Waiting for the Sun is the third studio album by the American rock band The Doors. It was released in July 1968 and became the band's first and only number one album, spawning their second US number one single, "Hello, I Love You." It also became the band's first hit album in the UK, where it peaked at #16 in the chart. With the exception of two songs, the material for this album was written after the band's initial songs from the formation of the group had been recorded for their debut album and second album, Strange Days. The centerpiece of this album was supposed to be the lengthy theatrical piece "Celebration of the Lizard," but in the end only the "Not to Touch the Earth" section was used. The album has sold over 9 million copies
The track "Celebration of the Lizard" was intended to take up an entire album side, but the group was never able to capture a studio recording that they liked. (The band would revisit it later in its full-length form on their 1970 album Absolutely Live).
Many fans have suggested that once "Celebration of the Lizard" was shelved, two of the band's earliest tracks--"Hello, I Love You" and "Summer's Almost Gone"--were resurrected and re-recorded to fill in the void. Early arrangements of these two tracks had been recorded for the band's original 1965 demo. Waiting for the Sun ended up being the shortest studio album by the band.
A studio run-through of "Celebration of the Lizard" (subtitled "An Experiment/Work in Progress") and two early takes of "Not to Touch the Earth" were included as bonus tracks on the 40th anniversary expanded edition release of this album.
Waiting for the Sun has often been criticized for its softer, mellow sound, a departure from the edgier, more ambitious sound for which the band had become well-known (and notorious). Nonetheless, the album contains some rarely disputed classics, most notably "Hello, I Love You," "Five to One," "Spanish Caravan," "Not to Touch the Earth" and the controversial anti-war anthem "The Unknown Soldier."
The title track "Waiting for the Sun" was left off this album, but would be included on the 1970 album Morrison Hotel.
This album marked keyboardist Ray Manzarek's transition from a Vox Continental to Gibson G-101, the organ he is best known for playing live.
The US monophonic pressing - though only a fold down of the stereo mix to mono - is one of the rarest pop/rock LPs and has been sought after by collectors for years.
Guitarist Robby Krieger's skills with the flamenco guitar can be found present in "Spanish Caravan".