1971's L.A. WOMAN, released shortly before Morrison's death in Paris, went to #9 and delivered the signature songs "Love Her Madly," "Riders On The Storm," and the title track. In-depth liner notes by Ben Fong-Torres. Tw... more »o bonus tracks including "Orange County Suite" and "(You Don't Need Meat) Don't Go No Further."« less
1971's L.A. WOMAN, released shortly before Morrison's death in Paris, went to #9 and delivered the signature songs "Love Her Madly," "Riders On The Storm," and the title track. In-depth liner notes by Ben Fong-Torres. Two bonus tracks including "Orange County Suite" and "(You Don't Need Meat) Don't Go No Further."
"The Doors final album with Jim Morrison (they would go on to record two more albums as a trio), remains their masterpiece and belongs in every rock collection. From start to finish, the album is brilliant. It was the Doors at their absolute best. The Doors previous albums ranged from very good to classic, but their sixth album "L.A. Woman" was their crown jewel.
It's common for most bands to start out playing the blues and then evolve into a musical style/idenity all their own. In this sense, the Doors sort of evolved backwards. They started out playing crazy, psychedelic music, and then ended their career playing the blues.
"L.A. Woman" is a very bluesy album. It's not pure blues (B.B. King, Leadbelly), but it's rock tinged with blues. The band never sounded better. To be sure, the Doors albums were always terrific, but they sounded most at home with the blues. Playing blues rock brought out the best in all the Doors members. Ray Manzarek (organ) and Robby Krieger's (guitar) solos worked perfectly against a blues backdrop. Drummer John Densmore's jazzy style was also well suited for the blues.
As for Jim Morrison...I think the Jim Morrison of 1967 was best suited to sing psychedelic acid rock. His ultra-cool swagger and showmanship was the ultimate voice for such music. But the Jim Morrison of 1971 was a much different person. In four years, Morrison aged a lifetime. In 1967, he sounded and looked 23. In 1971, he looked and sounded like an old man. It's hard to believe that the same voice that sang "Light My Fire" sang "Riders on the Storm" only four years later. On "L.A. Woman," Morrison sounds worn and tired, but it matched the bluesy-jazzy downbeat music perfectly. Morrison's finest poetry was also in this swan song. Noting too obscure or bizarre to be found. It was his most honest, straightforward work.
"L.A. Woman" is simply The Doors finest collection of songs. There is no filler to be found. Each song is a jewel on The Doors crown creation. From the opening "The Changeling," to the closing "Riders on the Storm," every song is great. Whether is be the hard rocking "Love Her Madly," the downbeat "Cars His By My Window," the bohemian "The Wasp" or the sublime "Riders on the Storm," every song is a masterpiece.
The general theme of the album seems to be the underbelly of L.A. in the early 70s. The album seems to function as a snapshot/soundtrack of that time and place. It's all about living day-to-day, strung-out, alone, not knowing when it will all end. In that sense, I take "LA Woman" to be sort of like a diary in the lives of Jim and (his wife) Pam. When you listen to this album, you can feel the longing, the desperation, the torment, the addictions, of that time and place. These songs sound lived in. When you listen to Morrison's screams in the title track, or soft-spoken baritone in "Cars Hiss By My Window" you get the sense that he knew it was going to end soon. "Riders on the Strom" seems to acknowledge and accept this fate.
The Doors "L.A. Woman" is one of the greatest albums of all-time and it is an album that every rock fan should own. "
The Doors Masterpiece
Alexander S. Meyer | Laredo Texas | 04/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all reading this review I am referring to the March 2007 re-release of this milestone album. It was remastered and remixed as part of the 4oth anniversary Doors celebration. In the liner notes it is stated that the remaing Doors used the original master tapes, and remixed them to reveal subtleties not revealed in any previous release of this cd (They've done the same for all six studio albums) . The result is astounding. Morrisons voice cuts you like a knife, Manzareks keyboards are front and center, and you can hear the details of Kriegers' very focused playing. Certain songs have extra time on them. For example, the fade on "Love Her Madly" extends a bit more, and you hear a previously unreleased part of the original intro to "LA Woman". The sheer clarity of the recording reveals that "Riders on the storm" is even errier than when we first heard it back in 1971. This release of LA Woman is THE definitive version for anyone who loves the Doors. It's a rock/blues drenched masterpiece that transcends time, and its remix is simply amazing. I wish Jim were here to listen to it ....he'd be smiling for sure."
