From the Vault...


The Doors
"L.A. Woman"

© Elektra Records

Year of Release: 1971

track listing
  • The Changeling
  • Love Her Madly
  • Been Down So Long
  • Cars Hiss By My Window
  • L.A. Woman
  • L'America
  • Hyacinth House
  • Crawling King Snake
  • The Wasp (Texas Radio
    And The Big Beat)
  • Riders On The Storm

  • WSVNRadio Archives
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    The Doors
    "L.A. Woman"

    In my opinion, The Doors' last studio album, L.A. Woman, is their best album. And as great as the title track is, it falls in the same status of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven. However, as the years go by, both of these songs you seem to get tired of hearing. Not to knock how great these songs are, but as I listen to classic rock radio stations, I wish they would play the other (non-familiar) songs from this album, because they are just as great.

    The most common songs from L.A. Woman are the title track, Love Her Madly (which is another song I sometimes get tired of hearing) and Riders On The Storm (a song I never get tired of hearing).

    The title track has fond memories for me. It was one of my many favorite songs to listen to when I was younger, and it was a song that my band performed back in 1985. I took on the lead vocals, and many people who saw us play all said that my vocal voice did resemble Jim Morrison's (we also did The Doors' Gloria with the same reaction). Another response in the category of "Hey, Eric, you sound just like..." was our version of Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown." Ah, the band, Elwood, the band!...

    Back to reality...

    Love Her Madly is another favorite of mine, but probably the best song on the album is Riders On The Storm. Having the 45 single when I was a kid, I was fascinated by the long version. Being a fellow keyboardist, Ray Manzarek's work is truly phenonemal on this song, likewise on any others. Plus the sound effects of the rainstorm gives the song a more eerie feeling. But enough of the most common popular songs found on this album...

    The opening track, The Changeling (originally the B-side of Love Her Madly) is a great opening song to start off the album. The keyboards and bass just grab your attention, as their driving force can't help you get into the groove of the song, and listen to it more.

    Jim Morrison's angry vocals on Been Down So Long is hard-core rock and blues. Cars Hiss By My Window is very blusey, and cools your jets from the driving, exciting forces of the past (three) songs heard on the album. L'America and Hyacinth House are the two least songs that I listen to, (they're not bad songs; it's just that there are much better ones on this album than these...) L'Anerica is as patriotic as The Unknown Soldier, and probably would of been better if it had been on their Waiting For The Sun album. Likewise, Hyacinth House could of been placed on The Soft Parade album. It has a more pop feel as the other songs heard on that particular album.

    Returning to hard-core blues, John Lee Hooker's Crawling King Snake is as gritty as Been Down So Long. It's a great version, as Morrison sings about something that is common to him: Being a lizard king, snakes are just as slithering. The bouncy bluesy The Wasp (Texas Radio And The Big Beat) is another great tune that gets you going. And every once in a while this song does get played on various radio stations, but obviously not enough.

    The Doors' L.A. Woman is definitely one of those albums I would place in my personal top ten album list. Where most fans would probably say that other albums are better than their last, this album does have some great memories for me, and even as I listen to various songs from this album today, there are some that never lose their sense of rhythm and excitement.

    As much as it looked like the end was drawing near for The Doors when they recorded this album, Jim Morrison went to Paris to rest and recuperate. It seemed that he needed this rest to recharge his batteries for hopefully more great music to come in the future. Instead, we all heard that news that he died, and since his death, The Doors have become increasingly more popular than when the band was currently recording albums and causing a stir with Morrison's unique personality. The remaining Doors recorded two albums after Morrison's death (Other Voices and Full Circle, but it just wasn't the same. They were hoping to get Iggy Pop as a replacement singer, (he was a huge fan and influence of The Doors) but that plan never went through.

    Like Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix, there will never be another Jim Morrison. We can only imagine what he would be doing today if he was still around. Likewise all of the other great musicians who have left this world tragically at a young age and in their prime. But at least we can discover (or rediscover) their music, knowing that they may be gone, but their music will definitely live on for generations to come.

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    Previous Review: #594
    Duran Duran--Big Thing
    Next Review: #596
    Lorne Greene--On The Ponderosa: Lorne Greene And His Western Classics