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Iron Butterfly


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3 stars I bought this album in 1983. The main curiosity was to listen to the live version of "In-a- gadda-da-vida", but the album is good as a whole.

The album starts with three songs form their "Ball" album. "In the Time of Our Lives" has a heavy introduction with distorted guitar. This guitar is so distorted in some parts of the song that it sounds like Brann lost control of it! This is a Ingle-Bushy composition, which ends with a snare drum, played like in a military band. "Filled with Fear" is another "sinister" song, reflected more in Ingle`s vocals. He also wrote this song alone. "Soul Experience", a song composed by Ingle-Bushy-Brann-Dorman, is another Hippy-Flower Power song which has some interesting arrangements, one of them a note-by-note melody played together by the organ and the guitar, like extracted from an early "electronic music played on the moog" album, albums which were very popular in the late 60s / early 70s. I remember that this particular section of this song (but taken from the studio version) was used in a T.V. commercial for car mechanical tools in my country in the early 70s!

The next song is from their first album called "Heavy", but composed by founder members Danny Weis and Darryl DeLoach, called "You Can`t Win". It is a very "Pop Rock" song in style. I don`t know why they chose to include this song in this live album as it wasn`t written by Ingle or Bushy, the remaining founder members of the band.

The next song is from the "In-a-gadda-da-vida"album, a fast version of "Are You Happy?" (composed by Ingle), played with a lot of distortion from Brann`s guitar. I prefer the studio version of this song. The last song of this album is "In-a-gadda-da- vida" (also composed by Ingle), played with some differences: a) the drums solo is longer that the studio version, but played without using the "sound effects" applied to the drums, so it sounds more "simple" than in the studio version; b) the guitar solos are different in structure, but Dorman plays the bass very well; c) one part of the song is not played (the part which includes a bass riff near the end of the song) or was edited out of the album; d) the song is longer in comparison to the studio version due to the drums solo, but played maybe with "an urgency" to finish it, like they were tired of playing it many times on tour.

One funny thing that I listened in this album was the interaction between the band and the audience. It is maybe more of "historic importance" now: a woman in the audience sings a not identified "song" during the drums solo! It was the time of the Hippies (the cover design is also very "Hippy" / "Flower Power" and psychedelic in style). This interaction is similar to parts of The Doors`"Absolutely Live" album. "Those Were the Days", as Mary Hopkin sang in 1968! "Peace and Love"!

Report this review (#73225)
Posted Monday, March 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars After such a disastrous album as Ball, IB had to to do something to reassure their fans, and a live album might have been the solution, maybe an easy one, but they had to make known they were still a ROCK group and not a pop outfit.

Right away, the first thing striking you is the great psychedelic collage of the artwork as it is obviously trying to restore credibility with their fans. But by starting off the album with three tracks of their previous Ball album, I am sure this was also a gamble, but they did choose the two best tracks (and most IB-like) from that album, and they work well as an opener. The third track is also from that dreaded Ball album, but in a much better version. Up next is a good track from their debut album, but I must say that I like the original version better as I find the sound rather muddy (and Ingle was not the singer on that album too). Are You Happy is from their seminal second album, but not the one I would've chosen from the ones present on that first side. A good rendition of it though, with a slight drumming bit announcing the drums galore of their cornerstone track. the live version is not vastly different thanthe studio version, though.

A good live album with a good sound considering the year it was recorded in, but there is not much new under the flight of the Iron Butterfly. This was probably (IMHO) meant as a confirmation and it was probably successful too, but I suspect that it was also meant to have fans be patient, as guitarist Braunn had left the group (he was to form a group with two other ex-IB members - Penrod and DeLoach) and therefore had to be replaced. Not essential for progheads as are any of IB's albums, but still worth a spin.

Report this review (#73524)
Posted Thursday, March 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I ran into this one at a local record fair. After a quick hike home to check it's availability & price range online and a quick hike back, I decided to buy it. And I'm glad I did.

Featured is a good live recording of Iron Butterfly in action with over a half of the overall time being covered by the mammoth In-a-gadda-da-vida. While it was the same case on their second album, in a live environment it still seems a bit strange. Despite consisting of 5 good tracks, the first half is like a breeze. It comes and it goes and before you know it, the band is getting into their massive epic which sounds just as good (if not better) live as on the original record.

For a good price, it's definitely worth checking out if you like the band. But I wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to acquire it.

Report this review (#95559)
Posted Tuesday, October 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars During the summer of '69 the band missed the biggest opportunity of their life: a Woodstock appearance. And I think that they will never recover of this potential and HUGE recognition.

This album is of course shy of what could have been a legendary performance. Just imagine In-A- Gadda-Da-Vida performed and filmed in front of half a million of people.Quite different of course with this confidential live album. So is the destiny.

Half of these songs come from their average and last to date album Ball. These live renditions are not weaker than their original; but to tell the truth the version of Soul Experience is nothing but a dreadful Motown experience (but so was the original). I made the same comment for their studio album and I can't really tell you anything different in here. Just an advice: press next. Immediately.

One of my fave is the old You Can't Win: a heavy psyche track which took its roots in their good and debut album. No need to say that the best numbers from this live offering don't come from their latest album at the time of releasing.

The wild and superbly heavy Are You Happy is just a splendid rock song and a great rendition of the studio counterpart available on their monster album which is of course best experienced with this live version of their memorable song: In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

I would say that this version is waaaaaaay better than the studio track. Even if it is recorded live, it sounds much more fresher than the studio work. Of course, the drum solo isn't gigantic (but there are no Moon nor Bonham to hold the sticks) but overall, I am much more receptive to this version than the studio one.

In all, this is a good live album. Nothing form the outer world though. Three stars.

Report this review (#188265)
Posted Friday, November 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars A remake of the In-a-gadda-da-vida?

I came across this record in a time I was deeply into the psychedelic music scene. I found a second hand vinyl copy and was attracted by it's colourfull album cover which is some kind of collage of hippies and hippy attributes. Since In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was without doubt Iron Butterfly's biggest succes this long side-filling track is included in this liveshow. With the first halve consisting of shorter tracks this show follows the same approach of the In-A-Gadda-Da- Vida record. The question arises if this record is better or worse then the original one?

The shorter tracks on the first side of the record do please me. The tracks are -although live recorded- better produced then the IAGDV record and also of better quality if we look from the effective songwriting point of view. Iron Butterfly became never one of my favourite psychedelic bands, but their hard rocking psychedelia with a sound between The Doors and Vanilla Fudge does succeed on some moments here. The keyboard-guitar-drum and sang have all there great moments. The vocalist sings at best at "Filled with Fear" where he has some spooky vocal sessions. However, some of the outcry's of him (especcially during the song of the IAGDV record) are terrible and sounds like granny yawning into the microphone. Besides this point the band is playing quiet good and sounds professional. I don't have a preference for the live or the original version of the IAGDV titletrack and because of the better first side of the record this record as a whole is somewhat better.

3,5 stars for this legendary band.

Report this review (#880265)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2012 | Review Permalink

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