Jim Morrison and The Doors final album, L.A. Woman, from 1971, is being celebrated with a special two-CD release from Rhino Records and a behind-the-scenes DVD/Blu-Ray from our friends at Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The album included The Door’s signature hits “Love Her Madly,” “Riders On The Storm” and the iconic album title track. The Rhino release features a never before-heard song, “She Smells So Nice.”

It captures the band, organist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, drummer John Densmore and Morrison, joyfully barreling through a full-throttle original, before segueing in the blues standard “Rock Me.”

As the song closes out, you can hear Morrison chanting, “Mr. Mojo Risin,” an anagram of his name that was made famous during the bridge of “L.A. Woman.”

The track was recently discovered by Doors producer Bruce Botnick, while reviewing the tapes for the Woman production. In addition to this new track, the second disc features eight never-before-heard versions of songs from the album.

Alternate takes of the songs offer a fresh view on this landmark album, the group’s sixth straight Top 10 hit. Alternate versions often prove problematic, although conversely,  there’s usually a reason they weren’t chosen in the end. But here, they’re all terrific.

Some recorded studio chatter between the songs offers a fresh perspective. One segment in particular captures a fascinating moment of inspiration when Morrison suggests they add the now iconic thunderstorm sound effects to the beginning of “Riders On The Storm.”

I was never a huge fan of the group until a trip to Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where their entire top floor was flooded with mementos and the group’s music.

I spent the next hour there just driven with their creative forces. I listened, watched and left a fan.

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

Billboard has snagged Joe Levy as the unstable trade’s new Editor-in-Chief. The Rolling Stone veteran, who edited both Maxim and Blender, had recently been pondering a move into television.

He succeeds former Vibe magazine editor Danyel Smith, who baled on the struggling publication earlier this month. Levy told The New York Post that his deep consumer magazine experience isn’t a sign that Billboard is heading further in that direction.

“We don’t intend to make it any more consumer-facing than it already is,” he said.

Indeed, that would be the kiss of death. Levy should know. He ran Blender into the ground trying to compete with Rolling Stone, which has long been the leading consumer music magazine. 

Even Rolling Stone publisher Jan Wenner has long known that the music industry can’t be counted on for significant advertising, anymore, and has sought out new markets. For some reason, Billboard can’t figure it out.

So what does Levy hope to bring to the table?

“I hope I’ll bring more enterprise reporting and do more of the deep looks we’re capable of taking,” he said. Good Luck.

In reality, Levy is another band aid. The magazine needs a complete overhaul and a strategic redirection. Befuddled Editorial Director Bill Werde, also steeped in fanzine experience, beats the same dead horse with Levy’s hire.

“We’re always evolving,” he says. In other words, he doesn’t have a clue.

Meanwhile, Prometheus Global Media, which bought Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Adweek for $70 million in late 2009, watches its investment continue to ebb.

Names in the News

Raina Mcleod, Danny Heaps, Robert Funaro, Scott Anderson, Joe Long, Deb Caponetta, Freddy Bastone, Cory Robbins, Michael Zilkha, Peter Abraham, BB King’s, Richie Kaczor, Jim Burgess, Sharon White, Pam Goud, Victor Kastsel, Angelo Barbarro, cfs