May 1971: The Doors Peak at #11 with LOVE HER MADLY

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Doors were mad as hell, and weren't gonna take it anymore. Considered too hot to touch by American concert promoters after singer Jim Morrison's alleged indecent exposure incident in Miami March 1969, the band's new music had sent the group's longtime producer running from the studio. The Doors remained nonplussed.

"It was an easy-listening song, but Jim loved that; he liked to croon. When he wanted to he could sing like Frank Sinatra, who he listened to a lot," guitarist Robbie Krieger told Classic Rock (via LouderSound). "Jim made it different and better. His favorite part was the line: 'All your love is gone, so sing a lonely song/Of a deep blue dream, seven horses seem, to be on the mark.' Jim always told me: 'Put in something that makes the listener confused.' It didn't mean much - seven horses were like a lucky omen. Jim liked horse racing from his Florida days. The bit about 'seem to be on the mark' simply fitted the military rhythm."

When the Doors delivered the L.A. Woman album to the label, honch Jac Holzman immediately tagged "Love Her Madly" as the first single. Krieger didn't agree.

"I wasn't too happy about that because I thought it was way too commercial," the guitarist explained. "I wanted 'Riders On The Storm,' it had more impact. But Holzman said: 'No. FM radio is starting to get big, and this will sound terrific.' He was right. When I first heard it, driving round LA in February, it sounded great, it leapt out of the speakers. It had perfect high-end frequencies for car radio, and (Jerry) Scheff's bass made it boom. I told Jerry that years later and he said: 'Yeah, I know. Where's the money?'."

Officially released as a single in March 1971, "Love Her Madly" cruised up the charts, peaking at #11 over the week of May 15, 1971. The #1 song in the country that same week: Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World."