The Doors released their third album in 1.5 years with “Waiting for the Sun”. Listening through it, I had a reaction that was ultimately reaffirmed as I read some reviews and assessments of the album. While it has its moments, it is not as consistently strong as their first or second album, which isn’t that surprising given how quickly these albums were following one another. My guess is that the record company executives at Elektra Records probably had some reservations regarding its mass commercial appeal, although the band was vindicated with a four-week run as the number one album in America.
There is only one clear commercial hit on this album, “Hello, I Love You”, which is a brilliant song. Interestingly enough, it was the second single released, after “The Unknown Soldier”, a powerful and graphic war commentary. After those two songs, the rest of the album just isn’t quite as interesting, although I do recognize their attempts to take some new steps musically. I liked the flamenco-to-psychedelia transition of “Spanish Caravan”, and “My Wild Love” is another clear homage by Morrison to the southwestern native American culture that fascinated him so much. I will also single out “Not to Touch the Earth” and the always appealing and unique sounds of Ray Manzarek on electric organ.
By now, the Doors were not only battling a heavy workload, but the strain of Jim Morrison’s erratic and unpredictable behavior was already taking a larger toll on the band. Through that, some great music emerged, even if it wasn’t quite as impactful as other releases along the way.