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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swansong
The Doors' last album before Jim Morrison's death stands apart from their earlier releases. Grittier and bluesier, it isn't representative of what made them successful, but has its own aura. The cover shot shows a grizzlier, chunkier Morrison, no longer the budding sex god, and his vocal delivery is that of a more mature hell raiser. Two additional musicians on rhythm and...
Published on 28 April 2008 by D. J. H. Thorn

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable classic album in its original mix with forgettable extras
This new anniversary version of LA Woman is a rather unsatisfying release that in my opinion does not sound as good as the 40th anniversary mixes from 2007.

I bought it for the new song, but really that was a regrettable choice as it is really only a demo and lyrically you're left with the distinct impression that Jim was probably inebriated when he performed...
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Tom Hughes


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swansong, 28 April 2008
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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The Doors' last album before Jim Morrison's death stands apart from their earlier releases. Grittier and bluesier, it isn't representative of what made them successful, but has its own aura. The cover shot shows a grizzlier, chunkier Morrison, no longer the budding sex god, and his vocal delivery is that of a more mature hell raiser. Two additional musicians on rhythm and bass guitars are also featured, so that Ray Manzarek's keyboards, though still prominent, are less dominant. The result is that the band sounds less different from other bands than before, but they also sound more fluid.

Blues forms the main thread to the album. There are three straight examples of the form, but there are, as usual, surprises. 'L'America' is the most uncomfortable listening and reveals that Morrison still possessed plenty of menace. 'Love Her Madly' is deliciously light and melodic, Manzarek's piano skipping along, as is 'Hyacinth House'. 'Changeling' provides an earthy opening, while the title track fairly bombs along, allowing each member to stretch out. This is one of the album's trump cards, but two more are left until the end. 'Texas Radio and The Big Beat' sees Morrison on mischievous form and it does indeed feature a big beat. The crowning achievement is of course 'Riders On The Storm,' a soundtrack for psychopaths everywhere, full of beautiful sounds and dark dramas. Possibly not to every fan's liking, 'LA Woman' is nevertheless a superb performance.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow I'm sick of doubt..., 31 July 2007
By 
Mr. William Rodwell (Hook Norton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Woman (Audio CD)
A lot like Abbey Road, this, what turned out to be final effort from the Doors, ties things up brilliantly. 1970 was the end of an era and for many records of this time there is a sort of "coming down" - LA Woman has this in spades. The music is superb, as you would expect from a band that had many years of practise, but made more so by the move towards a bluesier feel. However, it is Jim Morrison's voice that gives it an edge; cigarettes and alcohol have blurred the edges and deepened the tone. Added to which are some of the more intriguing lyrics that he wrote. What are they doing in the Hyacinth House? Whatever it is the feeling is so tired, and so longing for conclusion. The conclusion, as such, is Riders on the Storm which never fails to leave you numb. It is one of those songs that you wish would never end.

