Review: The Doors, “Waiting for the Sun: 50th Anniversary Edition”

Waiting For The Sun 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition LP (12" album, 33 rpm), 2CD

Upon its release in July 1968, some might have found the title of The Doors’ third album, Waiting for the Sun, to be ironic. After all, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, and John Densmore, were hardly ever in pursuit of anything remotely sunny. But the album, with its rather bucolic cover shot, most certainly struck a chord with listeners in the year between The Summer of Love and Woodstock.

Waiting for the Sun became the band’s only No. 1 album, and included the No. 1 single “Hello, I Love You.” Now, it’s become a 2-CD/1-LP box from Rhino, following the label’s 50th anniversary reissues of The Doors and Strange Days. The set features Bruce Botnick’s remastered version of the original stereo mix on both CD and 180-gram vinyl, plus a disc of 14 previously unreleased tracks including nine rough mixes and five live performances from Copenhagen, recorded on September 17, 1968.

“Hello, I Love You” opened the original LP, produced by Paul A. Rothschild, with a burst of sheer adrenaline. A poppy, lustful number with a crunchy, Kinks-esque riff, it dated back to the band’s early days in 1965 but was resuscitated at the behest of Elektra leader Jac Holzman. It set the stage for a diverse set of tunes touching on all facets of the group. Most striking was undoubtedly “The Unknown Soldier.” The dark and brooding lament was unafraid to detail the ugliness of war in its depiction of an execution, with a military march, gunfire, and climactic shrieking against an effects-laden backdrop. Though he tried to keep it hidden, Morrison knew of what he spoke, having been a military brat himself. It shared a thematic continuity with the album closer, the equally uncompromising “Five to One.” Also set to a martial beat, the Lizard King scowled his way through the pointed lyrics about the power of youth uprising: “The old get old/And the young get younger/May take a week/And it may take longer/They got the guns/But we got the numbers!”

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Retrieved on 09 January 2019 from https://theseconddisc.com/2018/10/review-the-doors-waiting-for-the-sun-50th-anniversary-edition/

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