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

IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA

Iron Butterfly

 

Proto-Prog

3.42 | 234 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Most everyone remembers of IB, through this album and its side-long title track. No doubt you have read (or will read) the other reviews, so I will not push too much the analysis of the tracks, but state a few facts: the album stayed three years in the Billboard chart and almost two in the top ten. It has the first lengthy drum solo to be recorded on a studio album and unfortunately it will create a precedent all too often imitated. By now, Ingle and Bushy are the only members from the original line-up, but Ingle was to take on lead vocals, and Lee Dorman will take up bass and Erik Brann will play guitar.

The first side consists of short tracks that follow suit of their debut album, but the garage rock intonations are much less present, but I still hear some Motown influences in most tracks as well as some classical overtones. Most Anything You Want is really dominated by Ingle's organs , but one should be aware that we are not talking of the lush Hammond organ sound or even the relative equivalent Farsifa, but rather the Vox Continental (so popular with garage bands - cannot deny their influences on IB) and it might sound like a very cheap sound and resembles The Door's Ray Manzarek sound. Flowers And Beads is a rather insipid love songs aiming at hippies, but much more interesting is My Mirage with a much slower pace and a very psychey feel (reminding a bit of the Door's debut album). Termination is another cool track that sounds like it would come out of a Doors album (Waiting For The Sun for example) but it is interesting if all too short. Are you Happy is one of those tracks that shows that IB were also relatively good at their instrument and clearly indicates what is coming up next. Maybe a little too much?

Clearly the album spotlight is the 17 min In The Garden Of Eden, which is a great track if it was not plagued by lengthy solos but in this regard, I must say that they fare much better than Vanillla Fuge does in its side-long track on Near The Beginning or Love on their Da Capo album. Especially noteworthy for its lengthy drum solo, the tracks is not boring as the solos stays structured enough and do not lose focus either as do the other two examples I just gave you.

At the time, this album was groundbreaking (and therefore historically significant), today as with most of IB's albums, one can say it is a bit out-dated, but nothing to be ashamed of. However it always evaded me as why this album was so successful, and why people remember it so fondly almost 40 years after it came out (outside its obvious Doors influences on side 1): it sounds quite dated today and not really progressive - and this is coming from someone eternally stuck between 65 and 75 ;-) Nuff said!!

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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