Before anything else gets said, it should be mentioned that L.A. Woman is a great road album. Driving, biking, walking, whatever; it’s the kind of record that pushes you forward. And isn’t that really one of the highest compliments you can give? Calling it the band’s best might be arguable, but it’s certainly their least dated. The music itself has a friendly, communal feel that seems worlds removed from the in-your-face pretension of earlier work. Jim Morrison is less showy in his lyricism, stating more than prophesying, and where even the great debut had some fairly goofy indulgences, the more conventional blues of L.A. Woman helps Morrison keep the album—at 48 minutes, their longest—running pretty smoothly the whole way through, and with a minimum of eye-rollers. Their formula is a practiced one by now, executed efficiently, propulsively, and often cheerfully (the last minute of Hyacinth House alone is sunny like nothing they’d done before), and anyone who’s turned off by the decadence of Light My Fire, The End or When the Music’s Over might be surprised at how tight and punchy this material is. Even the particularly long songs, L.A. Woman and Riders on the Storm, never get boring. It reached number nine on the Billboard 200, remaining on the charts for 36 weeks, and reached number 28 in the UK, spending four weeks on the UK Album Charts. A Swaggie Records Desert Island Disc. U.K. Import.