Summer 1968: The Doors Shine at No. 1 with 'Waiting For The Sun'

The Doors
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By 1968, the Doors had set expectations high.

With the release of their self-titled debut album and its follow up, Strange Days, in 1967, the band was still enjoying the fruits of their labor when they decided to return to the studio to begin working on their third album. 

They began recording that winter. The first song unveiled from the sessions, "Hello, I Love You," was written in 1965, after Jim Morrison was inspired to pen the lyrics after watching a beautiful woman walk on the beach. The song went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by August 1968, also marking the band’s first big UK hit when the song peaked at No. 15.

The gentle, piano-flavored lilt found on "Love Street" evokes the warmth of summertime while "Not to Touch the Earth," a snippet of an abandoned opus, takes a sinister turn. "The Unknown Soldier" and "Five to One" present memorable responses to the Vietnam War where Morrison sings about guns, bullet and helmets.

Robby Krieger pulls out all stops with his fabulous flamenco guitar skills on "Spanish Caravan," which suddenly pivots into an electric rock showdown in the song's latter half. Amongst the record's other highlights are the melancholic "Summer's Almost Gone," Wintertime Love," and "Yes, the River Know," which spotlight the Doors' songwriting expertise in not only hard rock, but also gentle folk. 

Even as Morrison struggled to keep afloat in his addictive tendencies, the Doors' remaining members pulled together in a showcase of their dexterous songwriting efforts to create a commercial and critical hit. Released in July, the Doors' Waiting For The Sun started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart just three months later. It also became the band's first hit album in the UK, where it climbed at No. 16

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