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The Doors: The Soft Parade (1991)

Video  |   |  Documentary, Music
7.9
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Title: The Doors: The Soft Parade (Video 1991)

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Ray's Revenge
30 September 2002 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This very entertaining video compilation was Ray Manzarek's retaliation to Oliver Stone's biopic debacle which effectively portrayed Jim Morrison's downward spiral, yet basically ignored his more human side. This video at least shows that Jimbo cared about some people, and that there was a lot working in that mind of his before the drugs and the alcohol took their toll. It may be the only place you'll ever see Jim put his arm around a cop. To be honest, much of the footage in here was cobbled up from extracts previously used in other Doors video releases (especially "Dance on Fire"). Face it- how many times can you re-use and re-edit some of the same footage of Morrison on stage? But this one also offers some worthy backstage glimpses of the quartet of musicians, laughing and joking-- even the Prince of Darkness himself seems like an affable human being. Noteworthy is the piece where Jim tinkers away at Ray's piano and does an improvisatory verse on Frederick Nietszche's commitment to the asylum.

The cornerstone of this video features The Doors' final televised appearance, on PBS (if there is more of this footage, I'd love to see that show in its complete form), casual and uncensored (so you get to hear the full version of "Build Me a Woman", which is excised on the "Absolutely Live" album). They do a great bluesy rendition of that song, and they climax with their suite-length "Soft Parade" (from the underrated album of the same name). In between, Richard Goldstein of The Village Voice chats with the players about their music, poetry and improvisation. Jim, during his "beard" period, hiding behind sunglasses, smoking a cigar, is commanding while speaking softly.

This collection is a must for any serious Doors fan, especially those that were turned off by Oliver Stone's "vision".


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