Song of the Day: Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”

Organist-vocalist Doug Ingle sat down with a gallon bottle of Red Mountain wine and wrote a song called “In The Garden Of Eden.” By the time he called drummer Ron Bushy over to transcribe the lyrics, he was so loaded he slurred all the words, and “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was born. This was written long before it was recorded and wsn’t released until Iron Butterfly’s second album, of which it was the title track. The full song (heard below) took up the entire second side of the LP at 17:05, while the much more radio (and listener) friendly single edit came in at just under three minutes.

I and everyone I knew owned this album, and some never played the other side of it. It was two years before I did, and it actually isn’t that bad.

21 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Iron Butterfly, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”

  1. Love this song…there is no mistaking what era this came from…it still sounds good today.

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      1. Today…oh yes much better. I do get those mixed up.
        Today because of the computer generated music and voice…everything sounds a like…just like most of the cars and houses look alike.
        It’s like everyone is terrified of individualism

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        1. Instrumental and vocal virtuosity is a thing of the past. Now we get it “close enough” and fix it with electronics. You’re more judged on your ability to dance.

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  2. Love this album. I didn’t own it but my older sister did. I wondered about the title from the beginning. So that’s the pronunciation of someone who is very drunk.

    Love,
    Janie

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  3. I used this song as my letter “I” in the A to Z in 2016. Another one of those ones the DJs would use when they needed to go to the bathroom – LOL.

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  4. Love that song! It reminds me that we did go to one of their concerts here in town. I still have the ticket stubs (wish I could put a photo on here). Anyway, it says it was Nov. 13, 1969 and we had balcony seats that cost $2.00! The Blues Image was playing, also. 🙂

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  5. I’ve gotta say that I loved this album and even when I listened to it while on a road trip a few years back I still enjoyed hearing it. I even recall that I was driving through Indiana as I listened to it. The first time I heard it (I was a senior in high school), I picked it up in East Tennessee late on a Sunday night on an FM station coming from St Louis which seemed rather odd that I’d pick up an FM station that far away. Guess there were some exceptional atmospheric conditions that night. Weren’t all that many FM stations to pick up back then. It was a mind-blowing musical experience for me which altered my expectations in music for what followed. I’d never heard such a long song and a rare occasion that I heard such an epic long rock piece on the radio ever since. Great memories.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. That’s some serious DXing you were doing. Things must have been crazy in the atmosphere. Plus, as you said, most FM stations were off the air… Even so, that’s pretty impressive.

      As I said, I thought the rest of the album was pretty good. Maybe I’ll check out a few more of their maserpieces…

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      1. After I got the In-a-gadda-da-vida album I got their first album. I liked it as well though I haven’t heard that one in quite a long time.

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