to be an insurmountable problem for the Doors—is that so much of it is out of the same extremely worn cloth as the songs on all their other albums. It's impossible to judge it outside the context of the rest of their work.

Lester Bangs, "Records: 'Morrison Hotel'," in Rolling Stone (by Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. © 1970; all rights reserved; reprinted by permission), Issue 57, April 30, 1970, p. 53.