Sunday 7 December 2014

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Iron Butterfly, 1968)

Progressive rock didn't come out of the blue in the late '60s. The role played by seminal bands like Iron Butterfly is essential, IMHO, to correctly set this new genre in the big picture of its era. Coming from San Diego, these musicians, leaded by vocalist and keyboardist Doug Ingle, released a fantastic 17 minute title track in their second and still highly appreciated album. The song occupies the whole B side of the LP and its title is a mispronunciation of "In The Garden of Life", including a Spanish contamination of the last word. A very short version of this suite will be also released as a successful single.

It's a most psychedelic cover art, isn't it?

You'll find everything late '60s here, I mean it. From the captivating opening riff to the long drum solo and from spacey organ atmospheres to intricate bass / guitar / keyboard interplays.The circular pattern of the song, opening and closing with two similar sections, was also going to be a typical prog feature.  Doug's vocals are rather on the heavy side, and this makes a pleasant contrast with the slow tempo passages. A psychedelic monument announcing both prog and hard rock, something all music lovers should know, if you ask me.

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