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Import, 40th Anniversary
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In an effort to honor the legendary band, L.A. Woman has been remastered and expanded. Featuring signature songs "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm," this album also includes liner notes by Ben Fong-Torres and two bonus tracks including "Orange County Suite."
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This record is a back to basic live band approach and with the alternate versions you can hear The Doors as loose but still tight at the same time. Jim. was bearded and larger and was singing the blues and this was happy times for the band. John, is one of my favorite drummers and he is too good for an average rock band but perfect for The Doors. Robbie, is one of rock's greatest guitar masters and he can turn it around on a dime and then when he takes off and soars...Magic. Ray, makes the sound solid and thick but he also solos all over these tunes. These musicians understand these songs and just how to present them. Bass guitar and rhythm guitar are added by extra players but it's still The Doors and it's like it was back in 1966 once more.
The Doors saw new life as they were going to play these songs live and start a new chapter to the story when Jim and Pam returned from Paris.
This was never meant to be the finale of this great band. But the road took a turn....
When I was a young Navy pilot in a small town in central California, we had a lot of parties. As young Naval officers, we were not typical anti-establishment '60s hippies, but we partied a lot. There always seemed to be The Doors on the record players, and I particularly connected with Twentieth Century Fox and Light My Fire. I was already a devotée of classical music in those days and not much interested in rock music.
But, those two songs in particular wouldn't leave me, and in the summer of 2015, my wife and I were on a road trip in Virginia and I chanced upon a new vinyl pressing of the original debut album. I bought it. When I got home and played it, I loved it and started serfing around about The Doors and whatever else they may have recorded. I had also found an original vinyl copy of Morrison Hotel in Galesburg and bought that.
I decided to go for L.A. Woman, this being the last record cut by the group before Morrison turned up dead in a bathtub in Paris. On it, he is by now a full-out madman, probably completely baked and strung out at all the recording sessions, and in full possession of his gifts and his voice. He is at least three different singers here, including his own self on L.A. Woman, a sort of over the top Elvis on Been Down So Long, and even a bit of Sinatra on Hyacinth House. You can tell when he's high, and you can tell when he's come down and is more mellow. It's a little scary. Morrison was a poet of sorts, and while some of his lyrics are sappy or incomprehensible, some of this stuff gets to you. For me, mainly, it's the music.
The thing about all three albums, this from a classical music nut, is that they are usually musically valid, not just derivative screaming and pounding, and the three backup guys are all serious musicians. They never sound like a garage band or union guys just playing a gig. The group on this album is a finely honed ensemble of talented guys.
I won't dive deep into The Doors and become a nutjob about them, but I may find the vinyl of this, too. The CD is incredibly well done and has the advantage of being playable on my giant audio rig at home or in the car when I drive down to San Diego to drink with my kid brother.
If you're already an old (!) The Doors fan, you already have this. If you just have the old LP, go ahead and get this CD for its clean sound and portability. If you're young and just wonder what Jim Morrison was all about, get the debut album and this one. Hotel Morrison is kind of a different animal, satisfying in a different way. If, like me, you're mostly a classical music person, think of Jim Morrison as a sort of budding Stravinsky, who was also an improbable combination of a genius and a madman.
Overall: I love it! Five stars! Get this album! Have a nice day!
Top international reviews
Certainly a departure from what direction the Doors had gone in before. Listening to it, even though it's undoubtedly a superb album, I do get a slight tinge of sadness at knowing this was Jim's final album before his death at the age of 27. Whether Jim would have continued in this direction, backtracked, thrown in the towel altogether or started something completely different will never be known now.
I recommend this album to any fan of the Doors or indeed anyone who appreciates blues music. Be prepared to feel quite sad for a talented poet/musician taken from us far too young, though.
It sounds as fresh, original and magical today as it did then. One of my all-time favourite albums because of the sublime music, the evocation of time - can't ignore this and good to have a new CD of it. I seem to have had it in so many formats through the years, just as many others will have done.
This is essentially a blues album, witness the drenched, intense music of 'Been Down So Long', 'Crawling King Snake'.'Cars Hiss By My Window' - all brilliantly atmospheric - and so on to the 2 real showstoppers- 'LA Woman' and 'Riders On The Storm' both also heavily based on the blues.
I particularly like the words of the critic who said that during 'LA Woman' itself, the wheels leave the runway and the band really take off. I also liked a recent documentary on the Doors where Ray demonstrated his amazing cascading downward run during 'Riders On the Storm': for me one of the most evocative passages in music - any music. My wife was equally spellbound.
Favourite album ever? - probably because of the time, place, Jim's passing. Oh - and the sensational music.
Unfortunately most albums that have remixed/remastered written all over the cover don't sound any better than the original versions and in some cases actually sound worse. So it was with some trepidation that I finally decided to retire my treasured LP and go for the cd version but joy of joys, from the opening notes it was immediately clear that here is the best version. Everything is clearer, better placed in the mix and just plain better, with subtle details that had never been heard before now in their proper place. The care and attention that has clearly gone into this Anniversary mix has taken an album that was already a five star album and turned it into a 10 star masterpiece. So the message is this, if you haven't got a copy get one.
The blues influence is certainly heard on tracks such as `Crawling king snake` and `Cars hiss by the window` but the albums highlights are definitely the title track `L.A Woman` the full 8 minute album version and the haunting `Riders on the storm`.
Hyacinth House adds a more catchy feel with Morrison maybe eluding to he`s relationship with he`s on off girlfriend Pamela Coulsen.
The Ray Manzarek penned `Love her Madly` which is a stand out track and `The Wasp Texas Radio` complete what was The Doors finest hour.
A essential purchase for the one of the all time great rock bands.
The additional bonus CD of 'work in progress' takes and out-takes is mildly interesting, but hardly essential. There's an historical fascination in seeing how song lyrics developed, and Morrison's comments between tracks are perceptive and sometimes amusing - rather like the man himself. But the music here is often half-formed, and decidedly lacks the 'fairy dust' that engineer / producer Bruce Botnick was able to bring to the exhilarating final version of the album. It's doubtful that any but the most besotted Doors fans would listen to this bonus CD more than a few times.
Still, with an attractively packaged and priced reissue like this, it would be churlish to carp too much. The album remains a glorious and fitting coda to Jim's singing career, and still retains a power to put shivers down the spine. Unlike so much rock music before or since, there's a soul and passion here that is both fierce and timeless. Morrison's voice often sounds shot, and his end was indeed near, but this album was a fine way to bow out. It remains an essential blues rock purchase, as necessary to my life as the air I breathe or food I eat.
Compile lists of our 'all time favourites', that's what I'm on about.
Personally, I struggle to pin down my top 100 BANDS, never mind albums.
I've even tried cheating a little by splitting my favourites into categories like UK/European or USA, 'Solo' Artists or Bands. That kinda thing.
That way, for instance, Top 50s are really a Top 200 in disguise. Sure does make the task easier.
But when I try whittling album titles down to double figures it's back to square one in no time.
One thing I can say though, with total confidence: "L.A. Woman" will be in that list somewhere. As will The Doors.
Great cover, the band pic is printed on a see through panel, the yellow background is on the inner sleeve!
The "Doors" band name is also embossed. also the record itself has the "butterfly" label that is only usually seen on the first pressings.
Bought to replace my 90's copy from when record companies could no longer be bothered with vinyl.
The music itself- nothing I can add to what's been said before!