Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Doors - L.A. Woman CD (album) cover

L.A. WOMAN

The Doors

Proto-Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My favourite from them.With such masterpieces like "Riders on the Storm", "The Changeling" , "L.A. Woman" and "Been down so long" it just kills all the others in my book! It contains all DOORS' elements - nice tunes like "Love her Madly" and "Hyacinth House", sharp and weird "L'America", bluesy "Cars Hiss By My Window" and " Crawling King Snake"...Essential songs - every DOORS' compilation consists from at least a half of "L.A.Woman" album! Sadly Jim left the band (and later the world) on its peak - I believe another one with him could have been the best album for 1972!!! Highly recommended - a Must!!!

Report this review (#105250)
Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not a huge fan of the Doors by any means but sufficiently interested in them and their influence to welcome their inclusion on PA.

On some of the trakcs here it sounds like Morrison is losing it (he probably was). His voice sounds thick, blurred and under the influence of alcohol and other substances. I really don;t like a lot of the material here, including the title track.

However "Lover Her Madly" is a great, though short track, and "Riders on the Storm" is by a long way my favourite Doors track of all time.

There are probably compilations that include these and other classic Doors tracks and if I didn't already own this I'd pobably have gone for them instead. However it's worth at least 3 stars

Report this review (#105270)
Posted Tuesday, January 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Being a long-time fan of The Doors since my early teens, this album always had a special place in my heart. Not only that it contains one of my all time favourite songs, an amazing jazz-tinged ballad "Riders on the Strom", but it is overall extremely strong piece of work. And it happens to be the Jim's swan song artistic statement! The album is largely based in blues rock with early psychedelia almost non-existant (only "L'America" having a bit of it). It is perhaps best-produced and the most properly arranged album by The Doors. Instead of eerie organ and bass-less rhythm section, which was a signature sound on the previous albums, this one was recorded with strong support of several session musicians, making "L.A. Woman" the closest album sounding like "mainstream" classic rock. This means that it does not have enough elements to be recommended to avarage prog rock fans. However, because the album is excellent in its own right, I'll try to be moderate in evaluating it and I would like all the prog listeners to check it out. Personal rating: 5, PA rating: 4!
Report this review (#105501)
Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My favourite album from The Doors, and this one contains some proggy overtones too.

The album opens with "Changeling", the song that is lovely and silly in the same time; the main bass sequence is very similar to Lipstick's "Funkytown", but this one is much more serious, and, thanks goodness, much less annoying. There are some very weird organ sounds here. Chorus is excellent, with simple drum-driven rhythm. "Love Her Madly" is O.K. rock song with good lyrics (hmm, is this redundant to say?), but apart from that, nothing special, nothing demanding.

"Been Down So Long", "Cars Hiss By My Window" and "Crawling King Snake" are three blues-pieces included on the album, "Been Down So Long" being the best of them simply because the groove. "Cars Hiss By My Window" sound undeveloped, but it's utilising Jim's vocal interpretations of high-pitched electric guitar, but it ends almost abruptly, with three jazzy chords. "Crawling King Snake" is just slow and boring blues number, showing us Morrison's obsessions with reptiles and amphibians again.

"L.A. Woman" was never very appealing to me, although it's undoubtedly proto-prog. Few nice guitar and keyboard parts here and there, but that's about it.

"L' America" is a masterpiece itself. Excellent, scary, ultra psychedelic, military, flamenco, whatever - in one word - good tune. Breathtaking atmosphere, and the same trick used in the "Riders On The Storm" - Manzarek's emphasizing of Morrison's lyrics using his electric piano to describe the drops of rain.

"The Wasp" is a typical doors-like lyrical bravurosity surrounded by a great tune with excellent parts played on organ.

"Riders On The Storm" is a timeless masterpiece, and it doesn't need to be introduce to a wider audience. I'm just curious to know were there any previous attempts by any rock band to combine sounds of nature (rain) through the whole song?

In conclusion, there are only two average and one bad numbers to distant this record from the masterpiece status. The rest of the tracks are clever, good-produced, good-played songs with a palette of different styles, perhaps a palette not wide as we used to concern in the prog music, but it's diversity nonetheless. A well-deserved four stars. Right, from the prog rock point of view.

Report this review (#106061)
Posted Friday, January 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
5 stars Well, the last album with Morrison aboard is certainly a stunning masterpiece and for progheads, easily the most interesting of their albums. With a rather botched die-cut artwork (no new picture of Morrison without his beard), Morrison's swansong is really his group's lasting contribution to rock and certainly to prog, more than the debut album. Jim's voice had clearly muted from a superb fresh tone to a decrepit blues drawl due to his years of substance abuse and self-destruction, but somehow, this really helps out the meaner, rawer but also more refined music of this album. With Morrison's role still quite dominant in the music, but his enthusiasm less evident, this is the album where Manzarek, Densmore and Krieger shine the most and the music is the most important. They will even have a proper bass player for the first time to allow Manzarek more freedom in his increased KB roles.

And not a single weak track on this album, there is. From the superb Changeling (with its evolving rhythm patterns and funky devices and keyboards) to the much calmer, but no less superb Love Her Madly, to the pair of raunchy mega-blues Been Down So Long (where Morrison's shows his full blues extent) and Car Hiss By My Window. While not prog, this music is highly evocative, and it is such shame that we'll never know how they would've mutated after this album had Jim stayed. The first side ends on a dizzying LA Woman, which shows the group in full prog mood with this ever-changing track ranging from hard rock to circus music to jazzy breaks.

The second side of the disc is no less stunning fashion with the impressive and sombre L'America (the start of the track could fit on Black Sabbath's debut album) and the soft Hyacinth House (I'm sure Zep heard this track when they wrote the opening of one of their songs) where Manzarek and Krieger are simply shinning. The album returns with a much-modified John Lee Hooker track Crawling King Snake (Jim still had his fascination for reptiles), before ending with two of the best Doors tracks ever: the incredible The Wasp (my fave track) with its superb drumming and fantastic organ work and the anthem-esque Riders On The Storm on depressing music with its thunder sound collage (which could also have fit BS's debut album ;-) and jazzy piano.

If progheads must own only one Doors album, please make sure it is this one, for it is easily their best and, cherry on the cake, their proggiest too. While a lot of purists will prefer the group's first two albums, if the Doors were at their most inventive, it is in this album, where every song would be a highlight in their other albums. Their chef d'oeuvre no less, and a fitting outro for one of rock's most rebellious icons.

Report this review (#106739)
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The band closed their history with Morrison with this very good album.

For the last time with Morrison, in this album the "old dark sound" from the band returns (something which they lost a bit since the "Strange Days" album). Free from Producer Paul A. Rothchild`s vision, who didn`t like the new songs and said goodbye to them, the band co-produced it with long time recording engineer Bruce Botnick, recording it in their rehearsals room called "The Doors` Workshop". The quality of the recording, mixing, playing and cover design is very good. Tired of being shown on the album covers as "the star of the band", in this, his last album, Morrison appeared in the cover photo with a "shorter height" in comparison to his mates in the band.

Another thing that is not the same is Morrison`s voice. His voice changed due to the hard lifestyle he lived, but it is still very good. This was the last album in their contract as quartet with Elektra, and the freedom is shown in the sound of this album, in which particularly Morrison wanted a more Blues oriented sound. The album was almost a "live album recorded in the studio", with few overdubs, and with the help of bassist Jerry Scheff and the occasional rthythm guitar played by Marc Benno.

