Friday, April 29, 2011

l.a. woman

The Doors rode the storm, sang a lonely song, and dug deep into our blue blue blues to come up with their swan song. After releasing five albums (The Doors and Strange Days in 1967, Waiting for the Sun in 1968, The Soft Parade in 1969, and Morrison Hotel in 1970) in four years, the band's music had became increasingly complex even as they embraced a more down and dirty rootsy sound; and Morrison's voice was more raspy due to the ravages of his excesses. Their long time producer Paul Rothschild had quit and their engineer Bruce Botnick took over. They decided to record very quickly with as few overdubs as possible. It all combined to a critical mass of earnest poetry and gutsy rock and roll that shows the strengths of the entire band.

Robby Krieger reveals: “We were pretty far down. People were saying we were over. We couldn’t play anywhere. Morrison Hotel hadn’t done much. Jim was getting fat. Nothing really seemed to be happening, and we didn’t have much material when we started the sessions. Before we even started recording, our producer walked out on us...I think we came up with an album so loose and cool that it has stood up for 40 years because there was no pressure. We figured we were screwed, so we started having fun again. We were so far gone that it was like a weight was lifted when Paul left. He was a great producer, and you can’t argue with the stuff we did with him, but he was always a very difficult guy to work for. He was a perfectionist, and we were looking forward to having the dictator off our back and just having some fun recording for once, which is exactly what happened." 

'L.A. Woman' went to number thirty-two in Germany, twenty-eight in the UK, fifteen in Norway, eleven in Canada, nine in the US, and number one in the Netherlands.

The title track is the centerpiece to the album; a definitive statement of the contradictions of celebrity and desperation in the city of angels. Mr. Mojo Risin' is an anagram of "Jim Morrison". The reverb of the vocal comes from recording it in the bathroom at The Doors Workshop in West Hollywood.

"I see your hair is burnin'
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar"

Robby Krieger came up with album's shimmering pop moment in 'Love Her Madly'

"All your love is gone
So sing a lonely song
Of a deep blue dream
Seven horses seem to be on the mark"

'The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)'

"Some call it heavenly in it's brilliance
Others, mean and rueful of the Western dream
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft 
We have constructed pyramids in honor of our escaping "

'Riders On The Storm' ends out the Doors' recording career in an understated opus that speaks of a transitional journey through an absurd life toward the inevitable end. 

"Into this house we're born
Into this world we're thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone "

'L.A. Woman' 
full album:

Side A

1. "The Changeling"   Jim Morrison 4:21
2. "Love Her Madly"   Robby Krieger 3:20
3. "Been Down So Long"   Jim Morrison 4:41
4. "Cars Hiss by My Window"   Jim Morrison 4:12
5. "L.A. Woman"   Jim Morrison 7:49
Side B
6. "L'America"   Jim Morrison 4:37
7. "Hyacinth House"   Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison 3:11
8. "Crawling King Snake"   Anon, arr John Lee Hooker 5:00
9. "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)"   Jim Morrison 4:16
10. "Riders on the Storm"   Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, John Densmore 7:09

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