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L.A. Woman (40th Anniversary Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 390 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 24, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Fans of iconic rock band THE DOORS are in for something special. The group s final album--1971 s L.A. WOMAN, with the signature hits L.A. Woman, Love Her Madly and Riders On The Storm --is being celebrated with a special two-CD release from Rhino.

The L.A. WOMAN 40th anniversary edition (Rhino 2-CD) features a never-before-heard song, She Smells So Nice, which captures the band--organist RAY MANZAREK, guitarist ROBBY KRIEGER, drummer JOHN DENSMORE and late singer JIM MORRISON--joyfully barreling through a full-throttle original before segueing into the blues standard Rock Me. As the song closes, Morrison can be heard chanting, Mr. Mojo Risin --an anagram of his name that was made famous during the bridge of L.A. Woman. The track was recently discovered by producer Bruce Botnick while reviewing the L.A. WOMAN session tapes.

In addition to She Smells So Nice, the second disc of the L.A. WOMAN reissue includes eight never-before-heard versions of songs from the album. Alternate takes of L.A. Woman, Love Her Madly and Riders On The Storm offer a fresh view on this landmark album, which was the group s sixth straight Top 10. The studio chatter between the songs is a revelation, transporting listeners to The Doors Workshop: the West Hollywood rehearsal space where they recorded the album with Botnick. One segment in particular captures a fascinating moment of inspiration when Morrison suggests they add the now-iconic thunderstorm sound effects to the beginning of Riders On The Storm.

Rhino will also release L.A. WOMAN: THE WORKSHOP SESSIONS, a double LP featuring all of the previously unreleased material found on the CD collection on three sides of vinyl, with the fourth side featuring a laser etching of the original "Electric Woman" art originally included with the L.A. WOMAN album.

Mr. Mojo Risin : The Story of L.A. Woman (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD/Blu-ray) is told through new interviews with MANZAREK, KRIEGER and DENSMORE as well as Elektra Records founder JAC HOLZMAN, original manager Bill Siddons, engineer/co-producer Bruce Botnick and others. The high-definition video also features live and studio performances as well as rare archival photos. This fascinating documentary contains rare footage of THE DOORS in the studio and on stage. The documentary was made with the full involvement, approval and cooperation of THE DOORS.

The Year of The Doors will be marked by other special releases, with details to be announced soon.

L.A. WOMAN marked THE DOORS swan song, as MORRISON would pass away a few months after its release. At the time, Rolling Stone s Robert Meltzer called it The Doors greatest album...A landmark worthy of dancing in the streets (5/27/71). The first band to release eight consecutive platinum albums, THE DOORS were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Changeling
  2. Love Her Madly
  3. Been Down So Long
  4. Cars Hiss By My Window
  5. L.A. Woman
  6. L America
  7. Hyacinth House
  8. Crawling King Snake
  9. The WASP
  10. Riders On The Storm

Disc: 2

  1. The Changeling (Alternate Version)
  2. Love Her Madly (Alternate Version)
  3. Cars Hiss By My Window (Alternate Version)
  4. L.A. Woman (Alternate Version)
  5. The WASP
  6. Been Down So Long (Alternate Version)
  7. Riders On The Storm (Alternate Version)
  8. She Smells So Nice
  9. Rock Me

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 2012)
  • 40th Anniversary Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Elektra
  • ASIN: B0069GRIHW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,973 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Meyer on April 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For all reading this review I am referring to the March 2007 re-release of this milestone album. It was remastered and remixed as part of the 4oth anniversary Doors celebration. In the liner notes it is stated that the remaing Doors used the original master tapes, and remixed them to reveal subtleties not revealed in any previous release of this cd (They've done the same for all six studio albums) . The result is astounding. Morrisons voice cuts you like a knife, Manzareks keyboards are front and center, and you can hear the details of Kriegers' very focused playing. Certain songs have extra time on them. For example, the fade on "Love Her Madly" extends a bit more, and you hear a previously unreleased part of the original intro to "LA Woman". The sheer clarity of the recording reveals that "Riders on the storm" is even errier than when we first heard it back in 1971. This release of LA Woman is THE definitive version for anyone who loves the Doors. It's a rock/blues drenched masterpiece that transcends time, and its remix is simply amazing. I wish Jim were here to listen to it ....he'd be smiling for sure.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It's getting annoying, isn't it -- the endless parade of rereleases, remasters, and repackagings designed to bleed music fans with the promise of something new from a long-gone band?