"The Changleing" is a very good song, with good bass guitar and lead guitars by Krieger.

"Love Her Madly" is the obligatory single, which has a very good quality, with very good performances by all members of the band. The guitar riffs and the guitar sounds of Krieger are very good.

"Been Down So Long" is a very good Blues song, with Morrison`s voice sounding a bit tired.

"The Cars Hiss by My Window" is another Blues song, more dark in atmospheres, played without keyboards, and with Morrison singing "a lead guitar part" very well.

"L.A. Woman" is a combination of Rock with some Jazz elements. It has a very good piano solo by Manzarek.

"L`America" is a dark song which was originally recorded for the soundtrack of the "Zabrinskie Point" film but it wasn`t used. This song, recorded in 1969 or in 1970, shows Morrison`s voice in better shape. This is a very good song, heavy in places.

"Hyacinth House" is a very good song, one of the best in this album, with very good keyboards by Manzarek. It is a ballad.

"Crawling King Snake", composed by John Lee Hokker, is a dark slow Blues song.

"The WASP" is another very good song, with good riffs, and with Morrison almost recitating the lyrics. Densmore also plays very good drums.

"Riders on the Storm": the best song from this album, and one of the best from this band, it sounds like Morrison`s Farewell Song. It has very good Jazz-Rock-Blues atmospheres, with Densmore showing his Jazz drummer skills very good, and with Krieger and Manzarek playing very good parts, giving space for Morrison`s dark vocals and lyrics, plus the sound of thunder in the background. Morrison`s vocals particularly in this song are very good, with him almost whispering the words in the final part of the song, which is closed quietly with great piano by Manzarek and guitar by Krieger. What a very good song it is!

In conclusion, this is a very good album, the best from them with the "Strange Days" album, IMO. One of the most Proto-Prog albums from their discography, IMO.

Report this review (#106759)
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not a single weak point to be found on this pretty L.A. Woman. Everything that made Doors so good, so unique, so famous is on this last shining pearl of theirs. Side one opener 'Changeling' offers Morrison vocal interpretation full of force ; 'Love Her Madley' another hit track, at the time frequently airplayed so keeping the tradition of one hit per album; then two bluesy songs 'Been Down So Long' and 'Cars Hiss By My Window' and closing title track full of catchy rhythm. Side two opens with peculiar 'L'America' and finishes with 'Riders On The Storm' their emblematic, unpretentious extended track spreading that lovely stormy mood. However, from this side of the record and the whole album I would specially highlight one song that from the first listening has been and still is my favourite one -'Hyacinth House'. It is this nice acoustic guitar intro backed with warm and powerfull bass loudness, it is this beautiful melody line, but above all that breath taking lyric point: ' I see the bathroom is clear I think that somebody's near I'm sure that someone is following me ' Was it a vision or was it a feeling of soon coming end.....Yes, The Doors were four guys that wrote great songs so enchanting generations. But the personality and spirit of Jim Morrison was driving and creative force which though ended with this album but still lives in our memories and hearts.
Report this review (#106842)
Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Some fans of the Doors might disagree with my stark assessments of "The Soft Parade" and "Morrison Hotel" (and that's okay) but, by all accounts, the members of the band didn't think those albums were very good, either. So they decided to do this one differently by tossing their producer on his ear and escaping their plush, comfy studio environment in order to create songs that they felt more appropriately reflected their musical preferences and overall direction. They literally brought the recording equipment into their rehearsal hall and started from scratch. Unbeknownst to them it was to be their last with their charismatic singer and troubled friend but their gamble paid off and they made an album to be proud of. I rate it right up there beside "Strange Days."

Starting with the atmospheric "Changeling," we fans could tell they were finally getting their momentum back. A lot of folks like "Love Her Madly" but I'm not one of them. I'll just say that if their intention was to produce a hit single they succeeded in a big way and leave it at that. "Been Down So Long" seems to be a personal observation by Morrison and "Cars Hiss By My Window" shows that he was still capable of writing decent lyrics. While I've grown tired of "L.A. Woman" over the years there's no denying that it is a terrific rock and roll song that succinctly describes the dangerous and ominous streets of the city of angels. It ebbs and flows with energy and purpose. Jim's gritty vocal attitude is perfect for this tune. After the menacing "Crawling King Snake" we get a dose of Morrison's beat poetry laid over a solid musical score in "WASP," a reminder that the band was still capable of making your hair stand on end. Then comes "Riders On The Storm," a song that will never grow old or out of date. It is timeless and it is so fitting that it is the last we hear from Jim because he seems to have finally come to grips with the killer on the road. It's as if he is resigned to his fate and ready for death. It's stalking him and he doesn't fear it in the least. His voice is cool, calm and collected from beginning to end and it is one of the most effective and profound performances in rock history. The music is progressive, beautiful and dramatic. In the end we still hear the rain falling and the thunder rolling as Morrison slips into the night.

Report this review (#107158)
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Don`t you love them madly???

Hell yeah, The Doors are (were) back! But sadly it was the last album of the band as a 4-piece band, you know why... The fact is, that after several things that happened to their recent past (1969 -1970), Jim Morrison and The Doors made an extraordinary "comeback", 4 years had passed since their first two and best albums then, 4 years after their best and more successful moments, musically talking, 2 years after their probably decadence (The Soft Parade and Morrison Hotel) which are not bad albums but clearly showed less quality in every way.

So there was 1971, a different Jim? maybe, you can notice it looking at the cover art, he has beard now! and he is also fat, something happened within their souls and it was a change, but this time, a kick asses change. L.A. Woman is the name of the album that marked the end of an era, (obviously they didn`t know it) and every fan could wonder what would have happened if they were released more albums?, that question could live in every fan`s mind, but i, as a fan, am happy because this was an excellent end (musically talking) and it`s great to remember a band that finished their era with such a wonderful album.

This time they returned to their powerful sound, to the creation of memorable and very well composed songs, and to the time when they were just Gods of the rock scene. 10 songs are placed here, can you recognize the name of Love Her Madly, or Riders on the Storm??, both songs are just a little proff of this excellent record.

"Changeling" is an obscure and freaky song , which was perfectly set as the opener, this sole song could give you an advice, warning, this album is great!!, the bass lines here are great. "Love her Madly", this song is very popular here in Mexico, and surely it was a main hit in their decade, actually it is not their best, but it is great, everyone could love this. "Been Down So Long" and "The Carr Hiss by my Window" are probably the weaker songs here, personally they are the ones which i less enjoy, being the first one a rockier theme with a nice slide guitar and a strong Jim`s voice, in the other hand, Car His... is a soft and bluesy song. "L.A. Woman", the title track, attention prog lovers!, this song is purely progressive, one of the best songs they ever created, great time and tempo changes, a magnific guitar, and an explendid keyboard sound, i also think that maybe here the 4 members showed their best qualities as musicians. "L`America" is a dark and atmospheric, also psychedelic song, again the bass lines are notables, and it`s probably one of the most "obscure" songs in their discography. "Hyacinth House" is one of my favorite songs here, a short song with mid tempo, acoustic guitars and a delicate but beatufil Jim`s voice. "Crawling King Snake" returns to their main influences and bluesy sound, the guitar riffs are pretty good here. "The Wasp" is honestly my favorite song of this album, i have loved it since i was a child (i`ll tell you about Texas Radio and the Big Beat), the whole song is awesome, vocals, drums, keys and above all the guitar riffs are excellent, this song is adorable, everyone could love it. "Riders on the Storm" , attention prog lovers again, im pretty sure that you already knwo this song because it is a hit, but this time besides being a hit is also a magnific song, with a jazzy texture, the sound of the rain during the song is beautiful, the piano work by Manzarek even better, and yes... this was the last song of The Doors as a quartet in an album.

