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DOORS – L.A. WOMAN

Posted in: Music Guide, News | No Comments | Posted on by Mary Anne

In honour of the sad passing of Ray Manzarek we have several DOORS CD’s in the Cheeky Monkey player this week.

L.A. Woman is the sixth studio album by The Doors, and the last recorded with lead singer Jim Morrison, who died in July 1971. Its style is arguably the most blues rock-oriented of the band’s catalog

Following the departure of their record producer Paul A. Rothchild (who, contrary to popular myth, loved “Riders on the Storm” but dismissed the group’s differing style on “Love Her Madly” as “cocktail music”) around November 1970, the band fell in to a state of depression and Jim Morrison was obviously bored withSunset Sound, the studio in which their first two albums were recorded. Bruce Botnick, their engineer, suggested they record at the Doors’ workshop. He and the band began production on the album at The Doors Workshop in Los Angeles. Most of the tracks were recorded live, except for a few overdubbed keyboard parts by Ray Manzarek. Morrison recorded his singing in the studio’s bathroom to get a fuller sound. Elvis Presley’s bass player Jerry Scheff was brought in to play bass on the album, and rhythm guitarist Marc Benno was brought in so that Robbie Krieger could focus on playing lead guitar during live takes.

Botnick later produced and mixed a new 5.1 Surround version of the album, which was released on DVD-Audio on December 19, 2000. It was produced from the original eight-track analog 1″ master tapes.

Early LP editions of the album were uniquely packaged: the album’s cover was die-cut to remove a near-rectangular piece of it, with a sheet of transparent plastic on which the cover photo of the Doors was printed, glued in place in its stead. Later pressings featured a conventional cover without the die-cut hole and plastic window, and with the group photo printed on the cover itself.

Track listing:

All songs written by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore, except where noted.

Side one
  1. “The Changeling” – 4:21
  2. “Love Her Madly” (Krieger) – 3:20
    1. The 40th Anniversary Mix includes a longer fade-out making it 3:38
  3. “Been Down So Long” – 4:41
  4. “Cars Hiss by My Window” – 4:12
    1. The 40th Anniversary Mix includes an additional verse making it 4:58
  5. “L.A. Woman” – 7:49 The 40th Anniversary Mix includes the guitar intro “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” making it 7:59
Side two
  1. “L’America” – 4:37
  2. “Hyacinth House” – 3:11
  3. “Crawling King Snake” (John Lee Hooker) – 5:00
  4. “The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)” – 4:16
  5. “Riders on the Storm” – 7:09  The 40th Anniversary Mix has a shorter fadeout during the storm
40th Anniversary Mixes bonus tracks
  1. “Orange County Suite” (Morrison) – 5:45
  2. “(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further” (Willie Dixon) – 3:41

The 40th anniversary reissues (released 2007) were completely remixed along with being remastered. This practice extended to incorporating vocal and instrumental components which were not part of the original album. As Manzarek said, “There are background vocals by Jim Morrison, piano parts of mine that weren’t used, and guitar stingers and solos by Robby Krieger that never made the original recordings, that can now be heard for the first time.”

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