Doors guitarist Robby Krieger wrote this song on a Gibson 335 acoustic 12-string guitar that he had recently purchased. The lyric is about the numerous times his girlfriend, Lynn, threatened to leave him. "Every time we had an argument, she used to get pissed off and go out the door, and she'd slam the door so loud the house would shake," Krieger said.
Lynn Veres was a go-go dancer when Krieger met her at the Ondine Club in New York City. She had a fling with Jim Morrison, but ended up with Krieger - they got married in 1972 and stayed together.
The title is a twist on a phrase Duke Ellington popularized. At his concerts, he would say, "we love you madly."
"Love Her Madly" was the first single released from the LA Woman album, their last with Jim Morrison. The single was issued in March 1971, around the same time Morrison left for Paris; he died there in July. Morrison performed the song only twice: at the Dallas State Fair Music Hall on December 11, 1970, and at the New Orleans Warehouse the next day.
The Doors didn't have a bass player, but sometimes used one in the studio to beef up the low end. On "Love Her Madly," Jerry Scheff, famous for his work with Elvis Presley, played.
This is a mellow song that let Jim Morrison express his inner crooner. "When he wanted to he could sing like Frank Sinatra, who he listened to a lot," Robby Krieger told Classic Rock magazine in 2011.
Kriger added that Morrison loved this part:
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,'" said Krieger. "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."
This was recorded in a very casual atmosphere. The musicians all played together, with no overdubs. Their longtime producer, Paul Rothchild, wouldn't touch it, so they produced it themselves (with help from engineer Bruce Botnick), which meant they could relax and make their own rules. The whole album was recorded in just two weeks.
Rothchild had this to say in an interview with BAM magazine: "That's exactly the song I was talking about that I said sounded like cocktail music. That's the song that drove me out of the studio. That it sold a million copies means nothing to me. It's still bad music."
Surviving Doors Krieger, John Densmore, and Ray Manzarek recorded a new version with Bo Diddley for the 2000 Doors tribute album Stoned Immaculate.