An American Prayer
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An American Prayer
An American Prayer
An American Prayer.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 1978 (1978-11-17)
RecordedMarch 1969 and December 1970 (spoken word)
1978 (music)
GenrePsychedelic rock, spoken word, poetry, funk rock, musique concrète
LabelElektra/Asylum Records (1978 LP)
Rhino (1995 CD) [1]
ProducerJohn Haeny, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, Frank Lisciandro
Jim Morrison & the Doors chronology
Full Circle
An American Prayer
Greatest Hits

An American Prayer is the ninth and final studio album by the Doors.[2] 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 also includes a composite live version of "Roadhouse Blues", splicing together performances at New York City's Felt Forum and Detroit's Cobo Hall, both captured during the Doors' 1970 Roadhouse Blues Tour. This version of the song later appeared on the In Concert compilation.

Release and reception

Despite managing a RIAA platinum certification in the US, the album received mixed reviews and still divides critics. When the album was originally released, longtime Doors' producer Paul A. Rothchild labeled the album a "rape of Jim Morrison."[7] 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. Prior to leaving for Paris, Morrison 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. Additionally, 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 triptych. However, John Haeny (who recorded the original session tapes with Morrison in 1970 and safeguarded them before the project was resurrected as An American Prayer) insisted that the album "was made by those people who were closest to Jim, both personally and artistically" and "everyone had the best intentions," stating: "Jim would be pleased. Jim would have understood our motivation and appreciated our dedication and heartfelt handling of his work."[8]

Track listing

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

Original release

Side one
  1. Ghost Song
  2. Dawn's Highway
  3. Newborn Awakening"
2."To Come of Age
  • Black Polished Chrome
  • Latino Chrome
  • Angels and Sailors
  • Stoned Immaculate"
  • 8:41
    3."The Poets Dreams
  • The Movie
  • Curses, Invocations"
  • 3:28
    Side two
    4."The World On Fire
    1. American Night
    2. Roadhouse Blues
    3. Lament
    4. The Hitchhiker"
    5."An American Prayer"6:52

    DJ Promotional release (edited for broadcast)

    Side one
    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
    7."American Night"0:40
    8."Roadhouse Blues (Live)"4:55
    9."Astrology Rap"0:44
    10."The World on Fire"1:10
    11."The Hitchhiker"2:10
    12."An American Prayer (Ghost Song II)
    1. The End - 1:38
    2. Albinoni: Adagio - 2:10"

    1995 remastered edition

    2."Ghost Song (edit)"2:50
    3."Dawn's Highway"1:21
    4."Newborn Awakening"2:26
    To Come of Age
    5."To Come of Age"1:01
    6."Black Polished Chrome"1:07
    7."Latino Chrome"2:14
    8."Angels and Sailors"2:46
    9."Stoned Immaculate"1:33
    The Poet's Dream
    10."The Movie"1:35
    11."Curses, Invocations"1:57
    World on Fire
    12."American Night"0:28
    13."Roadhouse Blues"5:53
    14."The World on Fire"1:06
    16."The Hitchhiker"2:15
    An American Prayer
    17."An American Prayer"3:04
    18."Hour for Magic"1:17
    19."Freedom Exists"0:20
    20."A Feast of Friends" (also known as "The Severed Garden")2:10


    1969 readings
    1970 readings
    • Jim Morrison - vocals, spoken word (recorded on December 8, 1970)
    The Doors
    Additional personnel


    • Producer - John Haeny, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, 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 - Ken Perry, 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


    • Morrison's vocals in "Bird of Prey" were later sampled for the 2000 Fatboy Slim song "Sunset (Bird of Prey)."
    • Morrison's shout, "Wake up!" in "Awake" was sampled in the 1991 Orbital song "Choice."
    • Morrison's vocals from "Angels and Sailors" appeared on Bad Company's track "Ladies of Spain".



    Year Chart Position
    1978 Pop Albums 54


    Year Single Chart Position
    1978 "Ghost Song" Promotional Singles Pop Singles
    1979 "Roadhouse Blues" (live)
    B-side: "Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor (The Severed Garden)"
    Pop Singles Did not chart


    Region Certification Certified units/Sales
    United States (RIAA)[9] Platinum 1,000,000^

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

    External links


    1. ^ "L.A. Woman 40th Anniversary Editions". The Doors. Retrieved .
    2. ^ "An American Prayer - Jim Morrison". 20 May 1995 – via Amazon.
    3. ^ AllMusic review
    4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 2019 – via
    5. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 358. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
    6. ^ "The Doors: Album Guide". Archived from the original on January 6, 2013. Retrieved 2015.
    7. ^ "Bam Interview - Paul Rothchild".
    8. ^ "The Making of Jim Morrision's "An American Prayer" -".
    9. ^ "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.

      This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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