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

WAITING FOR THE SUN

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

3.57 | 302 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Celebration of the Lizard and colossal short-sightedness

The Doors 3rd album "Waiting for the Sun" could have been their first great album, but the project was thwarted from within. Along with a score of fine new tracks the band created a sprawling side-long epic which was to be the centerpiece, but the track was cut by their producer who instead filled out the album with more typical (safe) fare. "The Celebration of the Lizard" was The Doors most exotic creature to date and would have made Waiting a pure classic. It can't be part of this review though, except to note that the latter day CD reissue includes what exists of the piece. Even if unfinished it is enthralling listening that would find its way into live Doors shows. And even sans the Lizard, the 3rd album became the band's first, and their only, number one album. While critics were largely unimpressed with this one, the fans embraced it.

While the album started with the weakest Doors lead-off yet in "Hello I Love You" it was generally uphill from there. Then came the delightful "Love Street," which is probably my favorite softer Doors track. Short and sentimental, oddly whimsical with fantastic piano by Manzarek, it somehow invokes universal nostalgia for "home" for both listener and artist. Written about the street in Laurel Canyon where Jim and Pam lived, it's really the track that made me fall hard for The Doors. A small portion of Lizard made the album in "Not to Touch the Earth" but outside of the larger piece it lacks the punch. "Summer's Almost Gone" is another great track I would have chosen for "Weird Scenes" (the Doors odd compilation masterpiece.) It has that combination of beauty and sadness that is at the very core of The Doors appeal. Also notable is Krieger's "Spanish Caravan," the derivation of his playing came from acoustic guitar and not rock, he'd only been playing electric for six months when he joined The Doors. The album ended with the ferocious exalt of "Five to One" putting the straights on notice again that the freaks were coming and would not be denied. The "ballroom days" may indeed have been over and yet the counter culture of the Left, whose creative talents were spectacular, failed the country as much as those they criticized if in different ways. Of course many Doors fans would see it just the opposite, both then and now:

"the first album's title represents an opening; the second is a description of what we find when we come inside. And this third describes the emotional state of those inside, longing for an end to this collective darkness." -Paul Williams

Ironically, we're there again Paul, only in reverse. Amazingly, Waiting was recorded just downstairs from where Zappa and the Mothers were working on their album. What a convergence that point in time and space must have been. "Waiting for the Sun" is a good album that should please many Doors fans despite the tragic mistake of dropping Lizard. Get the Rhino reissue which includes the 17 minute Lizard and hear what the album could have been had Rothchild not been short-sighted! 3 1/2 stars.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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