The Doors

L.A. Woman [40th Anniversary Edition]

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Review

The Doors' final album with Jim Morrison in the lineup is by far their most blues-oriented, and the singer's poetic ardor is undiminished, though his voice sounds increasingly worn and craggy on some numbers. Actually, some of the straight blues items sound kind of turgid, but that's more than made up for by several cuts that rate among their finest and most disturbing work. The seven-minute title track was a car-cruising classic that celebrated both the glamour and seediness of Los Angeles; the other long cut, the brooding, jazzy "Riders on the Storm," was the group at its most melodic and ominous. It and the far bouncier "Love Her Madly" were hit singles, and "The Changeling" and "L'America" count as some of their better little-heeded album tracks. An uneven but worthy finale from the original quartet. [Rhino's double-disc 40th Anniversary Edition of the Doors' final album, L.A. Woman, may not have the two bonus cuts from the 2007 reissue of the record -- "Orange County Suite" and "(You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further" -- but it does have a full disc of bonus material, including alternate takes of every one of the album's ten songs, plus the unreleased original "She Smells So Nice" and a cover of Muddy Waters' "Rock Me." Neither of the new discoveries feels finished -- there's little polish on the cover, while "She Smells So Nice" seems invented as the Doors play -- but the charm of this edition is that the unreleased material is considerably looser than the finished album. Given that there are no great differences in either arrangements or lyrics -- almost none on the former, nothing notable on the latter -- it is the general vibe of these rough run-throughs that counts, as each alternate take amplifies the comfortably assured virility that is L.A. Woman's calling card.] ~ Richie Unterberger Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Influenced By The Doors

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