During the period in late 1970 and early ’71 when Jim Morrison and his bandmates in the Doors were recording their sixth and final studio album, L.A. Woman, at their West Hollywood rehearsal space, the singer was drowning in a booze-fuelled bender most nights, so it was a wonder that it was ever finished and released.
But the musicians were locked in at rehearsals and Morrison was writing. By this time, Morrison had become a certified rock star. Each of the Doors’ earlier albums, including their early 1967 self-titled debut and their fall follow-up, Strange Days, had gone platinum, though none had hit No. 1 until their third, Waiting for the Sun, and its smash, Hello, I Love You, in 1968.
Morrison had been increasingly tanked onstage across the band’s two dozen shows in 1970, where the Doors were playing their hits alongside blues classics. At the Doors’ disastrous 12 December, 1970, tour stop in New Orleans — Morrison’s final concert — the rest of the band bailed on Morrison mid-set due to his between-song tirades. During a stop in Dallas the night before New Orleans, they’d debuted then-new song Riders on the Storm and it had sounded great.
Their final album was subsequently reissued by Rhino Records as a 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, which features a remaster by the original co-producer Bruce Botnick, two discs’ worth of fascinating studio outtakes, extensive liner notes and a vinyl copy of the original stereo mix.