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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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably one of my first teenage albums, Great memories. I have worn out the vinyl.Published 56 minutes ago by Matthew Gray
Another cd copy of a great album. Contains one of the two best drum solos ever recorded.Published 2 days ago by Martin Judd
saw this band at Ashland (ohio) U. Christmas break in1968. 21/2 hour show... this is the only song they played. nobody cared.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
This has the short and long versions of In a gad
This has all their best songs from all albums, and the short and long versions of In A Gad
This has the short and... Read more