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IRON BUTTERFLY

Proto-Prog • United States


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Iron Butterfly biography
Doug Ingle (Vocals, Organ) formed the first incarnation of 'Iron Butterfly' in 1966 in San Diego with drummer Ron Bushy. After the group moved to Los Angeles and played the club scene, it secured a recording contract and got national exposure through tours with 'the Doors' and 'Jefferson Airplane'.

Following the release of their 1968 debut album, "Heavy", original members Jerry Penrod (bass), Darryl DeLoach (vocals), and Danny Weis (guitar) left the band and were replaced by guitarist Erik Brann and bassist Lee Dorman. Weis went on to join 'Rhinoceros'. Later that year, the new line-up recorded "In A Gadda Da Vida", a masterpiece of heavy, psychedelic acid rock, which sold four million copies, spent over a year in the Top Ten, and was the first album to receive platinum certification after the RIAA instituted the award. (The title has been translated as "in the garden of Eden" or "in the garden of life.") A shortened version of the title track, which contained extended instrumental passages with classical/Eastern-influenced organ, plus a two-and-a-half-minute drum solo, reached number 30 on the singles charts. The follow-up, "Ball", showed greater musical variety and went gold, followed by two more album releases in 1970 - "Live", and "Metamorphosis".

Erik Braunn left the group and was replaced by guitarists Mike Pinera and Larry 'Rhino' Reinhardt, but the group's success was largely over. Iron Butterfly broke up in 1971; Braunn and Bushy re-formed the group in the mid-'70s.

Thanx to Progman for research!



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Alongside the likes of DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPPELIN and
VANILA FUDGE, Iron Butterfly pioneered Hard/Heavy Rock
and combined ProtoProg and Psychedelia.



Discography:
1968. Heavy (Studio Album)
1968. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Studio Album)
1969. Ball (Studio Album)
1969. Live (Live)
1970. Evolution (Compilation)
1970. Metamorphosis (Studio Album)
1974. Scorching Beauty (Studio Album)
1975. Sun and Steel (Studio Album)
1984. Rare Flight (Compilation)
1993. Light & Heavy (Compilation)

Iron Butterfly official website

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IRON BUTTERFLY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

IRON BUTTERFLY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 65 ratings
Heavy
1968
3.40 | 204 ratings
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
1968
3.02 | 40 ratings
Ball
1969
3.32 | 59 ratings
Metamorphosis
1970
2.41 | 22 ratings
Scorching Beauty
1975
3.20 | 22 ratings
Sun and Steel
1976

IRON BUTTERFLY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 18 ratings
Live
1970
4.75 | 4 ratings
Fillmore East 1968
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live At The Galaxy 1967
2014

IRON BUTTERFLY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 3 ratings
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
1995
4.50 | 2 ratings
Rock 'N' Roll Greats - Iron Butterfly: In Concert!
2004
5.00 | 2 ratings
Concert and Documentary - Europe 1997
2008

IRON BUTTERFLY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Evolution: The Best of Iron Butterfly
1970
3.00 | 4 ratings
Rare Flight
1984
3.57 | 8 ratings
Light And Heavy: The Best Of Iron Butterfly
1993

IRON BUTTERFLY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Don't Look Down On Me / Possession
1967
4.50 | 2 ratings
Possession / Evil Temptation
1967
4.25 | 4 ratings
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
1968
4.00 | 1 ratings
Unconscious Power
1968
2.05 | 2 ratings
Silly Sally
1971

IRON BUTTERFLY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ball by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.02 | 40 ratings

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Ball
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I used to read this metal magazine that was published in Canada called "Metallion". It covered everything from hard rock to thrash metal and was great for featuring homegrown metal bands. There was also a page called "Roots of Metal" that featured bands like The Yardbirds, Ten Years After, Cream, Vanilla Fudge, and Iron Butterfly. I recall one part of the Iron Butterfly article that said after the fantastic success with "In-A-Gadda-Da- Vida", the same line-up returned to record an album that "sounded like it was recorded between someone's coffee breaks".

