Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Iron Butterfly

Today's song comes by way of request from my niece. Which kind of threw me off, because I would have expected this particular request to come from her youngest brother.  Giving him my copy of this cassette was such a proud moment for me.  I was first introduced to this band via my older brother, and their uncle. I was only too happy to pass down a classic to another generation. 



Iron Butterfly is an American psychedelic rock band best known for the 1968 hit "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", providing a dramatic sound that led the way towards the development of hard rock music.

Formed in San Diego, California among band members that used to be "arch enemies", their heyday was the late 1960s, but the band has been reincarnated with various members with varying levels of success, with no new recordings since 1975. The band's seminal 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is among the world's 40 best-selling albums, selling more than 30 million copies. Iron Butterfly is also notable for being the first group to receive an RIAA platinum award.

At slightly over 17 minutes, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida occupies the entire second side of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album. The lyrics are simple, and heard only at the beginning and the end. The track was recorded on May 27, 1968, at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.

The recording that is heard on the album was meant to be a soundcheck for engineer Don Casale while the band waited for the arrival of producer Jim Hilton. However, Casale had rolled a recording tape, and when the rehearsal was completed it was agreed that the performance was of sufficient quality that another take was not needed. Hilton later remixed the recording at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles. The single reached number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.


In later years, band members claimed that the track was produced by Long Island producer Shadow Morton, who earlier had supervised the recordings of the band Vanilla Fudge. Morton subsequently stated in several interviews that he had agreed to do so at the behest of Atlantic Records chief Ahmet Ertegün, but said he was drinking heavily at the time and that his actual oversight of the recording was minimal. Neither Casale nor Morton receives credit on the album, while Hilton was credited as both its sound engineer and producer.

The song is considered significant in rock history because, together with music by Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf and High Tide, it marks the early transition from psychedelic music into heavy metal. In 2009, it was named the 24th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.

A commonly related story says that the song's title was originally "In the Garden of Eden", but at one point in the course of rehearsing and recording, singer Doug Ingle got drunk and slurred the words, creating the mondegreen that stuck as the title. However, the liner notes on 'the best of' CD compilation state that drummer Ron Bushy was listening to the track through headphones, and could not clearly distinguish what Ingle said when he asked him for the song's title. An alternative explanation given in the liner notes of the 1995 re-release of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album, is that Ingle was drunk, high, or both, when he first told Bushy the title, and Bushy wrote it down. Bushy then showed Ingle what he had written, and the slurred title stuck.


"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was released as a 45 in the US and other territories. The 17 minute original version was edited down to 2:53 minutes. This version contains the intro, two complete verses, the repeat of the main theme very near the end, a short break and the closing segment. There is nothing at all left of any of the solos.

In the Netherlands (and perhaps other territories too) a different, longer 4:14 minute edit was released first on a 45 with catalogue number 2019 021 and later on an EP with catalogue number 2091 213. This edit features only one verse, a large portion of the drum solo, the final verse and the closing segment.

Another edit, supplied to some radio stations, runs at 5:04. It includes the first verse, approx. 20 seconds each of the organ and guitar solo, part of the drum solo segueing into the drum/bass solo, the final verse and the closing of the song. It is considered to be a definitive edit of the song.

A European compilation album on the EVA label (EMI, Virgin, BMG, Ariola) entitled Pop Classics 2, features a 10:26 edit of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. The original soundtrack CD of the movie "Manhunter" features an 8:20 minute edit of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. In these edits, it's mostly the guitar solos that were edited out.



A live version reaching over 19 minutes long was released as part of their 1969 live album, simply titled Live. This version lengthens the drum solo by roughly four minutes and the organ solo by about one minute. It also omits the bass and drum solo jam (heard from 13:04–15:19 on the studio recording).

When Doug Ingle wrote the song, he had not intended for it to run 17 minutes long. However, Ingle said that he "knew there would be slots for solos". During live renditions, Erik Brann's (guitar) and Ron Bushy's (drum) solos varied from performance to performance, while Ingle's organ solo remained the same.

https://youtu.be/UIVe-rZBcm4





and for those of you with a shorter attention span:

https://youtu.be/Pc9Cv7jODqI






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