The Doors - "L.A. Woman" 40th Anniversary Edition CD Review (Rhino) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Doors - "L.A. Woman" 40th Anniversary Edition CD Review (Rhino)

The Doors - 'L.A. Woman' 40th Anniversary Edition CD Review (Rhino)This album is heavy as f*ck and will melt your face off!

I always wanted to write a review that says absolutely nothing about the music on the disc (trying Googling “heavy as f*ck” or “melt your face off” and see how many times these phrases have been used in CD reviews). Most reviews that I’ve read of The Doors’ 40th Anniversary edition of L.A. Woman use most of their inches talking about the disc’s original release in 1971. With this disc having now been out 41 years, is there anyone out there who doesn’t already know that this was the last Doors album with Jim Morrison, ‘Mr. Mojo Rising’ was an anagram of Morrison’s name, etc, etc.? As most deluxe editions are targeted at the collector/completest, I think the real question is whether the bonus disc offers anything new or interesting.

Unfortunately, I found the bonus disc pretty much a ‘snoozer’. The first seven tracks are alternate studio takes of tracks from L.A. Woman. The musical arrangement on most of these tracks is noticeably different from the final studio versions but the differences really aren’t radical so there is nothing to get excited about. The two ‘major’ differences among these alternate versions are that “The WASP” ends with an instrumental breakdown and the band goofs around with a short cowboy/campfire song prior to starting into ‘Take 9’ of “Riders on the Storm”. The two ‘new’ bonus tracks – “She Smells So Nice” and “Rock Me” – are part of an extended blues-based jam that is interesting but unessential. “She Smells So Nice” sounds like it was cut out of a longer jam and "Rock Me (Baby)" is a studio run-through of the Muddy Waters' staple. Unfortunately, Morrison sounds like he isn't always singing in the mic and, which he does, his vocals are overloaded on both songs. For anyone who is curious, there are better recordings of “Rock Me Baby” on a number of the official Doors live recordings.

Bottom line is that this looks like a ‘cash grab’ as the two bonus tracks from the previous Rhino reissue – “Orange County Suite” and “(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further” have been dropped from this release and both iTunes (“L.A. Woman (Take 1)” and “Crawling King Snake (Run Through and Studio Chatter)”) and Amazon (“Love Her Madly (Take 1)” and “The Changeling (Take 9)”) are offering bonus tracks with digital copies of this release. I can’t reminisce about 1971 but this bonus track nonsense reminds me of when LPs were the dominant format in the mid-80’s and the record companies would release a single bonus track on the CD edition and a different bonus track on the cassette edition. This marketing approach had limited success then so I don’t know why the record companies think it should work now.

The Doors