This was a tremendous "comeback", as i said when i review their first two albums, this is a must having to any rock lover, being or not a fan of the band, at least try it, and then you can say whatever you want. For me it would have 4.5 stars in a rock site which i would round to 5, but here, i will give it 4 stars! Highly recommended to any prog lover!

Report this review (#107204)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Doors in the hyacinth house ...

'L.A. Woman' is an excellent album. It is the last with Jim Morrison in an active role and nobody is able to say what would have happened if he had not sucked down. The basis of the Doors music was the Blues and you can hear it specially on this album. 'Car hiss by my window' is a good example. But this release is much more than 'only' Blues Rock. The majority of the songs is well composed. I can remember some of them were often demanded and played on parties in the 70s: 'The changeling', 'Love her madly', 'Been down so long' and of course the title song.

L'America can also be recommended because it has a very interesting mix of psychedelic and blues. And then the mystic closing song 'Riders on the storm' - my favourite DOORS song - dominated by the wonderful piano playing of Ray Manzarek - jazzy as well as psychedelic. Not all songs are satisfying me but 4 stars are well-deserved ...

Report this review (#107372)
Posted Saturday, January 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The last stalwart album piece before Jimmy Morrison decided to buy some land on the farm up above.Probably from The Doors the most polished album in terms of material especially the epic ' Riders Of The Storm'. album deserves much credit for being simply very good at best, all the Doors riffs are there, the vocal hooks , the keyboard predictables. And that is what makes it very nice. No tracks stand out completely other than ' Riders Of The Storm' and 'L.A Woman'. Man why did Tim Buckley have to leave so soon too!!
Report this review (#108773)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars There is a kind of a problem with this album. It has a bad production. I know that Jim was recording his vocals in the bathroom, but the instruments here sounds a bit crappy not the voice. And I don't know, why we must listen here to Crawling King Snake. Nothing special about this version, and the production is just bad. But that's only the two minus points, and I must say, that there is no other minus:) Great tracks that are a combination of psychedelia, blues and jazz. L.A Woman, Riders On The Storm (the only track that has a good production IMO), Hycainth House, L'America, Love Her Madly... It would have been 5 stars, but the sound of this lp... 4 stars it is.
Report this review (#112227)
Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After their debut this is my favourite DOORS record. Maybe not such a surprise as they really tried to get back to the sound they had from their early days.

This has a few blues influenced songs on it like "Been Down So Long", "Cars Hiss By My Window" and "Crawling King Snake" of which only "Cars Hiss By My Window" do I rate highly. For some reason "The Wasp" and "L'America" don't do a lot for me.

"Hyacinth House" I really like while "Love Her Madly" is a fun, poppy tune. Clearly though it's the title track and "Riders On The Storm" that really make this album great. "LA Woman" and "Light My Fire" are my two favourite DOORS tunes. The former features lots of tempo and mood shifts, while the guitar and keys shine. Good drumming on this one as well. "Riders On The Storm" opens with the sounds of rain and thunder.This is such a laid back and intoxicating song.The keyboard playing is great, sounding like the rain that falls to the ground.

Sadly Jim Morrison would die after this release. Talk about going out on a high though (no pun intended). It's a pleasure to put this record or the debut on once in a while.

Report this review (#117754)
Posted Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#119171)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The moment has finally arrived for me to review the last album in The Doors' catalogue (counting only albums with Morrison as front man; I'm quite fond of this band, the first rock band that I really loved, and I just can't imagine a record without Jim in vocals that could have the words The Doors in the cover, I just can't. That one is another band, a different band). Not only that but it's also the last review of this re- mixes 2007 by Rhino Records, a series that, I will say it from the start, has been a true success, in my view, as the recordings now sound so much clearer and detailed, the booklets so much more informing and entertaining, that the experience has been truly enhanced. Add some good extra tracks to the formula and you have a pretty good package of great music, now sounding better than ever.

MORRISON HOTEL was a partial recovery for the group. It had its share of good tracks, it had moments of utter brilliance ("Waiting for The Sun", "Peace Frog"), but it also had some weaker tracks, and about all the second half of the disc was uneven, to say the least. The Doors managed to stay alive after so much turmoil had surrounded the band, and now time came to record another album. With Morrison's trial still unfolding and his imminent trip to Paris, it was necessary to record the new LP in the best possible way to ensure that the results would be good, if great was not possible. The Doors hired a couple extra members (a bass player and a rhythm-guitar player for the sessions), set themselves up in a new/old studio (in their old rehearsal studio), suffered the loss of long-time producer Paul Rothschild, and started the recording of what was going to be their last album as a quartet (and, as I said already, in my mind, their absolute last album as The Doors).

The result? A much, much better album than the preceding one (and the one before that one, of course). From what we know, Morrison was almost a pleasure to work with in the recording days: jovial, engaged, drinking nothing but the occasional beer, in a word, committed. And it shows, for his performance is his better since WAITING FOR THE SUN, and maybe even better than that one. The music itself is more direct, shows more blues influences than ever, more straight-forward, maybe less adventurous but for sure better-crafted. The band re-emerged from the shadows of THE SOFT PARADE and the poorly-lit room of MORRISON HOTEL into an open space full of light, of the most shiny, sunny record they ever released. Maybe it lacks the psychedelia, maybe it lacks the obscurity of earlier albums (except for one song), but it sounds fresh, it sounds positive, it sounds like if the people who recorded it actually enjoyed doing it.

The 2007 re-issue, as was the case with the other five albums (four from which I've reviewed in their newer versions) sounds crystal-clear, every instrument, every note easily discernable. But there's nothing much new in here, as opposed to the other records where there were a lot of new sounds and notes to discover. LA WOMAN sounds just like it used to, only clearer. The extra tracks are "Orange County Suite", a slow, bluesy, dark track that has some good things going for it, and "(You need meat) Don't go no further", another Willie Dixon song played by The Doors which is not to my taste and is not sung by Morrison.

The Changeling (8/10), a rock song with a soul flavor to it, thanks to Krieger's short lines. The song speaks about need to change and growth, and change is what this shows from the beginning. Good song, nothing fantastic. Manzarek and Krieger drive this track home.

Love Her Madly (9.5/10) From time to time, Krieger could write songs that truly deserved to be The Doors', instead of tracks like "Tell all the People", and this song is one of those. The best pure commercial rock-pop song The Doors ever played (better than "Hello I love You"), it has an energy, it has a melodic value to it, it deserves its place among the darkest, more internal songs that make the majority of the best of the band's catalogue. A perfect rock-pop song.

Been Down so Long (7.5/10), a rock song with a strong, pulsing rhythm courtesy of the bassist and Densmore, with a deep bar scent thanks to Krieger's guitar figures. Enjoyable, if slightly irrelevant.

Cars Hiss by my Window (6/10) I have problems with blues, maybe I shouldn't be rating blues tracks as I can't seem to enjoy them, but in MY experience of the album, it's probably the second most boring song in the record. To those who like pure-blues, add a couple points to the rating, as I can tell is decent but not brilliant even for blues standards.

