Wednesday, May 4, 2011

In a gadda da vida - Iron Butterfly

. In July of 1968, Iron Butterfly released the monumental LP, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, featuring the 17:10 minute side-long track that shook the entire music industry with its phenomenal reception. 'Vida outsold every record in the history of recorded music within the first year of its release (over eight million copies sold) and therefore outgrew and outsold the standard of the music industry's "Gold Album" award. Iron Butterfly was subsequently awarded: The Industry's Very First "Platinum Album"

The song features a memorable, "endless, droning minor-key riff," a guitar and bass ostinato, which is repeated throughout nearly the entire length of the song. It is also used as the basis for extended organ and guitar solos, which are interrupted in the middle by an extended drum solo, one of the first such solos on a rock record and one of the most famous in rock.

What made this particular drum solo unique was its surreal tribal sound. Bushy removed the bottom heads from his tom-toms to give them less of a resonant tone, and during the recording process, the drum tracks were subjected to a process known as flanging, producing a slow, swirling sound. It's then followed by Doug Ingle's ethereal polyphonic organ solo (which resembles variations on "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen") to the accompaniment of drums (beginning around 9:20 into the piece). There are then interludes in cut time and a reprise of the original theme and vocals.

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

The album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was by far Iron Butterflys greatest success, selling over four million copies and staying on the charts for 140 weeks. It was Atlantic Records' largest selling album until Led Zeppelin.

The band, in their early years, had regular gigs at the famous L.A. music clubs, the Whiskey-a-Go-Go and the Galaxy. They gained success by opening for the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. Led Zeppelin once opened for Iron Butterfly ... and heavier and bigger was the Zep ... roots here of heavy metal.

Ingle's father was a church organist in Omaha, Nebraska, passing on the interest and talent to his son.

This 17-minute song is number 24 of VH-1's "Best Rock Songs of All Time." The 17-minute version proved that listeners liked longer songs, even a whole side of a 33 or 8-track tape ... Enjoy!

- Doug Ingle / vocals, keyboards
- Erik Brann / guitar
- Lee Dorman / bass
- Ron Bushy / drums
Ron Bushy is the sole remaining in the band today, writer, and legendary for his drum solo in In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, with his primal drum patterns, that set the standard for generations of rock drummers

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