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Rock Hall Anniversary: The Doors’ The Soft Parade

In July 1969, The Doors released their fourth album The Soft Parade. Despite being a top ten album, as well as going on to being certified platinum, it is considered to be their weakest album with frontman Jim Morrison. On this album, the band incorporated brass and strings on half of the tracks, which to some fans and critics didn’t seemed successful, and too much of a departure from the first three albums, which had a more stripped down sound.

Another fact about The Soft Parade, was that guitarist Robby Krieger would have more of a presence, than he did on the previous albums, having solely write the majority of the tracks including the single “Touch Me”, which was considered to have the most successful integration of orchestration sounds, as well as peaking at number three on the charts. In fact, Krieger and Morrison were the only writers on the album, and the two co-wrote the track “Do It” together.

Despite The Soft Parade’s poor critical reception, some good moments were pointed out on the album, especially on tracks including the hard rock sound of “Wild Child”, the Morrison-penned “Shaman’s Blues” and the eight-minute title track. In 2007, a 40th anniversary edition was released featuring bonus tracks, two alternate versions of “Touch Me”, and extra instrumental components not heard on the original album, including piano parts from organist Ray Manzerek.

Eventually, The Soft Parade would be the only album, where the Doors used orchestral sounds, as they would return to basics for their next two studio albums Morrison Hotel and L.A. Woman.

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