Reluctantly, I checked this album out on a streaming service. I wasn't about to part with another dollar to re-re-re-buy this middle-aged album without a good reason. I had the thing on vinyl, for cripes' sake. Then two CD versions, including the "Perception" box set... and now this.

If you don't own a version of this album, and if you like the Doors at all, you must jump on this. And even if you do own a previous version, this edition is well worth it.

Why? Well, if you don't own this album, you're missing a major shift in the Doors' direction, from sinuous adolescent psychedelia to boozy desert blues. It's not an easy shift for the listener to make; it took me easily 20 years of Doors fandom to really come around to this album after cutting my teeth on the poppy "Waiting for the Sun" and the hallucinatory "The Soft Parade" and all. I get it now. I'm glad I waited it out.

And if you do own the album, I recommend you grit your teeth and spring for this edition (perhaps vowing, like me, that this will be the VERY LAST time you pay for this music).

Why? First, it sounds great. Bright enough to hear all the instruments clearly, but not so bright that it sounds "modern." Let's face it, the warm sound of the music of this era is a major part of its attraction. No weird, forced stereo separation; no strange emphasis on any instrument or vocal; it's just pleasant to listen to.

And now -- you need alternate versions? Don't go no further. The second half of this reissue is chock full of truly wonderful alternate takes that I personally had never heard.
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Format: Audio CD
The Doors final album with Jim Morrison (they would go on to record two more albums as a trio), remains their masterpiece and belongs in every rock collection. From start to finish, the album is brilliant. It was the Doors at their absolute best. The Doors previous albums ranged from very good to classic, but their sixth album "L.A. Woman" was their crown jewel.

It's common for most bands to start out playing the blues and then evolve into a musical style/idenity all their own. In this sense, the Doors sort of evolved backwards. They started out playing crazy, psychedelic music, and then ended their career playing the blues.

"L.A. Woman" is a very bluesy album. It's not pure blues (B.B. King, Leadbelly), but it's rock tinged with blues. The band never sounded better. To be sure, the Doors albums were always terrific, but they sounded most at home with the blues. Playing blues rock brought out the best in all the Doors members. Ray Manzarek (organ) and Robby Krieger's (guitar) solos worked perfectly against a blues backdrop. Drummer John Densmore's jazzy style was also well suited for the blues.

As for Jim Morrison...I think the Jim Morrison of 1967 was best suited to sing psychedelic acid rock. His ultra-cool swagger and showmanship was the ultimate voice for such music. But the Jim Morrison of 1971 was a much different person. In four years, Morrison aged a lifetime. In 1967, he sounded and looked 23. In 1971, he looked and sounded like an old man. It's hard to believe that the same voice that sang "Light My Fire" sang "Riders on the Storm" only four years later. On "L.A. Woman," Morrison sounds worn and tired, but it matched the bluesy-jazzy downbeat music perfectly. Morrison's finest poetry was also in this swan song. Noting too obscure or bizarre to be found.
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Format: Audio CD
"L.A. Woman" is the final album put together by the Doors before the death of Jim Morrison and what is so striking about it for me is how the two best tracks, the title one and "Riders of the Storm," are so different from the rest of what is on the album. Contrasting the start of those tracks with the opening song on the album, "The Changeling," and they are like night and day. Most of the rest of this 1971 album is really blues oriented, with "Love Her Madly" clearly being the best of the bunch, and some of the rest being instantly forgettable. I think it is obvious that the band was trying to get back their credibility after veering too far in the direction of pop for a couple of albums, with "Morrison Hotel" and this one righting those wrongs. But since a few of these songs are pretty forgettable, "L.A. Woman" is an album that is caught between a 4 and a 5 but you have to round up given how good its two best songs end up being.

My two favorite parts of Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors" is when we hear Ray Manzarek in the background fooling around on the organ until he gets the bit for "Light My Fire" right and the end credits with the tracking shot showing the record of "L.A. Woman," with Val Kilmer's Morrison taking advantage of the great acoustics in the bathroom. For years when I was driving back from the Twin Cities and coming up the final hills before being able to see the lights of home, to wit the "city of lights," "L.A. Woman" was the song I would play in the car because it perfectly suited the moment.

Since the track opens with the sound of an accelerating car engine it is easy to see why the songs is associated with driving.
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