L.A. Woman (10/10) Some extra noise that we have never heard before opens the 2007 remix of the album's title track. Then the magic we all remember and love: that beginning that seems like you are really getting on the road just at the same time that the sun rises above you, you and the road and the sun are the same, the energy of the bass and the ride cymbal are the engines, the guitar and the keyboards are the scenery that you enjoy, and finally Morrison comes into the picture to explain all of these to you. Superb. This track should receive the award for best driving song ever, not only meant as "good to listen to while you're driving", but also as "full of driving-forward energy". This is not the same The Doors of earlier days, but this is just as superb as that one.

L'America (7.5/10) The start of this tracks takes us back to earlier days, to the psychedelic years, or even closer, to the "Lizard King" years. The first section is obscure and menacing, a dark march, then it turns into a rock n' roll song. It never loses the haunting flavor, though. Good track, if a little odd in this album. It belong to another era (even Morrison's voice sounds like his old voice).

Hyacinth House (7.5/10) Another straight-forward rock song, Morrison sounds quite sedated and quiet while singing the verse. The opening melody in the keyboard solo sounds awkwardly similar to Chopin's Polonaise # 6 (?!?). A good, if forgettable, song.

Crawling King Snake (6.5/10) This album's "Five To One" (MORRISON HOTEL had one, too), the blues flavor in this one is stronger and therefore less to my liking. A totally uninspired song, not original from The Doors (but from John Lee Hooker), though.

The WASP (Texas Radio and The Big Beat) (8.5/10), another song with a weird mixture of themes in the lyrics, it contains some of the most legendary lines by Morrison ("out here in the perimeter there are no stars, Out here we is stoned- immaculate"), originally written in 1968 and recited in concerts as a poem, now it has a rock setting with a powerful, pulsating rhythm. A very good song.

Riders on The Storm (10/10) One day The Doors "were playing 'Ghost Riders in the sky' just for fun, and Jim came up with it: 'Ghost Riders on the Storm'" (taken from the Booklet notes by Ben Fong-Torres). And thus is how the band's last album's last song came about. After 6 albums of great moments but also of weak moments, The Doors doesn't go away with a blast, they don't leave this Earth with an energetic rock song or a psychedelic shamanic voyage, no; they leave us with the utmost tranquility, quietude, elegance, melody, MAGIC. Music has suddenly turned into magic, we get beauty, dark, ominous beauty with just some piano chords played pianissimo, a drummer trying very hard not to wake up anybody, playing just the simplest ride- cymbal rhythm, a guitar that only adorns the flow of music, that isn't really there but, if we took it out, it would tear the whole song down to pieces, and Morrison singing for us for the last time, Morrison signing off in a complete opposite way of what we could've guessed: peacefully, elegantly, without causing trouble, resigned. Yes, he sings about dark things, and the song itself is dark, but everything is done with light, with MUSICAL LIGHT. A testament to the wonders that taking noise out of music can achieve for music, "Riders on the Storm" stands as one of the best tracks in the band's whole output, and closes the album with the same level of magnificence as "The End" or "When the Music's over" closed the first two records.

I'm quite sad that this is the last album from The Doors I'll ever review. With other bands, I can always hope for new music, for new records, more songs. The Doors are no more. THIS is The Doors' last album, FULL CIRCLE is another band's last album, a band that, coincidentally, shares three members with The Doors and has the same name. The magic, the beauty, the ugliness, the Doors' musical experience ends here, after the rain subsides in "Riders on the Storm" and that water turns into the one surrounding Morrison's body in a tub in Paris.

I will give this 4 stars, because it has a couple of tracks I just can't enjoy at all, and another couple which are just average. My heart tells me to give this album 5 stars, only because it was The Doors' last. But in this case, I can't.

Recommended for: Fans of The Doors, fans of good rock, fans of blues-flavored rock.

Entire 2007 The Doors' albums' remixes recommended for: People who don't own the whole discography yet, this edition sounds much better. For those who DO own all their discography, maybe the changes are not big enough to warrant an extra 6 albums in your collection. You have to figure it out.

Entire The Doors' discography (whatever version) recommended for: everyone willing to hear some of the greatest rock music, music that stands the test of time.

The Lizard King is dead. Long live The King.

Report this review (#124697)
Posted Monday, June 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The closing of the Doors

We have only reached 1971, when prog was really getting into its stride, and yet the doors are already closing on one of the bands who helped to lay its foundations. "LA woman" was to be the band's last album with their leader Jim Morrison, who pressed the self-destruct button one too many times in Paris that year.

Despite the adverse circumstances surrounding its recording, "LA woman" turns out to be a highly accomplished album. We have the usual collection of sophisticated pop based material ("Love he madly" and "Changeling") and blues ("Been down so long" back to back with "Cars hiss by my window" and later John Lee Hooker's "Crawling king snake"). On tracks such as "Been down so long", the damage Morrison was doing to himself shows through in his much rougher sounding voice. The irony is though, he sounds really good. "L'America" takes us back to the atmosphere which prevailed on previous albums, the psychedelic overtones sounding somewhat out of place here.

For me, "Hyacinth house" is the weak track of the album. From a compositional point of view it is poor, and the half hearted performance and production do nothing to improve upon it. Worthy of mention is "The wasp" which finds Morrison reciting his poetry while sounding rather like a preacher at a salvation show.

From a prog perspective the interest really lies in a couple of songs. The title track is an 8 minute piece which sets off as a rock and roll song. The pace varies as the song progresses, developing through instrumental breaks and Morrison's exciting vocal. What we were perhaps totally unprepared for though was "Riders on the storm". If ever a band signed off on a high, it was The Doors. The song is a masterpiece of understated melancholy, with an atmosphere which paints a thousand pictures (yes in this case it is words which paint a thousand pictures!). The deceptively laid back, almost lounge like, mood of the piece disguises a quite stunning combination of melody and lyric.

"LA woman" is an album which defies the odds, and provides a fitting coda to the Morrison era. The masterstroke is undoubtedly to sign off with what is surely the best song they ever recorded.

Report this review (#128229)
Posted Thursday, July 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Doors unfortunately finish their career of delivering blues rock with a weirdness and creativity that only they could provide. On the plus side, they saved some of their best for last. Even though Morrison's voice had lost some of it's unique power, the Joe Cocker, puke-your-guts-out technique he utilizes here also works quite well. It shouldn't sound so good, but he just has a way of delivering a one-of-a-kind atmosphere to a song.

The Changeling, Love Her Madly. The straightforward, catchy radio hits are good every time. In The Changeling, The Doors go funky. I could just see Morrison doing a James Brown impression.

Been Down So Long, Cars Hiss by My Window, Crawling King Snake. Here the boys move to blues territory, but each of these tunes has a unique Doors signature, from Morrison's gut-wrenching vocals to Mojo's bizarre "wa-waa" ing to Robbie cutting loose a bit on guitar, respectively.

L'america, Hyacinth House, The Wasp. It's good to see they haven't completely forgotten their psychadelic roots. While good, these aren't terribly memorable in my opinion, but they both add a nice variety to the album and give you another glimpse into Morrison's twisted mind.

