The Soft Parade

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The Soft Parade
Studio album by The Doors
Released July 21, 1969 (1969-07-21)
Recorded July 1968 – May 1969 at Elektra Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, California
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 34:19
Label Elektra
Producer Paul Rothchild
The Doors chronology
Waiting for the Sun
(1968)
The Soft Parade
(1969)
Morrison Hotel
(1970)
Singles from The Soft Parade
  1. "Touch Me"/"Wild Child"
    Released: December 1968
  2. "Wishful Sinful"/"Who Scared You"
    Released: March 1969
  3. "Tell All the People"/"Easy Ride"
    Released: June 1969
  4. "Runnin' Blue"/"Do It"
    Released: 25 November 1969

The Soft Parade is the fourth studio album by American rock band The Doors, recorded from July 1968 to May 1969 and released in July 1969.

Writing and composition[edit]

For this album the band experimented with brass and strings on several tracks, including the hit "Touch Me". 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 guitarist Robbie Krieger, were uncharacteristically wistful tunes that became minor hits.

Due to Jim Morrison's increasing alcoholism and interest in poetry, 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.[citation needed] 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[edit]

The Soft Parade was released on July 21, 1969. Despite a lukewarm critical 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 No. 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.)

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.

The album was completely remixed and remastered for its 40th anniversary reissue. This practice extended to incorporating vocal and instrumental components which were not part of the original album. According to Ray Manzarek, "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."[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
Rolling Stone unfavorable[3]
Slant 2.5/5 stars[4]

The Soft Parade has been panned by critics. Alec Dubro of Rolling Stone wrote "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", writing that it "represents a clear and present decline in musicianship" and that it 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."[3]

In his retrospective review, Richie Unterberger of AllMusic called it "The weakest studio album recorded with Jim Morrison in the group".[1]

Track listing[edit]

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
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

Personnel[edit]

The Doors
Additional musicians
  • Curtis Amy – saxophone solos on "Touch Me"
  • Reinol Andino – conga
  • George Bohanan – trombone solo
  • Harvey Brooks – bass guitar (tracks 1 to 4, 7 and 9)
  • Jimmy Buchanan – fiddle on "Running Blue"
  • Doug Lubahn – bass guitar (tracks 5, 6 and 8)
  • Jesse McReynoldsmandolin
  • Champ Webb – English horn solo
  • Paul Harris – orchestral arrangements (tracks 1, 2, 7, 8 and 10)
Technical

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1969 Pop Albums 6

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1968 "Touch Me"
B-side: "Wild Child"
Pop Singles 3
1969 "Wishful Sinful"
B-side: "Who Scared You"
Pop Singles 44
1969 "Tell All the People"
B-side: "Easy Ride"
Pop Singles 57
1969 "Runnin' Blue"
B-side: "Do It"
Pop Singles 64

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[5] Platinum 1,000,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[6] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "The Soft Parade – The Doors | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: Album: The Doors: The Soft Parade". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Dubro, Alec (August 23, 1969). "[The Soft Parade review]". Rolling Stone. 
  4. ^ Cinquemani, Sal (April 18, 2007). "The Doors: The Soft Parade | Album Review | Slant Magazine". Slant. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ "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
  6. ^ "Canadian album certifications – The Doors – The Soft Parade". Music Canada. 
  7. ^ "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

External links[edit]