The Doors’ Morrison Hotel Adds Another Level

Originally released in February 1970, Morrison Hotel is unquestionably one of The Doors top albums, holding up as a powerful, gritty and even tender rock ‘n’ roll classic to this day. Thirteen years ago, along with the rest of the band’s studio albums, it was reissued in a single-CD expanded edition, with “40th Anniversary” remixes that unnecessarily messed up the sound of the songs as we’d come to know them.

What was sorta funny, if anyone actually read them, was that in engineer Bruce Botnick’s liner notes for that reissue he states that “at the end of this new disc is more than 45 minutes of ‘Roadhouse Blues’ outtakes, from the first ever to take 15.” That wasn’t true, as the track-listing was subsequently changed, and only 8 of those outtakes were included (more than enough to get the gist of it) along with alternate versions of a few other songs, some studio chatter and bits of moaning and groaning and general fuckery from Jim Morrison and the boys, sounding like (in Morrison’s own words) “a drunken cripple walking up a flight of stairs.”

Well, if you needed to hear the rest of those stabs at “Roadhouse Blues,” the 50th Anniversary expanded edition of Morrison Hotel is here to save the day. In stores Oct. 9 via Rhino Records, the new 2-CD package tacks on multiple takes of “Roadhouse Blues,” “Peace Frog” and “Queen of the Highway,” over an hour’s worth

I love The Doors, man, but with a couple noble exceptions the studio outtakes that were already appended to the first reissue were excruciating enough, and we have to assume they picked the best ones for that one, right? Another hour’s worth more might send me scrambling to dunk my vibrating head into a tub of cold cottage cheese. But hey, if you’re a completist that has to have everything, have at it, knowing that in ten years the 60th Anniversary Utterly-Ginormous Super-Colossal edition will append another two hours of studio wankin’, and David Fricke will be called back to once again rewrite the same essay he wrote for the previous two. Let’s hope they at least went back to the original mixes for the album proper this time. It’s still an incredible record, dammit.