LA Woman, Riders on the Storm. Here's evidence that The Doors knew how to properly execute an extended piece (their recent track record left some head-scratchers). LA Woman is a classic rock standby, with the highlight being Morrison's anagram vocal building up to a great guitar line. Riders is a mellow yet intense piece, with just fantastic use of dynamics on the keys and tone- setting vocals. Incredible stuff!

A must-have album, especially for Doors fans and/or classic rockers, though there's not enough top-quality, coherent material to make this a masterpiece.

Report this review (#140369)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars My favourite Doors album, raw and bluesy.

I find parallels between this album and Nirvana's In Utero: all-conquering American rock bands with iconic front man making a last album which hints at progressive tendencies, yet tastes raw and is generally identified by the more musically-minded fans as being the best album...whatever it is about already-successful bands making such albums, there are dark processes at work which cause very real consequences, for Jim Morrison, for Kurt Cobain (see also Richey James and the Manic Street Preachers only great work: The Holy Bible).

But on to the music with a rating out of ten for each song:

Changeling - 8

I'm a Changeling...see me change! Nice, dancy number to start off the album, tight interplay between the band members.

Love Her Madly - 6

A bit poppy and uninteresting for me, a filler which might sound better on a packed sunny beach.

Been Down So Long - 10

CLASSIC! Rock your balls off to this one! A real swinging blues sing-a-longa treat.

Cars Hiss By My Window - 9

White boys can play the blues! This is what I hoped the Hooker n Heat album would sound like (it's rubbish). Cars Hiss has a perfectly laid-back Jim over an organic groove. At 3:30, a goddamn-yeah-baby-vocal mini-solo from our Jim...Right On!

L.A. Woman - 10

MISTER MOJO RISING! The Doors' greatest song...nuff said.

L'America - 9

This song is almost perfect: a dark, hectic, progressive trip into otherland (L'America). It's a slight pity that there is a mood-miscalculation with an out-of-place one-off chorus you know the rain is coming to town. Great finish tho'. This song ends the 4-song run of amazing music and the album trails off until Riders saves it.

Hyacinth House - 6

Boring, mid-paced number. The end-section is interesting tho'.

Crawling King Snake - 5

Boring, mid-paced bluesish number, no interesting section to redeem it.

WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) - 6

Some nice grooves, but pretty bland and slightly annoying vocals and song structure.

Riders On The Storm - 8

Riders isn't really that interesting, but it has such an appealing, evocative atmosphere that it simply works. Cool music for the background rather than music to really get into.

So, as with all Doors albums, some excellent, some good and some pretty bland songs but because of the 4 songs in the middle this qualifies as my personal favourite Doors, a tiny Mojo in front of the debut album.

Report this review (#156305)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Doors' best album, and the last with Jim Morrison, who died in rue Beautreillis, Paris, France, a few weeks after the final mix of this release - Riders On The Storm was the last song recorded, and wasn't totally finished yet when Jim went to France in order to make an appointment with death.

No need to argue, this is a masterpiece, from the first to the last track. It seems like a testament, a last will. There are mellow moments (Love Her Madly, Hyacinth House), great epic tracks (Riders On The Storm, L.A. Woman), a great piece of beat poetry (The W.A.S.P.), some really rocking moments (Been Down So Long, The Changeling), some bluesy tunes (Cars Hiss By My Window, Crawling King Snake which seems to be a remake of Back Door Man), and a totally Doors-inspired song (L'America, initially for the Antonioni movie 'Zabriskie Point', but Antonioni refused to use this song). 10 marvellous tracks, 48 minutes (the longest Doors album) of pure beauty.

You got to have this album ! Must-have !

Report this review (#164686)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars really. The album starts off strong with Changeling and never really stops. This is mostly a 4 star album with one 5 star song (Riders On the Storm). RotS is 7 minutes of pure hypnotic brilliance. Not to mention the lyrics are creepy if you listen to them. If this were not a progressive website I would probably go wth the 5 star rating because it's a great album. But, this is PROG archives and this album isn't really that Proggy....so 4 stars it is.
Report this review (#170375)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Changeling / The title has influenced many groups, now a classic. Note that the entire album has influenced the careers of many groups of all kinds, like The Stranglers or Birth Control. Love Her Madly is a beautiful song. Been Down So Long or Cars hiss by my window is the fed up of Jim Morrison, there is a malaise, the blues influence is very rock. LA Woman, warning this title is interesting, listen. The America / is the masterpiece, beautiful! A crazy piece of great Doors! Hyacinth House / another beautiful ballad, great. Crawling King Snake, very boring blues rock, The Doors is also capable of the worst. The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) The title has the image of the piece, Dante! Riders On the Storm / This is a masterpiece, the sound of the waves throughout this slow is very beautiful, big hits justified as the title is sublime.
Report this review (#228927)
Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars On LA Woman, the Doors continue the uncompromising blues attack from the preceding Morrison Hotel. The psychedelic organs and influences from circus music have all but disappeared, Morrison's voice has lost all of its lighter tones and is downright tattered and rough, bellowing its way through the harsh song material.

LA Woman is a varied album, going back and forth between raw blues (The Changeling, Been Down So Long,...) and psychedelic arrangements like Love Her Madly or L'America. The highlight is obviously Riders on The Storm, probably their best song. It has all the qualities of a classic rock song: good melodies, emotion and a clever and timeless arrangement. Generally, the move towards classic rock song material on The Doors last 2 albums with Jim Morison didn't use to compel me as much at first, but for other people this is the best Doors album and I can understand why.

In order to figure out the reason behind its popularity, I asked my dearly beloved for advice. She didn't need half a second to collect her thoughts. "Man, because this album is pure sex. Hear that voice! If you're ever at loss for ideas for foreplay, put on this one hubby, success guaranteed.". Now, what silly argument about too straightforward song material can outweigh that.

Report this review (#260048)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars L.A. Woman is the 6th and final Jim Morrison led full-length studio album by The Doors. The album was recorded in December 1970 - January 1971 and released through Elektra Records in April 1971. After a short and disastrous tour in December 1970( only two dates) which was meant to promote L.A. Woman the group ( excluding Jim Morrison) agreed that it was no longer an option to perform live with Jim Morrison. Jim Morrison apparently had a breakdown on stage on the second night of the tour and refused to perform. Somehow the group were able to record L.A. Woman during December 1970 and January 1971 but the band were on the verge of disbanding. Shortly after the release of L.A. Woman in April 1971 Jim Morrison left The Doors and moved to Paris. Jim Morrison was found dead on the 3rd of July 1971 in his Paris apartment bathtub by his girlfriend Pamela Courson. L.A. Woman went on to become the second best-selling album by The Doors and the album spawned two major hits in L.A. Woman and Love Her Madly.

L.A. Woman is The Doors most bluesy album and songs like Been Down So Long, Cars Hiss By My Window and Crawling King Snake are good examples of this. All songs are quality material but the title track is simply fantastic IMO and the same can be said about the slow, dark and atmospheric Riders On The Storm.

The production is warm, dark and organic.

L.A. Woman is probably the Jim Morrison led Doors album that has grown the most slow on me ( and indeed needed to). Sure there were a few tracks that stuck out but overall I initially found the album a bit too bluesy for my taste and maybe a bit boring too. Luckily taste changes over time and L.A. Woman is as dear to me today as any of the five other early Doors albums. A 4 star rating is deserved.

Report this review (#268810)
Posted Saturday, February 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#269924)
Posted Saturday, March 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The final the Doors album with Jim Morrison is a continuation of the sound from the previous album Morrison Hotel but with a definite improvement of the overall quality.