In short this is a brilliant album and even after 23 years of listening to it I never tire. The sentiments, emotions and feelings that are evoked by the songs always leave me wishing that somehow, perhaps, there could have been more. Even so, what a conclusion!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the discerning fan but brilliant nevertheless, 1 Jun 2012
By 
Doreen Guest "D. Guest" (Hornchurch, Essex RM12) - See all my reviews
No this one is not just another reissue of the well known album but also one for the discerning Doors fans and collectors, the 2 CD triple fold out set featuring as it does, alongside the original album, different versions of 7 of the 10 tunes (exceptions being Hyacinth House (unfortunately as it is a beautiful song), LAmerica and Crawling King Snake). There is also the image of Morrison crucified on a telegraph pole included with the early original vinyl issue on a poster and on the inner sleeve.
They were all recorded in The Doors Workshop at the time of the LA Woman sessions (hence the title of the double vinyl edition, The Workshop Sessions (which features only the alternate versions but does not appear to be widely available at present). The quality of the alternative versions is, as one would expect, excellent of course and I am surprised that they have never appeared before though thats probably down to the cynical record company penchant for making maximum money off old material (not that I am a cynic myself, you understand).
Enough has been said about the original album so I will concentrate here on the alternative versions. I have not actually compared them to the originals, merely listened to the unreleased ones and said what comes to mind, but I can say with certainty that most of the alternate versions are less polished than those used on the album and, indeed, sound at times like demos rather than alternate takes. One does in fact mention the take number which probably means that none of them are actually demos. Studio chat features too.
The Changeling, which Jim tells the band is his favourite number, is longer at nearly 5 minutes and powers along at around the same speed as the album version but with a different keyboard riff. It is, perhaps, more powerful and certainly bluesier with more raucous lead guitar. A few bum notes slip in but do not spoil the song overall.
Love Her Madly features a lazier Morrison vocal with different lyrics and a totally different keyboard section in the middle.
Been Down So Long is probably the least different alternative, much the same as the album version apart from being a bit rougher and longer.
The slow, dirty, blues of Cars Hiss by My Window seems to feature somewhat more prominent guitar than the LP version and is 30 seconds longer.
LA Woman meanwhile features different lead guitar riffs and a weird bit of extra vocalising brings it to a sudden end at 8.45.
The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) features different lyrics and is 1.20 longer than the album version but this comprises a cacophony of jazzy guitar and drums with no discernible tune. Theres an instrumental version thrown in too.
Clocking in at 2 minutes longer than the original, Riders on the Storm could have been the jewel in the crown here, were it not for the fact that the extra time at the start is occupied by a throw away Morrison ditty, false start and chat plus a somewhat flat vocal from Morrison, especially evident at the start of the tune proper.
Finally music wise you get the addition of an actual unreleased song, She Smells so Nice, which morphs into Rock Me, but they are pretty much of filler or single B side standard and it is no wonder they were not used on the LA Woman album proper or anywhere else.
The 3 way fold out card sleeve packaging features, in addition to the original album artwork, 3 photos from the LA Woman sessions and a replica of the striking poster and inner bag image of a naked Morrison crucified on a telegraph pole that came with early copies of the original vinyl LP (referred to here as Electric Woman).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's blues Jim but not as we know it - one for the discerning Doors fan but brilliant nevertheless, 11 Mar 2012
By 
DAVE HORN "Dave Horn" (Ellington Village, Northumberland, GB) - See all my reviews
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No this one isn't just another reissue of the well known album but also one for the discerning Doors fans and collectors, the 2 CD triple fold out set featuring as it does, alongside the original album, different versions of 7 of the 10 tunes (exceptions being "Hyacinth House" (unfortunately as it is a beautiful song), "L'America" and "Crawling King Snake"). There's also the image of Morrison crucified on a telegraph pole included with the early original vinyl issue on a poster and on the inner sleeve (referred to here as "Electric Woman").

They were all recorded in The Doors Workshop at the time of the "LA Woman" sessions (hence the title of the double vinyl edition, "The Workshop Sessions" (which features only the alternate versions but doesn't appear to be widely available at present). The quality of the alternative versions is, as one would expect, excellent of course and I'm surprised that they have never appeared before though that's probably down to the cynical record company penchant for making maximum money off old material (not that I am a cynic myself, you understand).

Enough has been said about the original album so I'll concentrate here on the alternative versions. I haven't actually compared any of them to the originals, merely listened to the unreleased ones and said what comes to mind, but I can say with certainty that most of the alternate versions are less polished than those used on the album and, indeed, sound at times like demos at times rather than alternate takes or versions. One does, in fact, mention the take number, which probably means that none of them are actually demos. Studio chat features too.

"The Changeling", which Jim tells the band is his favourite number, is longer at nearly 5 minutes and powers along at around the same speed as the album version but with a different keyboard riff. It is, perhaps, more powerful and certainly bluesier with more raucous lead guitar. A few bum notes slip in but do not spoil the overall feel of the song.

"Love Her Madly" features a lazier Morrison vocal with different lyrics and a totally different keyboard section in the middle.

"Been Down So Long" is probably the least different alternative, much the same as the album version apart from being a bit rougher and longer.

The slow, dirty, blues of "Cars Hiss by My Window" seems to feature somewhat more prominent guitar than the LP version and is 30 seconds longer.

"LA Woman" meanwhile features different lead guitar riffs and a weird bit of extra vocalising brings it to a sudden end at 8.45.

"The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" features different lyrics and is 1.20 longer than the album version but this comprises a cacophony of jazzy guitar and drums with no discernible tune. There's an instrumental version thrown in too.
Clocking in at 2 minutes longer than the original, "Riders on the Storm" could have been the jewel in the crown here, were it not for the fact that the extra time is occupied by a throw away Morrison ditty, false start and chat occupying the first 2 minutes plus a somewhat flat Morrison vocal, especially evident at the start of the tune proper.

Finally, music-wise, you get the addition of an actual unreleased song, "She Smells so Nice", which morphs into "Rock Me", but both are pretty much of filler or single B side standard and it`s no wonder they were not used on the "LA Woman" album proper or indeed anywhere else.

The 3-way fold-out card sleeve packaging features, in addition to the original album artwork, 3 photos from the "LA Woman" sessions and, as mentioned earlier, a replica of the striking image of a naked Morrison crucified on a telegraph pole that came as a poster and on the inner of early copies the original vinyl LP (though it's referred to as "Electric Woman" on a vinyl set packaging sticker I always understood it to be Morrison and it does look like it could be him).

