Live At The Galaxy

Iron Butterfly

Purple Pyramid, 2014

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Iron Butterfly’s lasting claim to fame is “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” which took up the whole B-side of their 1968 album release of the same name.  That release is one of the best selling albums of all time, reaching sales in excess of 30 million copies worldwide.

In the same vein as Vanilla Fudge and Led Zeppelin, the name Iron Butterfly was meant to signify light and heavy. In actuality, their sound actually did not have much lightness to it; the guitars were oppressive and the drum and bass rhythm section produced a sound like swimming through sludge.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Live At The Galaxy 1967 catches the band at the beginning of their career just prior to the release of their first studio album Heavy. In fact, half of the tracks contained in this live set were released on their debut, while three more appeared on their third album Ball.

This early lineup of vocalist/keyboardist Doug Ingle, guitar Danny Weiss, bassist Jerry Penrod, vocalist percussionist Darryl Deloach, and drummer Ron Bushy only recorded one album together. By the time In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was released, only Ingle and Bushy remained, and they promptly recruited bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Eric Brann.

Iron Butterfly was never the most sophisticated band out there. This concert catches them in their formative stages. “Possession,” “Fields Of Sun,” “You Can’t Win,” and “Iron Butterfly Theme” are all fully developed original compositions and finds the band just hammering away. While Weiss is a capable guitarist, his future replacement Brann was more adept and helped to solidify the Iron Butterfly sound.

Darryl Deloach is listed as a second percussionist but it is as a vocalist that he makes his mark. The addition of a second capable singer helped move the sound away from what would become their traditional style, giving it a little more flexibility.

Songs such as “Real Fright,” “Filled With Fear,” and “Lonely Boy” assault the senses. At this point in their career, they were considered a heavy psychedelic band.

Iron Butterfly released six studio and one live album during the years of 1968-1975, selling tens of millions of albums. Their legacy is that of a competent journey-like band whose popularity exceeded their potential in many ways. Still, they hit a commercial nerve during the Woodstock era, which allowed them to carve out a level of success that few bands attained. Live At The Galaxy 1967 is a fine look at their early career and the beginnings of the hard rock sound.

Rating: B

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© 2014 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Purple Pyramid, and is used for informational purposes only.