The final Doors album proves they were not rock sellouts
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""L.A. Woman" is the final album put together by the Doors before the death of Jim Morrison and what is so striking about it for me is how the two best tracks, the title one and "Riders of the Storm," are so different from the rest of what is on the album. Contrasting the start of those tracks with the opening song on the album, "The Changeling," and they are like night and day. Most of the rest of this 1971 album is really blues oriented, with "Love Her Madly" clearly being the best of the bunch, and some of the rest being instantly forgettable. I think it is obvious that the band was trying to get back their credibility after veering too far in the direction of pop for a couple of albums, with "Morrison Hotel" and this one righting those wrongs. But since a few of these songs are pretty forgettable, "L.A. Woman" is an album that is caught between a 4 and a 5 but you have to round up given how good its two best songs end up being.
My two favorite parts of Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors" is when we hear Ray Manzarek in the background fooling around on the organ until he gets the bit for "Light My Fire" right and the end credits with the tracking shot showing the record of "L.A. Woman," with Val Kilmer's Morrison taking advantage of the great acoustics in the bathroom. For years when I was driving back from the Twin Cities and coming up the final hills before being able to see the lights of home, to wit the "city of lights," "L.A. Woman" was the song I would play in the car because it perfectly suited the moment.
Since the track opens with the sound of an accelerating car engine it is easy to see why the songs is associated with driving. Robbie Krieger simulates that sound on his guitar, but with a hint of eeriness that leads into first Manzarek's keyboards and then John Densmore's cymbal tapping and session player Jerry Scheff's throbbing bass. From that intriguing beginning the song generates its compelling rhythm and allows Morrison to wax lyrical. The bridge represents one of the most creative changes in rock history, using a tango tempo while Morrison sings about burning hair before getting to the final section where the anagrammatic "Mr. Mojo Risin'" makes his appearance. On a lot of these tracks Morrison's voice sounds about shot, but there are no complaints about "L.A. Woman," which qualifies as his last great vocal performance.
"Riders of the Storm" is one of the moodiest Doors' songs and the lyrics create a sense of foreboding (e.g., "Into this house were born/Into this world we're thrown") representing the questionable side of human existence. Musically Manzarek captures the sound of the storm, with actual thunderstorm sound effects dubbed on to the track, while Densmore again works the cymbals and Scheff provides a simple bass line, reflecting a minimalist approach that is quite effective. The song made it to #14 on the Billboard charts after Morrison's death in Paris ("Love Her Madly" had made it to #11 while the title track was just too long for AM radio). The "L.A. Woman" album only made it to #9, which, believe it or not, makes it the worst performance by a Doors album. Of course, a decade later Morrison and the Doors were bigger than ever and "L.A. Woman" was a frequent mention as the group's best track."
Almost perfect (so close)
ALK | Houston, TX United States | 06/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is so close to a perfect DVD-Audio disc from Warner Music that it is disappointing it isn't. The tracks have been meticulous remastered and the sound is sharp and "new". "Riders on the Storm" has the storm in all the channels and is extremely effective. I played it in a local home theater store that had overhead rear speakers and that was very interesting.The one track that still needs work is "Love Her Madly". The drum solos fly around all the channels per beat. An interesting effect but somewhat annoying after a while. But, the real disappointing part is the LFE (the .1 low bass channel). The LFE level on "Love Her Madly" is almost non-existent on the DVD-Audio version but powerful on the Dobly Digital version. Unfortunately, this means the Dolby Digital version sounds better than the DVD-Audio version of "Love Her Madly". I find it hard to believe that this was intended.So, with the exception of the one track, the disc is excellent. Too bad Warner Music can't fix that problem and make this a fully enjoyable disc."
Kevin S. Kolenc | 04/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
The sound is absoultly phenominal. This should be an example of what the standard should be in re-releasing material. It honestly sounds as if you are in the studio with the band. Side by side with the original issue of the cd this blows the older version away. Everything is so crisp and clear. This should be expected with technological advances.
The price. If you're looking to update the original cds without all the fancy packaging it's cheaper to by these new issues rather than the latest boxed set.
I'm a purist at heart and don't think albums should be remixed but I'm indifferent here. The one thing that I didn't expect was the additional lyrics during "Cars Hiss By My Window". Knowing the song the way it was originally released, it threw me for a loop when I first heard it and was totally unexpected.
None. Hands down this is my favorite Doors album. Next in line is to upgrade my Morrison Hotel cd (the 2nd best in my opinion)."