The 2020/2021/2022 Iron Butterfly Thread

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Charlie O.
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Charlie O. » 14 Jan 2021, 06:23

Quaco wrote:Doug Ingle's exaggeratedly soulful vocals — a precursor to Barry White

Quaco wrote:(as if Rick Wright and Steve Hackett had done a track together in 1968).

I have missed your insights, my friend.

Quaco wrote:I kinda like the getting-lost feeling when you're in the middle of "Butterfly Bleu" and he starts with the talkbox thing.

Funny you should say that. The other day I did my own custom edit of the song where I cut all that shit right out! (And it's still too long!) :)
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Quaco » 14 Jan 2021, 06:45

What about the Erik Brann-led albums, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel? I've only heard bits, but it seemed like pretty generic hard rock. Should I reassess?
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Charlie O.
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Charlie O. » 14 Jan 2021, 06:57

I've never heard them at all! I remember looking at Scorching Beauty when it came out (I think that was the first one), and thinking: this can't be good, surely.

I was thinking about it recently, though, because the few '60s IB songs that Brann had a hand in writing were all really good (the aforementioned "Belda-Beast", "Termination", "Soul Experience"). I wish he'd written more back then.
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Quaco » 14 Jan 2021, 07:07

Charlie O. wrote:I've never heard them at all! I remember looking at Scorching Beauty when it came out (I think that was the first one), and thinking: this can't be good, surely.

I was thinking about it recently, though, because the few '60s IB songs that Brann had a hand in writing were all really good (the aforementioned "Belda-Beast", "Termination", "Soul Experience"). I wish he'd written more back then.

Yeah, he seemed to add good things, and his playing of course was great. Definitive acid rock!

By the way, EVERY time I hear that term, I think of a scene in The Flying Nun that mentioned it (at 4:59):



Alas, by 1975, what was expected of rockers must have all but extinguished the fragile creativity you found in "Belda-Beast", which really required indulgence and tending.
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Charlie O. » 14 Jan 2021, 07:18

That's the only Flying Nun episode I've actually seen since I was 3 or 4! It's on some bootleg DVD I've got. The bit where the group plays their arrangement of her song is pretty hilarious.

I read something recently (on Wiki, possibly) that suggested that Brann left the band in '69 because he wanted to focus more on hard rock and Ingle wanted to keep it more varied...
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Quaco » 14 Jan 2021, 07:26

The Flying Nun is so corny, but I found it really really funny too. It eventually wore me down!

Well, hard rock in 1969, when Brann left, could be Beck/Zeppelin which might not have been too bad, but by '75, forget it! What did Brann do in the interim?
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Charlie O.
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Charlie O. » 14 Jan 2021, 07:32

Quaco wrote:What did Brann do in the interim?

Formed a band with Darryl DeLoach (the "other singer" on Heavy, oddly enough) which played for a while but never recorded. I think that's about as high profile as he got.
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby C » 14 Jan 2021, 12:47

Quaco wrote:The Flying Nun is so corny, but I found it really really funny too. It eventually wore me down!

Well, hard rock in 1969, when Brann left, could be Beck/Zeppelin which might not have been too bad, but by '75, forget it! What did Brann do in the interim?


Nice response Jim-lad and welcome back to this place.

It's been a few months.......





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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby C » 14 Jan 2021, 12:48

Quaco wrote:Hi everybody! I've always found Iron Butterfly easy going. Side one of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is great pop music with acid-rock influences, and it clicked with me immediately. Doug Ingle's exaggeratedly soulful vocals — a precursor to Barry White — are entertaining and actually moving. He really does care; he really wants you to be happy!

The follow-up, Ball, also didn't take much work to get into for me. It's a little heavier-sounding overall ("In the Time of Our Lives"). But then there's "Belda-Beast", which actually goes into a prog direction (as if Rick Wright and Steve Hackett had done a track together in 1968).

Heavy was the next one for me. GREAT album cover! Being their first, the album is understandably a bit more derivative of the "groovy" styles of the day. With songs like "Get Out of My Life Woman", it feels like their set from the Whisky days. I do find it a bit less appealing because half of the album —the second half to be precise, it's odd how they arranged the tracks that way — features a different singer. But the "Theme" is indeed a landmark track.

