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L.A. Woman: A look back on The Doors’ 6th studio album

by on April 5, 2012

by Wilfred Langmaid

The fifth season of the Classic Albums Live series concludes on Thursday, April 19.  The album presented is that of a band whose end was near, The Doors’ 1971 release L.A. Woman.

It had been a brief, glorious, tragic and unique ride for The Doors.  In a 5-year span, they had crafted a never-replicated blend of Ray Manzarek’s dry organ, Robby Krieger’s elliptical guitar, and the one-man rhythm section of drummer John Densmore filling any gaps.  The backdrop was perfect for the edge of the road ran upon by Jim Morrison, who was to die at age 27 on July 3.  He was a unique, pioneering vocalist and writer wrapped within a tragic life.

The Doors’ sixth and final album includes well-known career definers like “Love Her Madly,” “Riders On The Storm,” and the title track.  Other gems include “L’America” and “Changeling.”

Overall, L.A. Woman is The Doors’ most bluesy studio disc.  It is a good choice for live presentation by the Classic Albums Live team.

This will not be one of those note-by-note replications requiring a team of musicians doing the work of 4 members.  However, it will be just as precise, and every note will be just as necessary and just as well interpreted.

While stage histrionics are not part of the act for Classic Albums Live, the sheer drama of Morrison’s singing in studio or live formats will make this a live moment to remember.  That 3 men made a lot of sound behind the vocal frontman will be just as clear.

Wilfred Langmaid is a Fredericton resident who has written music reviews in The Daily Gleaner since 1981.

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