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


Iron Butterfly



3.42 | 233 ratings

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4 stars If you have seriously listened side one of this album and continue to listen to it as much as side two, then there is something really wrong with you! "Termination" is a nice breath of fresh-air from Ingle's copy-catting-Door's-like approach to psychedelia, but that's it!

Nope, sorry guys but the crux of the biscuit here is side 2 and only side 2! These guys (mostly Ingle) came up with one of the most catchiest riffs in rock history and just ran with it in the most ingenious way. Not just catchy, but hypnotic as well. So here go with a analysis of this one monumental song:

We start off with the ever familiar opening segment of Doug's drunk-at-the-time slurred lyrics in the main theme. Then Eric (17 at the time) goes into a psuedo- Hendrix style jam. Nothing extraordinary, but very tasteful. The baton is then passed to bassist Lee Dorman (later of Captain Beyond) who basically just plays the same catchy hook, but at least not too long and does a little doodle at the end.

Now we come to what I think is one of the most innovative part of the song (beware of drummer biase!). After the jazzy drumming of Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell and crazy flamboyance of Keith Moon, drummer Ron Bushy takes a left turn into tribal sounds by taking the bottoms off his toms and feeding them into a rotating Leslie speaker giving them a heavy swirling sound. No snare, just toms. Sorry, but I'm going to go into technical drummer talk here. For years (no, make that decades!) I always thought that solo was very easy since I was a kid 'til I saw a video of him doing it. What I thought was simple single-stroke roles turns out to be what is called flam-paradiddles. It's a basic rudiment among drummers that is extremely hard to do. The result is one of the most unusual drum solos you've ever heard. Totally original! Ok Mark, now shutup with the drum talk and get back to the song!

Ok after Ron's primal enlightenment, he goes back into the basic groove and Doug steps in with a sweet organ piece incorporating "We Three Kings", something his dad (a church organist) taught him. It's still a bit cheesy sounding because of that rinky-tink Vox organ, but he does it with class.

Then after a few football hikes by Doug, we go back into Vida mode for a few bars and then all of a sudden we go into interstellar overdrive with a fast paced chaotic collage of all of them just, well, screwing around and it works!

There's no real grand finale here like you would hear on Close To The Edge or Hamburger Concerto or any other later epics of the prog persuasion. Just a repeat of the opening segment. But again, it still works here.

From a prog level, I can only say that this song certainly has some prog-like qualities. Was it revolutionary? In some ways it was. Up intil this there were very few side-long compositions, at least in the studio. Cream did a 16 min. version of Spoonful on Wheels Of Fire which was live. Zappa of course had all sorts of screwy inventions from Freak Out to We're Only In It For the Money to Lumpy Gravey. But were they listenable to the average listener? No, of course not. It takes a certain click of everything coming into place for a simplistic song to work for a long period of time. It worked here on Vida. Too bad it didn't work for IB later. Oh well!

'Nuff said: 4 stars for the song alone!

marktheshark | 4/5 |


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