'L.A. Woman' - The Doors


Writers: The Doors

Producers: Bruce Botnick and the Doors

Recorded: January 1971 at the Doors Workshop in Los Angeles

Released: April 1971

Players: Jim Morrison--vocals
Ray Manzarek--keyboards
Robby Krieger--guitar
Jerry Scheff--bass
Marc Benno--guitar
Album: L.A. Woman (Elektra, 1971)

Despite the massive airplay it's received, "L.A. Woman" was never a single for the Doors, who instead released "Love Her Madly" and "Riders On The Storm" as singles from the L.A. Woman album.

"Mr. Mojo Rising," a line in the song, is an anagram for singer Jim Morrison's name. Morrison told the Doors office that after he "split for Africa" following the completion of L.A. Woman, he would use that name to contact the office. In reality, he moved to Paris.

Guitarist Robby Krieger says he considers "L.A. Woman" one of the most crucial songs in the Doors' history: "To me, that is one of the most quintessential Doors songs because of how it came about. You know, we were recording the album, L.A. Woman, and that was the first album we did without Paul Rothchild, who had produced all the other records. It was, like, very relaxed. We just had a tape recorder in our rehearsal place. And we just started playing one day, and that song just kind of came into being all at once. It was amazing. We were just kind of playing on this riff and, 'Hey, let's go down to the G chord.' I don't know how Jim came up with those lyrics, but it just kinda came out, in like one day. To me, that's how a band should write their songs, you know?"

Longtime Doors producer Rothchild had opted out of L.A. Woman because he didn't like the songs, particularly the understated, jazzy "Riders On The Storm."

"L.A. Woman" is also marked by some of Krieger's most dynamic guitar solos for the Doors, which he says he's proud of to this day: "I get off probably even more because after playing guitar for (more than) 30 years, I've become a lot better guitar player. You know, some of those solos are pretty darn good. I take them to a different level now."

As Krieger noted, L.A. Woman was one of the easiest albums the Doors ever recorded. Sessions took about 10 days in January 1971, and Morrison sang almost everything live as the other musicians played their parts.

Jerry Scheff, who played bass in the sessions, was a veteran of Elvis Presley's bands.

The song "L.A. Woman" was never performed by the Doors, with Morrison, in concert.

L.A. Woman peaked at Number Nine on the Billboard 200 and has sold more than two million copies.