As for me, I don't view the album so derisively. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" had some great moments but there was also the other side of Iron Butterfly, the Butterfly side that was pretty hippy dippy ("Flowers and Beads" anyone?).

"Ball" opens with a stunningly heavy intro complete with harsh power chords, cymbal crashes, and a bizarre dragging/pulsing effect that creates an ominous and forbidding atmosphere. The song itself is a cross between haunting and pretty with inserts of heavier moments, particularly near the song's conclusion. Though not as straightforward as say "Iron Butterfly Theme" or the short version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", this song shows Iron Butterfly's darker side.

The rest of the album covers a variety of approaches, bringing in some light funk mixed with psychedelia like "Soul Experience", or the tension-filled "Real Fright" with its hurried suspense/spy movie bass line. There's Doug Ingle's balladeer vocal showcase, "Lonely Boy" which will either have you stabbing at the skip button right away or you might appreciate it for the effort. "This Must Be Love" sees a gradual building of psychedelic hard rock guitar, and "Belda Beast" is credited to young Eric Braun who shows off his vocal and guitar talents.

On "Ball" there's also an overall impression that Iron Butterfly was moving into more progressive territory. In particular, I find songs like "Her Favorite Style" and "Filled with Fear" feature an almost classical approach to composition in the way the guitar, bass and keyboard work together. The song structures take the album away from the standard pop song, and for that I actually find this album to be an interesting and enjoyable musical melange of psychedelic adventures. Of course such a mixed bag will have songs that bomb for some people, and I myself don't claim every effort to be a treat. In a way, this album is one of the last of its kind because heavy psych, heavy blues, and hard rock was taking a turn in 1969 and things were getting a whole lot heavier. Still, Braun makes some good use of his fuzz box at times. As for the prog aspect, it's a pretty good step in the right direction; however, things were about to become even more interesting.

Four stars for creativity but three for the overall result.

 Metamorphosis by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.32 | 59 ratings

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Metamorphosis
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars Many people turned their backs on Iron Butterfly by the time this album came out, because it's not like In-a-Gadda-da-Vida. What they did was go a more heavy, bluesy direction. No more "flowers and beads", after flower power looked rather ridiculous by 1970 (in fact, flower power was already looking silly by the end of 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, not to mention the Vietnam War becoming uglier. I associate flower power with the Summer of Love in 1967). Erik Braunn is now gone, replaced by Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt and Mike Pinera. It seems they were looking for biker cred, after all, the gatefold depicts Lee Dorman on a motorcycle, and one of the songs is called "Easy Rider (Let the Wind Pay the Way)". The music now brings to mind Steppenwolf, as it has a more bluesy feel, not to mention the Vox Continental organ was replaced by a Hammond organ. So in 1970 Iron Butterfly is still stuck in 1968, but not of the "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" variety, but of the Steppenwolf variety. Even Doug Ingle vocals remind me of John Kay. "A New Day" is a pretty typical song for this album. Heavy bluesy rock that fans of Steppenwolf could relate to. "Shady Lady" also has a bluesy feel, but Doug Ingle uses a Hohner Pianet on this piece, and a pretty interesting use of it. "Best Years of Our Lives" and "Stone Believer" shows more of this heavy blues-influenced rock side, but "Slower than Guns" is extremely different, an acoustic piece with sitar. Makes you wonder why Iron Butterfly was not using a sitar during the "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" days, when every other psychedelic band was using one. "A Soldier in Town" refers to a soldier actually being Cupid. It's a rather slow piece but Doug Ingle really shouts here. "Easy Rider" was apparently a minor hit for the band, but I was too young to experience FM rock radio when it was still "progressive FM rock" radio (that format pretty much went defunct by 1975 in favor of commercial AOR) who would favor album cuts over hit singles (including "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" in all its glory, and not the 3 minute edited single version as heard on commercial AOR FM rock radio post-1975). That meant I never remembered hearing that song on the radio, so it was brand new to me buying this album. "Butterfly Bleu" is really a divisive cut for many. It's over 13 minutes long. Starts off bluesy, but you'll notice elements of space rock as it continues on, some more bluesy passages, and perhaps one of the earliest uses of the talk box through the guitar (which Joe Walsh and most notably, Peter Frampton were most famous for using a few years later). But some of the experiments might seem over the heads, it does seem a bit disjointed in places. It's strange, maybe not the best way to end the album. Regardless, this album took me by surprise. Didn't expect them to sound like this, but I like it. Iron Butterfly was never exactly a darling of rock critics, and I seriously doubt this album would help them change their attitudes. Don't expect another In-a-Gadda-da-Vida, but recommended for those who don't mind bluesy heavy rock.
 Silly Sally by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
2.05 | 2 ratings

