The Doors finally released their long awaited L.A. WOMAN 40 two cd set, this past week which included nine previously unreleased tracks including seven L.A. WOMAN outtake versions of songs including “The Changeling”, “Love Her Madly”, “Rider On The Storm” and more. One completely unknown song, “She Smells So Nice” is a rough piece, but nonetheless a rare gem for collectors, as well is the rough version of “Rock Me”. These two rarities were discovered while searching through the master tapes.
Normally, The Doors have been able to get some release out by November just in time for the Christmas season, however their L.A. Woman 40 has been one of their longest delayed projects in memory. But, for Christmas The Doors did manage to get a four 7inch vinyl single special edition set out, largely because guitarist Robbie Krieger is a big fan of the sound of vinyl. But, at nearly $50 a pop, only collectors are likely to shell out this sort of money for four 45rpm records. 45’s aren’t always known for having the best sound quality, so hopefully these singles are of good quality But, on March 2, a two disc vinyl album, L.A. WOMAN: THE WORKSHOP SESSIONS, made from high quality 180gram vinyl, will be released to satisfy those vinyl connoisseurs out there. That’s probably one of the better vinyl releases in late memory.
The Doors also have a new DVD and BluRay release of MR. MOJO RISIN’: THE STORY OF L.A. WOMAN which is a pretty fair documentary of the band. There’s plenty of great historic Doors footage, along with many recent band interviews.
L.A. WOMAN worked so well as an album for many reasons, although the recording sessions were very troubled. Jim Morrison felt done with The Doors, and was ready to move on. His drinking was so bad that he was difficult to deal with. Yet, his cigarette and alcohol ravished voice had a well worn blues quality that made L.A. WOMAN such a gem. L.A. WOMAN was much more of a blues album than other Doors album. Elvis Presley’s bass guitar musician, Larry Scheff, provided the album an additional guitar. The album had something of a Chicago blues band quality to it. But, the three musicians from The Doors, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger and John Densmore were also beginning to look ahead to a future without Jim Morrison, and son began work on jazz influenced OTHER VOICES album. “Down On The Farm”, which was written by by Robbie Krieger supposedly existed during the L.A. WOMAN sessions, however there is a rumor that Jim Morrison didn’t want to include it on the L.A. WOMAN album. It is not known whether any outtake of Morrison doing the vocals for this song exist or not. But, L.A. WOMAN was Jim Morrison’s swan-song album. He seemed tired and burnt-out, and was ready to move on from The Doors. He died shortly after moving to Paris, however he did record a few rarities over there in Paris, where his voice sounded fresh again, just like the old days of The Doors. The break seemed like it was doing him good. But, then there was that shocking news of his sudden death which forever silenced his unique voice and poetry.
The Doors were the first recording act to have eight certified platinum albums in a row, as well as having a star on Hollywood’s famous Walk Of Fame. Several years ago, rapper Jay Z even decide to sample, “Five To One” for his song “Takeover”. The Doors will continue to be a great influence on American culture for many more generations. The dark poetry of Jim Morrison continues to impress generations and never seems to grow outdated.
The Bottom Line: L.A. WOMAN was easily one of the best albums The Doors ever made. It had a whole different feel from the other five studio releases because of it’s basic sounding blues tone. It’s a real classic that should find it’s way into any well stocked classic rock library. ****(Four stars excellent. This new repackage of the classic album is worth buying again. The bonus disc of nine unreleased tracks along with the original album is crystal clear digital sound is well worth paying the price of admission once again).