The Soft Parade is the fourth studio album by American rock band the Doors, released on July 18, 1969, by Elektra Records. Most of the album was recorded following a grueling tour during which the band was left with little time to compose new material. Producer Paul A. Rothchild recommended a total departure from the Doors’ first three albums: develop a fuller sound by incorporating brass and string arrangements provided by Paul Harris. Lead singer Jim Morrison, who was dealing with personal issues and focusing more on his poetry, was less involved in the songwriting process, leaving guitarist Robby Krieger to increase his own creative output.
The album peaked at number six on the Billboard 200, but it failed to retain audiences in the UK and other European countries that their previous album, Waiting for the Sun, had succeeded in engaging. Three preceding singles, “Touch Me”, “Wishful Sinful”, and “Tell All the People”, were included on The Soft Parade, with the former becoming another Top 10 hit for the Doors. Another single, “Runnin’ Blue”, also followed the album’s distribution. Upon release, The Soft Parade was denounced by both music critics and the band’s underground music scene followers, who viewed the album as the Doors’ trending into popular music. Over time, historians have reassessed the album and its critical standing has slightly improved, but it is still widely considered the group’s weakest effort with Morrison.