The Doors – Waiting For The Sun – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

It’s been over a year, but Waiting For The Sun Hot Stampers are BACK! It’s exceedingly difficult to find a good sounding, reasonably quiet Gold Label copy of this album, let alone enough copies to put together a proper shootout. It wasn’t easy, but a copy like this makes all the trouble worthwhile. Side one is a tubey magical A++, and side two is As Good As It Gets (AGAIG) at A+++.

Side one is WONDERFUL — tubey magical with tons of energy and real weight to the bottom end. The highs are silky sweet, the mids are warm and rich, and the bass is tight and punchy. This is THE BIG SOUND that we look for on Doors records. Morrison’s vocals sound JUST RIGHT here — full-bodied and breathy with incredible immediacy. The transparency is astonishing — you can easily pick out and follow Morrison’s double tracked vocals.

Drop the needle on Not To Touch The Earth. Halfway through the song the members have sort of a duel — Robbie Krieger wailing on the guitar in one channel, Ray Manzarek pounding on the keyboards in the other, and John Densmore responding with drum fills behind them. On the average copy, the parts get congested and lose their power, but when you can easily pick out each musician, that part will raise the hairs on your arms! It’s absolutely chilling, and it will remind you why you fell in love with The Doors in the first place. Who else can do this kind of voodoo the way they do?

As amazing as side one is, side two is EVEN BETTER! It’s got that Better Records, A+++ Master Tape Sound — shocking clarity, unbelievable warmth, real rock energy, and overall HUGE sound. Check out the piano on Yes The River Knows (such an underrated song!) or the big snare thwacks on Five To One to hear that Hot Stamper magic. The overall sound is airy, open, and spacious — you can really hear INTO the soundfield on a track like Yes The River Knows. That opaque quality that so many pressings of this album suffer from is nowhere to be found here.You will not believe how hard this side rocks. It’s big, bold, and Right On The Money.

We Love This Music

My favorite of the first three Doors album, this one is imbued with more mystery and lyricism than any previous effort. The album shows them maturing as a band, smoking large amounts of pot and preparing for the wild ride of their next opus, the ambitious Soft Parade. Actually, as I listen to this album it reminds me more and more of that one. Now that it sounds as good as The Soft Parade (a record I have an amazing Magic Stamper pressing of, brown label don’t you know) I find I’ve gained a new respect for Waiting.

More to Come

I started playing these albums when I was in high school on my 8-track tape player. When I got seriously into audio sometime in the ’70s, I tried every kind of record I could get my hands on — Brits, Germans, Japanese, originals, reissues — but no matter what I did, I couldn’t find good sounding pressings of The Doors albums. They sounded terrible for the most part and I just assumed the band — like so many ’60s artists — had been poorly recorded.

Then in the early ’80s the MOFI of the first album came out. It sounded amazing to me (at the time). Ten or so years later the DCC pressing came along and murdered it. Now we’ve come full circle — back to the originals. With the Disc Doctor and much better playback equipment, the tables have turned. Watch for more Doors records shootouts in the months to come. We love to do them.