No. 18: The Doors, ‘L.A. Woman’– Top 100 Classic Rock Songs
Released in April of 1971, ‘L.A. Woman’ was the final album the the Doors made with Jim Morrison. Within three months of its release, the singer would be dead. Sad as his lost is, talk about going out on a high note!
The track holds up as one of the finest recorded statements from one of rock’s greatest bands and lands itself here at No. 18 on our list of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs.
So many things about this album are truly iconic, one of which is certainly the title track. In nearly eight minutes of glory, the Doors take the listener on a wild ride down a road that winds, bends, twists, and turns as the vehicle accelerates, then let’s it’s foot off the gas slightly, before driving us off into the sunset.
It is certainly one of the Doors’ brightest shining recorded moments. With the opening sound of auto acceleration leading straight into the driving beat of John Densmore, Ray Manzerek’s pulsating organ and Robbie Krieger’s slithering guitar line, the ground work is laid for Morrison’s gruff and demanding vocal.
The “Lizard King” certainly rises to the occasion. More than ever, he conjures up the old bluesman within that contradicts the 27 year old man at the mic, with his world-wise, take-no-prisoners attitude in full force. The band, and Morrison, play like the ship is going down, which of course, it was.
Written by all four members, the song captures all the best elements of the group’s music. The haunting sense of mystery and road-weary poetry lock up with primal instinct, below the waist rock and roll, to create the definitive Doors song.