The Doors / L.A. Woman 40th Anniversary Reissue

The Doors / L.A. Woman 40th Anniversary Recorded in less than two weeks in the rehearsal room of The Doors’ office building in Los Angeles, L.A. Woman was described by keyboardist Ray Manzarek as “root-core Doors”.

It was late 1970, and producer Paul Rothchild had walked out and engineer Bruce Botnick was quickly promoted to production duties. This in turn lead to the band being augmented by bassist Jerry Scheff (he’d been part of Elvis’ touring band in the late ’60s) and Marc Denno on rhythm guitar.

The now six-piece could record entirely live (save for a very few – mainly keyboard – overdubs) and an atmosphere of loose, back-to-basics spontaneity prevailed. Despite his conviction in October of that year for indecent exposure and profanity (he was appealing), Jim Morrison approached the sessions in a positive frame of mind, perhaps aware that this might be his last Doors album thanks to his plans to move to Paris.

This relaxed Morrison is very evident on the bonus disc included with this 40th Anniversary reissue. There is lots of messing around before takes “I’m just the dumb singer, you know” he jokes before Riders On The Storm (take 9) or “I hate to spook anybody but this is my favourite number” before a storming alternate of The Changeling.

Due to the lack of overdubs on the master recordings, these alternates and outtakes benefit from the same full sound that is present on the originals. There is one new track called She Smells So Nice, a bluesy jam with rather distorted vocals. Fun, but nothing more than that.

Unfortunately, for fans of physical product, there are four bonus tracks available to download between iTunes and Amazon that not included on this bonus disc. They are

  • L.A. Woman (Take 1) – iTunes
  • Crawling King Snake (Run Through and Studio Chatter) – iTunes
  • Love Her Madly (Take 1) – Amazon
  • The Changeling (Take 9) – Amazon

It’s disappointing to be denied these tracks – although they will undoubtedly turn up on the rumoured 3-disc L.A. Woman ‘sessions’ package (if it actually sees the light of day).

For now, this release will satisfy all but the most devoted of fans. The album sounds great (the original mix is used here, not – despite the title – the 40th anniversary remix from 2006) and the bonus disc is like being in the room while the guys play the album live just for you.

The Doors / L.A. Woman The Workshop Sessions

A double-vinyl version called L.A. Woman: The Workshop Sessions will be released next month. This contains only the bonus tracks from this CD release, across three sides of heavyweight vinyl (fourth side is etched) with a unique cover.

Pre-order L.A. Woman: The Workshop Sessions (US only)

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[…] two-disc 40th Anniversary edition was issued in January with promise of a three disc set in the first half of this year to give fans […]

peter chrisp

Received my copy, the other day, this to me is their finest album. The double disc with alternate versions on side 2 sound great and the in between “chat” is a rare find, but i am not sure really what i think of “she smells so nice” take it or leave it. As suggested above the exclusion of the
4 bonus tracks only available on itunes is a little disappointing. I remember a few weeks ago Bob Seger’s live album had an extra 6 tracks for free download, could The Doors have done that for their fans?


Another day another Doors reissue. Roll on next year for the 41st Anniversary of LA Woman. Or perhaps in March we’ll get the 40th and a bit anniversary super deluxe mega 400 disc version with recently discovered audio of Jim Morrison having a pee.
Rhino used to be a great label but the stuff bearing their name these days is so predictable it defies belief.
LA Woman’s a great album but it seems every five minutes the Doors find yet another way of whoring their catalogue.