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Silly Sally
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A now very rare single and also a single which I never knew anything about it until yesterday I visited youtube and I found it and I could listen to both sides of it.

The other information I could find in the web about it is that it was the last single that the band released before they split in 1971, and the "A" side was even recorded without Doug Ingle who left the band. But he appears in the "B" side, which is a song taken from their 1970 album titled "Metamorphosis (with Pinera and Rhino)".

So, the "A" side, "Silly Sally" (composed by Pinera and other songwriter who was not in the band), was recorded as a quartet by Ron Bushy, Lee Dorman. Mike Pinera and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt and without keyboards. It also includes a horns section plus backing singers. It was sung by Pinera very well and it sounds like a Rhythm and Blues song influenced by James Brown and Wilson Pickett . The lead vocals by Pinera sound to me a bit similar to John Fogerty`s vocals too, from the band "Creedence Clearwater Revival". The song really does not sound as the typical song I could expect from Iron Butterfly. I don`t know why it was released, but it seems that it only was released in this single and was totally forgotten because as long as I know it was not a Hit anywhere. Maybe it was recorded as a "contract filler" with the record label or as a last attempt from the band to "re-start" as a band without Ingle. The song is not bad but it does not sound like a song from Iron Butterfly , and it really sounds very typical from the late sixties / early seventies, and a bit dated too.

The side "B" , "Stone Believer", has Doug Ingle very present on lead vocals (shared with Pinera) and keyboards, and while it also sounds like a not very typical song from this band, Ingle`s presence make it somewhat more recognizable as a song from Iron Butterlfy. Until now I still have not yet listened to the "Metamorphoisis" album as a whole, but it seems to me that Erik Brann`s departure and replacement by two guitarists (Pinera and Rhino) made the band change their sound a lot. But the change in sound was even more drastic when Ingle left the band.

Anyway, two good songs for my taste, and maybe this single is now very hard to find. For Iron Butterfly`s more dedicated fans and collectors.

The band was going to reform many times since 1974, and with a lot of different line-ups until 2102, when Lee Dorman died. He was one of the most present members of this band in their line-ups in all their more than 40 years of existence as a band, But they released their last album (without Dorman and Ingle but with Bushy and Brann) in 1975, becoming later more a touring band than anything else.

 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.40 | 204 ratings

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In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Flowers and Beads

1968 was a pretty tasty year on the coast and an early peak for Iron Butterfly, an acid-rock band with a pleasantly cheesy streak. This was an album I truly did discover by rifling through my older siblings LPs and deciding I needed to "borrow" this strange titled disc. Even back in the 70s I recognized that the band felt dated and as I got older it seemed everyone liked to ridicule this album despite professing some level of affinity for it. I join with a minority of my fellow reviewers in preferring the short tracks on side one to the legendary behemoth of side two.

