Released today (October 9th) is the Doors' is Morrison Hotel “50th Anniversary Deluxe” collection, a two-CD and single LP edition. The set includes the original album newly remastered by the Doors’ longtime engineer and mixer Bruce Botnick, plus a bonus disc of unreleased studio outtakes, and the original album on 180-gram virgin vinyl.
For the set, the original album has been expanded with more than an hour of unreleased recordings taken from the sessions for Morrison Hotel. These 19 outtakes “transport listeners into the studio with Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek for an unprecedented perspective on the making of the album.”
Bruce Botnick explained in the announcement, “There are many takes, different arrangements, false starts, and insightful studio conversations between the band — who were in the studio — and producer Paul Rothchild — who was in the control room. It’s like being a fly on the wall.”
According to the press release: “Several of these unheard recordings spotlight how 'Queen Of The Highway' and 'Roadhouse Blues' evolved across multiple sessions. It’s especially interesting to hear how the band played with different bass players on 'Roadhouse Blues.' Early versions include Harvey Brooks, who played on the band’s previous album, The Soft Parade. Later takes feature guitar legend Lonnie Mack on bass along with the Lovin’ Spoonful‘s John Sebastian on harmonica who, due to contractual restrictions at the time, had to be credited as 'G. Puglese.'”
Shortly before his 2013 death, Ray Manzarek acknowledged the influence the blues had on the Doors, and added it was almost spiritual for him and the band: “Rather than being influenced by Willie Dixon, we just did Willie Dixon. Y'know, Jim said, 'I want to sing that song. I don't want to write a variation on that song. I want to sing that song.' The blues were very influential on the Doors in the, in the sense of the spiritual ambiance of the blues.”
In 1968, while the Doors were on tour in Europe, Jim Morrison spoke about the type of music he'd like to see the band tackle: “I'd like to do a song, or a piece of music that's just a pure expression of joy. Like, a celebration of existence. Y'know, the coming of spring, or, like, the sun rising, or something like that. Just pure unbounded joy, y'know? I don't really think we've done that yet.”
Morrison Hotel was the Doors' fifth and second to last studio album.
The set, which was released on February 9th, 1970, peaked at Number Four in the U.S. featured such in instant staples as “Roadhouse Blues,” “Waiting For The Sun,” “Peace Frog,” “Ship Of Fools,” and “Blue Sunday,” among others.
AUDIO: JIM MORRISON ON CREATING JOY IN SONG
AUDIO: RAY MANZAREK ON BLUES INFLUENCE