“Waiting for the Sun” by The Doors
We recently did an analysis of Soundgarden’s 1990s cover of “Waiting for the Sun“. And even though the lyrics between said cover and the original are virtually identical, the cover reads a little differently since it omits the first verse of the original.
In the original, as presented by The Doors, the metaphor of “the sun” is equated with “Eden”. And “Eden”, of course, is a reference to the Garden of Eden, i.e. the mythical location where mankind began which within this context represents “freedom”. Or more simply put, the expression “waiting for the sun” is akin to ‘waiting for freedom’. And again, the whole mention of “Eden” is not included in Soundgarden’s cover.
So with that noted, that’s where The Doors’ original and Soundgarden’s cover come more into congruence. For the thesis sentiment being put forth, as implied by the title, is the vocalist’s desire to see this “freedom” come to pass. Yet in the meantime, since such is not realized, what he is dealing with is a “scattered sun”, which we will say is a less-than-ideal societal existence.
And it has been put forth by a number of analysts that what Jim Morrison and co. are actually speaking to is lack of realization of the American Dream. But is that really the case? It may also be feasible, considering that this song was put together during the late-1960s and all, that what he is instead talking about something else. It is possible that what he might be dreaming of is the fulfillment of social “freedom”, since that was the prevailing issue of that day.
Either way, this song represents an ideological vision on the part of The Doors. The term “freedom” is one that is open-ended enough to be interpreted as willed by the listener. But what we do know is that whatever positive reality it represents for the singer and likeminded individuals, it is one which, in his opinion, has yet to come to pass.
When was “Waiting for the Sun” released?
There is a little bit of confusion concerning the actual release date of this track. That’s because The Doors actually released an album entitled “Waiting for the Sun” in 1968. However, this song is not on said album. Rather it came out two studio full-lengths later, on another project The Doors dropped in 1970 entitled “Morrison Hotel”.
And as such the official release date of the track, via Elektra Records, was on 9 February 1970. And as the story goes, the reason “Waiting for the Sun” wasn’t included on the album named after it is simply because at the time the song was not ready.
The tune was written by Jim Morrison (1943-1971), the frontman of The Doors. Morrison is sort of a legend among rock musicians not only because The Doors were happening during their brief time on the scene but also he died, some would say mysteriously, at the age of 27.
And doing so earned him the dubious distinction of being part of what is referred to as “The 27 Club”, a group of musicians and other artists throughout the years who also died at the same age. And this list includes the likes of Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) and Janis Joplin (1943-1970).
As noted earlier The Doors weren’t really around for that long, having been extant altogether for less than a decade. Dropping nine studio albums between 1967 and 1978, they still went on to become one of the most commercially-successful musical acts in industry history.
Their heyday, of course, was when Jim Morrison was still alive. And even though they released three of those aforementioned albums after his passing, they understandably didn’t really last that long thereafter.
In fact it can be said that Morrison’s premature passing was due to him possessing self-destructive tendencies, effectively ending one of the greatest rock bands ever. In fact one of his bandmates, drummer John Densmore, went on to express that it took him a few years to forgive Morrison for destroying his life. And why? That’s not because he had anything against him personally but rather because Densmore “hated self-destruction”.
And the other two members that rounded out the quartet known as The Doors were:
- guitarist Robby Kreiger
- keyboardist Ray Manzarek (1939-2013)
The “Morrison Hotel” Album
Jim and his band released their fifth studio album titled Morrison Hotel, in February 1970.
The album was a perfect comeback for the group after suffering rebuke and criticisms from their fans in the previous year. Prior to the album’s release, Jim had found himself in hot waters after a case of indecent exposure. This incident happened after he had performed in front of a crowd of over 10,000, at the Dinner Key Auditorium. According to the fans, Jim, was very intoxicated while performing.
After the incident, many people including their fans took to the streets to protest against the band. This greatly damaged the reputation and publicity of the group.
However, the band captured the hearts of many after the launch of Morrison Hotel. It received many positive receptions after its release. The album was really successful. It flew to number four on the Billboard 200. It also reached top-10 status on the UK albums chart.
“Morrison Hotel” birthed just two singles. And they are as follows:
- “You Make Me Real”
- “Roadhouse Blues”