Sunday, August 28, 2005

Iron Butterfly - Unconscious Power

You think that you know a band. You think that you can write them off totally and then you go and discover something like this. To be perfectly fair, my knowledge of the Iron Butterfly songbook is pretty limited. But why wouldn't it be, after a certain 17 minute slugfest was deemed their high water mark by so many?

"Unconscious Power" appeared on Heavy, the first Iron Butterfly album, making it pre-"you-know-what-what-what". And while I wouldn't exactly label it garage rock, it comes pretty darn close. It has crisp, rat-a-tat drumming and loads of cool organ work, while the guitars sort of stay in the background. It has a nice, high end, trebly sound. The vocals are pretty much what they'd be on later recordings but work reasonably well in this case. Maybe that's because the song is fast, nay danceable even and the singer doesn't have to resort to caterwauling at all. And all of this gets wrapped up in a mere 2:29, about 15% of the time it took them to choke out "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". There, I finally said it.


Brian Marshall said...

You've definitely got one of Iron Butterfly's very best moments. Here are a few others:

From the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" LP:

Most Anything You Want
Termination (a particular fave of mine)

Other singles sides:
"It Must Be Love"
"Soul Experience"
"In The Clouds"
(all from "Ball")
"Easy Rider (Let The Wind Pay The Way")
"I Can't Help But Deceive You Little Girl."

I don't care what anyone says. Iron Butterfly weren't all THAT bad.

Now, Oliver, on the other hand.......

hipster said...

there is a cd of "questionable" origins of iron butterfly material that is unreleased or singles only that is quite good.e-mail me at and i would be glad to trade a cd-r for a cd-r of some of your 45s-regards-the hipster

Mike Fox said...

IB were the BEST, from their 4 albums of "hippie" material to the two mid 70's stadium rock sounding albums. I have some great stuff. Contact me and I'd be happy to do some cd-r trading with you!