The Soft Parade The Doors

Album info

Album-Release:
1969

HRA-Release:
16.08.2012

Label: Warner Music Group

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Classic Rock

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Tell All The People03:21
  • 2Touch Me03:13
  • 3Shaman's Blues04:49
  • 4Do It03:10
  • 5Easy Ride02:40
  • 6Wild Child02:38
  • 7Runnin' Blue02:29
  • 8Wishful Sinful03:00
  • 9The Soft Parade09:35
  • Total Runtime34:55

Info for The Soft Parade

The Soft Parade, first released in 1969, climbed to #6 and featured the #3 hit "Touch Me," "Shaman's Blues," "Wild Child," and more.

"A front page ad in Billboard says it: "Initial orders promise it will attain the instant solid gold status of their first three albums." It looks like it will, but not because anyone listened to the record.

Alternate suggested titles for The Soft Parade would be The Worst of the Doors, Kick Out the Doors, or best, The Soft Touch.

The Soft Parade is worse than infuriating, it's sad. It's sad because one of the most potentially moving forces in rock has allowed itself to degenerate. A trite word, but true.

The Soft Parade represents a clear and present decline in musicianship. This is quite apart from stage showmanship, or even "drama." The Doors are obviously more potent than ever. But the Doors are a rock group, and at heart a rock group must produce vital, listenable, interesting music, or the rest is just so many limp wicks waving in the Miami breeze.

And this gorgeous-looking album is not vital, not very listenable and is certainly not interesting. It sounds for all the world like the stuff they had the good sense to leave off their first albums. The weaknesses cannot be palmed off as experimentation, because, despite the addition of strings and horns, it's just the same. The same but worse.

Ok, there are two un-Doors-like songs, both written by Robbie Krieger. "Touch Me" and "Follow Me Down" are horn-string showpieces for the resonant baritone of Jim Morrison that aren't the worst of the Doors. They're the worst of Jerry Vale or the worst of Andy Williams. While the Doors' reductio-ad-absurdum poetry could usually be disguised by invigorating (if not very convincing) emotion, these damn songs stick that idiocy right up front and surround it with the most cliche-ridden sounds this side of the 101 Strings.

The remainder of the songs sound like the Doors alright, but they're pale shadows of their earlier works. The Doors' power is also their weakness. They have had from the beginning, and still have, one of the cleanest, most solid and, above all, most recognizable sounds in rock. Part of this is the Morrison power, but the other Doors are equally responsible. There is rarely any doubt that you're listening to the Doors. It's a great sound, a successful sound, but it forces a highly directional form of musical invention on the Doors and it is this that they have not been able to maintain. Instead they've just gone from excess to excess.

"Running Blue" is a superb example. It's hard to imagine Doors' poetry getting more excessive than it's been, but listen to this:

Poor Otis dead and gone
Left me here to sing his song
Pretty little girl with the red dress on
Poor Otis dead and gone.

Can you dig it? Or, better yet, "Do It."

Please please listen to me children
Please please listen to me children
Please please listen to me children
Please please listen to me children
You are the ones who will rule the world.

And if, as Morrison himself says, the words don't count and the mood created is the important facet of the Doors' rock, then they've really bummed out on this one. The mood they've created is loud, dull boredom. There are some good images, some good musical licks, but it just isn't worth shuffling through the rest of this scree to find the few semi-precious stones.

What little good there is on the album is mostly in the title cut, "The Soft Parade." But the thing is so mangled, so jammed together and frequently so silly that it's kind of hard to listen all through its 8:40 for the good.

With individual credit now being given for the songs, it's plain that Morrison's songs are better than Krieger's. But it's just the lesser of two evils.

In any case, with this album, the Doors appear to be in the final stages of musical constipation. Morrison admits that they haven't done any new material in three years, and unless something drastic happens, the next album ought to be an epitaph.

