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The Doors - L.A. Woman CD (album) cover

L.A. WOMAN

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

4.03 | 458 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The last two albums released by The Doors were far from being great. "The Soft Parade" contained probably the worst songs ever written by the band. Hopefully with this release The Doors will renew with their good rock-blues fame. Unlike those two very average albums, this one will feature some very good tracks.

"Love Her Madly" is one of them. A traditional rock song from The Doors with a very nice melody. Manzarek is great on the keys. The lenght (3'20") also allows to get a bit of an instrumental break which was mostly lacking in their two minutes format hits.

A central piece (there will be two here) is of course the title track "L.A. Woman". A great rock song with an incredible rhythm. Fabulous keys and guitar work. This number is rather long (but The Doors already released here and there some great numbers outside the two or three minutes standard) and has several instrumental passages. Of course, the master also gets his role and his vocal parts are very pleasant as well. His voice is rather strong here. The bass playing of one guest musician is a good add-on to this great song.

In terms of rock, we won't get very much to fill our ears, which is a pity. This side of The Doors was the more appealing to me. Only the opener "The Changeling" can fall under this category : it is a good and a classic Doors song. Bluesy at times and rocking alright as well. Again (but it was one of The Doors TM), the hypnotic riff works incredibely well. One of the best song of this effort.

Some average bluesy ones with little soul like "Been Down So Long", "Cars Hiss by My Window" (the weakest number here IMO) and "Crawling King Snake" oriented this album too much in the bluesy direction. This is far from being my preferred music genre, so I am a bit disapointed.

In "L'America" the weird atmosphere prevails. Somewhat incoherent as The Doors could be sometimes. It is not an easy number, but once you'll get into it its hypnotic tempo I recognize some strenght in there.

The melancholic rock ballad "Hyacinth House" sounds a bit desperate. It features a good instrumental part from both Manzarek and Krieger.

The WASP sounds more as a sort of a poem recitation. Jim talks instead of singing. Again, the riff (precursory of "The Jean Genie" in the bass play) is hypnotic and catchy but the whole laks in dymamism. A bit too repetitive.

The last number of this album is of course another of their legendary track. Not wild, on the contrary this song brings some quiteness and peacefulness thanks to very subtle musical arrangements. Manzarek has the leading role here and throughout these 7'15" one has hard to believe that it will be the last true Doors composition.

The Doors had signed a contract with their record company (Elektra) which bound them to release six studio albums. They wanted to fulfill this as soon as they could and they only needed four years to do so. At times, it was at the cost of the lenght of their albums : just over thirty minutes for half of them (even if in those days, the forty + format was not the standard, they were short). At other times, it was not only the lenght that was involved, but the quality as well. I'm talking of "The Soft Parade" of course.

The last effort with this line-up tries to avoid both traps but is lacking in great moments (only three). I was too young to have been a Doors fan while they were active and in these days, there were not really aired on the Belgian radio. Therefore, when Jim died, I hardly knew about it (unlike Jimi - Hendrix of course - whom I had discovered thanks to Woodstock). It was ages later that I started to really understand how important and influent The Doors had been.

Still, I wouldn't rate this effort more than three stars.

I am pretty sure that Jim was heading his death with knowledge. He must have known pretty well what was going on even if officially he died from a heart attack. Actually, nobody tried to know what caused this heart attack (no autopsy was performed). I am keen to agree with the version of their second manager (Danny Sugerman), namely that Jim's girlfriend (Pamela Courson) injected him the fatal dosis. Nothing of this has been proven of course, but to me it sounds very much plausible and could well be the truth. Jim died at the age of twenty-seven. It seemed to be a difficult age for some musical heroes of that era : Morrison, Hendrix and Joplin all died at twenty-seven.

Pretty sad story.

I have been only recently (in 2006) to pay a visit to Jim at the Père Lachaise and it was a very emotional time for me (I am almost crying as I write). What a great songwriter and actor he was. Therefore thanks a million Jim, You will always have a special place in my heart. I just love you. RIP.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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