Changeling is probably the weakest album opener compared to all the previous efforts but it definitely paves an honest look on how the rest of the album will progress. Hopefully once Love Her Madly starts playing all is once again forgotten since the band delivers their first great performance since the album Strange Days! The music is still straightforward Blues-Rock but this time with a definite sense of direction and professionalism which I lacked even on classics like Roadhouse Blues. But just when I thought that the Doors have mastered the genre they deliver two back-to-back amateurish performances where Been Down So Long might be considered saved by the edge that Morrison gives the composition with his strong vocal delivery but I still lack the passion. Cars Hiss By My Window goes in the direction of traditional slow Blues territory which I kind of hoped that the band would have left behind at this stage of their career because it just doesn't sound like a genuine performance.

After the previous ordeal one might consider giving up listening to the rest of the album all together but it just so happens that it's that second act that finally delivers the goods and it all starts with L.A. Woman. What a massive performance by Jim Morrison which kind of brings the question why this type of material wasn't featured on any of the three previous releases. Still, I should probably be thankful for this one tour-de-force moment and leave it that.

The remainder of material serves well as great transition to the final number which we all know is going to be a blast! Among which WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) is probably the weakest composition except for prominent poetry delivery by Jim which the band will unsuccessfully try to recreate on a post-Morrison album An American Prayer.

The final track Riders On The Storm is the strongest composition that the Doors have ever recorded on an album and it serves as a perfect conclusion to the this short lived band's career. I'm sure that the performance needs no introduction since it's definitely one of the three more recognized the Doors songs.

L.A. Woman is a great last album of a band that probably never were all that progressive to begin with but atmospheric performances like The End and Riders On The Storm might have sparked a few ideas when the genre took off in the '70s.

***** star songs: Love Her Madly (3:38) L.A. Woman (7:58) Riders On The Storm (7:07)

**** star songs: Changeling (4:25) L'America (4:34) Hyacinth House (3:13) Crawling King Snake (5:01) WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) (4:14)

*** star songs: Been Down So Long (4:44) Cars Hiss By My Window (4:59)

Report this review (#273692)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review, LA Woman, The Doors, 1971

Last Doors album with Morrison (distinctly sagging) held up throughout by the vastly underestimated Ray Manzarek's keyboards... rest of the album's content somewhat patchy; a more prominent session bassist in Jerry Scheff an excellent investment and the album is admittedly very well-arranged, though I think the individual songs. Writing of a mixed calibre and some decidedly uninspired cuts displaying a lack of creative focus. Not a bad album, by any stretch of the imagination, but certainly one with weak material, and I feel that almost regardless of the quality of the rest of the material, any Doors album without Morrison's alternated screaming and crooning at their best is going to prove somewhat lacking in power compared to Strange Days or the debut. Anyway, since this is so highly regarded, I'll start with the problems:

Hyacinth House is three minutes of a much weakened Morrison crooning rescued from the skip button only by Manzarek's snaking organ (according to Wikipedia, with reference to Chopin). Somewhat telling that only one minute reference is made to this song in the four or so generally glowing professional reviews I've read, and it hasn't cropped up on any of The Doors' many, many best-of type compilations. Throwaway material.

The album's blues inspiration comes in various shades and standards. Transforming John Lee Hooker's deliciously subversive Crawling King Snake into what we suspect Jim Morrison perceives as an ode to little Jimmy is rather regrettable. Morrison's static vocal lines take out the creeping dynamic in the original piece, and the band's backing seems more or less uninspired. Even the usually reliable Krieger's bursts of soloing are rather feeble. Been Down So Long, other than some convincingly ultramarine lyrics with a vicious edge, features two howling solos from Krieger (a man who has the idea of blues rock down better than anyone), suitably shouty vocals and repetitive stabbing bass to fill out the mood. The slower Cars Hiss By My Window is a nice straight blues, albeit with Morrison's incredible vocal imitation of a wah-wah solo and a cool set of lyrics.

L'America is decisively odd in both riff and content and Morrison's lyric and vocal are involving enough to fit it. Love Her Madly: some very fine work from Krieger and Morrison pulls out a comparatively strong vocal... not one of their best hits, in my view, but fine enough. On the opening Changeling, Morrison's more visceral moments are met by a particularly solid organ performance and a very fine jam from the rather unfairly neglected surviving Doors.

L.A. Woman is the first of the album's two side-closing long tracks (part of the album's success seems to come from its format: long intense rock song set up by mid-length blues denouement in contrast to long calm blues/country-inspired song set up by the album's hardest rocker) and a success. Aside from the evil distorted keyboard intro and a pulsing bassline, it's consistently full of quality riffs, Morrison's vocals and lyrics are good enough, though not the song-making things they were on, say, When The Music's Over. Riders On The Storm now so symbolic of The Doors that it's odd to think it provoked producer Paul Rothchild to abandon them. Not really in need of any introduction, given how it sprawls everywhere over classic rock radio, and following the punchy and powerful WASP (credit to John Densmore's drumming on that one), it makes for a very intriguing conclusion to the album, and Manzarek's e-piano soloing (vaguely reminiscent of a harp) is a perfect evocation of the song's rainfall.

Odd comment on bonus material, Orange Country Suite has Morrison's crooning at a rather better level than anywhere on the album proper, and the cover of Willie Dixon's You Need Meat equally shows the band's renowned front man on a form he'd summarily missed for the recording of the album proper.

Well, for an acknowledged classic, I find LA Woman remarkably inconsistent. Two very weak pieces, and a more or less 50% success rate on the vocals. It must be said that the two supporting short-song-long-song pairs closing the sides are decidedly classics (and star Krieger and Manzarek performing as well as they ever have), but also not the album's only highlights, and consequently, any fan of the band's rather more constant earlier albums shouldn't hesitate about getting this, sooner or later. Something of a pity that Morrison's swan song is the album he most weakens.

Warning note: I'm listening only to the 40th Anniversary mix. I am aware that this is different to the original, I'm not aware quite how.

Rating: Three Stars, 10/15 Favourite Track: Riders On The Storm, comfortably

Report this review (#273739)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Doors - L.A. Woman (1971)

A weak effort by the Doors...

When I was younger and less knowledgeable about the Doors people used to tell me LA Woman was one of the best records. Nowadays I own all records of the Doors with Jim Morrison except the Soft Parade and I must say this perhaps their weakest effort. Why weak? Because it sounds to dry, to realistic and not rockin' enough. Even the songs sound uninspired.

The first four songs are all blues-rock songs with an almost preacher-man-like voice of Morrison who seems to have aged tremendously. On a lot of moments Jim sings out of pitch, which bothers me quite a lot. The tempo's of the songs are different, but none of these songs have that inventive or touchy songwriting I used to like so much from this band. On the title track The Doors seem to recover. An inventive songs using the blues-rock background whilst making a nice paced and pleasant road trip through Doors-land. The middle section with the Motor rising (or something like that) sounds a bit unprofessional though.

On side two we get to hear some more highlights. L'America is a great psychedelic song with nice confused vocals by Morrison and pinchy key-works and guitars. This songs has the atmosphere of Not to Touch the Earth. Hyacinth House and Crawling King Snake are more like the fist four songs of the album but WASP is yet another great psychedelic song. The spoken words by Jim Morrison are timed so well it gives the songs a magical vibe. It creates a new atmosphere like all a great Doors tunes do. The last track 'Riders On The Storm' is the best track of the album. This is the gothic blues I'd like to hear when I listen to the Doors. Perfectly atmospheric, great pace and a relaxing yet interesting sound. Somehow this track reminds me of the debut.

