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The Doors singer Jim Morrison in pink shirt and blue sweater tied over shoulders

The Lost Paris Tapes, Jim Morrison’s Last Recordings from 1971


Jim Morrison, with his seductive voice and his permanently cryptic image, left unreleased poetic and psychedelic recordings as his final legacy.

Sold as The Doors’ last studio album, An American Prayer tends to divide Morrison’s fans. On the one hand it is a captivating document of the singer’s last poetry recitals: dark, psychedelic and strange, in a way only he could combine. On the other hand, it is an album by The Doors because in 1978 the three remaining members of the band decided to get together to record original music over Morrison’s posthumously. While the final result is a type of hypnotizing romantic and spectral trance, many have felt that the band’s modification was violating the singer’s intentions.

An American Prayer was recorded in March of 1969 without any accompaniment and in December 1970. Before his death in 1971, Morrison joined his long-time lover, Pamela Courson, and made what would be he his last studio recording: a poetry reading with a couple of unknown Parisian musicians.

Since 1994 The Doors’ fans have been passing these recordings around, combined with a thirty-seven minute reading from 1968, as an unreleased album called The Lost Paris Tapes. This “bootleg” album represents an unreleased Morrison, ornament-free, with an absolute control over his voice and with an eerily cryptic tone. Although the album is hard to come-by, YouTube has most of the tracks. The Lost Paris Tapes reveal a seductive and dark Morrison, with the rootless imagination he retained throughout his life.



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