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This past April marked the 50th anniversary of The Doors’ sixth studio album L.A. Woman as well as lead singer Jim Morrison’s last album before his death three months later after the album’s release. This album marked a way back to their roots as The Doors focused on rhythm and blues, blues rock, psychedelic rock, and jazz rock.

After the infamous Miami Incident where Morrison was arrested at a Doors concert for profanity and indecent exposure, The Doors were facing possible financial problems by being blacklisted on the radio and other venues because of Miami. After the release of the compilation album 13, Morrison and the band threatened to quit. Unfortunately, they couldn’t follow through because their contract with record label Elektra required them to work on another studio album.

Long-time producer Paul A. Rothschild left production after disagreeing with the musical direction The Doors chose; he considered the track “Love Her Madly” as cocktail music. Sound engineer Bruce Botnick co-produced L.A. Woman with the band after being suggested by Rothchild. After setting up shop at The Doors’ Workshop in Los Angeles, L.A. Woman was recorded in six days from December 1970 to January 1971. Morrison left for Paris during mixing and the rest, good and bad, is history.

L.A. Woman was released on April 19, 1971. “Love Her Madly” and “Riders on the Storm” were hit singles as well as main staples in The Doors’ repertoire. “L.A. Woman” is a classic mainstay that rocks to this day. However, Morrison would never see this glory come to fruition. One month after the single “Riders on the Storm,” Morrison would die of an apparent overdose on July 3, 1971, at the age of 27.

Here’s a link as to how “Riders on the Storm” came to be with keyboardist Ray Manzarek  showing how fiddling around with the country song “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend” turned into the most haunting legacy that The Doors produced.