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Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida CD (album) cover

IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA

Iron Butterfly

 

Proto-Prog

3.38 | 177 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Proof That Tastes Change Over Time

I'll never forget the day I first bought this about 5 years ago. I was really into hard and psychedelic rock bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles, The Doors, and Eric Clapton. I was just getting into symphonic progressive rock bands like Yes and Genesis, so I began exploring the world of progressive rock soon after.

I had heard the name Iron Butterfly tossed around, but one day on my classic rock station I had heard their most famous song "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". I really loved the heavy acid rock feel to it, so I went out and bought the album used at my local record store. When I first got home, I dropped the needle on side one of the album, and was immediately captivated. I really loved everything about the music. The melodies, the riffs, and the extensive use of the organ were all excellent. I especially loved hearing the extended version of the title track.

Well, times have changed. When I first came to ProgArchives, I was still praising In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. I gave it a 5 star review, but I was very liberal with my ratings back then. It's now over a year since my original review, and I must say this album doesn't really do anything for me anymore. While I really loved this album for a few years, my musical tastes have changed, and this album falls into the category of "albums I used to love".

Don't get me wrong: this is still a high quality album, and it's highly enjoyable. I just think it is not nearly as good I used to. Still, if you're looking for a great psychedelic rock album from the late 60's, this is a must-own. I don't find too much enjoyment from this anymore, but if you are getting into acid rock, this album is essential.

THE MUSIC:

"Most Anything You Want"- The first song immediately captivated me. I really loved the happy mood set by the song, and the organ was great. Now I think it can get really repetitive and predictable, even if it contains solid riffs and melodies.

"Flowers and Beads"- This used to be a favorite of mine, but I really don't like it anymore. This is a typical psychedelic pop balled, with nothing special about it. This is far too predictable and formulaic for my liking. The melodies are very catchy, though.

"My Mirage"- This song really isn't memorable at all. While the previous songs had memorable melodies and harmonies, this song is one that I just can't remember. I do like the organ sections, and it stands out more than it does on other sections. This is one of the more progressive sounding songs of the album.

"Termination"- This is the only song on the album not written by Doug Ingle. This shows that the other musicians are capable as songwriters as well. This has solid riffing and great vocals.

"Are You Happy?"- This song, while it's not predictable like many of the others, isn't enjoyable for other reasons. The transitions are disjointed, even if this has some really great riffs. Parts of this can get a little annoying, though.

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"- This takes up the entire second side of this album, and it by far the highlight of the album. The section that opens the song is passable. It's just a repetitive riff with a good chorus thrown in there. This is followed by a lengthy guitar and organ solo. The drum solo is really enjoyable, and shows that Ron Bushy was way ahead of his time. This has a really cool section with a great drum beat and ominous organ chords. When the main riff enters, it really rocks. The ending to this song is conclusive and well-written.

Conclusion:

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is a mixed bag of an album. The first side is mediocre, but the second side is great. This was really a revolutionary album when it was released, so I will put that into consideration with my rating. Since I don't listen to this album very often anymore, a 4 star rating is out of the question. Since this album was so ahead of its time, and this is generally high quality, a 2 is also out of the question. By default, I will go with a 3 star rating. I can fully understand why some people would rate it more, though. This is a great psychedelic rock album.

3 stars.

J-Man | 3/5 |

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