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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 | 178 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album brings me a lot of memories. One of them is me watching the T.V. in 1970 ( I was 5 years old!), and seeing the promotional video* of the 17 minutes version of "In-a- gadda-da-vida", in colour. That promotional video, if I remember well, had the same psychedelic designs of the front cover of the album, which appear behind and above the members of the band, but with movements! I also remember seeing Ron Bushy moving his head and hair from side to side during all the song`s duration! One of my brothers and me, with "self-made instruments" (mine was a "drum-kit" made with boxes!) imagined playing this song, moving our heads like Bushy! None of us imagined then that by 1981 we were playing together in bands, he playing the guitar and me the drums! My recently late father also liked this song, so much that he bought the score around 1970. In 1981-82, when my brother and me had a band with a cousin who played the bass guitar, I remembered that I found the score. In those days, my brother was also playing with another band, and they were rehearsing in my parents`house too. They had a keyboard. So, my brother called a girl who was his friend and she knew how to play the piano and also to read scores. So, we tried to play the song. The girl learned to play the song very well reading the score. Of course, we couldn`t "duplicate" the song completely!

That`s enough for "nostalgia"!

Now, about the music:

"Most Anything that You Want": one of the best songs of this album, it has very good arrangements of melodies interacting played by the guitar and the organ. Good backing vocals arrangements, too. It has some influence of classical music arrangements. Here, Ingle`s church organ influences shine.

"Flowers and Beads": a very "Pop Psychedelia" song, with very good guitar by Brann and bass by Dorman. A "Flower Power" song really, which now sounds dated, more than the rest of the songs.

"My Mirage": more clear influences form Ingle`s church organ playing (his father was a church organist, as the back cover notes say). It has some "Prog-like" arrangements. It is a good song.

"Termination": a song composed by Brann and Dorman, and not sung by Ingle, like the rest of the songs. This is a short song, with great guitars by Brann, particularly in the last part of the song.

"Are You Happy?": another song with very good arrangements, "Prog" in style. Very good guitar solo and drums.

"In-a-gadda-da-vida":for a long time it was the only song that I listened from this album, until one day thirty years ago I decided to listen to the rest of the songs again. This song has again a lot of influence of Ingle`s church organ style of playing. All the musicians shine in this song. They sound very inspired, really. The drums solo seems to have "special sound effects" applied (like in Alan White`s drums in some songs of the live "Yessongs"album, with YES: in "I`ve Seen all Good People" and "Yours is No Disgrace", for example), and this is the main difference with the live version, which doesn`t have them. Brann, being 17 years old, was really amazing in his playing. He was a great guitarist (he died in 2003 due to a heart attack). Lee Dorman`s bass playing is similar in style to Chris Squire`s or John Entwistle`s. Ingle also plays a very good organ solo. Bushy was a very energetic drummer (and maybe he still is. because he and Dorman still play with a new line-up as Iron Butterfly). The production of this song in particular is very good, like the band and the producers/engineers put a lot of effort in this song in particular. Brann`s guitar sounds like an "elephant" sometimes. A great song!

Years ago I bought the CD version of this album. I can hear some hiss and distortion in some parts of the songs, so the CD revealed the limitations of recording equipments of the 60s. Maybe the newest CD version (Deluxe Edition, with a different "3 dimension cover") which was released in 1995 by Rhino Records which also includes the live version and the single version of the title song sounds better, but I don`t have it.

*Note: I saw some years ago another promotional video of this song without the references to the front cover of the album. It was included in a VHS videocassette (released in 1996 by Rhino Records) which also has a promotional video for "Butterfly Blue" from the "Metamorphosis" album.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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