The Soft Parade
|The Soft Parade|
|Studio album by The Doors|
|Released||July 18, 1969|
|Recorded||July 1968 – May 1969 at Elektra Sound Recorders, Los Angeles, CA|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, symphonic rock, blues rock|
|The Doors chronology|
|Robert Christgau||B− |
|Rolling Stone||(unfavorable) |
The album 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.
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 that 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.
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" also did not chart).
Track listing 
Side one 
- "Tell All the People" (Robby Krieger) – 3:21
- "Touch Me" (Krieger) – 3:12
- "Shaman's Blues" (Jim Morrison) – 4:49
- "Do It" (Morrison, Krieger) – 3:08
- "Easy Ride" (Morrison) – 2:43
Side two 
- "Wild Child" (Morrison) – 2:36
- "Runnin' Blue" (Krieger) – 2:27
- "Wishful Sinful" (Krieger) – 2:58
- "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 
- "Who Scared You" (Morrison, Krieger) – 3:58
- "Whiskey, Mystics and Men" (Version 1) – 2:28
- "Whiskey, Mystics and Men" (Version 2) – 3:04
- "Push Push" – 6:05
- Previously unreleased Doors jam
- "Touch Me" (Dialogue) – 0:28
- "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", Hammond organ on "Wild Child", "The Soft Parade" and "Do It"
- 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, 6, 8)
- Jimmy Buchanan – fiddle on "Running Blue"
- Doug Lubahn – bass
- Jesse McReynolds – mandolin
- Champ Webb – English horn solo
- Paul Harris – orchestral arrangements (tracks 1, 2, 6 8)
- Peter Schaumann – illustration (inside cover)
Chart positions 
- 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. It's also notable that all four singles were written by Robby Krieger, and none by band leader Jim Morrison.
See also 
- The Electric Soft Parade, who used this briefly as their name