I highly recommend The Soft Parade for these people like Dunbar in Catch-22 who like to be bored to tears in order to make the time pass more slowly. Otherwise, don't bother. (Alec Dubro, Rolling Stone)

Jim Morrison, vocals
Robby Krieger, guitars
Ray Manzarek, keyboards & Fender piano bass
John Densmore, drums & percussion

Guests:
Douglas Lubahn, bass
Harvey Brooks, bass
Reinol Andino, congas
Champ Webb, english horn
Jimmy Buchanan, fiddle
Jesse McReynolds, mandolin
Curtis Amy, saxophone
George Bohanan, trombone

Paul Harris, conductor
Produced by Bruce Botnick & Jac Holzman
Mastered by Bruce Botnick & The Doors
Recorded at Elektra Sound Recorders, Los Angeles

Digitally remastered.

With an intoxicating, genre-blending sound, provocative and uncompromising songs, and the mesmerizing power of singer Jim Morrison's poetry and presence, The Doors had a transformative impact not only on popular music but on popular culture.

The Doors' arrival on the rock scene in 1967 marked not only the start of a string of hit singles and albums that would become stone classics, but also of something much bigger - a new and deeper relationship between creators and audience. Refusing to be mere entertainers, the Los Angeles quartet relentlessly challenged, confronted and inspired their fans, leaping headfirst into the heart of darkness while other bands warbled about peace and love. Though they've had scores of imitators, there's never been another band quite like them. And 40 years after their debut album, The Doors' music and legacy are more influential than ever before.

Morrison's mystical command of the frontman role may be the iconic heart of The Doors, but the group's extraordinary power would hardly have been possible without the virtuosic keyboard tapestries of Ray Manzarek, the gritty, expressive fretwork of guitarist Robby Krieger and the supple, dynamically rich grooves of drummer John Densmore. From baroque art-rock to jazz-infused pop to gutbucket blues, the band's instrumental triad could navigate any musical territory with aplomb - and all three contributed mightily as songwriters.

The group was born when Morrison and Manzarek - who'd met at UCLA's film school - met again, unexpectedly, on the beach in Venice, CA, during the summer of 1965. Though he'd never intended to be a singer, Morrison was invited to join Manzarek's group Rick and the Ravens on the strength of his poetry. Krieger and Densmore, who’d played together in the band Psychedelic Rangers, were recruited soon thereafter; though several bassists auditioned of the new collective, none could furnish the bottom end as effectively as Manzarek's left hand. Taking their name from Aldous Huxley's psychotropic monograph The Doors of Perception, the band signed to Elektra Records following a now-legendary gig at the Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip.

Their eponymous first album, released in January 1967, kicked off with "Break on Through (to the Other Side)" and also featured the chart smash "Light My Fire", the scorching "Back Door Man" and the visionary masterpiece "The End". The Doors arrived fully formed, capable of rocking the pop charts and the avant-garde with one staggering disc. Before '67 was over, they'd issued the ambitious follow-up Strange Days, with such gems as "Love Me Two Times", "People Are Strange" and "When the Music's Over".

Next came 1968's Waiting for the Sun, boasting "Hello, I Love You", "Love Street" and "Five to One". Over the next few years they minded over new territory on such albums as 1969's The Soft Parade (featuring "Touch Me" and "Tell All the People"), 1970's Morrison Hotel (which includes "Roadhouse Blues", "Peace Frog" and "Queen of the Highway") and 1971's L.A. Woman (boasting "Rider's on the Storm", "Love Her Madly" and the title track).

They released six studio albums in all, as well as a live album and a compilation, before Morrison's death in 1971. their electrifying achievements in the studio and onstage were unmatched in the annals of rock; and though Morrison's death meant the end of an era, Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore collaborated on two more original Doors albums, Other Voices and Full Circle, and a set of tracks they composed to accompany Morrison's 1969 recording of his poetry, released in 1978 as An American Prayer. They also pursued individual music projects, books, theatrical productions and other enterprises - and remain restlessly creative to this day.

In the decades since the Doors' heyday, the foursome has loomed ever larger in the pantheon of rock - and they remain a touchstone of insurrectionary culture for writers, activists, visual artists and other creative communities. Their songs, featured in an ever-increasing number of films, TV shows, video games and remixes, always sound uncannily contemporary. No matter how the musical and cultural tides turn, The Doors will always be ready to help a new wave of listeners break on through to the other side. (Source: jam inc.)

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