In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida: Iron Butterfly

Rating: 90%

In-A-Gadda-Da-VidaMany people like this record, many hated this record. Some said it was boring, some said it was a work of genius. Many said it was the most influential psychedelic rock album that crossed into the new genre that would be called heavy metal. In 1969, it was the biggest selling record and today has had over 30 million copies sold. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was released in 1968 and was Iron Butterfly’s second studio record. The line up featured the lead vocalists and organ player Doug Ingle, the young and talented 17 year old guitarist Erik Brann, Ron Bushy on drums and Lee Dorman on bass.

I have always enjoyed Iron Butterfly’s records. Especially, the first four records. Their music structure is very solid. It has a lot of tempo, good melodies and lots of harmony. The guitar work is really good. There is a lot of distortion on this record with Erik’s guitar and its that style of guitar work that would become a major influence in heavy metal/hard rock.  Doug Ingle’s voice is very unique. As a songwriter, he is very talented. The organ that he plays is more than a work of art, it’s a masterpiece. The drum work is fantastic and “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is a testament to the skill that Ron Bushy has on drums.

“Most Anything You Want” begins with vocal harmony. Musically and lyrically, it’s feel good music. Then you hear the sound of a distorted guitar solo. “Flowers and Beads” is sort of a repeat of the first track’s structure. “My Mirage” has a nice tempo to it. It’s a bit more peppy than the first opening two tracks on the record. Erik’s guitar is more settle and a bit heavier.  “Termination” is a bit heavier as well and it has a more upbeat tempo. The guitar and bass work well with one another. Lot’s of scales. “Are You Happy” has a good vibe to it. It’s heavy and the drum work sort of builds you up to the last track on the record. The harmony is there on vocals and the guitar work is more or less, that transition into heavy metal. You hear that in the solos.

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is a 17 minute raw, hard hitting song of the 1960’s. The main riff and chorus is simple and yet is a work of talent. The scales in which are being used, are drawn out, but at the same time, a masterpiece. The vocal work is brilliant, as Doug’s vocals are so unique. The song’s lyrics are only at the beginning and ending. Doug’s work on the organ blends in so well with the song structure. The bass lines are clearly heard throughout the entire song, minus the drum solo. Erik’s guitar solos and rhythms are a great blend of heavy distorted sounds. As you get through the first verse and the solo-work of both Doug and Erik, the music begins to fade for Ron’s drum solo, that is breath taking. As the drum solo nears the end, Doug’s organ softly beings to play. Then Erik, with a guitar pick slides it across the strings which gives the sound of eeriness. Then the song begins to come even louder and then a guitar solo rips through the song in classic metal fashion. Ron’s drumming comes back with a short solo that is accompanied by a bass solo. Then Doug and Erik hit hard with more solos.

Track listing:

1. “Most Anything You Want” 3:44
2. “Flowers and Beads” 3:09
3. “My Mirage” 4:55
4. “Termination” 2:53
5. “Are You Happy” 4:31
6. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” 17:05

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