An American Prayer

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An American Prayer
Studio album by The Doors
Released November 17, 1978 (Vinyl LP)
1995 (CD)
Recorded March 1969 and December 1970 (spoken word)
1978 (music)
Genre Psychedelic rock, spoken word, poetry, funk rock
Length 38:28
Label Elektra/Asylum Records (1978 LP)
Rhino (1995 CD) [1]
Producer John Densmore,
Robby Krieger,
Ray Manzarek,
Frank Lisciandro,
John Haeny
The Doors chronology
Full Circle
(1972)
An American Prayer
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]

An American Prayer is the ninth and final studio album by the Doors.[3] In 1978, seven years after lead singer Jim Morrison died and five years after the remaining members of the band broke up, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore reunited and recorded backing tracks over Morrison's poetry (originally recorded in 1969 and 1970). Other pieces of music and spoken word recorded by the Doors and Morrison were also used in the audio collage, such as dialogue from Morrison's film HWY: An American Pastoral and snippets from jam sessions. The album received mixed reviews and still divides critics, yet it has managed a platinum certification in the US. When the album was originally released, longtime Doors' producer Paul Rothchild labeled the album a "rape of Jim Morrison".[4] Rothchild claimed that he had heard all of the reels of master tapes from both the 1969 and the 1970 poetry sessions, insisting that the three remaining Doors failed to realize Morrison's original intent for an audio presentation of the poetry. Morrison himself, prior to leaving for Paris, had approached composer Lalo Schifrin as a possible contributor for the music tracks meant to accompany the poetry, with no participation from any of the other Doors members. In addition, he had developed some conception of the album cover art work by January 1971, and was in correspondence with artist T. E. Breitenbach to design this cover in the form of a tryptich (a three-paneled painting with various images embedded in each panel).

Track listing[edit]

Poetry, lyrics and stories by Jim Morrison; music by Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore, except where noted.

Original release[edit]

Side one

Awake (7:10)

To Come of Age (8:41)

  • Black Polished Chrome
  • Latino Chrome
  • Angels and Sailors
  • Stoned Immaculate

The Poets Dreams (3:28)

Side two

World On Fire (11:59)

An American Prayer (6:52)

DJ Promotional release (edited for broadcast)[edit]

Side one

  1. "Awake" – 0:35
  2. "Ghost Song" – 2:48
  3. "Dawn's Highway" – 1:25
  4. "Newborn Awakening" – 2:20
  5. "Black Polished Chrome / Latino Chrome" – 2:47
  6. "Stoned Immaculate" – 1:34

Side two

  1. "American Night" – 0:40
  2. "Roadhouse Blues" [Live] – 4:55
  3. "Astrology Rap" – :44
  4. "The World on Fire" – 1:10
  5. "The Hitchhiker" – 2:10
  6. "An American Prayer (Ghost Song II)" – 3:00

1995 remastered edition[edit]

Awake

  1. "Awake" – 0:36
  2. "Ghost Song" (edit) – 2:50
  3. "Dawn's Highway" – 1:21
  4. "Newborn Awakening" – 2:26

To Come of Age

  1. "To Come of Age" – 1:01
  2. "Black Polished Chrome" – 1:07
  3. "Latino Chrome" – 2:14
  4. "Angels and Sailors" – 2:46
  5. "Stoned Immaculate" – 1:33

The Poet's Dream

  1. "The Movie" – 1:35
  2. "Curses, Invocations" – 1:57

World on Fire

  1. "American Night" – 0:28
  2. "Roadhouse Blues" – 5:53
  3. "The World on Fire" – 1:06
  4. "Lament" – 2:18
  5. "The Hitchhiker" – 2:15

An American Prayer

  1. "An American Prayer" – 3:04
  2. "Hour for Magic" – 1:17
  3. "Freedom Exists" – 0:20
  4. "A Feast of Friends" – 2:10 (also known as "The Severed Garden")

Bonus tracks

  1. "Babylon Fading" – 1:40
  2. "Bird of Prey" - 1:03
  3. "The Ghost Song" (Extended Version) – 5:16 (There's a "hidden track" at about 4:41.)

Staff[edit]

1969 readings
1970 readings
The Doors
Additional staff

Production[edit]

  • Producer – John Haeny, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Frank Lisciandro
  • Assistant producer – Paul Black
  • Engineers – John Haeny, Paul Black, Bruce Botnick, Cheech d'Amico, Paul Ferrara, Ron Garrett, Babe Hill, James Ledner, Frank Lisciandro, Rik Pekkonen, Fritz Richmond, Dr. Thomas G. Stockham, John Weaver
  • Assistant engineer – Paul Black
  • Directors – John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Frank Lisciandro
  • Mastering – Bernie Grundman
  • Remastering – Bruce Botnick, Paul Rothchild
  • Synthesizer programming – Arthur Barrow on "The Movie"
  • Art direction – Ron Coro, Johnny Lee, John Van Hamersveld
  • Illustrations – Jim Morrison
  • Photography – Joel Brodsky, Paul Ferrara, Art Kane, Edmund Teske, Frank Lisciandro

Notes[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1978 Pop Albums 54

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1978 "Ghost Song" Promotional Singles Pop Singles 1
1979 "Roadhouse Blues" (live)
B-side: "Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor (The Severed Garden)"
Pop Singles ?

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[6] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "L.A. Woman 40th Anniversary Editions". The Doors. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Amazon CD - Retrieved July 18, 2009
  4. ^ BAM Interview with Paul Rothchild - July 3, 1981
  5. ^ Len Sousa. "Jim Morrison Poetry Sessions". The Doors Guide. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  6. ^ "American album certifications – The Doors – An American Prayer". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH