In August 2012, a rare variation of the West German Target pressing of The Doors’ debut album was featured on keithhirsch.com. The common pressing has a silver target motif against an orange paint background with silver text and silver CD format and Elektra logos. The rare variation has the same color combination for the target and background, but the text and logos are black. More information on this rare pressing is available here. At that time, it was promised that another Doors Target pressing variation would take the top spot here. Well, here it is. Enter a rare pressing of The Doors Morrison Hotel.
Morrison Hotel was released in 1970 as The Doors’ fifth and second-to-last studio album with Jim Morrison. A concept album, perhaps, the first side of the original record was titled “Hard Rock Café”, while the second side was titled “Morrison Hotel”. Morrison Hotel followed The Doors’ 1969 effort, The Soft Parade, which was a departure from their well-established amalgam of rock, blues, and poetry. After The Soft Parade was not well received, The Doors went back to their original formula with Morrison Hotel (well, somewhat; no two Doors albums are quite alike). With Morrison Hotel, the intensity and full-scale Morrisonesque imagery was back. The opening track and hit, “Roadhouse Blues”, as the title indicates, also made a clear statement that The Doors were going back to their roots with this album. Other well-known tracks from Morrison Hotel include “Waiting For The Sun” (which did not appear on the 1968 album of the same title), the groove-driven “Peace Frog”, and the ballad showing off Jim Morrison’s smooth, warm vocals, “Blue Sunday”.
Elektra Records released the Morrison Hotel LP in 1970 under catalog number EKS 75007. Jumping ahead to the mid-’80s, Elektra introduced Morrison Hotel on CD in the U.S. as a West German Target pressing under catalog number EKS 75007-2. Thus, this original CD borrowed the LP catalog number and added the ‘2’ suffix assigned by the music industry to designate the CD format. There are two variations of this Target pressing of Morrison Hotel, and they are the reverse in terms of rarity relative to the two aforementioned variations of the debut album. In the case of Morrison Hotel, the common West German Target pressing has the silver target motif, orange paint background, black text, and black logos. The rare variation, and it is very rare, still has the silver target and orange paint, but the text and logos are silver.
It would seem that WEA could not settle on a text/logo color for Elektra Target pressings, as some pressings across the series have black text and black logos and others have silver text and silver logos. However, variations exist for only a few titles (Mötley Crüe Shout At The Devil is another one existing in both forms; black is common, silver is rare).
The two pressing variations of Morrison Hotel share the same matrix code — “75007-2 2893 280 01 #”. The inserts are also identical. Shown below are the cover and back insert for the West German Target CDs of The Doors Morrison Hotel, along with the rare silver-text/silver-logo pressing.
The cover for the West German Target CD pressings of The Doors Morrison Hotel (Elektra, catalog number EKS 75007-2). This is the standard cover artwork used for releases of the album on a variety of formats over the years.
The back insert for the West German Target CD pressings of The Doors Morrison Hotel (Elektra, catalog number EKS 75007-2). As indicated along the bottom, this insert was printed in West Germany. Note that there is no barcode.
The rare silver-text West German Target CD of The Doors Morrison Hotel (Elektra, catalog number EKS 75007-2). The compact disc format logo and Elektra logo are also printed in silver. It can be seen along the perimeter that this disc was pressed in West Germany by Polygram. The matrix code is “75007-2 2893 280 01 #″. The common West German Target CD of Morrison Hotel has the text, Elektra logo, and compact disc format logo printed in black.