The third album by The Doors, Waiting For The Sun, was released in July 1968. After using up many of their original song ideas for the first two albums, the band was forced to write new ones. One holdover from older Jim Morrison ideas was second single, “Hello, I Love You”. The track that bears a resemblance to The Kinks’ hit, “All Day and All of the Night” went to #1 in the US and is a staple on classic rock radio. The driving pop of that second single was in stark contrast to “The Unknown Solider”. The first single released from the album was an anti-war song describing a solider being shot in the head while those at home merely read about the news over breakfast.
Several fine album tracks appear on side one including “Love Street” that rolls along like a hazy summer day, Ray Manzarek’s piano keeps the song moving. “Wintertime Love” feels like an updated take a song from the 1800s as Morrison sings, “winter’s so cold this year, you are so warm, my wintertime love to be”. Darker is “Not To Touch The Earth” which was originally a piece of a 17 minute recording for the album. The song takes in the more sinister side of California where the “dead president’s corpse in the driver’s car/the engine runs on glue and tar”. John Densmore’s hard drumming and the swirling keyboard make the surreal track disorientating.
Side two starts with the flamenco style guitar of “Spanish Caravan” and ends with the proto metal track “Five to One” that has a buried Robbie Krieger guitar solo. The songs in between are all fine but are less memorable than their side one brothers. While Waiting For the Sun ranks critically as one of the lesser albums from The Doors, it was their only #1 US album, staying there for four weeks. Casual fans can likely take a miss here but there are still several solid moments to keep the deeper listener satisfied.