A look at Jim Morrison and The Doors: An American Prayer, 45 years later

By: Riley Hodges

An American Prayer was an album released in 1978 by The Doors. It was the best selling spoken word album of the time and sold over 1 million copies. The album was released seven years after the death of lead singer Jim Morrison.

The surviving members of The Doors came back together to create a tribute to Jim Morrison. They recovered old tapes of Jim Morrison reciting some of his poetry and they paired it with music. Jim Morrison was already planning on releasing these tracks as an album by himself, but his untimely death prevented him. 

The album carries through a psychedelic feel due to the spoken words of Jim Morrison paired with rhythmic 70s rock beats. The album features a live recording of “Roadhouse Blues,” one of their hit songs. The lyrics add the the psychedelia, as it is poetry featuring a surreal feel and therefore mostly hard to understand exactly what he means.

Not only is the album very good for listening, it’s also really great ambiance for doing work or really anything. It’s not the kind of album you’d want to dance to. In fact, it’d be pretty hard to dance to most of the tracks. 

The album actually took up a small amount of controversy, as a few fans felt like the album was done in poor taste and was a “rape of Jim Morrison,” said by long-time Door’s producer Paul A. Rothschild in an interview with BAM.

Many other people who worked with The Doors and Morrison come to the defense of the surviving members of the band. “I believe Jim would be pleased,” John Haeny, who recorded some of the poetry sessions with Morrison, said on his website. “Jim would have understood our motivation and appreciated our dedication and heartfelt handling of his work.” 


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