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The Doors - The Soft Parade CD (album) cover

THE SOFT PARADE

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

2.81 | 248 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Progfan97402
3 stars The Soft Parade is by far the least liked of the Morrison-era albums. It's because they took on a more blatantly commercial pop-oriented direction, and a grander production by including horns and strings. Is the album really that bad? This time around the album does state who actually wrote each song, where on previous albums it stated it was written and arranged by all four members, unless the song was a cover (like "Back Door Man"). Let's look at the opening cut, "Tell All the People". My jaw was in total disbelief on the song and the nature of it. What is this? Vegas lounge pop music? Were The Doors trying to be in the same league with Frank Sinatra? Jim Morrison croons this song like a Vegas singer, complete with cheesy horns straight out of Vegas. Looking at the songwriting credits, you notice it was Robbie Krieger. You know Jim Morrison would never write lyrics that seem straight out of Vegas. Next song, "Touch Me" was already released as a single at the end of 1968, and easily the most recognized song on the album. Again a bit on the Vegas side, but I'm used to this song having heard it on the radio plenty of times throughout my lifetime. Horns, strings, cheesy sax solo, at least Ray Manzerek gives his trademark organ playing to let everyone know this is the Doors. I bet you at the end of 1968 many Doors fans must have been horrified hearing "Touch Me", wondering if their next album will be like that. Once again Krieger was responsible for this. Luckily, for the rest of the album the rest of the songs Krieger are credited to aren't as so lounge-y, and the Morrison penned ones are more close to traditional Doors songs. Things really improve greatly with "Shaman's Blues", a great song with some nice harpsichord playing, more in tune with the older Doors sound, and it's a Morrison penned song. "Do It" is credited to both Morrison and Krieger, not nearly as good, due to the embarrassing lyrics, but not bad. "Easy Ride" and "Wild Child" are bit more bluesy, while "Wishful Sinful" has a bit of that lounge again, but not full-on "Tell All the People" territory. The title track is without a doubt the album's highlight. If there's a reason for the Doors being included here, this is the reason. It's more like a multimovement suite than a standard song, as it goes through several changes. Note how a bunch of Jewish guys from Brooklyn naming themselves Sweet Smoke and relocating to Germany had did a partial cover of this song off their 1970 debut album Just a Poke. This song is still not full-on prog, but proto-prog it is. Well, I have to say, this album isn't as bad as its frequently made out to be, to me "Tell All the People" is easily the worst thing on the album (my jaw dropped in that similar fashion I did seeing obviously rubber frog costumes seeing the 1987 movie Hell Comes to Frogtown starring "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, if MST3K could spoof music, "Tell All the People" would be a great one to spoof, if that was possible). The album does have its flaws, but still has enough worthy material to make it worthwhile, if you get beyond "Tell All the People" and perhaps "Touch Me".
Progfan97402 | 3/5 |

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