L.A. Woman

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L.A. Woman
Studio album by The Doors
Released April 19, 1971 (1971-04-19)
Recorded December 1970 – January 1971 at The Doors' Workshop Los Angeles using 8-track recording
Genre Blues rock, psychedelic rock
Length 48:24
Label Elektra
Producer The Doors, Bruce Botnick
The Doors chronology
13
(1970)
L.A. Woman
(1971)
Other Voices
(1971)
Singles from L.A. Woman
  1. "Love Her Madly"/"(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further""
    Released: March 1971
  2. "Riders on the Storm"/"The Changeling"
    Released: June 1971

L.A. Woman is the sixth studio album by American rock band The Doors and the last recorded with lead singer Jim Morrison, who died in July 1971, less than 3 months after the album's release. Its style signified a shift towards blues, following in the footsteps of Morrison Hotel.

L.A. Woman has become one of the band's most popular and well-regarded albums, and sees the group delving into the blues music that influenced Jim Morrison as a child, including musicians Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker. In 2003, L.A. Woman was ranked number 364 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Background[edit]

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")[1] around November 1970, the band fell in to a state of depression and Jim Morrison was obviously bored with Sunset Sound, the studio in which their first two albums were recorded.

Recording[edit]

Bruce Botnick, their engineer, suggested they record at The Doors' workshop. He and the band began production on the album at the Workshop in Los Angeles. Most of the tracks were recorded live, except for a few overdubbed keyboard parts by Ray Manzarek. Jim Morrison sang the blues music that influenced him when he was a child, including musicians Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker. The song "The Changeling" was a tribute to R&B artist James Brown.

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.

The Doors embarked on a tour before completing the album, although it would only comprise two dates. The first was held in Dallas, Texas on December 11, 1970 and reportedly went well. The second performance took place at The Warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 12, where Morrison apparently had a breakdown on stage. Midway through the set he slammed the microphone numerous times into the stage floor until the platform beneath was destroyed, then sat down and refused to perform for the remainder of the show. John Densmore recalls the incident in his biography Riders on the Storm, where after the show he met with Manzarek and Krieger; they decided to end their live act, citing their mutual agreement that Morrison was ready to retire from performing.

Release[edit]

By the time the album was released in April 1971, Morrison had moved to Paris, France, where he died three months later, on July 3, 1971. L.A. Woman has sold over 14.5 million copies to date.[citation needed]

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.

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.[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau A–[4]
Rolling Stone favorable[5]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[6]
Slant 3.5/5 stars[7]

In 2003, L.A. Woman was ranked number 364 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by The Doors (Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore), except where stated. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "The Changeling" (written by Jim Morrison) 4:21
2. "Love Her Madly" (written by Robby Krieger; the 40th Anniversary Mix includes a longer fade-out making it 3:38) 3:20
3. "Been Down So Long" (written by Jim Morrison) 4:41
4. "Cars Hiss by My Window" (written by Jim Morrison; the 40th Anniversary Mix includes an additional verse making it 4:58) 4:12
5. "L.A. Woman" (written by Morrison; the 40th Anniversary Mix includes the guitar intro "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" (Samuel Francis Smith, Thomas Arne) making it 7:59) 7:49
Side B
No. Title Length
6. "L'America"   4:37
7. "Hyacinth House" (written by Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison) 3:11
8. "Crawling King Snake" (Anon, arr John Lee Hooker) 5:00
9. "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" (written by Jim Morrison) 4:16
10. "Riders on the Storm" (The 40th Anniversary Mix has a shorter fadeout during the storm) 7:09

Personnel[edit]

The Doors
Additional musicians
Technical
  • Bruce Botnick – production engineering
  • Carl Cossick – sleeve art concept and design
  • Wendell Hamick – sleeve photography and visual effects
  • Bill Siddons – personal management

Chart positions[edit]

Album
Year Chart Position
1971 Pop Albums 9
Singles
1972 L.A. Woman / Riders on The Storm UK Position
1971 "Love Her Madly"
B-side: "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further"
Pop Singles 11
1971 "Riders on the Storm"
B-side: "Changeling"
Pop Singles 14

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[8] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[9] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[10] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Australia (ARIA)[11] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[12] Platinum 100,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[13] Gold 25,000x
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[14] Gold 25,000x
Germany (BVMI)[15] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BAM Interview with Paul Rothchild". waiting-forthe-sun.net. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ L.A. Woman (DVD-A booklet). The Doors. Elektra. 2000. 62612-9. 
  3. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "L.A. Woman – The Doors | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: Album: The Doors: L.A. Woman". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Meltzer, Robert (May 27, 1971). "[L.A. Woman review]". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John, eds. (1979). The Rolling Stone Record Guide (1st ed.). Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 109. 
  7. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (April 18, 2007). "The Doors: L.A. Woman | Album Review | Slant Magazine". Slant. Retrieved December 22, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American album certifications – The Doors – L.A. Woman". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Doors – L.A. Woman". Music Canada. 
  10. ^ "French album certifications – Doors – L.A. Woman" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select DOORS and click OK
  11. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  12. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1991–1995". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. ISBN 8480486392. 
  13. ^ "Austrian album certifications – The Doors – L.A. Woman" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter The Doors in the field Interpret. Enter L.A. Woman in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  14. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (The Doors; 'L.A. Woman')". Hung Medien. 
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Doors; 'L.A. Woman')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  16. ^ "British album certifications – Doors – L.A. Woman". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter L.A. Woman in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]