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

L.A. WOMAN

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

4.01 | 518 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 409

"L.A.Woman" is the sixth studio album of The Doors and was released in 1971. It was also the last album recorded with the original line up, before their lead singer and founder member Jim Morrison, died in July 1971, in Paris, France, while he was vacationing with his girlfriend, Pamela Courson. Unfortunately, it represents also the beginning of the end of one of the best and most important bands that contributed to the rise of the movement of the progressive rock music.

The album represents a change into their musical direction. It's less psychedelic than their previous albums and it's more oriented to the blues. It continued to integrate elements of blues into their music, a direction begun with their previous album, "Morrison Hotel". "L.A.Woman" is arguably the most blues/rock oriented album of the band's catalog.

"L.A.Woman" has ten tracks. The first track "The Changeling" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is an obscure and strange song that opens perfectly well the album. It's a very good song with good guitars by Robby Krieger and the bass lines here are absolutely great. This song tells us that probably we are in the presence of a great album. The second track "Love Her Madly" written by Robby Krieger was the song chosen to be the lead single of the album, and that became one of the highest charting hits of The Doors. It's a good and interesting rock song with good lyrics, very good performances by all band's members, especially the guitar performance of Robby Krieger is really excellent. The third track "Been Down So Long" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is a standard and very conventional blues song. Lyrically, the song uses themes of depression, liberation and sexuality. It's a good blues song but sincerely, it doesn't add anything new to the album, especially in terms of progressive rock music. The fourth track "Cars Hiss By My Window" by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is another standard blues style song. As happens with "Been Down So Long" and "Crawling King Snake", they're noted as the standout tracks on "L.A.Woman", as the three blues songs on the album. Like "Been Down So Long" it's another good blues song but doesn't represents nothing more. The fifth track is the title track "L.A.Woman". It was written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore. Here we are in the presence of an excellent song with a perfect combination of the traditional rock style with some jazzy elements. In my humble opinion, "L.A.Woman" represents the second best musical moment on the album. Due to its length and difficult vocal chord progression "L.A.Woman" is considered extremely difficult to sing live. The Doors only played it live entirely once, at their penult concert, in Dallas. The sixth track "L'America" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is a very dark song which was originally composed for the soundtrack of the film "Zabriskie Point", but it never was used on it. This is an excellent track, very psychedelic that perfectly builds a perfect breathtaking and suffocating musical atmosphere. The seventh track "Hyacinth House" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is a great ballad and represents for me the most beautiful track on the album. Here, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger's musical performances shine and the voice of Jim Morrison are deliciously delicate and beautiful. The eighth track "Crawling King Snake" written by John Lee Hooker is the only song on the album which wasn't made by the band. It represents the third song from the blues trilogy on the album. Like the other two blues songs, it's also a good song. The ninth track "The WASP (Texas Radio And The Big Beat)" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore is another very good song on the album, with good riffs, very good drumming and where Jim Morrison practically recites the lyrics. The tenth track "Riders On The Storm" written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore represents, without any doubt, the great highlight on the album. This is a legendary track, which seems to be the last song recorded by The Doors, as well as Jim Morrison's last recorded song to be released. It seems that it have been played live only once, on The Doors last public performance with Jim Morrison, on the "L.A.Woman" tour at The Warehouse, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1970.

Conclusion: "L.A.Woman" is, without any doubt, a great album and represents one of the best studio works made by The Doors in their entire musical career. As I said before, it represents a clear change into their musical direction, from their earlier psychedelic musical period to a more blues/rock oriented style. Personally, I must confess that I'm not a great fan of blues and sincerely, I rather prefer their earlier psychedelic musical period. However, and as I said before, "L.A.Woman" is really a great album with great songs, especially the legendary track "Riders On The Storm", which is unquestionably a masterpiece. If it wasn't the existence of the three blues songs, I'm one of those who think that they're three outsider songs on the album, and I would probably have rated it with 5 stars. Still, this is a great farewell of Jim.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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