Los Angeles' finest The Doors released their third album, "Waiting for The Sun", on the back of breaking the UK market with a new catchy song, only to find themselves caught between being far too underground for mass consumption and being overly commercial for their hardcore fans.
"Waiting for The Sun" was released in the summer of 1968 on Elektra Records, it saw The Doors release material of a much more laid back nature then their previous two efforts, with mixed results on the buying public. Much has been made of the inclusion of their big UK smash "Hello I Love You", a song previously recorded on a 1965 demo tape, here it is the opening track on this album three years later, aside from the criticism surrounding its inclusion, on its own it remains an excellent song.
Track two on the album is much more in line with the general mood of the album, "Love Street" is classic Doors meets ballad, giving Morrison free range to be as beautiful as ever creating laid back gold. This happens throughout the album, "Summer's Almost Gone", "Wintertime Love" and "Yes The River Knows" are songs which I can only describe as lovely, with Robby Krieger on guitar and Ray Manzarek on keys creating the backdrop needed for their charismatic frontman.
It should also be said that there are some classic oddball Doors' tunes to be had on this album too, noticeably with Track 3 "Not To Touch The Earth" and the antiwar song "The Unknown Soldier", both of which are a fine listen. Incidentally track 3 was to play a bigger part in the album then it actually did. This song is actually just a section of a much larger song, "Celebration of The Lizard", which featured on a later live album.
The criticisms of this album are not unknown to other bands from throughout history. This third album was trying to be all things to all men, but in the end it found itself in no mans land, not driving home the bands new found international fame after Hello I Love You with mainstream audiences, and dividing hardcore Doors fans who just wanted another 1967 album or at least an album with the full version of "Celebration of The Lizard" on it.
But enough of this negativity, that was then and this is now, with hindsight what we have here is actually The Doors maturing somewhat and generally creating a more refined sound. In 2 years time the band would release the much-celebrated Morrison Hotel, I would argue that without this third album, The Doors wouldn't be able to have done such work in 1970. This album has a hit, spookiness, gorgeousness, is rich and all the while maintains an edgy quality, that's really all you can ask for from a Doors record surely?
So not as bad as has been said by critics in the past, as with all Doors' albums, turn the lights off and listen to it in the dark.