As stated earlier the 2 LP 180 gram vinyl version features only the alternative versions spread over 3 sides. The lyrics of the original versions of the alternative songs are etched onto side 4. The gatefold sleeve features a largely white mock up of the LA Woman sleeve with recording details, credits and the crucified Jim image. At 17 to 19, 3 sides of music in a gatefold sleeve seems like pretty good value. Buy it this way if you still have a record deck and do not want another copy of "LA Woman" on CD.

Now all that is needed is for alternative versions of songs from their other albums to be unearthed and issued in these formats.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal driving music, 22 Mar 2011
By 
K9Keith (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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A classic album, and the extra tracks are not just fillers either.
A couple of years ago I was in California with my son, and The Doors provided the soundtrack for our cruising round LA. I can't afford that again so maybe a trip to Wolverhampton playing Slade - it just doesn't have the same appeal though.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable classic album in its original mix with forgettable extras, 24 Jan 2012
This new anniversary version of LA Woman is a rather unsatisfying release that in my opinion does not sound as good as the 40th anniversary mixes from 2007.

I bought it for the new song, but really that was a regrettable choice as it is really only a demo and lyrically you're left with the distinct impression that Jim was probably inebriated when he performed. Yes, it is nice to hear fresh material from the band 40 years on, but it is really forgettable and unlikely to be played post first listen. The same goes for all these alternative versions, which are not really alternative, but frankly inferior.

The only reason for buying this to my mind, is because for some reason a persective buyer did not like the 40th anniversary mixes. I actually think they are truly brilliant and are worth the upgrade. This mix sounds a bit flat and to be frank sounds like the original CD version, with perhaps the levels raised a bit higher. You may prefer this if upgrading from vinyl as it does sound "warmer" than the newer mixes but everyone else will be buying it for studio floor cuttings and a glossier set of liner notes.

However if this album does serve a valuable purpose, it is to remind us again of what an incredible album this truly is. It simply does not sound dated and no matter how many bloated reissues are made, the original album is a timeless classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues as only The Doors can play them; my elegy to Morrison, June 11, 2004, 11 Sep 2012
At last, after turning in an excellent but sadly straightforward album with MORRISON HOTEL (see my review), The Doors delve deeper into the blues and come up with this (unknown at the time) swan song. By this time, Morrison's fast lifestyle was rapidly catching up to him; his voice was deteriorating, he was fat, and he looked much older than his years. Morrison could still conjure up vocals reminiscent of the first two records (mainly "Riders on the Storm"). Overall, this world-weary voice fit in perfectly with the blues outfit The Doors had turned themselves into.

While the majority of their previous album sounds like it could have been written and recorded by anybody, LA WOMAN certainly sounds bluesy, but here the songs are written with the idiosyncracies that made the band so endearing in the first place. From the acid trip of "The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" to the seedy, decadent portrait of LA in the title track, The Doors shows us that, no matter how hard they want to be a blues band, they just too undeniably weird and unique to make a true blues album. And, ironically, that's what makes LA WOMAN such a powerful record. It's blues but blues like only The Doors could play, and that's what makes it such a rich, compelling listen.

The hit singles off this effort were "Love Her Madly," "LA Woman," and the radio rock staple "Riders on the Storm." "Love Her Madly" is one of The Doors' catchiest songs. "LA Woman" stands as one of The Doors' very best songs, with its decadent portrait of LA and its paean to some larger-than-life woman who consumes landscape, and could very well be a symbol of the city itself. "Riders on the Storm," the final word from The Doors with Morrison, has that edgy, atmospheric [paranoia] aura that makes so much of their early work so exciting to listen too. One of the essential images of Morrison, that lonely hitchhiker, shows up, and Morrison deals with man's relationship to the world ("Into this house we're born/Into this world we're thrown") and pleads women to love their men so that the human race will never die out. The exact meaning of "Riders on the Storm," like the best poetry, is open to interpretation; however, when The Doors were at the top of their game (as they are here), they create some of the most emotionally evocative music of that generation. "Riders on the Storm," with its panoramic lyrics, its ominous music, and the tonal, chanting way Morrison recites the lyrics, takes us to that other side, into a new realm of consciousness. Very mind altering stuff, and easily one of The Doors' top five songs. Had this been their only major song, The Doors' place in rock history would be forever secure.

