The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy

Aviator News

Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The+Doors+in+late-1966.+Photo+via+Wikimedia+Commons+under+the+Creative+Commons+license.
The Doors in late-1966. Photo via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons license.

The Doors in late-1966. Photo via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons license.

The Doors in late-1966. Photo via Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons license.

If you know me or have seen me around, I am the girl with the Doors backpack. I carry it with pride knowing the face of one of the most legendary, but underrated rock ‘n’ roll stars to ever live, Jim Morrison, is on it. I take it upon myself to call it, “blatant advertising.” There are a lot of amazing things about the Doors, but if I had to extract it down to one key point I’d say they’re a band who manages to make music that takes whatever shape you want it to form. Whatever emotion you are feeling, you can feel it in their songs. Whatever day it is, it will be transformed with every note. Whatever message you want, you can find it in every lyric. It’s the ambiguity of this band’s sound that made it so pleasing to me that fateful summer day last year when I decided to listen to more of their songs. It would be the start to a complete transformation in me, and although not everyone experiences music the same way, I encourage everyone to take the time to listen to at least one song by the Doors. I guarantee you will feel something change.

On April 19th, 1971, the Doors would record their last ever album while Jim Morrison was still alive. Three months later on July 3rd, Jim Morrison would be found dead and become the newest member of the 27 club. What was this last album before Jim Morrison had to break on through to the other side, you ask? L.A. Woman, of course. It’s the album, where all four Doors—Ray Manzarek (keyboardist), John Densmore (drums), Robby Krieger (guitar), and Jim Morrison (vocals)—are side by side tinted in a bright yellow and a red background with their band name in white and the album name in black.

I have listened to every one of the Doors studio albums and they are all superb. It is hard to compare them to each other in terms of ranking best to worst album, but instead it is much easier to just see what can be taken from each album. I would say, the thing that makes L.A. Woman, a favorite among Doors fans is based on the fact that it was the last album Jim Morrison would make before his untimely death. It’s not just because he died after it was released, but because of the album’s final song: “Riders on the Storm.” Everyone who’s ever heard this album wants to become a rider on the storm with Jim, but I’ll go into greater detail about this as I go along.

Each and every song has its own feelings and messages, but not everyone is going to interpret it the same way. I tried to clear my mind of everything as I wrote the review to this album, so I wouldn’t have any predispositions while listening. As I went along I made sure to play close attention to each song. Let’s give it up for our L.A. Woman.

CHANGELING

This song has definitely got that bluesy vibe that made the Doors so well-liked. It also incorporated those classic Jim Morrison screams that I can never get enough of. The power of Morrison’s voice resonates throughout the entire song and the musical arrangement, although maybe not paid attention to, is another aspect that makes the Doors unlike other bands. Most people do not care about the other members, which is a shame, but without the other three Doors there would be no Doors and this song is just one of various examples of that. If you’re wondering what a changeling is, it’s a child who is believed to have been replaced by fairies for the parent’s real child during infancy. I think this ties along with one fact about Jim Morrison that changes your perspective on him once learning about it.When he was four years old, he saw Native Americans at the scene of a car crash on the road one day while traveling with his family. That moment stuck with him for the rest of his life and he always thought that the Native American he saw on the floor bleeding to death—which may not even have happened, but he was just so traumatized by seeing this event as a child he let the idea manifest into adulthood—well, he believed this Native American’s soul had entered into his. In some ways, this changeling mentality Jim Morrison has is a key factor to the meaning of this song. In my opinion, the song shows how anything can be in everything and everything can be in anything. One minute it’s this, the next minute it’s that. Again, we touch upon the theme of ambiguity that Morrison loved to explore, because of his fascination with the unknown.

LOVE HER MADLY

Those first chords of Robby Krieger’s guitar already make me want to sway the moment I hear them. Then when I hear Morrison’s vocals incorporated I can feel all of his emotion in it. This is the type of song you want to dedicate to the girl you love. The girl you want to commit yourself to and just can’t seem to get out of your mind. When Morrison sings, “All your love is gone, so sing a lonely song of a deep blue dream” it also channels this feeling of unrequited love. We are in an ideal state of mind where all is right and even when our love is gone, we still think of them when we are alone. When he sings, “Don’t you love her as she’s walking out the door” it’s like saying, even though she bails out on me, I still love her. It’s a pathetic feeling, but yet we are still in love with it. The person we love can do no wrong. In basic words, this is a song about obsessing over someone who won’t seem to reciprocate, a song everyone can relate to. In fact, Krieger wrote this song, when he was obsessed with a girl, but luckily that unrequited love is no more and the girl whom he wrote this for is now his wife.

BEEN DOWN SO LONG

Here we get more of Morrison’s hard voice with all that passion. The hardness of his voice gets the message across. Sure, the song is obviously about wanting to escape and be free, but when you hear Morrison’s voice and the musical arrangement, it just gets the message across even more. A bit rebellious I would say, it makes you want to free yourself from everything that’s been getting you down. I mean, come on, who here at HMSA can’t relate to this when we’ve constantly got stress. If you apply the song to that, it just makes you want to throw your papers in the air and finally do what you want to do. Haha, I don’t recommend following through with that idea, but one can dream! On a broader scale, this song totally makes me feel like it’s an insult towards society. Jim was the type of person who wanted to be his own person, he had a way about him that said, “I don’t care.” Of course, even when he did that people wanted to make him fit this rock star image and at some point he got sick of it. This song shows all of that frustration towards the standards people set on him. Essentially, this is a song about not giving a care in the world about what you’re doing.

