Monday, July 22, 2013

waiting for the sun

The Doors went through creative differences and alcoholic binges to create the psychedelic blues experiments of this pop celebration.  The massive success of their eponymous debut had eclipsed their second album 'Strange Days' and the band was under pressure from Elektra Records to come up with another hit song.  They went into T.T.G. Recording Studios in Hollywood, with its state of the art 16-track recording capabilities to record 'Waiting For The Sun' with engineer Bruce Botnick and producer Paul A. Rothchild.  Jac Holzman was production supervisor on the sessions that featured Jim Morrison on lead vocals and percussion; Ray Manzarek on keyboards, backing vocals, and percussion; Robby Krieger on guitars, backing vocals, and percussion; and John Densmore on drums, backing vocals, and percussion;  with Douglas Lubahn and Kerry Magness on bass guitar; Leroy Vinnegar on acoustic bass.  

During the sessions, Morrison's drinking had gotten out of hand and it affected his ability to perform in the studio when he actually showed up.  It was enough to make Densmore quit the band...twice.  Kreiger reveals:    "That’s when the liquor really started being a problem. Before that, everything was more or less fine. LSD was no problem because it was a creative thing. There’s nothing good about liquor — it just fucks you up—though at first it relaxes you, which is what you probably need after taking eight-zillion acid trips... By that time, Jim was being taken advantage of by various hangers-on. He would bring them to the studio and Rothchild would go crazy — all these drunken assholes would be hanging around, fucking in the echo chamber and pissing in the closets. It was a mess.  Jim would drink with anybody because we wouldn’t drink with him. He would take on all these assholes, who used him: 'Hey, we’re hanging with Jumbo.' And they wouldn’t care how fucked up he got—they’d leave him on somebody’s doorstep in his own puke...I never drank with him because I didn’t like to drink to excess and he loved to go until he couldn’t see. I knew what was coming and hated to see it, so I would usually be gone by that point. John and Ray felt the same way...The fact that Jim was using so much made us use even less. The romance was definitely gone. Once in a while he would talk me into taking acid — just like you saw in the movie — but not often."

Morrison fought to get his 'Celebration of the Lizard' on the record, which would have taken up an entire side; but the rest of the band vetoed him and only part of the song was included as 'Not To Touch the Earth'.   Morrison considered at the time:  "We tried that, but it didn't work out. But we did use part of it. I think we're going to wait and do that later, maybe as part of a live album. Our new album is called 'Waiting For The Sun'. We're thinking of adding something else to it...It's.....just songs. There are no real long ones."

'Waiting for the Sun' went to number twenty in Germany, sixteen in the UK, three in Canada, and number one in France and the US.  It became their only album to hit the top spot in the US; but critics were not kind.  Manzarek recalls:    “When we got negative reviews from San Francisco, we thought, ‘Hey, wait a minute.  We came out of John Coltrane and Muddy Waters and Miles Davis, out of Beat poetry, Sabicas ‘flamenco guitar, Coltrane’s drummer Philly Joe Jones, Bill Evans on the piano. We’re not underground? ‘I think it all had to do with ‘Hello, I Love You, ‘which we consciously set out to make a hit single. People were like, ‘Bloody damn hell, you can’t manipulate things. ‘We’re the masters of space and time, of course we can manipulate. ‘You’re not the underground anymore. ‘We’re not starving. We made a hit. As a matter of fact, we hope you, the lovers, the hippies, join us. Let’s take over the fucking world. Is everyone ready to do the hard work that it takes to run this country?' They weren’t.”

'The Unknown Soldier' was released as a single during the production of the album.  It only made it to number thirty-nine on the US pop chart.   Morrison would consider: "Well, I liked Soldier and I'm not sure what the trouble was. Most of the stuff at that time was real soft music, you know...There have been war songs before. It wasn't really a war song anyway."    Manzarek added: "It came out at a bad time. If it had come out maybe six months earlier or four months later or right now, it probably would have done all right. It was the war thing, you know. When it came out, the war was just sort of really coming to a head. I think it came out just when we started negotiations and that everybody was really into a funny thing about the war. But now, I don't know, I guess the war is over. Everybody assumes it's over. It's not, of course. They're still fighting."

'Hello, I Love You' became the second and final number one hit for the band in the US.

'Waiting for the Sun'
full album:

1-Hello, I Love You 0:00
2-Love Street 2:16
3-Not to Touch the Earth 5:08
4-Summer's Almost Gone 9:03
5-Wintertime Love 12:25
6-The Unknown Soldier 14:19
7-Spanish Caravan 17:44
8-My Wild Love 20:43
9-We Could Be So Good Together 23:35
10-Yes, the River Knows 25:59
11-Five to One 28:36
bonus tracks:
12 Albinoni's Adagio In G Minor 33:04
13 Not To Touch The Earth (Dialogue) 37:37
14 Not To Touch The Earth (Take 1) 38:16
15 Not To Touch The Earth (Take 2) 42:19
16 Celebration Of The Lizard (An Experiment-Work In Progress) 46:36

'Feast of Friends' 

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