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

L.A. WOMAN

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.96 | 322 ratings

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Keetian
4 stars One might also call this "Morrison's last dance," since it was released only months before his untimely death. Electra Records didn't really want to back this album, so the Doors did a lot of the work themselves. They were terribly chided about the song content. One of the people at Electra was interviewed and said the material on "L.A. Woman" was what he called "dog meat," or scrap elements. He thought the band could do a whole lot better than they did.

As it turned out, "L.A. Woman" was and still is very successful. "Love Her Madly, L.A. Woman, and Riders on the Storm" are being constantly played all over the world. Who knows how many millions the band and record company are still raking in because of this "dog meat?"

As far as the content goes, the album is better than most of their previous releases. This one is filled with guitar and keyboard solos, as well as an interesting drum contribution by John Densmore on "Texas Radio and the big Beat."

The standout here is naturally "Riders on the Storm." It is immaculate; filled with drifting beauty! Everything just blows you away. Morrison doesn't stretch himself vocally, but he didn't need to. It sounds so good to the ear just the way he did it. The keyboard is perhaps the real star. The sound sucks you in and Manzarek simply shines as he seemingly ambles his way through the last solo part. I really loved how he worked out the solo to finish just before the big crash of thunder which signaled the return to the last vocal part. It is a gem! Densmore said a lot with the three note riff on the drums after the thunder. Krieger's solo sounded like something from the old west, which enhanced the tune in my opinion.

The next standout is "L.A. Woman. This one is probably the proggiest of the bunch. Very well done. Good rhythm changes, good movement. I think the only drawback is when we expect Jim to do one of his trademark screams after the "Mo Jo rizin" part and he doesn't stretch himself. It seemed like he held back, or he just didn't have it anymore, or worse yet, his heart wasn't in it like on the earlier stuff. Still, all in all it is a very good tune.

"The Changling" is a lively little tune that I can identify with, where Jimbo sings "Well I never been so broke that I couldn't leave town." That is the most memorable line in the song. It also modulates after the first verse, which is a little different.

I didn't really think "Love Her Madly" was a good Doors song. It is just too poppy to enjoy as intended. Yet it is replayed constantly, so you gotta give Krieger some credit for writing a catchy tune.

"Been Down so Long" really captures Morrison's frustration at the way things have been going for him over the two previous years. He was wrapped up in court stuff and was disenchanted with his band mates. It was also the first time on a studio record that he would use any kind of profanity. I didn't care for it because of that. I knew he was more than capable of expressing himself much more eloquently than he was doing. That disappointed me.

I am, on the other hand, very fond of the blues masterpiece "Cars Hiss by My Window." Morrison even imitates a guitar at the end of the song. He sounded great! I still sing this one a lot.

"L'America" has some prog elements in it as well. It is spooky sounding. I love the line where Morrison sings, "Change your weather, change your luck, and then they'll teach you how to------ find yourself!" That part really cracked me up without being vugar and lude. That is what I meant when I said Jim was very capable with his vocabulary.

The next song was bland and Jim's lyrics deserved a better fate. I have always felt that some of the words on it were about his soon to be accomplished demise. Very eerie to me. "Hyacinth House" could have been done much better and more effectively. I just wonder how happy Morrison himself was about the tune.

"Crawlin' King Snake" stays with that vibe about death. It is a cover blues piece that the Doors play and sing well. Krieger does some speedy soloing here. I wasn't too impressed by it.

"Texas Radio and the Big Beat" is also another prog like offering and it is good. We have all the members soloing at some point. Interesting lyrics.

This album doesn't have too much going against it, other than what I mentioned. It gets four stars from me.

Keetian | 4/5 |

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