The Doors Riders On The Storm
‘Riders on the Storm’ is a beautifully dark jazz-rock anthem that became the soundtrack of the lives of a generation, and remains one of The Doors most pertinent tracks.
Lyrically, this song holds a key to Jim Morrison's immense talent, while crafting storylines of serial-killing hitchhikers he manages to keep the tone one of triumphant love and daring, it’s magnificent songwriting and performance. This is because the track was recorded just before he would depart for Paris with his girlfriend and love of his life Pamela Courson to get clean and rid himself of an increasingly toxic inner circle. It was this love that triumphs in the song’s lyrical landscape that drove Jim to start a new life in the French capital.
As for the composition, there are layers of sonic elevation from Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and Robby Krieger adding jazz textures that left a distinct smoothness, while Morrison was a fiery poet performing his words with a yearning intensity. With such a complex and culturally important song, we asked the talented illustrator Ryan Besch, better known as Your Cinema, to work his magic, and we are delighted with the outcome:
As music obsessed kids, The Doors were the first band that my cousin and I took on as our own, probably sometime around age 9 or 10. Their albums weren’t in either of our parent’s collections, so we combed through used tapes and records at the flea market or dubbed tapes off of our friends (and their parents) when we got the chance. Slowly, we put together most of their catalog between the two of us. I’m pretty sure LA Woman was the last one we got ahold of, but at the time, I don’t think we knew that it was the last one recorded with the original lineup.
Riders on the Storm is classic Doors, but it carries extra weight with it as not only the closing track on LA Woman, but also as the band’s final recording with Morrison. No pressure on trying to get all of that into a single image. For this poster I knew I really wanted to try and capture the cinematic scope of the track, as well as that ominous, western desert vibe that is has right from the jump. The unknown danger of a "stranger on the road", an approaching storm, etc. On the insert of the LP was an image of someone crucified on a telephone pole, so I knew that was also an element that I wanted to work in as a call back to the original packaging.
The goal, more than anything, was to try and make something that felt like The Doors. Hopefully this captures that feeling. - Ryan Besch (Your Cinema)