A monstrous assortment of work from Iron Butterfly
– one of the key groups in helping the American scene move from psych to hard rock at the end of the 60s! First up are mono and stereo mixes of Heavy – a record that's not nearly as well known as their classic In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – but which has a very similar vibe all the way through! The songs are a bit shorter, but these guys really manage to do a lot with a little – using lots of brooding bass right up from the bottom, to create a blueprint for hard rock imitators in years to come – none of whom were able to match these guys' simple, direct approach – and their optimistic sense of power in their music. Many numbers often have this vocal interplay that really works wonderful with the fuzzy guitar lines – and titles include "Possession", "Unconscious Power", "So Lo", "Look For The Sun", "Stamped Ideas", "Fields Of The Sun", and a nice fuzzy funk version of "Get Out Of My Life Woman". Next is the stereo mix of In A Gadda Da Vida – the album that rocked a million dorm rooms back in the 60s – and for good reason, too – given that the title track is a side-long, totally jamming monster – the kind of track that was really revolutionary at the time, and which still has a hell of an impact all these many years later! "In A Gadda Da Vida" was shortened to a single – with the big hook intact – but this classic album version runs for 17 minutes in length, and has the group doing all these cool jams with their instruments – all the animals in the garden of Eden talking to each other (or at least that's what our addled teenaged minds always thought!) Shorter tracks are mighty nice too – a heady, heavy brew of Hammond and fierce guitar from Erik Brann, on cuts all penned by group leader Doug Ingle. Titles include "Termination", "My Mirage", "Flowers & Roses", and "Most Anything You Want". Next is the stereo mix of Ball – a killer classic from Iron Butterfly
– a group who always had way more to offer than their hits, as you'll find out when dipping into this full length set! The album's worth it alone for the organ lines – which kind of take off from the territory of The Doors, but are often more unusual – and mixed with vocals that can have an eerie sensibility, but without ever sounding indulgent! The music's not pop psych, but it's also never too full of itself – and titles include "In The Crowds", "In The Time Of Our Lives", "Soul Experience", "Lonely Boy", "Belda Beast", and "Filled With Fear". Next are mono and stereo mixes of Live – great live document of the heady power of Iron Butterfly
– with titles that include "You Can't Win", "Are You Happy", "In A Gadda Da Vida", "Filled With Fear", and "In The Time Of Our Lives". Next is Metamorphosis – a record that's not a complete metamorphosis for Iron Butterfly
, but one that definitely has the group stretching out with even more force and confidence than before! The group were maybe one of the few to come to hard rock via psych, instead of the blues rock path that so many others took at the time – and that difference is key here, as the songs really resonate with the potential for trippiness, but have this great sense of focus – one that makes the vocals sound even more potent than ever. There's still plenty of great organ work too – and titles include "Free Flight", "Shady Lady", "Best Years Of Our Life", "Slower Than Guns", and "Stone Believer". The set also features the 2CD 1968 Fillmore East set – an unreleased live performance from Iron Butterfly
– one that captures the group at their late 60s height, in front of a very heady crowd at The Fillmore East! The recording quality is great – very clear, and different than the group's studio albums – with maybe even a bit more focus on the vocals of Doug Ingle, and the guitar lines of Erik Brann – in a way that lifts them out of the bottom sound a bit more, and presents the group in a whole new sort of focus! Plus, the brief patter from the stage also really helps us get an idea of how a trippy band like this could hold such great sway over a crowd at the time – energy that doesn't seem to stop at all, through the 2CD set's presentation of material from four different shows, on two nights of recording. Titles include "Are You Happy", "Stamped Ideas", "Fields Of Sun", "You Can't Win", "Unconscious Power", "My Mirage", "Her Favorite Style", "Possession", "Iron Butterfly
Theme", and the mighty "In A Gadda Da Vida". CD set also features more tracks from singles, new remastering, a poster, and a big booklet of notes!