Conclusion. Obviously this album isn't ruined by LA Woman, L'America, WASP and Riders on the Storm. It loses it's momentum in an early state by opening with not-so-inventive songwriting for four tracks in a row. Side two is stronger and might even make it to a good Doors side of a record in my books. The vocals of Jim Morrison aren't bad when compared with other psychedelic/blues bands, but lack the power and subtleness of the first five albums. Still this album has some classic Doors material and none of the tracks is bad, it's a mix of two-star and four-star songs and one five-star at the end. I'll rate it three stars. Recommended to Doors fans, for newcomers to the band I would recommend listening to the first three albums first.

Report this review (#280598)
Posted Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Doors died creatively during the recording sessions of the "Waiting for the Sun" album. To be fair, both the "Soft Parade" and "Morrison Hotel" albums contain remnants of good material (Touch Me and Wild Child from TSP and Waiting For The Sun and Peace Frog from MH) but by the time that "LA Woman" was released the band was effectively dead and buried with its leader no longer performing with the band (soon to die in Paris) and the remaining members of the band exhausted of musical ideas (as evidenced in the two embarrassing post Morrison albums). LA Woman plays like a Jim Morrison solo album with Morrison's voice dominating the whole album. His voice is less attractive now, a bit more raspy and deeper in keeping with the mostly bluesy material of the album, leaving behind the psychedelic rock arrangements of Strange Days forever. There is still poetry there in songs like Riders On The Storm but they pale in comparison to the great Morrison tone poems, The End, When The Music's Over and Celebration Of The Lizard. Love Her Madly and LA Woman are my favorite tracks off the album, but I prefer to be challenged by more complex material.
Report this review (#286132)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I liked this album when I first heard it. Now though, I find it a problem. Standing further back from it, you realise that at this point the Doors had already given up, or lost their vision. Perhaps this was Jim Morrison's fault, given his childish scrapes with authority and law, and his even more childish wish to go out on a youthful high rather than live his full and eventful life with all its highs and lows as the rest of us have to do.

That weariness pervades this album, even though it still retains quite a bit of Doors-ish charm and liberal moments of poetic images. In retrospect, it sounds like a last goodbye.

The Changeling is tough and chunky, defiant almost, a man sounding much older than his 27 years.

Love her Madly is the radio version of the Doors, mainly because it's written by Robbie rather than Jim, but it still has that very distinctive voice to make the lyric and melody sound more convincing that they really are.

Been down so long basically consists of a one-liner blues, built into the full thing, but carried off well nevertheless.

The Cars hiss by my Window reminds us of that Sunset strip atmosphere and the first album, but it's closer to night now, the feeling of decay and dissilution is in the motel with us.

LA Woman, almost a last act of defiance, even the voice battling against its own weakness to give us one more day of LA sunshine from morning till night and shadows return.

L'America is one of the weakest spots on the album, and sounds like something not part of proceedings. Basically an out-take from the earlier film, used to take up space and pretty pointless in most ways.

Hyacinth House should be just a throwaway, given the meandering lyrics and standard tune, but there is a sadness of truth contained within it, perhaps the meaningless of a life wasted, things left unresolved, situations that can never be saved.

Crawling King Snake makes it obvious that the band were either just having fun or finding it difficult to fill out the album, take your pick.

WASP was being worked on for a while before the album was planned, so it was perhaps inevitable that it should end up here. A well put together piece, but rather self-conscious and contrived without the saving grace of much inspiration.

Riders on the Storm made me think immediately of 'Ghost Riders in the Sky', almost corny and laughable. Yet it carries that haunted quality that makes you pause in thought rather than laugh, and it has become something of a Doors classic metaphor. Which, if you think of it, carries both the sublime and the mundane.

Analysed like this in its parts, I wonder why I like the album at all, yet I do. It has a weary magnificence that still makes it a welcome coda to the story of The Doors.

Report this review (#339545)
Posted Wednesday, December 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars The last album with Morrisson (but not last Doors album), L.A. Woman is one of the band's best albums, but it's also one of their least proggiest. Here they explore the blues influences from the previous album more fully. The bass playing of guest Jerry Scheff is terrific and fits the music well. The only songs that would really be of any interest to a progger would be the title track, "L'America", "Hyacinth House" and "Riders On The Storm." The majority of the rest would appeal to your average rocker in general.

"Changeling" has a riff on bass and organ which would be used about ten years later in the Hall & Oates song "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)". One of the better songs, love the fuzz- guitar solo. "Love Her Madly" was a hit and features prominent harpsichord but I never really cared for it. "Been Down So Long" and "Cars Hiss By My Window" are both very bluesy songs; the former is a great full band perfomance, while the latter is more traditional blues with vocals, guitar and brushes on the snare drum.

I've always loved the sounds at the beginning of the title track...still not sure what most of them are. More great bass playing. Nice Rhodes playing too. I like the mix of Rhodes and harpsichord. I love it when it changes to some kind of Latin jazz or something after 3 minutes. How the song builds up from there is just fantastic. My favourite part was always the "mojo rising" part in the middle. Cool sounding wah-Rhodes. Classic song. "L'America" is the darkest song on the album. A walking bassline type riff along with some marching drums. Jim's lyrics mimic the riff. Gets more early Doors sounding in the middle before some great organ work. Later gets more upbeat sounding briefly. I like the increasing tempo at the end.

The guitar playing in "Hyacinth House" reminds me of another song (probably recorded later) but I can't think of what it is. Great organ. Probably my favourite song on the album. "Crawling King Snake" is a cover from blues legend John Lee Hooker. Features some interesting drumming. "WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)" is another highlight. Jim mostly does his poetry thing while the band plays some inventive blues-rock. "Riders On The Storm" is of course one of the greatest things this band ever did. Fantastic Rhodes playing. Great lyrics. Good drumming. Another simple but effective bassline. I like the thunderstorm noises. I also like the whispered harmony vocals. Few albums end this good.

If you are looking for The Doors at their most proggy, you should check out their first three albums. L.A. Woman is one of the groups more straight forward albums. But a very good one. After Jim died the band would make two more albums without him before calling it quits. For PA I wouldn't give this album anymore than 3 stars.

Report this review (#440691)
Posted Saturday, April 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The final Doors album isn't really the final Doors album - the band would soldier on without Morrison for a couple of years, and provide music to a spoken word album of his poetry in 1978 - but it is the last one the band is willing to stand by. The album is evidence as to why: what made the Doors really stand out from the crowd was the mysterious, wild persona of Jim Morrison himself, which shines through on this album without restraint or remorse to an extent it hadn't done on any previous album by the group.

Musically speaking, the previous album's evocation of their blues-rock roots has progressed to a full fusion of blues and rock, with two longer tracks (L.A. Woman and Riders On the Storm) being standout moments. The playing is decent enough, but the vital spark which really pushes this album to greater heights comes from Morrison himself, who grunts, yells, and roars his way through the material. Dropping the high priest act he'd previously adopted on some tracks, Morrison is less inclined to intone pretentious poetry in a stentorian manner and more inclined to just run wild, a mild change to his performance style which pays off marvellously. It might not be very prog, but then I'd say the Doors were more prog-related than proto-prog anyway, and it's an excellent final album from Morrison which deserves your attention.

