July 3 – Doors Opened A Little More Expansively

The problem with being really good is people expect you to get still better! Such was the dilemma for The Doors who released their third album on this day in 1968, Waiting for the Sun. The record was their only #1 album at home and made #3 on Canadian charts (as well as hitting the UK top 20 for the first time) and went on to sell nine million copies. However, many felt it a let-down despite having the massive single “Hello, I Love You” on it. that song was their second chart-topper in both the U.S. and Canada. It was joined on the 45 racks by the challenging, anti-war anthem “The Unknown Soldier“, a song which perfectionist producer Paul Rothschild required 130 takes of to get right!

The Doors were nothing if not workaholics back then; it was their third album in just 18 months and they’d been touring fairly constantly through the time as well. And not only did they put together this album, Jim had another original concept for Side two – a 17” rambling piece called “Celebration of the Lizard”. They couldn’t get it quite right in the studio, so they dropped that and substituted five other songs but the Lizard would return, in a 1970 live album. Curiously the actual song “Waiting for the Sun” was not on the record; it came a couple of years later on Morrison Hotel. A massive hit single; a searing anti-War anthem and as Rolling Stone put it, “the group is, as always, tight.” Still, no one seemed all that happy with the release. Although Britain’s NME liked it, calling ”The Unknown Soldier” a standout and saying “all (songs) on side two are gems”, North American reviews weren’t as wildly enthusiastic . Rolling Stone at the time said while “it isn’t really terrible, it isn’t particularly exciting either” and suggested “Morrison could use some levity occasionally.” Years later, allmusic noted how high expectations were for it after their first two albums and think the “songwriting (was) no as impressive as it had been” although it was still “quite enjoyable” as an entity. They’d end up rebounding with their next trio of albums which led us to Jim Morrison’s death, also on this day, in 1971.

12 thoughts on “July 3 – Doors Opened A Little More Expansively

  1. Funny story. And true: my wife was all chuffed and excited one evening when I returned from work about 15 years ago.
    “Look what I’v got for you! We’re going with our (then) friends …..”
    “Brilliant, isn’t it? I don’t know much about him, but I know you love him.”

    She handed me two £35 tickets for a gig in Glasgow
    I was stunned, and couldn’t understand.

    “I thought you’d be pleased” she said as the dismay on my face registered. “Van Morrison. The Doors. You’ve always banged on about how good he is?!”

    She looked a bit sheepish when I explained some rock history!

    And no – VAN Morrison wasn’t a patch on Jim. It still goes down as one of the most boring, and short shows I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness. 😀

    As a wall in my school playground proclaimed: ‘JIM IS GOD!” (To which I’d add in small lettering … ‘and Van is dog.)

    Sorry – didn’t mean to hijack your excellent post, Dave. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. no worries, good story actually! I know Van has a lot of diehard , huge fans but his popularity seems akin to Bob Dylan’s to me… certainly some talent there, no argument, but seem to have somehow become vastly over-rated and taken on an almost “god-like” persona to many which I don’t get. Too bad about his concert though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree Jim was talented but I felt, too, a little bit of levity would not have gone amiss from Jim- so heavy, man.
    Onceuponatime70s- Nice story- I also saw a quick set by Chuck Berry way back- the usual (for him)- hit town, get a local pick-up band to back him, pick up the cash, play an hour or so and then gone, like a cool breeze. But maybe we got lucky; he seemed to be having a happy day, lots of smiles, he strutted and duck-walked around the stage- and he tore up the place. He left us wanting more, but happy. And we got to see a legend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seeing Chuck would be a bit of history for sure! Cool!
      Jim…I think most of us guys go through a stage in our 20s when we think ‘what a cool guy! What a rebel! What a deep thinker!’ …but by our 30s we start to think ‘nah, he was rather a dick. Treated everyone badly & not all thoughts on lizards or wasps are profound.’ That said, Doors did make some excellent records that still sound pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like a good number of songs by The Doors. I can’t say “Waiting For The Sun” is my favorite album, but it’s also fair to say I don’t know it as well as their debut, “Morrison Hotel” and “L.A. Woman.” If I would have to pick one, I think I’d go with their debut.

    Also, what a crazy coincidence Jim Morrison died on the same day “Waiting For The Sun” came out – another sad member of the freakish 27 Club!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked that but it was really their characteristic as much as Jim’s booming voice. If you didn’t like Ray’s keyboards, you weren’t going to like the Doors.


  4. Badfinger (Max)

    I went through a Doors phase and then got out but I’ve been back in them. I wrote a post coming up but Jim had a gift and plenty of charisma…he could irrate me to no end…and I imagine the band also lol… but they had a sound that no one else had. One of the timeless bands.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. very true. As I said to someone else here, in my 20s for awhile I thought Jim was so cool…playing by his own rules, being so avant garde, etc. but as I got older I began to think “nah, he was a total dick.” But…he could write good lyrics and had a great voice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max)

        You have to give the guy his due…I just wrote about “The End” and found out some stuff I had no clue about. He built a mystique that is for sure…that endures to this day! Dying young helped it…as cold as it is to say.

        Liked by 1 person

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