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The Doors - Waiting For The Sun CD (album) cover

WAITING FOR THE SUN

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.56 | 289 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars It's so plain obvious the Doors totally avoided the sophomore jinx on Strange Days, so the slump begins with the third album Waiting for the Sun. Really, it's just the plain classic case that the band used much of their best material on their first two albums, and since those were tough to beat, it's no surprise this one is a notch down. It's actually not bad, it's actually rather good. Ray Manzarek was moving beyond the Vox Continental, so that means new organ sounds to be heard, like the Gibson G-101. He also used an RMI Electra, the electric piano/harpsichord that Rick Wakeman had used, as well as Don Preston in Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

"Hello, I Love You" is the most recognized hit. I kept thinking there was a synthesizer in this song, maybe with some help from Paul Beaver, but none at all, it probably was just the RMI keyboard I alluded to earlier. Anyways, the song bears more the a passing resemblance to the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" although the band allegedly had Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" in mind, but there's no denying the Kinks resemblance. "Not to Touch the Earth" was supposed to be part of a 17 minute "The Celebration of the Lizard King", but only this part made it. I can see where the Doors is considered "Proto-Prog" by PA, this song is it! It has that unsettling dissonance. For a long time I sorta written this song off, but as I gave it a close listen, it's a totally brilliant song, dissonance being used at a time when King Crimson hadn't even existed (but Giles, Giles & Fripp were working on The Cheerful Insanity, which, as you know, is rather lightweight compared to Crimson). "Summer's Almost Gone" is a nice atmospheric piece that really helps with that spacy organ. "The Unknown Soldier" was released as a single prior to the album's release. "Spanish Caravan" has, unsurprisingly, a flamenco feel, but hearing flamenco on a Doors album was something a bit different, but its still unmistakably the Doors. The album does have a couple clunkers. "Wintertime Love" was never a favorite of mine, it sounds like Jim Morrison was going into lounge mode in his singing here, would have worked a lot better if he didn't do that here, would have made a nice atmospheric piece. "Yes, the River Knows" features some really cringe inducing lyrics, this is a prime example of why Morrison has his detractors: "I promise I would drown myself in mysticated wine" (update: apparently Jim said, "mystic heated wine", sure sounded like "mysticated" to me, which is not a word). What? I know that in the 1991 book The Fifty Worst Rock and Roll Albums of All Time, Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell were trashing the Doors in that book, and I'm certain if it's one song that shows them their disgust towards Morrison, it would have likely been this song (the only Doors member they had some respect towards was Robbie Krieger). Of course, Guterman and O'Donnell came from the Dave Marsh/Lester Bangs school of rock criticism (but then the Doors wasn't universally hated by rock critics, they had plenty of support, unlike the prog rock that came in the next decade). What happened to the title track? I would have been happy if "Yes, the River Knows" or "Wintertime Love" was replaced by this song, it has the dark ominous tone people come to love of the Doors. Well, we know what happened to the song: it had to wait two albums later, on Morrison Hotel.

The Doors was one of those bands I started getting into in my youth, but quickly moved on to other things, and decided to go back to them. I go with popular opinion: Waiting for the Sun is not quite on par of their first two albums, but still full of great material still make it worth having. If the first two are easy five stars, then this one is a four star album, get their first two before coming here.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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