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

Picture dad's record collection is pretty cool. It's not just cool because he has so many records, or that he's managed to keep them in such good shape. It's cool because it's well procured - it's not just mid-period Genesis and a Neil Diamond singles collection (although those are in there and I love them both). From classic albums to Dr Demento rarities, if it's worth having, my dad's got it. 

And while I may not have followed my dad's example in every facet of my life, I certainly have followed his example when it comes to my music collection. I have loads of albums from music scenes that I was totally not into. I've got Tracy Chapman CDs and Bad Brains LPs...but I never came close to sniffing either of those music scenes in real life. 

My dad has this Iron Butterfly album. But he wasn't hippie. He never 'ate the brown acid,' he's never smelt patchouli, heck, I don't think he's ever been to Southern California. He just liked the music. From a distance. Like how I like the first Mighty Mighty Bosstone's album. I will listen the crap out of that thing...but I'm never going to "ska dance." Just not gonna happen.

For newcomers to Iron Butterfly - you've heard them. Their hit is probably the biggest psychedelic hit of the sixties - the sprawling, seventeen minute epic "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." This track can only be found in its entirety on this album - so please enjoy:

[ mp3 ]Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

It's unfortunate that the ubiquity of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida has made Iron Butterfly a one-hit-wonder, because they do have other good tunes. My favorite on this album is the lead-off track, "Most Anything That You Want."

[ mp3 ]: Iron Butterfly - Most Anything That You Want

This song is the perfect combination of heavy psychedelia with a bluesy, punch-in-your-face guitar riff. I'm also on board with any song that can talk about spending your life with someone and making them happy without sounding like a cut-rate Death Cube for Catty song. 

This is definitely a pivotal rock and roll album. However, the years have turned it into a relic. While songs like "Most Anything That You Want" make it more than just a museum piece, it's hard not to feel like you're listening to something from a display at the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame. It's aged like a bottle of scotch as opposed to a bottle of wine - it's good, but it's gonna taste the same for a while. 

- N.W.

3 / 5 Dads

3 / 5 Sons