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The Doors - The Soft Parade 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Elektra Catalog)

5 November 2019

After fifty-years the fourth album by The Doors still manages to present as many questions as it answers. There are those who enjoy primarily that early period, and those who of course love the whiskey-soaked blues of Morrison Hotel and LA Woman. Though this art-rock attempt by the band who nailed the counterculture sound falls into neither category of early or late, it simply exists in their catalogue. 

For all the brass sections and lack of Jim Morrison in a creative role, as guitarist Robby Krieger provides the same composition space as Morrison gets. That aside there is an importance to The Soft Parade, in the same vein as The Beatles Revolver (though not as successful) this is the experimentation album by a band who were still very new. A breaking away from the formula, and delving into a new territory. It is fairer to say The Soft Parade is the band’s most fearless album for that specific reason, and why it is justifiably receiving this expanded edition. 




This expanded edition is a limited three-CD one-Lp set running to 15,000 units. There is something which comes as a surprise here though, many fans or even casual listeners to the Doors will already be familiar with The Soft Parade. But casting aside the first disc, the album itself as already it’s an upgrade of the fortieth-anniversary release, the meat on the musical bones is the extras, for once strangely not throwaways. Five of the albums tracks -“Tell All The People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue,” and “Who Scared You”, have had the brass sections removed (listed as Doors only). This gives a different slant on the album similar to the previous three with the band working as a unit. Also, Robby Krieger has added more guitar layers to three of those tracks (listed below). The band sounds more stripped back, and raw, answering the question ‘what if the horn sections were never added?’. 



The surprises this set offers up continue with an indirect tribute to the late Ray Manzarek, over three tracks on which Ray provides vocals. These studio rehearsals, as Screamin’ Ray Daniels, include an early version of “Roadhouse Blues” with newly recorded bass parts by Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots. Finally, there is what I always thought to be the jewel of unreleased and bootleg Doors recordings. The full jam, or what survives of “Rock Is Dead” is here in its entirety. Over one-hour of improvisation covering the history of music, reasons to check out this set comes to a height here. 



This is by no means a lazy collection, put together without forethought, it is there for the hardcore fans of the band, regardless of their views on the original release. With other anniversary sets, for example The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed, The Soft Parade 50th Anniversary Set relies on more than just a warm sound. Now we await the zeitgeist of Morrison Hotel next year, and the prospect of an equally in-depth discovery. 

Track Listings
Disc: 1
Tell All The People (2019 Remaster)
Touch Me (2019 Remaster)
Shaman’s Blues (2019 Remaster)
Do It (2019 Remaster)
Easy Ride (2019 Remaster)
Wild Child (2019 Remaster)
Runnin’ Blue (2019 Remaster)
Wishful Sinful (2019 Remaster)
The Soft Parade (2019 Remaster)
Who Scared You (2019 Remaster)
Disc: 2
Tell All the People (Doors Only Mix)
Touch Me (Doors Only Mix) [Robby Krieger Overdub]
Runnin’ Blue (Doors Only Mix) [Robby Krieger Overdub]
Wishful Sinful (Doors Only Mix) [Robby Krieger Overdub]
Who Scared You (Doors Only Mix)
Roadhouse Blues (Screamin’ Ray Daniels a.k.a. Ray Manzarek On Vocals)
(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further [Screamin’ Ray Daniels a.k.a. Ray Manzarek On Vocals]
I’m Your Doctor (Screamin’ Ray Daniels a.k.a. Ray Manzarek On Vocals)
Touch Me (Doors Only Mix)
Runnin’ Blue (Doors Only Mix)
Wishful Sinful (Doors Only Mix)
Disc: 3
I Am Troubled (2019 Remaster)
Seminary School (a.k.a. Petition the Lord with Prayer)
Rock Is Dead (Complete Version)
Chaos
Disc: 4
Tell All The People (2019 Remaster)
Touch Me (2019 Remaster)
Shaman’s Blues (2019 Remaster)
Do It (2019 Remaster)
Wild Child (2019 Remaster)
Runnin’ Blue (2019 Remaster)
Wishful Sinful (2019 Remaster)
The Soft Parade (2019 Remaster)
Easy Ride (2019 Remaster)