With a band as iconic as The Doors, instruments as 1970’s and stoner-washed as the style played by The Doors, and the immaculately experimental performances that changed music history coming from The Doors; the band was necessary. A component part in the manipulation of rock n’ roll music down to the very core; The Doors were a rare breed.
Often as time goes on, the small intricacies go to the wayside as the standing monuments strike new blood. With the 1971 release L.A. Woman, The Doors were snapping the guide rails off the road and starting to veer off into some strange, but still progressive material. Many could say it was simply because of the mass levels of psychedelic drugs available at the time, or the many spiritual journeys that front man and singer James Douglas, better known by his stage name of Jim Morrison would partake on. While these are all possibilities, and some are likely true; it was the way that the band behind Morrison who is too often swept under the rug managed the wild and vibrant sound of the keyboard, guitar, and percussion driven music.
With Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore taking over the musical sounds, The Doors were soon to be a historical train ride of musical expressionism that took hold with their renegade style and cowboy attitude. L.A. Woman is an incredibly detailed album that stems from the grim resources of midnight hours in Los Angeles, to the dead hours of morning near the deserts of California, to then the final moments of relapse to the methods of strange and almost occult performance.
“The Changeling” is one of the first instances of L.A. Woman that grabs the listener quickly and forces them into this highly uniform dance number. It is cut straight, but rides a funk driven line of keys that clasp along the synthesizers, creating formations within the song. As Morrison then climbs into the frame with a raspy, heavily sunken voice; “The Changeling” picks up steam and heads straight for the end zone. This end zone could be the very rock-driven display of both danceable and masculine workings of the self-titled track “L.A. Woman”.
As The Doors drive a thunderous machine of intrigue toward the gasoline-esque flames of an audience’s attention span; the band thrives off the energy here. Not only can you hear the punch of the guitar chords that shine through, but Morrison’s howls and jumps to the edge of the soundboards are breathtaking. “L.A. Woman” survives singularly as a track but then throws pieces of art to dilute the rock approach for these offshoots of experimentation and additional boundary-pushes into the wild night.
It could be the sexual tension from Morrison and the audience that comes frequently in his movement, or the way that the band was able to capture this pure rush of adrenaline and frequent crashes in quick segments. In any way, The Doors crawl their ways into different history books for their ability to both create to build and to crush for fun.