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ALBUM REVIEW

THE DOORS

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L.A. WOMAN

Released - April, 1971, Elektra Records. Produced by Bruce Botnick & The Doors

Jim Morrison - Vocals
Robby Krieger - Rhythm, Slide & Lead Guitars
Ray Manzarek - Organ, Piano
John Densmore - Drums

With:

Jerry Scheff - Bass on tracks 1, 2, 3 and 5
Marc Benno - Rhythm Guitar

All songs written by The Doors except ""Crawling King Snake" written by John Lee Hooker

SONG RATING
The Changeling     7.1
Love Her Madly   10.0
Been Down So Long     7.7
Cars Hiss by My Window     7.6
L.A. Woman   10.0
Hyacinth House     6.8
Crawling King Snake     7.0
The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)     7.0
L' America     7.1
Riders on the Storm   10.0
Ave.    8.03

REVIEW

For the most part, this was really the last Doors album, as Jim Morrison would die less than 3 months after its release. True, the surviving members would release two more albums after this one, and then in 1978 An American Prayer, which featured poetry written and recorded by Morrison shortly before his death, with music added in later on by the band. But if you were a fan of the Door's music with Jim Morrison singing, then this LP is their swan song.

Morrison was in very bad shape when this album was being made, showing up for sessions totally wasted and not even speaking to the other band members most of the time, it was a miracle that this album not only got finished, but that it turned out so damn good! Chances are had Morrison lived, with the tension between the band members and his legal problems looming, this would have been the Doors' last effort anyway.

But all the songs on LA Woman are strong ones, and Morrison's voice was still there and sounding good, as was the band. The LP's best song by far is its classic title cut, one of those songs where everything fell into place perfectly. Morrison's strong vocals are out front, Robby Krieger's guitar is so fine - with a jazzy touch to it, it just takes off on this song. Ray Manzarek who was know in the band more for his great command of the organ, plays his piano more on this number, and with fine results; and you can't take anything away for drummer John Densmore's fine beat.

There are several other great songs found on here, including the other two big hits - "Love Her Madly", the kind of rock 'n roll song we expected from the Doors at this point of their career, and the very mellow "Riders on the Storm", the second best number on the album.

Two underrated, but excellent songs found on this LP are "Been Down So Long" and "Cars Hiss by My Window". Plus these days I seem to hear "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" being played on the radio a lot. Come to think of it, they played it a lot back in the '70s, too. It's a good song, but perhaps a bit overrated.

LA Woman may not have been the Doors' best overall album, but it was real close to being just that. Had Morrison been in a bit better shape and in a better mind frame, holy shit, you can only wonder how different, and how much better it would have turned out.

-- Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from L.A. WOMAN, or to purchase it click on: LA Woman icon

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