L.A. Woman

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L.A. Woman
Studio album by The Doors
Released April 19, 1971
Recorded December 1970 – January 1971
Genre Blues rock, psychedelic rock
Length 48:24
Label Elektra
Producer The Doors, Bruce Botnick
The Doors chronology
Morrison Hotel
(1970)
L.A. Woman
(1971)
Other Voices
(1971)

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, less than 3 months after the album's release. Its style signified a return to blues, following in the footsteps of Morrison Hotel.

L.A. Woman has remained one of the band's most pivotal and popular albums. It allowed Jim Morrison to express his 'old blues man' personality as it gave him the freedom to sing the blues music that he was influenced by as a child, including musicians such as Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker. It has sold over 14.5 million copies.[citation needed]

Production[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.

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.[2]

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.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (A-) link
Rolling Stone (favorable) [3]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[4]
Slant 3.5/5 stars link

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. 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.

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

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore, except Crawling King Snake. 

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


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. 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."

40th Anniversary Edition (2011 2CD)[edit]

Disc one (Original recording remastered)
  • Original album (1971 mix)
Disc two (Extra tracks)
  1. "The Changeling (Alternate version)"
  2. "Love Her Madly (Alternate version)"
  3. "Cars Hiss by My Window (Alternate version)"
  4. "L.A. Woman (Alternate version)"
  5. "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) (Alternate version)"
  6. "Been Down So Long (Alternate version)"
  7. "Riders on the Storm (Alternate version)"
  8. "She Smells So Nice"
  9. "Rock Me"
iTunes Bonus Tracks
10. "L.A. Woman (Take 1)"
11. "Crawling King Snake (Run-through and studio chatter)"
Amazon Bonus Tracks
10. Love Her Madly (Take 1)
11. The Changeling (Take 9)
Spotify Bonus Track
10. "The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) (Instrumental)"

Personnel[edit]

The Doors
Additional musicians
Technical staff and artwork

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1971 Pop Albums 9

Singles[edit]

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)[5] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[6] 3× Platinum 300,000^
France (SNEP)[7] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Australia (ARIA)[8] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[9] Gold 25,000x
Germany (BVMI)[10] Gold 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[11] 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. ^ "Album Review". Rolling Stone Magazine, Robert Meltzer. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  4. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 109.
  5. ^ "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
  6. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Doors – L.A. Woman". Music Canada. 
  7. ^ "French album certifications – Doors – L.A. Woman" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select DOORS and click OK
  8. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  9. ^ "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
  10. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Doors; 'L.A. Woman')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  11. ^ "British album certifications – Doors – L.A. Woman". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter L.A. Woman in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go