Doors – L.A. Woman: 40th Anniversary Edition (CD) / Mr. Mojo Risin’: The Story of L.A. Woman (DVD)

January 01, 1970

(Rhino / Eagle Vision) /


Forty years on, L.A.
remains an indelible postscript
to the Doors’ uneasy legacy, the last hurrah for a band that witnessed acclaim,
controversy and the tarnished image of an oftentimes erratic singer seemingly
bent on self destruction. Yet for all his insurgence, Jim Morrison’s brilliance
still raged within, and while many saw L.A. Woman as an attempt
to get back to basics in a very real sense — as evidenced by its basic blues
motif -Morrison’s ability to create a dark oeuvre and cast a cinematic mystique
was never more pronounced. Given this vibrant scenario, the addition of
alternate takes and a pair of unreleased recordings to this long overdue
anniversary reissue don’t necessarily enhance the original classic, although
the odd bits of dialogue and improvisatory nature of these raw takes – many
written on the spot and most completed in a mere two takes — offers
interesting insight into the dynamics of Morrison’s final studio sessions.
Archivists may drool over the heretofore unissued “She Smells So Nice” and the
incendiary cover of “Rock Me,” but neither adds anything genuinely substantive
to the set… even though the latter finds Morrison evoking Mr. Mojo at an early
stage in the album’s evolution.



On the other hand, the companion DVD Mr. Mojo Risin’: The Story of L.A. Woman offers some real
revelation, first with a recap of the tumultuous events – Morrison’s indecency
charge stemming from that ill-fated concert in Miami chief among them – that
led up to their decision to reconvene in the studio in the wake of their
cancelled tour. The archival footage is mesmerizing – including a clip of
Morrison bellowing at the Miami audience – but the personal reflections of the
surviving musicians – Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore – as well
as other members of the Doors’ inner circle, offers a fascinating commentary
that only those present at the time could possibly provide. It’s especially
revelatory to hear the breakdown of their instrumental contributions isolated
track by track, allowing the listener to understand the anatomy of into the
finished arrangements. Taken in tandem, both CD and DVD provide an intriguing
look at an album that ranks as one of the most dramatic accomplishments in
modern Rock realms.


DOWNLOAD: “L.A. Woman” (Alternate Version), “Riders on the Storm”
(Alternate Version) “The WASP (Texas
Radio and the Big Beat)” (Alternate Version) LEE ZIMMERMAN

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