Please post your comments, thoughts and observations on this title released in first in the "Perception" Box set in the DVD-Audio format, and again in 2014 as a single US SACD (Made in Austria) or as part of the Limited Numbered Edition "Infinite" Box from Analog Productions.
10. Great mix for the number of tracks they had to work with. I got the Perception box with the peep hole as a new release. Musically, this is a wonderful album, although it was maligned in some quarters. The band took some chances and IMHO, much of it worked! Strings and horns, even a hoedown add to the album's charm.
Jon said we need more votes and reviews on this disc to get it into the Hi-Rez poll, so here's mine:
First off, I love how it starts with a BANG!
Discrete surround action everywhere, and it's wonderful!
The horns and backing vocals in the surrounds on "Tell All the People" are a fantastic touch.
Then next up is the surround demonstration of the entire Perception set, "Touch Me".
Like the first song, there's lot of good horn parts in the surrounds, but this time there's great harpsichord and strings parts too!
"Shaman's Blues" has a lot of discrete separation going on without actually being able to pick out what's going on where. (if that makes sense)
Not really that impressed with "Do It", but "Easy Ride" is a simple and fun mix, featuring some of Robby's guitars in the surrounds.
"Wild Child" doesn't really have that great of a surround mix, until the middle section when doubled drum tracks come into the surrounds. It's a little weird, but it does work, sort of…
"Runnin' Blue" features more great horn parts in the surrounds, along with fiddles and mandolins in the chorus.
"Wishful Sinful" features those luscious orchestral arrangements in the surround channels to great effect, making it one of the most delightful surround tracks on the album.
The beginning of "The Soft Parade" is such a trip. Love those harpsichord parts in the surrounds before the full band kicks in. Unfortunately there's not as much surround after that.
Gonna go with an '8' on this one, just cause the surround experience is very uneven.
And @keenly, I don't mind the drums in just one channel, cause it's in the front. If it were the surrounds, I would probably mind a lot more.
wow, this is one crazy disc (the mix and the recording) not just the music.
I bought the Perception box set when it came out in 2006 (and it was what got me hooked on surround).
Since then I've been thru probably at least 10 receivers and 10 different sets of surround speakers and set-ups and each friggin' time I demo this disc and each time this album sounds different, vastly different.
It's like this physical disc is actually on acid and just morphs each time you play it.
This disc reminds me of when David Gilmour was talking about Syd Barrett playing a part of a song that sounded like gobbledygook, but if you played back that part in reverse it was actually a perfect (forward) rendition of that part of the song.
The mix is very good (though there are some wonky and less appealing aspects scattered about), and for me that's pretty much the good news, beyond a handful of pretty solid tracks like "Touch Me" (though it's more like the album version than the single mix--not entirely unexpected), "Wishful Sinful," "Runnin' Blue" and a few bonus tracks. Some of this is really embarrassing, though, and just odd, like "Easy Ride" and the title track, a pale shadow of previous extended musical excursions. Jim Morrison must have really been 'out there' during some of these recordings, accelerating an already worrisome pace of self-destruction.
Folks who tend to like this album can live with the orchestrations and brass far better than I ever have. On "Touch Me" the effect works, but then it's a perverse track to start with, so its quirks tend to work. But much of the album is so half hearted and IMO, beneath the group's talent that it's no accident the Lp, in four years or so, began to turn up en masse in cutout bins (so did ABSOLUTELY LIVE, which also didn't sell to expectations, though it's a one of the better live rock albums of its time).
I can't say THE SOFT PARADE is exactly terrible, but when you factor in the blueprint of the band's sound on THE DOORS and STRANGE DAYS, something was lost as time went on, though some of it would soon be regained with parts of MORRISON HOTEL and L.A. WOMAN, the latter with Morrison running on fumes, ragged voice, with the band doing their best to keep him from drowning. Then he went to Paris....