While the music within was nothing new by '68 and the writing less exciting than something like "Piper at the Gates", In-A-Gadda is a fine album and one that I enjoy as much today as anything by the Doors for whom they are so often compared. And while Butterfly never had the luxury of an explosive Jim Morrison at center stage, in my opinion their musicians are just as interesting. Ingle's organ sound and playing have a sinister vibe and depth to them, very cool, his playing holds my attention far more than Manzarek's endless repetitions. Erik Brann is a cool guitarist with a penchant for melodic lines and crisp, biting chord strums. Side one's short tracks are an interesting slice of psych-pop with a great period organ sound that should please any fan of the genre. Side two has some glorious moments as well, but suffers somewhat from the fact that about 10 minutes of cool music are stretched a bit much at 17 minutes. Yet its dramatic forays play out like music for an exploration, with big riffs and over-the-top organ, strange Syd-inspired screeches, effective near-silence, and even a drum solo. If you got the time, why not? Turn out the lights, kick back, and time travel back to the good days.

An easy recommendation to fans of 60s psych rock and organ rock. There is plenty of fun here if you don't take things too seriously.

 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.40 | 204 ratings

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In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Call me a philistine, but I actually think the first side of Iron Butterfly's In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida is better than the side-long title track. The brace of heavy psych numbers (reminiscent of Love and, occasionally, the wilder moments of the Doors) the album opens with benefit from tight songwriting and an absence of filler (and tedious drum solos) that the second side can't boast. Although side-long songs would end up becoming a tradition for prog and the proggier end of heavy psych, this early example of the form fails to satisfy because the fact is that it's a three- minute psych number padded out with 14 minutes of filler and redundant repetition. Still, at least side A cooks.
 Rare Flight by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1984
3.00 | 4 ratings

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Rare Flight
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by The Mystical

3 stars "Rare Flight" is a retro reissue of two of Iron Butterfly's albums, "Heavy" and "Ball". The reissue has a certain retro charm to it, and it is quite a rarity.

"HEAVY" - 3.5 stars "Heavy" is a nice little album - short (clocking less than 30 mins), catchy, and an easy listen. The band is rather tight in this release too. I find myself listening to this album quite often, though I do find it a little inferior to their other early albums. I think I find myself listening to "Heavy" frequently because of it's general consistency in mood. Though I generally love music that has a large emotional palette, this album is great when you are in the mood for something a little more light hearted. The key tracks here are "Unconscious Power" and "Iron Butterfly Theme".

Though the album may not seem heavy in comparison to the music of today, "Heavy" was putting a heavier spin on the music of the times, an ambitious move of their part, and one that was widely admired at the time. With today's standards it is easy to dismiss this album as just another cheesy 60s pop album, but we must remember that at the time of it's release "Heavy" had a whole different context.

"BALL" - 4 stars It is a shame that "Ball" so underrated - not only on this site, but in general too. This album screams prog to me. It is drenched in melodic psychedelia and contains many of the greatest Iron Butterfly tracks, for example "In the Time of our Lives", "Soul Experience", "Filled With Fear", and the incredibly beautiful "Belda Beast".

I believe that this album was mainly dismissed because of "Inna Gadda Da Vida". But how does a band follow up such an immortal classic as "Inna Gadda Da Vida" without disappointing their fans? It has rarely been achieved. Though this album doesn't instantly strike the listener as a classic, it contains some of the greatest psychedelic tracks that I know, and the album is a pleasant and nostalgic listen. The music contains the pop-ish aspects of "Inna Gadda Da Vida", but the music is much more subtle and is not as punchy.

I will not review every song on this album, but I do wish to point out the two greatest tracks on the album. First of all is "Soul Experience". Each time I hear the opening guitar echoing, I get cold shivers. One of my all time favourites. And second is "Belda Beast". This song is probably the most beautiful song I can think of.

This rerelease gains a total of 3 stars from me. Unfortunately the original album sleeves are not included, but the sleeve here has a retro appeal. This album is a great buy for someone who is after great value listening experience. Peace!

