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Iron Butterfly - Ball CD (album) cover

BALL

Iron Butterfly

 

Proto-Prog

3.08 | 51 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars The band is at the peak of their fame in 1969. Their previous album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is still charting and this Ball album is even going to a higher raking than its world-known predecessor (sources differ since on the band's web-site, it is claimed to have reached the first spot, while other sources mention a third place).

The band should have been present at Woodstock as wel that year. Since they were stuck at an airport and that the situation around the spot of the festival was a total chaos, they asked to be brought back and forth to the festival site by helicopter; but this request was never truly considered by the festival organizers.

They probably missed a great opportunity to impress the world. I guess that In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida played at Woodstock would have had the same meaning for Iron Butterfly than I'm Going Home for TYA or Soul Sacrifice for Santana. But we'll never know.

The heavy psychedelia is always part of their sound (thank god) and as such, the opener In The Time Of Our Lives is probably the best you can get in here. They keep on with the music that was so influential to Mark I (Purple). While being a heavy track, it is a middle tempo one with a fine melody sustained by languishing keyboards.

The overall mood is also more soul oriented which is maybe not the best move they have made so far. The well names Soul Experience almost sounds as if it were coming out the Motown repertoire.

On this album, the production and the overall sound quality are much better than on their two previous releases and the music is more polished, but at times too syrupy IMO like Lonely Boy and In The Crowd. Again, Motown is just next door.

It is a pity because when the band stick to his basic psychedelic rock music, they are still able to produce fine numbers. I would just have liked to get some more like Real Fright.

At this stage of the album, Iron Butterfly tries to convince that they can still rock, but It must Be Love is only a passable song which is saved by a fine guitar solo. The overall heavy-jazzy beat can not really overwhelm me.

The next good song is the conventional and heavy Filled With Fear. It demonstrates that once again, they are much more at ease in this psyche rock mood that these ugly Motown sounds. The scary feeling provided by the backings is quite pleasant as well.

The closing number has some Doors flavour due the to the organ sound. It holds some burlesque mood as well and although it is enjoyable, we are not confronted with a masterpiece either.

This album features a couple of songs but I can hardly consider it as a good album. Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |

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