Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968)

Description - The group's finest hour, newly remastered! Includes two rare performances of the infamous title song as bonus tracks, plus a booklet containing recent commentary from the band members. The ultimate "Gadda"!
Notes from the frontcover: - " A deluxe rerelease of their classic album from newly discovered first-generation master tapes
complete with bonus material and a lavish 36-page booklet containing many rare and unseen photos." - Iron Butterfly was the American answer to the heavy riff-rock of British groups like Cream and Led Zeppelin, with a touch of Vanilla Fudge's organ-led theatricality and the Doors' mysterioso image. They will forevermore be known for the 17-minute title track of this, their second album. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (a poke at singer/organist Doug Ingle's gruff, John Kay-like delivery of "In the Garden of Eden") is built around one of the most memorable riffs of the '60s. It's filled out by long solos from all concerned, especially from drummer Ron Bushy, whose lengthy extemporizing provided the template for Big Rock Drum Solos for decades to come. The rest of the tunes reveal that Iron Butterfly did indeed possess some pop sensibility to leaven the heaviness; "Flowers and Beads" in particular is simultaneously a romantic '60s pop-rock ballad and a subtle but surprising swipe at flower power culture. - Iron Butterfly's 1968 album veritably defined the burgeoning genre of hard-rock, primarily by way of its utterly over-the-top title cut. Reportedly composed by keyboardist/lead singer Doug Ingle in such a stoned-out, numb-tongued condition that he couldn't properly pronounce its intended title--"In the Garden of Eden"--the track seemed almost a parody of every excessive inclination of psychedelia. Melodramatic vocals, repetitive riffing, aimless solos--you name it, this 17-minute behemoth had it. Aided by FM DJs who loved to program it in its entirety so they could take "legitimate" breaks, it became an unavoidable hit--and an anthem of its era. --Billy Altman

All Music Guide - With its endless, droning minor-key riff and mumbled vocals, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is arguably the most notorious song of the acid rock era. According to legend, the group was so stoned when they recorded the track that they could neither pronounce the title "In the Garden of Eden" or end the track, so it rambles on for a full 17 minutes, which to some listeners sounds like eternity. But that's the essence of its appeal -- it's the epitome of heavy psychedelic excess, encapsulating the most indulgent tendencies of the era. Iron Butterfly never matched the warped excesses of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," either on their debut album of the same name or the rest of their catalog, yet they occasionally made some enjoyable fuzz guitar-driven psychedelia that works as a period piece. The five tracks that share space with their magnum opus on In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida qualify as good artifacts, and the entire record still stands as the group's definitive album, especially since this is the only place the full-length title track is available. [Rhino Records reissued In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida as a deluxe edition, containing two bonus tracks -- a live version and a single edit of the title cut -- plus a booklet filled with interviews, liner notes, and photographs.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

Doug Ingle - vocals, organ, keyboards
Erik Brann - guitar
Lee Dorman - bass
Ron Bushy - drums
1. Most Anything You Want 3:45
2. Flowers And Beads 3:09
3. My Mirage 4:54
4. Termination 2:53
5. Are You Happy 4:31
6. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida 17:10
7. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (live version) 18:51
8. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (single version) 2:53

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