American rock group The Doors posed for the album MORRISON HOTEL at Morrison Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. From Left: Ray Manzarek (1939-2013), Robby Krieger, Jim Morrison (1943-71), and John Densmore. Photo by Henry Diltz.
CHERRY STEREO

8-Trackin’: The Doors, ‘Morrison Hotel’ (1970)

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY ANDREW TONKIN AND PUBLISHED BY CHERRY STEREO ON OCTOBER 11, 2018.

Before Jim ascended to that great snakepit in the sky, the Doors put out six studio albums. Conventional wisdom holds that the first (The Doors) and the last (L.A. Woman) were strongest, with quality dipping a bit mid-career. There’s certainly some truth to this, with treacly pop #4 The Soft Parade easily the nadir. However, album five, Morrison Hotel, is actually pretty fantastic, with nary a bad song nor sour note. Since it didn’t have an actual hit single (radio favorite “Roadhouse Blues” was a B-side that only went to #50), it tends to be overlooked. If you haven’t visited the Hotel in a while (or ever), let’s “check in” and check it out.

No epics. Jim always had that mystical poet side, and some of the Doors’ best moments onstage were the long, experimental, partly spoken numbers such as “The End” and “When The Music’s Over.” Though these translated well into long album cuts, they could be a bit much if you weren’t in the mood for the “weird Jim.” Like Waiting for the Sun (album three), Morrison Hotel limits itself to relatively short pop songs, and is thus easier to enjoy any time of day, in any state of mind.

Mostly happy. Eh, is that a plus? Well, remember we’re talking about the Doors here, whose brightest moments were still pretty dark and glum. So they achieve a really nice tension giving a lyric like “The human race was dyin’ out / No one left to scream and shout” (“Ship of Fools”) a carefree, bubblegum feel — you’re forced to smile while singing along.

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Photoshot/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
THOUGHTCO

The Top 50 Classic Rock Bands

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY DAVE WHITE AND PUBLISHED BY THOUGHTCO ON OCTOBER 9, 2018.

Which ones are on your favorites list?

Determined by a combination of album sales, radio airplay, touring history, and degree of continuous popularity, here is our list of the top 50 classic rock bands in history. Of course, many musicians in these bands branched out and had successful solo careers in the world of classic rock.

Which of these bands made it onto your list of classic rock favorites?

The Beatles
Essential Album: "Revolver"

As you can probably expect, The Beatles top the list. With record sales estimated at more than a billion worldwide, no other band has had a greater influence on the course of rock music and music history in general.

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Waiting For The Sun 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition LP (12" album, 33 rpm), 2CD
THE SECOND DISC

Review: The Doors, “Waiting for the Sun: 50th Anniversary Edition”

Upon its release in July 1968, some might have found the title of The Doors’ third album, Waiting for the Sun, to be ironic. After all, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore, were hardly ever in pursuit of anything remotely sunny. But the album, with its rather bucolic cover shot, most certainly struck a chord with listeners in the year between The Summer of Love and Woodstock.

The Doors—from left to right: John Densmore (drummer), Ray Manzarek (keyboardist), Jim Morrison (singer), and Robby Krieger (guitarist)—posed for publicity photos for the album WAITING FOR THE SUN in the Santa Monica Mountains in Santa Monica, California in spring 1968. Photo by Paul Ferrara.
BEST CLASSIC BANDS

The Doors ‘Waiting for the Sun’ Deluxe: Review

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY JEFF BURGER AND PUBLISHED BY BEST CLASSIC BANDS ON OCTOBER 2, 2018.

The original Doors released six studio LPs and one concert album during their brief existence, and all of them reached the Top 10 in Billboard. As the liner notes on this 50th anniversary deluxe edition of Waiting for the Sun remind us, however, it is the only one of their albums that made it all the way to the top of the charts. That doesn’t make it their best release—some of Jim Morrison’s vocals are actually below par here, as are a few of the compositions. Still, there’s a lot to like on this third Doors LP, and it’s not difficult to see why it did so well commercially.