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Hot Stamper - The Doors - Waiting For the Sun

Hot Stamper

The Doors
Waiting For the Sun

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

  • Very good Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this classic Doors album on the early Gold Label, a personal favorite to this very day
  • The sound is present and lively, with Morrison's rich vocals having the Tubey Magic that only vintage vinyl pressings are capable of reproducing
  • It's tough (not to mention expensive) to find these early Gold Label pressings with this kind of sound and vinyl that plays as quietly as this copy does
  • A Top 100 Title - "Despite the fact that Morrison was becoming a self-destructing mess, Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore were never more lucid – perhaps to compensate. This was a band at its most dexterous, creative, and musically diverse ..."
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Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in clean shape. Most of them will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG, and it will probably be VG+. If you are picky about your covers please let us know in advance so that we can be sure we have a nice cover for you.

My favorite of the first three Doors albums (maybe -- the first album is awfully good, I might have to rethink that ranking), Waiting for the Sun is imbued with more mystery and lyricism than any of the band's previous efforts. The album shows them maturing as a band, smoking large amounts of pot and preparing for the even wilder ride of their next opus, the ambitious Soft Parade.

Actually, as I listen to this album it reminds me more and more of the followup. Now that it sounds as good as The Soft Parade (a record I have an amazing pressing of on the rare brown label), I find I've gained a new respect for Waiting.

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 real thing. I -- and no doubt you -- found out the hard way: there is no substitute for a vintage pressing.

Shootout Criteria (What To Listen For)

What are the sonic qualities by which a Pop or Rock record -- any Pop or Rock record -- should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.

When we can get many of the qualities above to come together on the side we're playing we provisionally award it a Hot Stamper grade, which may or may not be revised over the course of the shootout as we hear what the various other copies sound like. Once we've been through all our side ones, we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner. Other copies have their grades raised or lowered depending on how they sounded relative to the shootout winner. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that's left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.

That's why the most common grade for a White Hot stamper pressing is Triple Plus (A+++) on one side and Double Plus (A++) on the other. Finding the two best sounding sides from a shootout on the same LP certainly does happen, but is sure doesn't happen as often as we would like (!) -- there are just too many variables in the mastering and pressing processes to insure consistent quality.

Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they're a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can possibly make them.

The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of later pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic that is a key part of the appeal of these wonderful recordings.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.

Track Commentary

The Track Listing tab above will take you to a select song breakdown for each side, with plenty of What to Listen For (WTLF) advice.

Side One

Hello, I Love You
Love Street
Not To Touch The Earth

Listen to the hard rockin' duel between the keyboards (left channel) and the guitar (right channel) in the middle of the song. Morrison is screaming is head off and Densmore is really slamming on the drums. There's a HUGE amount of information in the grooves there, and only the best copies will be open and spacious enough to not get a bit congested.

Summer's Almost Gone

On a Hot Stamper copy, this song is tubey magical analog at its best -- warm, sweet, rich, and full-bodied.

Wintertime Love
The Unknown Soldier

Side Two

Spanish Caravan
My Wild Love
We Could Be So Good Together

This song is a bit midrangy on every last copy we've played, but on a Hot Stamper copy it still can sound wonderful.

Yes, The River Knows

This song is the best test for transparency and bass definition on side two. You should be able to hear the bassist really pulling on the strings and sliding his fingers up and down the fretboard.

Five to One

In his review of the 2007 reissue, Sal Cinquemani of Slant wrote "Despite the fact that Morrison was becoming a self-destructing mess, Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore were never more lucid – perhaps to compensate. This was a band at its most dexterous, creative, and musically diverse ..."

With the massive success of the single "Light My Fire" and their initial two albums, L.A.'s the Doors quickly built a sizable reputation for edgy, often over-the-top musical drama. Perhaps wary of stereotyping, or simply worn out from their grueling early success, the band took a decided left turn into softer sounds here, from the pop-drenched "Hello, I Love You" to the flamenco guitar wash of "Spanish Caravan." Even gentle ballads (by the band's standards, anyway) were a part of the Doors' new sensibility, as witnessed by "Love Street" and "Summer's Almost Gone."

But lest one think the band had gone a little too soft, the antiwar diatribe "The Unknown Soldier," the edgy "Five to One," and the deliciously strange "Not to Touch the Earth" were there to remind listeners that even if the band had mellowed a bit, they were still a long way from Jay and the Americans.

Jerry McCulley