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Iron Butterfly - Live In Sweden 1971 (2014)

28-08-2014, 17:20
Music | Rock

Iron Butterfly - Live In Sweden 1971 (2014)

Artist: Iron Butterfly
Title Of Album: Live In Sweden 1971
Year Of Release: 2014
Genre: Rock
Label: Cleopatra
Quality: MP3 320 kbps
Total Time: 55:18
Total Size: 129 Mb

1. Butterfly Bleu (Live) (23:12)
2. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Live) (24:30)
3. Possession (Original 7'' Version) (Bonus Track) ( 2:48)
4. Evil Temptation (Original 7'' Version) (Bonus Track) ( 2:25)
5. Don't Look Down On Me (Original 7'' Version) (Bonus Track) ( 2:20)

After the recording of Heavy, the band fractured when three members left, leaving only Ingle and Bushy holding the bag. When informed by Atlantic Records that their debut album wouldn’t be released if there was no band to tour behind it, the pair recruited bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Eric Brann, a 17-year-old musical prodigy. It was this line-up that recorded the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Ball albums, representing the band’s commercial apex, the former LP selling millions of copies, the later certified Gold™ for a half-million in sales. When Brann left the band in 1969, he was replaced by a pair of talented guitarists – Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt and Mike Pinera, previously of one-hit-wonders Blues Image (“Ride Captain Ride”); this is the line-up that would record the band’s 1970 album Metamorphosis.

Live In Sweden 1971 offers better sound quality than Live At The Galaxy 1967, not only because of the passage of four years and improved sound technology, but also because it was taped for a live radio broadcast rather than from the middle of the audience. The album consists, primarily, of two lengthy live tracks – the first, “Butterfly Bleu,” was drawn from Metamorphosis. While the song clocks in at slightly more than fourteen minutes on vinyl, on stage the band would extend that running time considerably with acid-drenched instrumentation; here on Live In Sweden 1971, the song runs better than twenty-three minutes. It’s everything you might expect from a psychedelic-rock band at the dawn of the 1970s – lengthy passages of squalid sound, raging guitars, steady drumbeats, and Ingle’s trademark keyboards buried in the mix. Although it’s an exhilarating ride the first time you take it, two or three listens later it just becomes tedious.

Which leaves us with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” The song was a consistent crowd-pleaser among stoned audiences worldwide; it’s performed here at half-again its original studio running time, beginning with Ingle’s throaty vocals and sepulchre organ riffs before dancing into a free-form jam. The addition of guitarists Pinera and Reinhardt, neither of whom played on the original studio recording, brings a new texture and sound to the song that had been missing before. Although Lee Dorman’s familiar and notorious walking bass line still holds down the bottom end, the two guitarists weave various interesting patterns throughout the song. Their skills add a dimension previously lacking to the song, one that holds up better after a few listens than does “Butterfly Bleu.”

Live In Sweden 1971 is topped off by a trio of rare 7” singles, including “Possession,” which was originally the B-side of “Don’t Look Down On Me,” and later released in 1970 as a single on its own. The song is more effective in this shorter, punchier studio version than the drawn-out live performance on Live At The Galaxy 1967. “Evil Temptation,” which was so killer on the aforementioned live disc, does not disappoint on the studio-derived 45 version, with stunning fretwork that veers into the exotic at times, crashing drumbeats, and a locomotive tempo that should have made the song a big hit; it’s a shame it wasn’t included on any later Butterfly albums, and rumors abound that this single version wasn’t even recorded by the band, but by studio musicians, although Butterfly would perform the song live. “Don’t Look Down On Me,” the band’s first single circa 1967, is a pre-Atlantic indie release by the Heavy line-up, the song itself displaying a subtle psych-pop touch, an engaging melody, and fine (if unspectacular) vocals by DeLoach.

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