 Ball by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.02 | 40 ratings

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Ball
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by The Mystical

4 stars "Your hopes are bouncing in front of your eyes, As you jump to catch them floating so high, Bye, bye..."

What a shame that "Ball" so underrated - not only on this site, but in general too. This album screams prog to me. It is drenched in melodic psychedelia and contains many of the greatest Iron Butterfly tracks, for example "In the Time of our Lives", "Soul Experience", "Filled With Fear", and the incredibly beautiful "Belda Beast". This album holds a very special place for me, so it is very difficult to review it without being biased...but I will give it my best shot.

I believe that this album was mainly dismissed by fans and critics due to the vast popularity of "Inna Gadda Da Vida". But how does a band follow up such an immortal classic as "Inna Gadda Da Vida" without disappointing their fans? It has rarely been achieved. Though this album doesn't instantly strike the listener as a classic, it contains some of the greatest psychedelic tracks that I know, and the album is a pleasant and nostalgic listen. The music contains many of the pop-ish aspects of "Inna Gadda Da Vida", but the music is much more subtle and is not as punchy.

I won't review every song, but I do wish to point out the two greatest tracks on the album. First of all is "Soul Experience". This less that three minute long song is a journey through my deepest emotions. Each time I hear the opening guitar echoing, I get cold shivers. One of my all time favourites. Secondly, "Belda Beast". This song is probably the most beautiful song I can think of.

An excellent addition to a progressive rock collection, and an essential addition to a psychedelic music collection. 4 stars.

☮ Peace ☮

 Heavy by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.28 | 65 ratings

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Heavy
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by The Mystical

3 stars A collection of pleasant songs.

"Heavy" is a nice little album - short (clocking less than 30 mins), catchy, and an easy listen. The band's rather tight too. I find myself listening to this album quite often, though I do find it a little inferior to their other early albums. I think I find myself listening to "Heavy" frequently because of it's general consistency in mood. Though I generally love music that has a large emotional palette, this album is great when you are in the mood for something a little more light hearted. The key tracks here are "Unconscious Power" and "Iron Butterfly Theme".

Though the album may not seem heavy in comparison to the music of today, "Heavy" was putting a heavier spin on the music of the times, an ambitious move of their part, and one that was widely admired at the time. With today's standards it is easy to dismiss this album as just another cheesy 60s pop album, but we must remember that at the time of it's release "Heavy" had a whole different context.

3.5 stars.

Peace!

 Live by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Live, 1970
3.08 | 18 ratings

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Live
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by the philosopher

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.

 In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by IRON BUTTERFLY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.40 | 204 ratings

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In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Iron Butterfly Proto-Prog

Review by the philosopher

3 stars Acidic hard-rock lovesongs!

The sound of the Iron Butterfly is some mixture of The Doors and Vannilla Fudge. The sound is acidic and sharp. The guitar is heavy distorted, but still playes lot of melodic solo's. The keyboard sounds a bit to sharp for me and the vocals are nice, but the lyrics are all too romantic. The lovetheme in all of the songs sound a bit weird in this hardrockin' mix. It was not unusual in 60's rock to sing romantic lyrics, but for an acidic hardrock band this seems to be a bit out of place.

The first side of the record contains short songs with nice key and/or guitar melodies not so different from The Doors, except the vocals which are not as good and the amplification is far more acidic. The second side contains the titletrack which was a hit and takes the whole side with over 17 minutes playtime. Each member get a good change to show their jam and there is some nice theme on this track.

This record is a nice example of early hard-rock and therefor has some historical value. In Holland it is quiet easy to find a second hand vinyl copy for 2 or 3 euro and for this money this is a nice record. My greatest complains about this record are the romantic lyrics and the small amount of subtleties, but it ain't bad to give this some try: 3,5 stars. This music should also fit in the heavy prog category.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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