The Doors have just announced the 50th anniversary edition of their fourth album, The Soft Parade, coming on October 18th. The new edition will be issued as a triple-CD and one-LP set featuring nearly two hours of unreleased recordings — including the premiere of the entire “Rock Is Dead” jam. The Soft Parade, the only extensively orchestrated Doors collection, was originally released on July 18th, 1968 and peaked at Number Six on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
According to the press release for the new set:
Among the highlights are stripped down “Doors Only” versions of five tracks where the horns and strings have been removed — “Tell All The People,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” “Runnin’ Blue,” and “Who Scared You.” The set also features three of those stripped-back versions with new guitar parts added by Robby Krieger for “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful,” and “Runnin’ Blue.”
The collection also uncovers three songs from studio rehearsals — with Ray Manzarek on vocals — that include an early version of “Roadhouse Blues,” a song that would be released the following year on Morrison Hotel.
These three songs include newly recorded bass parts by Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots, who joined Krieger and John Densmore at a tribute concert for Manzarek in 2016, three years after the organist died of cancer.
John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger feel that ultimately it was Jim Morrison's alcoholism that created the real chasm between the bandmates: (John Densmore): “As Jim's drinking increased, the quality decreased.” (Robby Krieger): “The three of us were friends — John, Ray (Manzarek), and Robby were friends — and Jim had his drinking buddies, y'know? It kinda kept us apart. Whenever we'd get together and make music, we were friends but, y'know, we couldn't hang out with him otherwise because it was too painful, y'know?”
Shortly before his 2013 death, Ray Manzarek told us that as the Doors' music ages, it's probably better understood and more beloved than when it was first recorded: “I think the time has allowed them to digest the Jungian/Freudian aspect of the Doors' songs. I think they've gotten into the depth of the songs a lot more than back in the '60s, and understand it from an intellectual perspective, and are just as wild as the people were in the '60s. I'm surprised at, y'know, how uninhibited and how crazy and Dionysian they can actually be.”