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In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

4.5 out of 5 stars 392 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the definitive documents of the acid-rock era. The 17-minute title odyssey joins My Mirage; Flowers and Beads; Are You Happy , and the rest of their fuzzed-out 1968 classic!

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Iron Butterfly's 1968 album veritably defined the burgeoning genre of hard-rock, primarily by way of its utterly over-the-top title cut. Reportedly composed by keyboardist/lead singer Doug Ingle in such a stoned-out, numb-tongued condition that he couldn't properly pronounce its intended title--"In the Garden of Eden"--the track seemed almost a parody of every excessive inclination of psychedelia. Melodramatic vocals, repetitive riffing, aimless solos--you name it, this 17-minute behemoth had it. Aided by FM DJs who loved to program it in its entirety so they could take "legitimate" breaks, it became an unavoidable hit--and an anthem of its era. --Billy Altman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002IAO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com VINE VOICE on January 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Remember extended LPs, those records you'd buy which had one song you liked? Remember how you convinced yourself it was OK to buy it, even though you didn't like the rest of the album? It was OK then, and it is OK now. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" has five songs you never heard of, and one song you should know.

In the rock-and-roll canon, that great list of songs everyone generally agrees is great, you'll find a few Elvis, Stones and Beatles tunes. Zeppelin will have their share, and you'll see the Doors, Clapton, Buddy Holly and other familiar names repeated throughout that list. Then, somewhere close to #100 or 150, you'll see 'Iron Butterfly'. Who? It doesn't matter who. It matters what. The what is "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," a 17 minute work of rock-n-roll art.

To say Iron Butterfly was a one hit wonder is only relating half of the story. This wasn't like "People!" whose cover of "I Love You," hit high and then was forgotten when band members split to do other things. That's a real one hit wonder. Iron Butterfly had one hit, but it would be like if Zeppelin only gave the world "Stairway to Heaven." The one song is enough to seal them in rock-n-roll history.

Has anyone covered this song? No one cares, because this is the version everyone wants.

The rest of the album is classic psychedelia. It is not bad, but they are all B-sides to a drum solo dynamo. Like Skynard's guitar in "Freebird," the drum solo here is what everyone talks about. The physical endurance to carry it off, and the musical strength to sustain the rhythm back into the song is amazing.

Buy the CD, record it to your hard drive, then do as I do, pop it in your playlist while you surf the net.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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Format: Audio CD
The use of the organ in the 60's instantly reminded me of the Doors and Ray Manzarek, whose signature organ made "Light My Fire" a hit. There's a bit of organ solo reminiscent of "Light My Fire" in "Most Anything You Want." But Iron Butterfly made their mark by the title track of their second album, which originally came out six days before I was born. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is a verbal corruption of "In The Garden Of Eden" or "In The Garden of Life", vida being Spanish for life. And given their name, iron indicating hard, butterfly being a delicate creature, it's easy to see that along with the Who and Blue Cheer, they were the forerunners of heavy metal.
The idyllic 60's love and happiness feeling is underscored in "Most Anything You Want", where the big goal is "I just want to make you happy and spend my lifetime with you." The piercing electric guitar complements lead vocalist Doug Ingle's organ well. And also noticeable is Ingle's deep and resonant lead vocals, which gives the band and this album quite a distinction.
"Flowers And Beads" is an idyllic skipping tune like the Turtles' "Happy Together". A title like that smacks of what the Summer of Love, which was the year before this album's release, was about. And yes, the corny and trite, "Girl I love you, I love you, I need you in this lifetime/girl I just know I love you, don't you think my love is true?" definitely makes this a period piece. The harmony vocals recalls the Beatles, and this song is "She Loves You" taken to another level, only now it's "I love you.
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7 Comments 152 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I don't have much to add to what the others said about this album, musically, but I have an important recomendation. The tracks other than the title track are forgetable, but the title track is what it is all about.
I have the original Atlantic CD, and it is the *worst* sounding CD I have. There are terrible drop outs on the vocals. I also have the Rhino reissue version and it sounds *great*. Besides being remastered for good quality sound, it has bonus tracks of the live version if I-A-G-D-V (also great, some people like it better than the studio version) and the single version. So unless the Atlantic version has been remastered (and I don't know if it has been), don't get it and get the Rhino version instead - for the much improved sound quality and the bonus live track.
Of course, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida contains the mother of all drum solos. It seems to have influenced every drum solo after it.
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Format: Audio CD
This album was a seminal part of every teenager's album collection (including mine) in the 60's right along with the obligatory Hendrix and Cream albums. Granted, the remaining tracks couldn't compare to the title cut, but at 17 minutes plus, who the hell cared?
That said, I would recommend that anyone considering buying "In a Gadda Da Vida" purchase a turntable and buy a used copy in vinyl at a record store. The sound quality of the CD is the worst of any album I've ever heard. The guitar solos in particular were mixed down way low and lose the ambience and sonic clarity of the record. The only thing stopping me from giving this CD a lower rating is the fact that at least someone had the guts to try and do it...and at least left the drum and organ solos in pretty good shape.
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