The Doors opening up
For its 50th anniversary, "The Soft Parade" is being released in a deluxe remastered edition. Criticised upon its release, this 4th album by Jim Morrison's band is worth a fresh listen...
The rock’n’roll history books have often considered The Soft Parade to be The Doors’ worst album. Fifty years after its release on the 18th of July 1969, a re-evaluation of the Californians’ fourth opus establishes itself with the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition published by Rhino.
Exactly a year after Waiting for the Sun, The Doors changed their modus operandi with an album which was viscerally less rock’n’roll. Unmanageable, completely obsessed with his poetry, more and more dependant on alcohol and always seemingly on the brink of leaving the band (held back in extremis by the keyboard player Ray Manzarek), Jim Morrison only wrote half of the tracks on this album. The guitarist Robbie Krieger stepped up to the mark and took the helm writing-wise, as well as developing the band’s instrumentation.
Headed by Paul Harris, brass and strings make an unexpected appearance in the band’s sound. Notes of jazz dilute the pure rock sound and bring a more bluesy texture, as well as some pop and even some lounge-style sequences. An eclectic mix which is slightly confusing to begin with, but it stops The Doors’ unique singularity from dwindling. The melodies on The Soft Parade are peraps not of the same calibre as those on the three previous albums, but at an era when the competition was also experimenting with some stranger sounds, Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore prove that they too can steer rock music into uncharted territories.
This 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition offers a new remastered version from producer Bruce Botnick, as well as bonus tracks like Who Scared You, as well as some unedited tracks, like demo versions of Doors Only, versions without brass or strings of Tell All the People, Touch Me, Wishful Sinful and Runnin’ Blue.
Finally, among all these exciting new features of this 2019 edition, some interesting new guitar sections added by Krieger to Touch Me, Wishful Sinful and Runnin’ Blue. All in all, enough unedited material to please fans and better understand this musical mystery.