CARS HISS BY MY WINDOW

You know I’ve never particularly really understood this song, it just had a very mellow tune about it that made the time pass by. It’s the kind of song that kind of takes shape into whatever area you’re in. I usually listen to these songs while on the road and this is the kind of song that transforms you’re experience from being dull to being idyllic. It’s sort of like this song that just calms down the mood and allows you to lose yourself in every note. The song says, “I got this girl beside me, but she’s out of reach” and “A cold girl’ll kill you in a darkened room.” Yet somehow with the tone of the song, he seems to be fine with this. It’s like accepting what’s going on, because nothing can really go wrong when you’re lost in peaceful thoughts.

L.A. Woman

The title song: L.A. Woman. I don’t know why I absolutely love this song. I don’t know if it’s because I love L.A. and I’m a woman in it, but something about this song just gets me so pumped for everything. I sing along to it and I feel ready to conquer the world. This song starts off with the sound of a speeding car and I don’t know why but it makes me want to go out to the desert and have this song playing a the car speeds (again, do not attempt this, that is dangerous!). I think “drive through your suburbs into your blues” has got to be one of my favorite lines of “L.A. Woman.” This particular Doors song has just got a lot of mind blowing lyrics even if they are very simple and spread apart. The way the music is arranged makes the song feel way shorter than the nearly 8 minutes it is. The song itself really captures that Los Angeles city vibe I get as I head downtown. Like Los Angeles, the song itself is erratic, exciting, and surreal. Fun fact: Mr. Mojo Risin’ is an anagram for Jim Morrison. Morrison managed to make an amazing song that captured the heart of Los Angeles, how could you not love it?

L’America

This song starts off chilling and strange, untypical of Doors songs, but definitely has that feeling of the unknown resonating throughout the beginning. As Morrison’s voice is heard, the eerie mood the song has set does not go away. As Morrison’s voice changes pace, the song becomes convoluted with repetition if that makes any sense. Once again the song changes, yet that creepiness is still set in. I’m not completely sure what this song is about, and it’s probably a far stretch, but considering Jim Morrison’s substance use and the culture at the time, I would say this song is about drug use. It wasn’t uncommon during the time period for artists to write songs about drug use, because at the time it was a part of the hippie culture.

Hyacinth House

If you’re wondering what a hyacinth is, it’s a type of flower and although it is toxic for intake, this still takes me back to the idea of drug use that I seem to find in “L’America.” Again, it was a part of the culture at the time, but as I mentioned earlier, Jim Morrison wanted to know about the unknown and one of the ways he tried to do so was by abusing various substances. In the song he says “I need a brand new friend” which could be a reference to a new drug. Of course, this could mean anything else you want it to mean, such as, the need for change, the need to feel cared for, or whatever other interpretations there are.

Crawling King Snake

If you are a Doors fan like me, you know that Jim Morrison called himself the Lizard King. This song also showcased this idea of a lizard king, even if he didn’t mention it completely. The song is also very sensual in some ways. Jim Morrison already has this very perfect, low voice, but the way he says every word like he has complete power over the world can somehow make you melt and hang on every word.

THE W.A.S.P. (TEXAS RADIO AND THE BIG BEAT)

This is probably one of their strangest songs I have to admit. It’s got so much going on and the lyrics are just perfect. It’s like they flow one to the next. I don’t know what Texas Radio and the Big Beat is, but the song makes you feel like you’re in on some secret with whatever it may be. Jim manages to capture his audience into what he is doing. He uses poetic language to shape your thoughts and ideas; by the end of the song, you’ve changed. My absolute favorite line from this song is “Soft driving, slow and mad, like some new language” because that’s exactly what this is. It feels like a new language that you only understand while engaging with the song.

RIDERS ON THE STORM

The final and last song Jim Morrison will ever record while alive that is what makes this song so much more special than the rest of them. It’s like his parting song. Like his last words to his fans were to become a rider on the storm. This song can be interpreted in so many ways, but I feel like Jim is just telling us to take the hardships of life and try our best against them to succeed. The moment you hear the rain and thunder that intro the song, the song will captivate you. This song is mostly instrumental, but I think that’s what really sets the tone. The other three Doors are obviously not as well recognized as Jim is, but the way they played every note with passion in the songs cannot go overlooked.  In this song, Ray Manzarek is especially talented, I think the keyboard is the best part of this song aside from the lyrics, which somehow get to me every time I listen to it. Anytime this song is on, it’s like a new experience, a new song. It never gets old.

After my extensive account on every song in this album, I hope you’ll take the time to relax, look up the album or even just listen to a few of the songs I provided, and indulge in the phenomenon that is the Doors.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    Justice League: Satisfying Endings and New Beginnings

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    Sam Smith’s Return to the Music World

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    Shake Shack In the South Bay

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    MTV EMAs :The Race to the Most Votes

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    5 Restaurants in the LA County That’s a MUST Try!

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    Clowns, Screams, & Hay: The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” Cast: Where Are They Now?

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    Truly Keeping Up With the Kardashians

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    What are the boys of One Direction up to now?

  • Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)

    A & E

    A Trip You’ll Remember for Life

The student news site of Hawthorne Math and Science Academy
Throwback Thursday – Music Edition: The Doors – L.A. Woman (1971)