The Doors’ classic ‘L.A. Woman’ album was released on 19 April 1971, exactly 50 years ago today.
‘L.A. Woman’ was the sixth and final Jim Morrison album with The Doors. It was recorded over December 1970 and January 1971. Morrison left the band after recording the album and moved to Paris. Jim was found dead in Paris two and a half months later in Paris.
‘L.A. Woman’ was produced by Bruce Botnick, who also produced ‘Pearl’, the final album by Janis Joplin. ‘Pearl’ was released on January 11, 1971, three months before ‘L.A. Woman’ and three months after the death of Janis on 4 October, 1970.
The ‘L.A. Woman’ album was recorded at the Doors Workshop, a private studio space at 8512 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. As The Doors didn’t have a bass player, Botnick bought in Elvis Presley’s bass player Jerry Scheff to provide backing.
Morrison wanted the opening track ‘The Changeling’ to be the first single. Botnick overruled him and chose Robby Krieger’s ‘Love Her Madly’.
The last song ever recorded by The Doors with Jim Morrison was ‘Riders On The Storm’.
Jim Morrison died on July 3 1971. His last performance with The Doors was December 12, 1970 at The Warehouse, New Orleans. The show was tragic. Jim was drunk. He struggled through ‘Light My Fire’, aborted the first go at ‘Riders On The Storm’ and made speeches in the middle of songs. However, the audience were treated five tracks from the still unfinished at the time ‘L.A. Woman’ three months before the album was released.
Here is the setlist for the final show from The Doors:
Roadhouse Blues (from Morrison Hotel, 1970)
Back Door Man (from The Doors, 1967)
Love Her Madly (from LA Woman, 1971)
When the Music’s Over (from Strange Days, 1967)
Riders on the Storm (from LA Woman, 1971) (Aborted)
Ship of Fools (from Morrison Hotel, 1970)
Crawling King Snake (Big Joe Williams cover)
L.A. Woman (from LA Woman, 1971)
Hyacinth House (from LA Woman, 1971)
Maggie M’Gill (from Morrison Hotel, 1970)
Been Down So Long (from LA Woman, 1971)
I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon cover)
Who Do You Love?(Bo Diddley cover)
There’s a Palace in the Canyon (Poem)
Light My Fire (from The Doors, 1967)
Summertime (George Gershwin cover) (Instrumental/”Light My Fire” continued)
Love Me Two Times (from Strange Days, 1967)
Riders on the Storm (from LA Woman, 1971)
Soul Kitchen (from The Doors, 1967)
The End (from The Doors, 1967)
‘L.A.Woman’ was considered a masterpiece despite its erratic creation. The album reached no 11 in the USA and no 9 in Australia and no 28 in the UK.
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