I don't love Metamorphosis, but to me there's nothing wrong with it. I kinda like the getting-lost feeling when you're in the middle of "Butterfly Bleu" and he starts with the talkbox thing. It's like those suites on Black Sabbath's debut, where you lose track of time.



Nice response Jim-lad and welcome back to this place.

It's been a few months.......





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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Quaco » 14 Jan 2021, 20:51

C wrote:
Quaco wrote:The Flying Nun is so corny, but I found it really really funny too. It eventually wore me down!

Well, hard rock in 1969, when Brann left, could be Beck/Zeppelin which might not have been too bad, but by '75, forget it! What did Brann do in the interim?


Nice response Jim-lad and welcome back to this place.

It's been a few months.......





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Thank you, C!
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Re: The 2020 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Charlie O. » 31 Jan 2021, 04:16

Quaco wrote:What about the Erik Brann-led albums, Scorching Beauty and Sun and Steel? I've only heard bits, but it seemed like pretty generic hard rock. Should I reassess?

Nah.

I found a flac download of the BGO 2-on-1 CD of both albums (including booklet scans!), and just listened to the whole darned thing. The liner notes suggest that those who keep an open mind and don't expect these records to sound like the '60s ones will find much to admire here; a review quoted at the site I downloaded from said much the same. I'll rephrase the sentiment: if you listen to both albums actively looking for things to praise, you might find some. The playing is generally good, if unexceptional, and there's the occasional song that might have been serviceable filler on someone's good album. But that's the best I can do, and I'm being kind.

The main problems:

- There were worse singers in the world than Erik Brann (or Braunn, as he was calling himself by this time) - I always liked his singing on "Termination" (In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida) and "Belda-Beast" (Ball) - but he just didn't have the chops to pull off the kind of high-intensity hard rock screeching he was usually going for here. And a relatively dry vocal mix does his limitations no favors.

- The closest either album comes to a genuinely catchy song is keyboardist Bill DeMartines' anomalous Elton John-ish ballad "Beyond The Milky Way". (In fact, the chorus of that song is almost uncomfortably close to that of "Tiny Dancer".)

- Whether you liked the '60s Iron Butterfly or loathed them, they had their own musical identity - their own sound, a distinctive approach to arranging - their own aesthetic. This band is competent but faceless. If they didn't have the brand name and the recording budget to go with it, they'd be indistinguishable from a Midwest bar band making a private press record to sell to their local fans.

Well, at least I can finally say I've heard them!
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Re: The 2020/2021/2022 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Charlie O. » 06 Jan 2022, 01:17

In an unrelated thread back in January 2021, I wrote: according to Wiki, there have been no less than sixty-four members of Iron Butterfly over the years. (That's only two less than The Drifters have had.) Drummer Ron Bushy, the only member to have played on all of their '60s and '70s albums, is technically still a "member", but a non-performing one (which I'm guessing is a nice way of saying he owns the name); the longest-tenured current performing member joined in 1995.

Just learned that Ron Bushy died this past August (esophageal cancer). :(

That leaves Doug Ingle the only surviving member of the "classic" lineup.
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Re: The 2020/2021/2022 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby Matt Wilson » 06 Jan 2022, 03:30

I listened to the box recently, so the albums are pretty fresh in my mind. Heavy, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, and Ball are all fairly good without being great. Metamorphosis is okay (and I don't really mind "Butterfly Bleu" that much either). The live stuff is what it is and is pretty silly. Come to think of it - 'silly' isn't a bad adjective to describe the band. The lyrics are more rudimentary than Steppenwolf's and they're not great musicians either.

Having said that, the music is okay if you've time for psych from that era, and I certainly do. The two '68 LPs are probably the best, but Ball might be the most underrated.
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Re: The 2020/2021/2022 Iron Butterfly Thread

Postby C » 06 Jan 2022, 15:27

Matt Wilson wrote: Heavy


what a coincidence - I've just finished listening to this.

A robust album





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C wrote:Just blank the fucque-wit