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"Riders on the Storm" is a song by The Doors from their 1971 album, L.A. Woman. It reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US,[1] number 22 on the UK Singles Chart,[2] and number 7 in the Netherlands.[3]

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 [hide*1 Overview

Overview[edit]Edit

According to band member Robby Krieger, it was inspired by the song "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend." The song is played in the E Dorian mode, and incorporates real sound effects of thunder and rain, along with Ray Manzarek's Fender Rhodes electric piano playing, which emulates the sound of rain.[4]

The song was recorded at the Doors Workshop in December 1970 with the assistance of Bruce Botnick, their longtime engineer, who was co-producing the recording sessions. Jim Morrison recorded his main vocals and then whispered the lyrics over them to create the echo effect. This was the last song recorded by the members of The Doors, according to Manzarek, as well as Morrison's last recorded song to be released. The single was released in 1971, shortly before Morrison's death, entering the Hot 100 on 3 July 1971, the day that Morrison died.

It is often incorrectly believed to be the song that longtime Doors producer Paul Rothchild disparaged as "cocktail music," precipitating his departure from the project, but Rothchild actually applied this moniker to "Love Her Madly." Engineer Bruce Botnick was selected to produce the album instead.

The band's drummer John Densmore wrote a 1990 book called Riders on the Storm,[5] detailing the story of his life and his time with the group.

Ray Manzarek and guitarist Roy Rogers covered this song as an instrumental duet on their 2008 album "Ballads Before the Rain".

In November 2009, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame under the category Rock (track).

The song was among the first songs released for Rock Band 3 as downloadable content.[6][7]

The song, according to an interview with Ray Manzerek was only performed live 2 times, on The L.A. Woman tour at The Warehouse in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 12, 1970 and in Dallas the night before that. Ray said playing those songs were "magic". This was The Doors' last public performance with Jim Morrison. It was only the second date of the tour, but was also the last, as the tour was cancelled after this concert.

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1971) Peak

position

Netherlands (Single Top 100)[3] 7
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[8] 1
Germany (Media Control Charts)[9] 28
UK Singles Chart[2] 22
US Billboard Hot 100[1] 14

Cover versions[edit]Edit

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