The rest fall into some very basic blues variations. "The Changling" is a particular favorite of mine, with some great playing, along with "L'America" and "The Wasp." In the former Morrison sings about some mythical, very mystical, and certainly precolonial form of America. I keep getting visions of conquistadors and European vandals, stealing from the native peoples. "The Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)," lyrically, stands among Morrison's finest, and is one of The Doors' best album tracks. There are lots of great lines in it ("no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn!). There's the rather pedestrian "Crawling King Snake," a John Lee Hooker cover, but the Lizard King himself ties it very successfully into his own personal legend. "Been Down So Long," along with the great "Cars Hiss By My Window," shows you The Doors could write blues with the best of them, but very unique blues. "Hyacinth House" is a nice ballad, with Morrison finding himself alone and wanting a friend who doesn't need him. A very good composition.

In the end, The Doors play their own brand of blues in LA WOMAN, turning in some of the most memorable music of their all-to-brief career. I wish MORRISON HOTEL was as Doorsey as this one was, because LA WOMAN shows you The Doors had such a unique vision that they reinvented the subject matter of the blues, turning in a stylistic blues album that no one else could play. One of the Lizard King's finest hours, and unfortunately his last recording* with the band. Afterward, Morrison died, and this proved to be his swan song. We'll always remember you.

For this reviewer, I have a cherished place for The Doors because through them I have discovered so many new forms of artistic expression. Their debut (which is their best album, followed by STRANGE DAYS), was literally a life-changing album for me. Morrison's writing broadened my horizons, and got me into writing poetry and listening to all different styles of music. I owe so much to this band and Morrison in my own artistry and my writing; Morrison should me how mindblowing poetry and music truly can be. They truly did help me break on through to the other side, being the doors into new realms they meant themselves to be. I owe so much to them, and I'll never forget what Morrison did for me in opening up my mind.

* When Morrison died suddenly and mysteriously in Paris, The Doors went on to record two last albums, the appropriately titled OTHER VOICES and FULL CIRCLE. Out of print (you can find them as imports and rarity releases), these two albums aren't as powerful as the best moments with Morrison, but worth seeking out for the fan, especially for the song "Ships Without Sails," a wonderful song that reminds you of "Riders," and the weird (not wholly successful) parable story of "The Peking King and the New York Queen.")
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as the eponynous album., 18 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: La Woman (Audio CD)
It could have been expected that any work that they released after their self titled album would have been overshadowed by it. This is unfortunate for 'L.A. Woman', as it is a superb album in its own right. The album opens with the up-beat 'The Changling', and from there, the album only gets better, the highlight being the title track 'L.A. Woman'. The album closes with the seven minute masterpiece, 'Riders on the Storm'. It is a pleasure to hear this digitally remastered version of the classic album.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About the extras, 30 Jan 2012
I assume that many buyers of this are going to have all purchased LA Woman in one of it's many incarnations (I have bought two) so I am just going to stick to the extras, wherein I differ from many other reviewers. I am wary of the endless re-packaging and to some extent I agree with many other reviewers. Given that The Doors stopped recording decades ago, it is safe to assume that there is little left in the vaults and we will not hear their unique sound again, and certainly nothing in the way of "new material" of the superb quality of existing material. But what this release gives us is an insight into the inception of one of the greatest albums of all time. The "alternate versions" are crisp sounding warm-ups of songs still evolving. They contain some crackling vocals, some flubs and tracks that are far from complete, but they have a rawness of a live band jamming. Sometimes they jam the blues (including the "new" track), and sometimes they jam what are familiar and classic songs. They are as close as we're going to get to a band long gone beyond previously released material and I loved them. I go to gigs all the time and all but the most polished, tired bands do it note perfect, but it is the ones who are still working through the songs and stretching them that make a lasting impact. And this for me is as close as I am ever going to get the hearing a live set of LA Woman as a work in progress. Don't expect any great revelations or new Doors, just a fine band working through fresh material of its day.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doors Multichannel SACD, 16 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. C. G. Veitch (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: L.A. Woman (Audio CD)
This latest release of the Doors music in Hybrid Multichannel SACD is incredible. It has taken an Independent label, Analogue Productions, an amazing and completely different listening experience, which the major record labels can't be bothered to do. This is not just remastered it is a whole new way of listening to amazing music. The surround sound immerses you in the experience and helps you to hear far more of the music, how it is made up and it becomes a compelling whole. Riders on the Storm, is as you would expect full of energy with the rain in background surrounding you as the music moves you on. The quality of the sound is excellent. If the major record labels really want to revive their fortunes this is how to do it I think! I would purchase again my whole CD collection if Multichannel SACDs were released like this as it would be worth it as it really is something new and something worth owning, unlike the unimaginative remastered CD sets that churn out the same stuff from the majors. Thanks Analogue Productions!
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La Woman
La Woman by The Doors (Audio CD - 2000)
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