Review: The Doors – The Soft Parade & Dance on Fire

DVD: The Doors – The Soft Parade (1991) & Dance on Fire (1985)

Waiting for my new boss to pick me up from LAX in 1988 out of someones car blasted ‘L.A. Woman’, and I laughed, smirking with joy and wondered if I’d ever fit that song. I kinda think I did for a while.

I think The Doors have dropped out of consciousness at this time. My 25 year old son would possibly recognise ‘People are Strange’ from The Lost Boys (with Echo and the Bunnymen performing it!) and it’s okay, because The Doors are one of those bands that come around again and again. They are already seeped into our consciousness, there is no other band like them, nor a front man like Jim Morrison.

Those of us of a ‘certain’ age might know the band from Oliver Stone ramming the bands music down our collective throats from his ‘Vietnam’ movies and of course his (hated by Ray Manzarek) biopic ‘The Doors’. I had a few friends that were older than me, who introduced me to Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, The Velvet Underground, Sandy Denny, The Doors etc.. So I do feel lucky to be a (cough) long-time listener.

The echo – y sensuality of ‘Break on Through (to the otherside)’ defines a generation of lost hope, young men sent to death, mind bending drugs and a singer so damn HOT he fucking sizzled in that leather more than Elvis did in his. Long dead, I look at him singing, eyes closed and swaying, and dear god I need to sit on a towel.

I’ve always struggled with Jim Morrison. His vocals are like some sort of Bing Crosbyish crooner for the 60s. Go on listen, I’m right aren’t I? He does croon. Then there’s the mish mash of music styles, blues… jazz sax and … a big band/orchestra on The Soft Parade. What the hell? No one could say The Doors were boring. Morrison himself was a complete mystery, was he a total arsehole or… really a genius? This would be a very long review if I get started on him and his life.

These films are made by Ray Manzarek so are … a bit dippy, HOWEVER there is pure magic hidden within. We get a glimpse of what appears to be the real Jim Morrison. Jim talking, Jim onstage talking inbetween songs, Jim being overwhelmed in the early days by fans, Jim talking to a priest, Jim looking at the audience as he sings ‘The End’ in that slow sultry sex dripping way, hip slanted, slim waisted, his mouth… his whole being the embodiment of fucking. He’s just standing there.

Okay I am going to stop here as I want to write a massive piece on Jim Morrison. The DVDs are essentially for fans, first buy the albums; ‘The Doors’, then ‘L.A. Woman’, then watch these films, finally watch Oliver Stone’s The Doors movie, and surrender yourself.

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from discs kindly supplied by Fabulous Films.