# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Doors - L.A. Woman

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 13 / 3 / 2012

Doors - L.A. Woman
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


In our 'Re:View' section, in which our writers look back on albums from the past, Anthony Strutt looks at the Doors' last album with Jim Morrison, 'L.A. Woman', which has recently been remastered in a new double CD edition

'L.A. Woman’ is the first of the Doors’ albums to be remastered in a double CD edition. It was also the last album that Jim Morrison recorded before he went to Paris and never came home. It appears in this new double CD edition in a new mix that reminds me of when I played a lot of 60’s era CD albums in my DVD player, as the sound goes all over the place and it loses chunks of the mix that you know so well. ‘L.A. Woman’ opens with ‘The Changeling’, which has more of an edge in its new era sound, The Doors were entering a new decade. ‘L.A.Woman’ was recorded by a band which knew its craft, but on this it doesn't sound like it is forty years old at all. Ray Manzarek’s organ is up front, but the new mix loses a lot of Robby Kreiger's great guitar lines. Jim sounds on it like he has had a well lived life, but is still up for new experiences. ‘Love Her Madly’ is a much more mellow number, while ‘Been Down So Long’ is a slow blues number upon which the guitars sing sweetly. Jim was as this track reveals a true bluesman by now. ‘Cars Hiss By My Window’ is another slow blues number. Jim is the perfect black bluesman on this, while Robby's licks are slow and also played to perfection. ‘L.A. Woman’ itself is a horny little beast, a rock classic, a fine calling card. Ray's honky tonk piano spices it up no end, and Jim sings like his life depended on it. ‘L'America’ is haunting, a bleakly dark number about a killer on the run. ‘Hyacinth House’ shows the new dawn was arising in the band's delivery and style. ‘Crawling King Snake’ is again a slow blues number from the Lizard King. Jim writes poetry on it, while, Ray, Robby and drummer John Densmore work their magic. ‘The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)’ is seductive and sly, a piece of Jim's prose set to music. ‘Riders on the Storm’ was a single, a rock classic and also the name of Ray and Robby’s second resurrection of the band after the Doors of the 21st Century. The intro is quieter on the new mix, making it more haunting. Everything else is more upbeat and crisp, but it does lose its wonderful organ solo in the new mix. The second CD of the new version features material that has been completely unreleased even in bootleg form. It is an alternative version of the album with two extra tracks. The alternative version of ‘The Changeling’ is looser and funkier, while Robby's guitar is louder and much heavier. It also ends differently. ‘Love Her Madly’ is much crisper, but Jim's vocal sounds lazy as if he didn't want to be there. It does, however, benefit from a piano solo from Ray instead of an organ solo. ‘Cars Hiss By My Window’ is described by Jim as “the bastard son of Jimi.” It is a slow blues number, where you can hear the pain of the blues in Jim's vocal. ‘L.A. Woman' is red raw, and both more bluesy and heavy. Ray's solo is funkier and Jim has a spring in his vocal step. It is an absolutely fantastic version. ‘The WASP‘ is heavier than any other version I have ever heard. Jim's vocal is totally focused, and this excellent take ends with a Velvet Underground like jam at the end, ‘Riders on the Storm’ starts with a ‘Rawhide’-style jam, before they go into the tune which is slower and more mellow. Jim’s vocal on it sounds quite carefree and the guitar is much calmer. ‘She Smells So Nice’ is a new track. It is funky and blues based, and on first listen it didn't blow me away but the ending is better than how it started. ‘Rock Me’ is another slow blues number, much bootlegged in its various forms, Originally planned as a limited five CD box set, which now isn't going to happen, a new three CD box set of ‘L.A. Woman’ will follow in the next six months and will be limited to 6,000 worldwide with nothing repeated that is available here. Hopefully it will be worth the delayed wait.

Track Listing:-

Picture Gallery:-
Doors - L.A. Woman

Doors - L.A. Woman

Visitor Comments:-
550 Posted By: Myshkin, London on 17 Apr 2012
While I wouldn't dismiss The Doors out of hand, they do have a lot to answer for. Let's face it, at least around 60% of the lyrics Morrison ever uttered were utter pretentious tosh, liberally nicked from the likes of Richard Farina or Aldous Huxley - never mind the Beat writers like Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg he greatly admired. While Morrison wasn't without talent it has been greatly exaggerated over the years - helped no doubt by dying young - when in fact it has to be noted that sometime the emperor really didn't have any clothes on. Eg. all that stuff about dead cats, dead rats and twaddle about the snake being long. Jeez.

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


1939-2013 (2013)
Doors - 1939-2013
Anthony Strutt reflects upon the career of Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who died in May from cancer
The Doors FAQ: All That's Left To Know about the Kings of Acid Rock (2012)

live reviews

Wembley Arena, London, 11/12/2003
Doors - Wembley Arena, London, 11/12/2003
The Doors recently controversially reformed with former Cult frontman Ian Astbury taking the place of Jim Morrison. In wet conditions, and at his least favourite UK venue, Anthony Strutt has "the best night" of his life

favourite album

Live at the Bowl '68 (2012)
Doors - Live at the Bowl '68
Anthony Strutt reflects on the Doors' live album, 'Live at the Hollywood Bowl', which originally issued in 1987, has just been re-released in an expanded edition

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors