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Waiting for the Sun was the third studio album released by The Doors. Released in 1968, it was chiefly made up of songs written and recorded after the release of The Doors and Strange Days. The album enjoyed great commercial success, becoming the band's first and only number one album in the USA, and their first hit album in the UK. The band was made up of singer Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer John Densmore.
I'm not too keen on the album's beginning. Hello, I Love You and Love Street are straightforward commercial sixties pop songs, though the former gave the band their second US number one single. Not To Touch the Earth, however, follows the band's experimental tradition. Originally it was part of a larger concept, Celebration of the Lizard, but even this section has an epic, vast quality.
Summer's Almost Gone and Wintertime Love are beautifully evocative songs. "When summer's gone, where will we be?" sings Jim Morrison on the wistful track about the end of summer, while the latter is oddly warm and cheerful.
The Unknown Soldier starts out as a normal song along the lines of Hello, I Love You, but soon marks itself out as different with the sounds of marching and gunshots. Spanish Caravan is a beautifully atmospheric track that makes use of Spanish guitars. My Wild Love and Yes, the River Knows are typical Doors blues-rock tracks, while We Could Be So Good Together has the same upbeat vibe as Love Street.
Unlike the previous two albums, this song doesn't contain an epic extra-length track. However, it does close with one of my favourite Doors tracks - the brilliant thumping rock song Five to One, which makes up for this lack as far as I'm concerned.
1. Hello, I Love You
2. Love Street
3. Not to Touch the Earth
4. Summer's Almost Gone
5. Wintertime Love
6. The Unknown Soldier
7. Spanish Caravan
8. My Wild Love
9. We Could Be So Good Together
10. Yes, the River Knows
11. Five to One
Taken as a whole, I don't think this album is as good as The Doors' previous efforts. Nevertheless, it contains some excellent songs and it's pretty impressive that they managed to release it so quickly after the first two. Therefore I'm going to give Waiting for the Sun four stars.
The Doors’ third album opens brightly enough, with the band’s US number one hit “Hello I Love You” (a blatant rip off of the Kinks’ “All Day And All Of The Night”) and follows nicely with the bouncy yet reflective quality of “Love Street”. The album loses its slickness at that point and for the next six tracks it is fairly evident that the Doors were experiencing inner turmoil whilst recording the album. Even the famous “Unknown Soldier” is more a triumph of production values as opposed to raw musical excellence. “We Could Be So Good Together” isn’t bad but “Yes The River Knows” is very un-Doors and very moving. The raunchy finale of “Five To One” doesn’t deserve to be the final track and it is surprising that the band have not chosen once again to opt for a lengthy epic ending. “Waiting For The Sun” is a good album but isn’t up to the standards posed by the Door’s previous efforts.
“I am the Lizard King I can do anything I can make the earth stop in its tracks” The full libretto of Jim Morrison’s ‘Celebration Of The Lizard King’ was included in the sleevenotes of WAITING FOR THE SUN, imprinting his powerful charisma even deeper onto the Doors and their music, and his presence again dominates every second. With two critically and popularly acclaimed albums behind them, the Doors were embracing west coast American pop to make their most melodic, if also least effective record thus far. WAITING FOR THE SUN opens with ‘Hello, I Love You’, which was a number one single in the States, but now seems deeply derivative of the Kinks. ‘Love Street’ (“There’s a place where the creatures meet…”) exemplifies the more relaxed tone, and the catchy ‘Wintertime Love’ even shows Morrison in the romantic, optimistic frame of mind characteristic of 1968 America, if certainly not characteristic of many Doors songs. Virtuoso musicianship is in evidence on many tracks such as ‘The Unknown Soldier’, ‘Spanish Caravan’, and ‘We Could Be So Good Together’, whilst the beautiful, piano-led ‘Yes, The River Knows’ is one of the very finest tracks the Doors ever recorded. The band belatedly return to more familiar territory on the final track with the snarling blues of ‘Five to One’, the lyrics to which (“Five to one / One in five / No one here gets out alive…”) would become ever associated with the road to destruction undertaken by Jim Morrison and so many other casualties of ‘sixties excess. The flowery, sun-drenched pop of WAITING FOR THE SUN makes for exceedingly pleasant listening, and several of the tracks are brilliantly executed. However it does not compare favourably to the best work of better exponents of the genre (say, the Byrds), or to the bleaker
but more exuberant sound prevalent on the Doors own best material. Like all Doors albums it is well worth owning, but whereas most of their music is best played loud at two in the morning, WAITING FOR THE SUN is better suited to lazy bank holiday afternoons.
This album was the third produced by the Doors and at the time of production, it was rumoured that they were struggling for material as they were trying to fulfil their contract to their record company. Whether this is true or not, the album is definitely weaker than the first two albums. It is also very short clocking in over just 30 minutess. There are some excellent tracks on the album but there are also some weak ones too. The opening track “Hello I Love You” was a US No.1 and provides a bright and breezy opener to the album. The mood suddenly changes though, with darker songs coming to the forefront. “Not to touch the Earth” is a dark Shaman inspired song that also includes his famous declaration that he is the “lizard king”. The song “unknown soldier” is also song that tackles the pointlessness of war. This song was particularly relevant at the time, as the Vietnam War was raging on at the time. Unfortunately these good tracks are punctuated with to many weaker ones and overall I would only recommend it if you were big Doors fan. This is not if you are a casual listener of the group.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Hello, I Love You
2 Love Street
3 Not To Touch The Earth
4 Summer's Almost Gone
5 Wintertime Love
6 The Unknown Soldier
7 Spanish Caravan
8 My Wild Love
9 We Could Be So Good Together
10 Yes, The River Knows
11 Five To One
12 Albinoni's Adagio In G MinorNot To Touch The Earth (Dialogue)Not To
13 Celebration Of The Lizard