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The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman


Love this music documentary madly.

Phil Bacharach February 14th, 2012

If you like rock ’n’ roll or drugs — or, perish the thought, even both — chances are you've gone through a Doors phase. Most likely that presumed phase was back in high school, when your parents didn't understand you and disheveled self-destruction was the height of romanticism.

thedoorsmrmojorisingthestoryoflawoman

While those folks are certain to lap up every minute of “The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman,” the good news is that even the uninitiated might find their mojo risin’ in this well-oiled rockumentary.

Eagle Rock Entertainment cranks out a wealth of making-of album documentaries on DVD and Blu-ray, with most of them aimed at more than just casual fans. “The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin’” squarely belongs in that category, a comprehensive examination of one of the greatest albums of the 1970s and a fitting tribute to the Lizard King himself, Doors front man Jim Morrison.

Released early in the summer of ’71, “L.A. Woman” was the band's bluesiest, most stripped-down offering, and it yielded some of The Doors' finest songs, including “Riders on the Storm,” “The Changeling” and the noir-infused title track. “Mr. Mojo Risin'” rounds up the surviving Doors — Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger — along with various record-biz types and rock historians. A few of the interviews are risibly sycophantic, but the bulk provide thoughtful insights into what turned out to be The Doors’ swan song. Morrison died in Paris only two months after the album's release.

There are some compelling anecdotes that will be new to all but the most hardcore Doors aficionado. Manzarek demonstrates how his love of Chopin made it into “Hyacinth House,” while the bandmates recount how a rendition of the cowboy classic “Ghost Riders in the Sky” transmogrified into “Riders on the Storm.”

If you love The Doors madly — and even if you don't — this documentary makes a pretty strong argument for the enduring greatness of this Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act. —Phil Bacharach

 
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