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4 stars Review N║ 694

"The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is a DVD of The Doors released in 1991. It was also released and is still available now in the DVD format on "The Doors ? 30 Years Commemorative Edition" and on the Blue-ray disc format, which was released in 1999. That commemorative edition was released with two other live DVD's from the group, "Dance On Fire" that was originally released in 1985 and a short version of "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" originally released in 1987.

Directed by The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" features a mix of performance, rehearsal and beyond the scenes footage, as well as some historic interviews with The Doors band's members, Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, John Densmore and Ray Manzarek himself. Despite being also an excellent DVD, this is probably the least interesting DVD of the all three, because probably there wasn't much more good footage left to be presented. The greatest weaknesses of "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is probably because that Ray was forced to rely on footage of The Doors late parts of their musical career, when the bearded bloated Jim Morrison looked very little with the elegant rock'n'roll star in his leather pants who seduced all the audiences, especially the female auditions.

"The Soft Parade A Retrospective" has only seven tracks. The first track "The Changeling" was originally released on "L.A. Woman" in 1971. This version is a short film by The Doors in 1991, (The Doors Archives 67-68). The second track "Wishful Sinful" was originally released on "The Soft Parade" in 1969. This version is from the PBS TV Show Critique on 28 April 1969, (PBS and Private Archives). The third track "Wild Child" was originally released on "The Soft Parade". This version is from a recording studio session in 1968, (newly discovered Cinema VeritÚ of the recording session). The fourth track "Build Me A Woman" was never released on any of the studio album of The Doors. It was originally released on "Absolutely Live" in 1970. This version is from the PBS TV Show Critique on 28 April 1969, (PBS and Private Archives). The fifth track "The Unknown Soldier" was originally released on "Waiting For The Sun" in 1968. This version is an Elektra promo clip released in March 1968, 5 July 1968 and 6 and 8 September 1968, (A dazzling new edit all existing performances). The sixth track "The Soft Parade" was originally released on "The Soft Parade". This version is from the PBS TV Show Critique on 28 April 1969, (PBS and Private Archives). The seventh track "Hello I Love You" was originally released on "Waiting For The Sun". This version is taken from a Frankfurt TV Show released in 13 September 1968, (The Doors Archives, Europe). This is the track that plays over the DVD closing credits.

This historic music video features The Doors as a mature band showing both their passionate rock'n'roll and their dark, and often less known work. It shows their true talent in the studio for coming up with the songs on the spot as well as lives. Additional material is drawn from The Doors' private archives. This video is a well assembled finale. It's an entertaining and rich ensemble of The Doors footage showing the wild side of Jim Morrison and how epic and crazy a The Doors concert footage can seems. As for the television appearance that is the highlight. This is very informative and interesting. It's interesting to see Jim Morrison giving his thoughts on music and poetry. Morrison is especially captivating while singing. "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is a great tape for The Doors fans and rock enthusiasts.

"The Soft Parade A Retrospective" has also two bonus tracks. The first "Break On Through (To The Other Side)" was originally released on "The Doors". This version is from the live performance of The Doors at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. The second bonus track "The Ghost Song" was originally released on "An American Prayer". This version is made with images taken from a studio performance of this song after the dead of Jim Morrison as homage to him.

Conclusion: "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" is another excellent DVD of The Doors. It brings to us one of The Doors calmer and more laid back performances where we can clearly see sadness and devastation in Jim Morrison. We sense that he is suffering intensely in inside, and it's pretty obvious that on some level of his awareness he had realized that a good deal of his immense potential had gone down the drain as a result of alcoholism, drugs and fame, which somehow provoked a certain decadence. Probably he clearly knows that the 60's dream of liberation and freedom had completely failed, leaving him to live in a certain emptiness. Concluding, despite "The Soft Parade A Retrospective" be a very short DVD it represents a very important document of the last career of The Doors with Jim Morrison. This is an essential document for all fans of them, a nice look of thirty years after the legendary front man Jim Morrison's death.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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Posted Wednesday, September 20, 2023 | Review Permalink

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