Report this review (#473400)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars "There's a killer on the road."

Here is the last studio album by The Doors with Morrison at the helm and features some masterpiece tracks. Other tracks are either simple blues or ballads with a tinge of rock. After listening to all of The Doors earlier albums it really shows that the music was a product of its time. Morrison is undoubtedly a master poet and was able to pour his creativity into the studio. However these albums miss a lot of the passion and creative spirit that he injected so aptly into the live arena. Morrison was born for the live stage and the plethora of live albums demonstrate how important his stage persona was to the band. One must never forget the incredible keyboards of Ray Manzarek and he really shines on this album. The bass and drums of Densmore and Krieger are essential to the overall impact of the band.

On "LA Woman" the band are at the peak of their talents. There are so many magic moments here including the blues driven 'Love Her Madly' and one of my favourites lyrically 'Cars Hiss By My Window'. The poetry is fascinating; "The cars hiss by my window, Like the waves down on the beach, I got this girl beside me, But she's out of reach." There is an ominous atmosphere as is found on the best songs of The Doors, the mystique and power is contained in the music with dark poetry; "Windows started trembling, With a sonic boom, boom, A cold girl'll kill you, In a darkened room." Simply wonderful.

The title track is a classic with amazing ad libbed psychedelia, the bluesy groove locks in with unforgettable phrases that are known by every Doors addict; "Mr. Mojo Risin'" and "Are you a lucky little lady in The City of Light". Other examples of original poetry to music is in the brooding 'Crawling King Snake' and the weird 'WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)'. As is often The Doors save their best for last and on this album is housed my favourite song from The Doors.

'Riders On The Storm' is a bonafide classic with incredibly powerful lyrics and atmospherics. The thunder rolls in with portentous anger, and the groove hooks in with drums and bass, Manzarek playing doomy melodies. The most potent moment of the album comes with "There's a killer on the road, his brain is squirming like a toad." This one always manages to chill me with its dark atmosphere and gloominess. Some commentators believe it is about a serial killer and the lyrics kind of fit there too. However, the song is purportedly about the accident that Jim as a boy experienced when Indians were scattered on dawn's highway. It sounds like death is coming on the storm to take away the spirits like horse riders. It turned out that death was coming for Jim so the song has a chilling power and ends with thunder rolling in the distance.

The song is in any case indispensable for The Doors and this alone, with the aforementioned tracks, brings this album to 4 stars. After the release of "L A Woman", three months or so later, Jim was found dead by his girlfriend in the bathtub of his Paris apartment.

RIP Jim Morrison; visionary, poet, legend.

Report this review (#623385)
Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars I like this album a lot as a whole. It is certainly grittier, fresher and bluesier than any other album by the Doors. "Changeling" is a very solid song and a ballsy way to start. This is followed by a really great song "Love Her Madly", which happens to be one of my all time favourites by the band. Other highlights are "LA Woman" and "Hyacinth House" another one of their most beautifully crafted pieces in my opinion. And the classic epic "Riders In The Storm" is really excellent. I love the stormy sound effects on that piece. Most of the tracks were recorded live, except for a few overdubbed keyboard parts by Ray Manzarek. I also heard Jim Morrison recorded his singing in the studios' bathroom to get a fuller sound. He sounds all the more edgy and manly for it. This is a very good album for your collection. Three solid stars.
Report this review (#643014)
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Possibly the second best Doors album after their debut. Many people would say Strange Days is better, which is a great album in its own right, but L.A. Woman gets my vote. After a short period where they were sort of struggling to write new material (The Soft Parade), the band went back to their roots and recorded more blues-oriented songs on Morrison Hotel. L.A. Woman is a continuation of that, but here Jim Morrison is even more into his "old blues man" persona.

Morrison's voice is at its best on this album. The shouts and yells he does on some of the tracks are primal. This is contrasted with softer singing on songs such as "Riders on the Storm". "Love Her Madly" was a hit single, and the title track is one of their best album cuts. Not to be forgotten is "The Changeling", a heavy rock tune that grooves. Other great tracks are "Been Down So Long", "Hyacinth House", "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)", and of course the classic "Riders on the Storm".

If you need a companion album to their magnificent debut, this would be a very good choice. One of their strongest LP's to have come out while lead singer, Jim Morrison, was alive. Not long after this album's release in 1971, he unfortunately passed away. L.A. Woman was a fitting end to his legacy. The Doors would continue for a few more albums without Jim, one even including previously unused spoken word passages by Morrison. Honestly they could have ended the group and called it a day after L.A. Woman, finishing with one of their strongest works.

Report this review (#1262291)
Posted Thursday, August 28, 2014 | Review Permalink
Quinino
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #16

This is the last album recorded by the band with the lead singer Jim Morrison; the 'Lizard King' would die this same year of '71 so there would be no more original recordings of the quartet, except a posthumous collection of JM solo poetic readings (released in 1978) with musical accompaniment by the remaining three musicians.

Everybody knows The Doors characteristic sound, everybody recognizes Jim Morrison charismatic voice, even these days we can see young dudes wearing Doors shirts on the street...the legend clearly lives on.

Global Appraisal

We're facing here an iconic album from an iconic band, so what is there left to say that hasn't already been said and written over and over again?

Masterpiece of Blues-Rock! Anthemic songs that remain forever in your brain.

Goodies

Great ambiance with the highlight in the usual trademark keyboards work of Manzarek and JM vocals.

Report this review (#1492681)
Posted Thursday, November 26, 2015 | Review Permalink
DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams
4 stars Wondering if Jim would have looked beyond upon recording this "last" album, and what he would have looked over the rainbow woman. Somebody says this album "L. A. Woman" should reveal Jim's thought upon life and death, or Jim's bloody shout could be heard in this stuff, but no I don't consider so ... his voices are really enthusiastic and simultaneously introspective, but sound as if he would have sung "with looking forward". Along with bluesy cool rock sounds produced by other three, powerful but sensitive voice waves come one after another, and this musical style can be thought as their origin or basis I imagine.

Their intention can be grabbed upon the whole A Side. Obvious deeply eccentric melodic collective is launched even in a typical blues rock. Rhythmic texture is not complicated nor bizarre at all and melody lines are so strict and sincere for blues rock authenticity indeed, but their excessive creativity cannot be called as "pop". We can dissected phrases even in the titled track which has climbed Billboard Hot 100 Chart up. Stream basis of their soundscape could be heard in a textbook of blues rock I guess, but mysterious melodious madness blended with Jim's sensuality could never be published lol.

Plenty of cynical phrases (both melodic and lyric) drive us crazy upon the B Side. Jim and Three Doorers might run through the five tracks at top speed ... but I cannot hear any goal line nor the end of (musical) life. "Riders On The Storm", that has cool, dry atmosphere of a tough guy's life, is apparently not "The End" but "Hard Cornerstone Of Life For Brilliant Future" I can realize. There is no despair, hopeless, nor tragedy. Jim's voice tone is a tad depressive (and so are instrumental parts) and I cannot deny their heavenly novel era imagined in their inner mind. This album is filled with hopeful hope, dreamy dream ... at least for me.

Report this review (#1612520)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2016 | Review Permalink

THE DOORS L.A. Woman ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of THE DOORS L.A. Woman


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives