The Doors Share Original 'Riders On The Storm' Demo

Bruce Henne | 09-02-2021

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Box Set promo

(hennemusic) The Doors are sharing the original demo for "Riders On The Storm" as the first preview to the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of their 1971 classic, "L.A. Woman."

The early version was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles in November 1970 as The Doors worked on new material for their sixth album with longtime producer Paul Rothchild before he quit the project and the group relocated to the Workshop - the band's rehearsal space on Santa Monica Boulevard - and partnered with engineer Bruce Botnick.

While overseeing the 2021 reissue, Rolling Stone reports Botnick recently discovered the long-forgotten demo on what he called a hub, the aluminum center of a reel that the tapes wound around; that one take was all that was on the unlabeled hub.

"We came upon that and went, 'Oh, my God,'" explains Botnick. "And the funny thing is, when it got transferred, it got transferred backwards. So I had to flip it electronically, and when I heard it, I went, 'Holy tamales, look what we've got.' We had no idea there was even any aural record of the (original) sessions."

Due December 3, "L.A. Woman: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" is a 3CD/1LP set that includes the original album newly remastered by Botnick, two bonus discs of unreleased studio outtakes, and the stereo mix of the original album on 180-gram virgin vinyl; the music will also be available from digital and streaming services the same day, as will a new Dolby Atmos mix of the original album by Botnick.

For this new collection, the original album has been expanded with more than two hours of unreleased recordings taken from the sessions for "L.A. Woman", allowing the listener to experience the progression of each song as it developed in the studio. An early demo for "Hyacinth House", recorded at Robby Krieger's home studio in 1969, is also included.

The outtakes feature Jim Morrison, John Densmore, Robby Krieger, and Ray Manzarek working in the studio with two additional musicians: the first was rhythm guitarist Marc Benno, who worked with Leon Russell in The Asylum Choir; the other was bassist Jerry Scheff, who was a member of Elvis Presley's TCB band.

In the studio, Botnick says the band took a more organic approach to recording instead of starting and stopping repeatedly to achieve technical perfection.

"The previously unreleased reels here - serial takes of 'The Changeling,' 'Love Her Madly,' 'Riders On The Storm,' and 'L.A. Woman' - depict a band obsessed with groove while executing turns and flourishes with the precision of a well-drilled soul combo...The idea was to go from song to song, to let it flow."

Among the outtakes of album tracks, fans will also hear the band jamming on a series of blues classics, including Junior Parker's "Mystery Train," John Lee Hooker's "Crawling King Snake," Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go," and "Get Out Of My Life Woman," Lee Dorsey's 1966 classic, written by his producer Allen Toussaint.

Recorded over six days at the Workshop, "L.A. Woman" reached No. 9 on the US Billboard 200 and went on to sell more than 2 million copies in the region; three months after its release, Morrison died in Paris, France at the age of 27. Stream the demo and see the tracklisting here.

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