Album Review: “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” By Iron Butterfly
Iron Butterfly live in 1971 - Bruno S. / Youtube
Iron Butterfly’s sophomore release, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, is one of the most well-acclaimed acid rock albums to exist, and probably is the progenitor of the heavier genres in rock, including heavy metal. Sporting hints of The Doors and classical influences, Iron Butterfly’s second catalog became a template of sorts for some of the most indulgent psychedelic tracks in the history of music, employing and emphasizing the use of the organ for that brooding, suspenseful quality.
“Most Anything You Want” opens the album with its run of hooks, riffs, and a sick fuzz-laden solo that rides along with the organ of doom, while “Flowers and Beads” dig into a more pop-oriented style. “My Mirage” is another psychedelic trip with clinical guitar parts and a menacing organ progression. “Termination” relies on its fuzzy quality and banging riffs, turning into an indulgent rocker as it progresses. Closing the first side is “Are You Happy?”, which starts off in a swing-like cadence before blasting into full rock mode with lead and bass parts trading blows.
The second side is dominated by the sole track, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, the iconic track that has interwoven goodness imbued in it, thanks to the impeccable synchronization of every instrument, with no apparent victor among them. The drum solo then presents itself, which breaks the entire mood, resetting the level of interest of the listener. The instruments slowly rejoin the whole ruckus as the infectious riff starts over and recurs until the song concludes at a lengthy 17 minutes.
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was a cult classic in the making when it was first released, and came into fruition many years past its prime. The album is a natural period piece that perfectly preserves its era in rock music.