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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow I'm sick of doubt...
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...
Published on 31 July 2007 by Mr. William Rodwell

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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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17 of 17 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
(REAL NAME)   
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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11 of 11 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
This review is from: L.A. Woman [Expanded] [40th Anniversary Mixes] (Audio CD)
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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35 of 36 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
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L.A. Woman [Expanded] [40th Anniversary Mixes] (Audio CD)
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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8 of 8 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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4 of 4 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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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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This review is from: L.A. Woman [Expanded] [40th Anniversary Mixes] (Audio CD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doors last album ... and their best., 12 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: La Woman (Audio CD)
The Doors recorded two albums afte Jim's death but this was the last 'real' Doors album. This album is has a very bluesy feel to it (I suspect the direction Morrison felt most comfortable with at the time) and is characterised with quite a weary attitude throught - most exemplified in Cars Hiss by My Window and Hyacinth House. It is also absolutely superb. The playing is understated and perfectly attuned to the lyrics and mood of the piece throughout. Morrison's voice is in fine form but you can sense the 'end' throughout this album. Highest reccomendation.
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Back To Their Roots, 23 Jun 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: L.A. Woman [Expanded] [40th Anniversary Mixes] (Audio CD)
The Doors' final album with Jim Morrison (released in 1971) marked the demise of one of the most innovative bands of their (or, indeed, any) era and proved a fitting testament to the band. Oddly enough, for a band who (along with their East Coast contemporaries, The Velvet Underground) did as much as anyone to expand the remit, and influence, of 'rock music' with their keyboards-led sound, L.A.Woman can be seen as something of a return to the band's (and, in particular, Morrison's) `blues roots' (continuing the trend begun on the previous year's Morrison Hotel), with at least half of the album's (original) ten songs showing strong blues traits. This 're-invention' of the band was (as described in the album's 40th anniversary CD sleeve notes and in BBC4's recent, and brilliant, documentary on the making of the album) as much down to the quartet's disillusionment with the 'album production process', whose duration had expanded to months, rather than weeks, resulting in them parting ways with producer Paul Rothchild, and instead relocating to their own studio, assuming production duties themselves (alongside Bruce Botnick) and turning out a whole series of classic 'one or two take' songs.

Indeed, this newly-rediscovered spontaneity is one of the album's most memorable qualities and, even though L.A. Woman is rightly lauded for showcasing two of the band's finest ever songs - the rhythmic powerhouse of the album's title song, expounding Morrison's mercurial take on the city's female clientele, plus the mesmerising beauty of Riders On The Storm, a (slightly) more optimistic companion-piece to The End - it is the straight-ahead blues numbers that (for me, at least) represent the album's heart and soul. Whether it be the James Brown-like strut behind The Changeling, the similarly vibrant roots feel of Been Down So Long, John Lee Hooker's Crawling King Snake and Willie Dixon's (You Need Meat) Don't Go No Further (a bonus song on the 2011 CD), Morrison's spoken poem behind The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat) or the sinuous-sounding Cars Hiss By My Window, the band demonstrate that they could `do the blues' like almost no other 'white rock band'. It is notable that not only are each of Ray Manzarek's keyboards and Robby Krieger's (particularly slide) guitar perfectly attuned to these songs, but the band's sound was also impressively augmented by the rolling bass of Elvis Presley's (later) band member Jerry Scheff.

Of course, one should not forget, at the more 'conventional' end of the musical spectrum (though most definitely not 'cocktail music' as Rothchild labelled it), the band still had time to include the likes of Love Her Madly, Hyacinth House and (another bonus on the 2011 CD) Orange County Suite, all of which provide intoxicating melodies as only Morrison can deliver. Probably the most 'off-the-wall' (uncategorisable) song here is L'America, Morrison's ironically jaunty (but still bluesy) tale of American generosity (and, possibly, dreams).

A band and an album which still sound as inspiring today as they've ever done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably their best album, 4 Feb 2010
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: La Woman (Audio CD)
When assessing the original albums of The Doors, most fans and critics tend to choose either the band's self-titled debut or their final LP with Jim Morrison LA Woman as their best long-player. I would go for the latter LP as, though the famous, standout tracks on the two albums are equally excellent, LA Woman has the stronger supporting cast.

LA Woman is the most blues-influenced of the band's LPs giving guitarist Robbie Krieger a few more opportunities to shine than elsewhere though the band's trademark organ-led rock is still highly prevalent. Glistening keyboards are particularly effective on the haunting Riders On The Storm which features on all Doors' compilations along with the thrilling, hedonistic title track despite both songs being over seven minutes in length.

Aside from these two classics, the other song on LA Woman to be included on virtually all Best Ofs is the rather more slight though highly catchy Love Her Madly. Further excellent support is provided by the funky Changeling, and apocalyptic L'America as well as one of the band's most strum-along songs in Hyacinth House. The rest of the LP is mostly rooted in the 12-bar structure with the incredible vocal-harmonica impersonating Cars Hiss By My Window a particular highlight.

LA Woman is a fitting, occasionally poignant finale to Jim Morrison and is probably The Doors best original LP. For many people, one of the excellent compilations by this revolutionary band will be enough. If however, you would like to investigate their often magical music further then this final original offering is highly recommended.
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