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The Doors - The Soft Parade CD (album) cover

THE SOFT PARADE

The Doors

 

Proto-Prog

2.74 | 193 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Keetian
2 stars "Touch Me" was getting a lot of airplay at the time and it was catchy. It was also the first time the Doors used horns on any song. I didn't really care about that aspect too much, as long as the songs sounded appealing. When I started playing the "Soft Parade" album, I was dejected. "Tell all the People" sounded quite the crappy tune. I don't know what they were trying to do, but it just didn't work. Arguably one of the "worst of the Doors." I also don't like the subject matter. It shows Morrison at his most twisted. "Touch Me" helped ease the dread I felt. A good blend of horns and band feeding off each other. Well done, but not as good as some of their earlier stuff. "Shaman's Blues" is actually very good for a simple blues tune. It also didn't have any horns in it. I think there was one time when the boys added that fourth chord to make it begin to approach a prog-like feel. "Do it" is also a song without an orchestra. Not much there lyrically. It's not up to the Doors real potential, but it does sound pretty good as far as the catchy element goes. I only say this as a concession, because like I said earlier, the music just isn't much of a standout like their previous efforts. "Easy Ride" answers that all consuming question about what type of song the Doors would have written if they were around during the roaring twenties. It might be well played, but it's still contemptable and stodgy. On the other hand, "Wild Child" is where the Doors should have been heading all along. It is heavy, hard, and in your face. It's almost, if not, heavy metal. This song is akin to the stinker, "Tell all the People," but the music is what I know the Doors were capable of. The lyrics are very disturbing. "Runnin' Blue" combines jazz, rock, and blue grass, of all things, to great effect. Although villanized by critics of that era, it is a good prog oriented offering. It was very well done. "Wishful Sinful" was the third top forty song from the album. It was pretty good, but not a real standout. It was also more orchestrated than some of their other songs on the release. It wasn't very memorable and it is not played much, if at all, on any of the oldies stations. "The Soft Parade" starts out very strong. Morrison plays the preacher and is highly effective. Thus begins the deeply proggresive part of the eight plus minute "epic." Next, a baroque style guitar accompanies Jim's plea for asylum. Manzarek adds very good harpsichord playing to expand the theme and emphasize the singer's plight. Next we are treated to lush, jazzy band fare, and a change in tempo, direction, and theme, while connecting what went before. Kreiger does a lively and fresh sounding guitar solo. The next change just sounded to cheezy for me, even though they change tempo, etc. After this section the song again changes to a rockier sound without being very heavy at all. Judging from Morrison's comment during this transition, he only liked the last long part of the song. He wasn't getting into the proggy parts at all. He always enjoyed songs that droned along. After about a minute and a half, the song was beginning to peter out for me and became a boring example of a tiresome musical concept. I thought it was a real shame to waste five or more minutes on musical repetition to no purpose, other than to recapture past glory. For the most part, "Soft Parade" stinks! If one can separate the prog part from the crappy part, you would have something worth holding on to. As it is, forget it. The song is just too bland! If you are able to purchase "Touch Me," "Wild Child," and "Runnin' Blue," you will have the best of the album. Don't pay good money for this one. I give it one and three quarter stars, which means it really gets two stars on Progarchives.
Keetian | 2/5 |

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