The Soft Parade
|The Soft Parade|
|Studio album by The Doors|
|Released||July 21, 1969|
|Recorded||July 1968 – May 1969;
Elektra Sound Recorders
in Los Angeles
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, symphonic rock, blues rock|
|The Doors chronology|
|Singles from The Soft Parade|
|Robert Christgau||B− |
|Rolling Stone||(unfavorable) |
The Soft Parade is the fourth studio album by The Doors, released in 1969. For this studio album the band experimented with brass and strings on several tracks, including the hit "Touch Me" (their most successful integration of orchestration). The album also included, among other tunes, the hard rocker of "Wild Child," "Shaman's Blues," and the lengthy title track, a multi-part suite that mixed rock and poetry. "Tell All the People" and "Wishful Sinful," both penned by Robbie Krieger, were uncharacteristically wistful tunes that became minor hits.
Writing and composition
Due to Jim Morrison's increasing alcoholism and interest in poetry, guitarist Robby Krieger has a stronger presence on The Soft Parade than on any other Doors album from the Morrison era, contributing around half the material, including sharing the lead vocal on the song "Runnin' Blue".
For the first time, the songs were credited to individual members (only Morrison and Krieger are actually listed on the album's sleeve) as Morrison was unhappy with the lyric "get your guns" on the album's first track. He was uncomfortable with the possible perception by some that it was in fact what he wanted listeners to do. Although, on later albums the writing credit would return to the earlier format and regardless of whose lyrics were being used, the entire band was credited.
Release and reception
Despite a lukewarm reception, the album became the band's fourth top-ten hit album in a row and the single "Touch Me" was hugely successful. However, despite making #6 in the US, the album did not chart in the UK, perhaps due to the band's lack of a supporting hit single. ("Touch Me" did not chart in the UK.)
The album was met with some controversy among fans and critics due to its inclusion of brass and string instrument arrangements, as opposed to the more stripped-down sound of their earlier recordings. Fans also complained that The Soft Parade followed the lyrical formulas of previous albums, and thus was not very innovative. In reviewing the 40th anniversary remix (for the August 2007 issue of Downbeat Magazine) correspondent Dan Ouellette thought otherwise, declaring it to be "the apex" of the band's creativity.
|1.||"Tell All the People" (Robby Krieger)||3:21|
|2.||"Touch Me" (Krieger)||3:12|
|3.||"Shaman's Blues" (Jim Morrison)||4:49|
|4.||"Do It" (Morrison, Krieger)||3:08|
|5.||"Easy Ride" (Morrison)||2:43|
|6.||"Wild Child" (Morrison)||2:36|
|7.||"Runnin' Blue" (Krieger)||2:27|
|8.||"Wishful Sinful" (Krieger)||2:58|
|9.||"The Soft Parade" (Morrison)||8:36|
- The 40th Anniversary Mix contains an intro featuring a tenderly sung Morrison poem that extends it to 9:41
|40th Anniversary Edition CD bonus tracks|
|10.||"Who Scared You" (Morrison, Krieger)||3:58|
|11.||"Whiskey, Mystics and Men" (Version 1)||2:28|
|12.||"Whiskey, Mystics and Men" (Version 2)||3:04|
|13.||"Push Push" (Previously unreleased Doors jam)||6:05|
|14.||"Touch Me" (Dialogue)||0:28|
|15.||"Touch Me" (Take 3)||3:40|
The 40th anniversary reissues were completely remixed along with being remastered. This practice extended to incorporating vocal and instrumental components which were not part of the original album. As Ray Manzarek said, "There are background vocals by Jim Morrison, piano parts of mine that weren't used, and guitar stingers and solos by Robby Krieger that never made the original recordings, that can now be heard for the first time."
- The Doors
- Jim Morrison – lead vocals, maracas, tambourine
- Ray Manzarek – piano, Gibson G-101 organ, RMI Electra Piano on "Shaman's Blues", "The Soft Parade" Hammond organ on "Wild Child", "The Soft Parade" and "Do It", Harpsichord on "Touch Me" and "The Soft Parade"
- Robby Krieger – guitar, chorus vocal on "Runnin' Blue"
- John Densmore – drums
- Additional musicians
- Curtis Amy – sax solos on "Touch Me"
- Reinol Andino – conga
- George Bohanan – trombone solo
- Harvey Brooks – bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9)
- Jimmy Buchanan – fiddle on "Running Blue"
- Doug Lubahn – bass (tracks 5, 6, 8)
- Jesse McReynolds – mandolin
- Champ Webb – English horn solo
- Paul Harris – orchestral arrangements (tracks 1, 2, 7, 8, 10)
- Peter Schaumann – illustration (inside cover)
- Billboard Music Charts (North America)
B-side: "Wild Child"
B-side: "Who Scared You"
|1969||"Tell All the People"
B-side: "Easy Ride"
B-side: "Do It"
Whereas the first three Doors albums had two singles pulled from each of them, "The Soft Parade" had a grand total of four, though some of them had initially been released as non-album singles significantly prior to the album's release. The only two songs on the LP that weren't released as either the A or B-side of a single were the title cut and "Shaman's Blues". Only one single would be pulled from the next album, Morrison Hotel. All four single A-sides were written by Robby Krieger, the only four solo compositions that Krieger contributed to the album, and none by Jim Morrison.
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Album review at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Robert Christgau review
- "Album Review". Rolling Stone Magazine, Alec Dubro. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Slant Magazine review
- Doug Lubahn official website
- "American album certifications – The Doors – The Soft Parade". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- "Canadian album certifications – The Doors – The Soft Parade". Music Canada.
- "British album certifications – Doors – The Soft Parade". British Phonographic Industry. Enter The Soft Parade in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- The Electric Soft Parade, who used this briefly as their name