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American Prayer

4.4 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 23, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The last of the Doors' catalog to make it to CD, this album of spoken word performances and music comes complete with three new tracks: Babylon Fading , a never-before-heard performance; Bird of Prey , which features nearly a minute of Jim singing a cappella , and newl -recorded backing to The Ghost Song performed by Ray, Robbie and John.

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The Doors recorded six studio albums with Jim Morrison as their singer from 1967 to 1971, hitting the charts with a series of pop songs that were at least as good as Tommy James and the Shondells. On their albums, they indulged in Morrison's pretentious obsessions that included extended pieces about Oedipal complexes and the end of the world. Those obsessions have been exaggerated by The Doors myth that continues to this day. This is a collection of Morrison's poetry, embellished by the surviving Doors several years after the fact. That the live rendition of "Roadhouse Blues" is the only noteworthy selection should tell you what you need to know about the poetry. --Rob O'Connor

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Awake
  2. Ghost Song
  3. Dawn's Highway
  4. Newborn Awakening
  5. To Come Of Age
  6. Black Polished Chrome
  7. Latino Chrome
  8. Angels And Sailors
  9. Stoned Immaculate
  10. The Movie
  11. Curses, Invocations
  12. American Night
  13. Roadhouse Blues
  14. The World On Fire
  15. Lament
  16. The Hitchhiker
  17. An American Prayer
  18. Hour For Magic
  19. Freedom Exists
  20. A Feast Of Friends
  21. Babylon Fading
  22. Bird Of Prey
  23. The Ghost Song


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002HJD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,657 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'll admit, I don't really listen to my other Doors CD's that much anymore...but "An American Prayer" is an exception. Jim Morrison will be recognized as one of the most important (and certainly the most imitated) frontmen in the history of rock/pop music, and deservedly so...but as most knowledgeable music afficianados (Rob O'Connor need not apply) will tell you, Morrison was a great deal more. As compelling (and disturbing) as his lyrics were, it was with the medium of poetry that Morrison truly felt his place to be; his desire was to use popular music as a means of presenting his writing to a greater audience. Having three of the most talented and versatile musicians of the 1960's in his band certainly didn't hurt, and this as much as Morrison's own talents as a lyricist and indominitable charisma as a frontman helped to achieve this end. The reading that he gives on this CD (recorded on Morrison's birthday in 1970, I believe) is first rate. And though it must be allowed that Morrison probably never intended for musical accompanyment to be added to his words (this was done by the surviving Doors members years after his death), it was likely Schiller probably felt the same way at the time he wrote his "Ode to Joy"...and Beethoven's use of Schiller's piece in his 9th Symphony finale certainly can't be seen as a dilution of that work by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is the subsequent Doors instrumentation (as well as the addition of previously released music) to be seen as a lessening of the experience of "An American Prayer". This is an extremely well-conceived production; the music compliments Morrison's reading perfectly.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
If you listen closely to the Doors double album "Absolutely Live" right before they launch into "Whiskey Bar", you hear Morrison say "All right...what do you guys want to hear next?" All the teenyboppers scream out "Light My Fire!". I swear you can hear Morrison sigh into the microphone, regretting the day that Robby Krieger penned their first radio hit. The man wanted to be a poet, not necessarily a leather-panted frontman. What I'm getting at is this is what Morrison wanted the people to hear. His poetry is wonderful, thought provoking, conversational, a little sophomoric at times, and the backing of the Doors on such passages as "Newborn Awakening" and "Ghost Song" makes this a must-have album for Doors fans. This album really lets the remaining Doors shine. All of their playing is so different on the six Doors album, compared to "American Prayer" and their creative freedom really comes through here. The album also contains a smokin' live version of Roadhouse Blues, as well as snippets from other Doors albums (very cool double reading of "Texas Radio and the Big Beat" on "Stoned Immaculate" and "Riders on the Storm" on "The Hitchhiker"!) If you want more post-Jim music, the Doors "Full Circle" is interesting (though likely way out of print). Regardless, do yourself a favor: buy this and Morrison's book of poetry "Lords and the New Creatures" and you'll really experience what Morrison was trying to accomplish before he broke on through to the other side!
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Format: Audio CD
Crimson and clover? Why don't you compare Wayne Newton to Primus? Anyways, this review isn't a bash; it's my feelings about the album. First of all "American Prayer" isn't an album that you just pick one or two songs off of to listen to, it's a story, similar to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," "The Wall," or Neilson's "The Point." And similar to those in that it is best enjoyed relaxing on your couch, following the inebriant of your choice. It also is great for long road trips at night, but I prefer to have my eyes closed when listening to it. Jim's poetry is raw and vibrant and conjures up images of the movies The Doors and Natural Born Killers. The background music adds to the poetry like the sense of smell does to taste. As a second generation door's fan, my view of this album may be slightly nostalgic, but listening to it, for me, is like a vivid dream that captures something reminiscent of Manson's views of the 60's. It's filled with intenseness of peaking on window pane (LSD, for the sheltered) and the spacey philosophical ranting that accompany its come-down. This album is art and contains all the passion and skewed visions of the artist. I would compare this album to something like sushi; at first it may sound repulsive to some, but if given a chance you may start to crave it. If this doesn't sound like your spicy tuna roll, then maybe you can go back to mind-numbing, sticky-sweet pop music and other mass media produced nausients, and leave interpretation of art to someone else. Okay, it is kind of a bash.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't buy / listen to American Prayer expecting a continuation of the Doors earlier collaborations. Musically, the remaining members of the Doors follow a logical progression of their craft, but their efforts only serve as a backdrop for Jim Morrison's poetry. The music is secondary, as it should be, but serves to cultivate a softer seduction for those who would be unable to give themselves over completely to Morrison's lyrical constructions alone. I've read several reviews here that denigrate Morrison's poetical efforts. Quite simply, the writers of such reviews cannot wrap their minds around the subject matter. Morrison's work is not for the intellectually deficient or those who cannot deconstruct its symbolism. There are common themes throughout this album, as well as several tracks from previous albums. It certainly transcends pop music and would hold the same value without accompaniment. It is Thanatos against Eros, it is tragedy, it is copulation. It is Anarchical, not nihilistic. Ultimately, it is realization; of flesh, of God, of the consumerism and material centered culture of the modern world, which holds us all in an eternal check - money beats soul - and ultimately destroys free will and spirituality. The longing for a better way, an existence that is much more pure was evident in Morrison's art. He asked often for us to join him. Few understood or listened. And, ultimately a few grains are no match for the unforgiving grindstone. For a better understanding of the psychology of Morrison's art I suggest reading "The Birth of Tragedy" - Nietszche, "Symbols of Transformation" - Carl Jung, and "Life Against Death" - Norman O. Brown.
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