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Light and Heavy: The Best of Iron Butterfly

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Album Review

Although the compilation is quite generous, featuring 21 tracks on CD, Light and Heavy:The Best of Iron Butterfly isn't all that entertaining, due to Iron Butterfly's difficulties with producing compelling material. All of the group's highlights from 1968-1970 are included, although the career-making, 17-minute "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is presented in its three-minute single edit. Since that is the only Iron Butterfly song most listeners know, the lack of the full-length version could potentially sink the album, but the fact of the matter is, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" gets quite repetitive over the course of nearly 20 minutes. While the quality of the rest of Light and Heavy is spotty — ranging from heavy psychedelic rock to light psychedelic pop — it is a more intriguing listen than In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, even if it doesn't have the period-piece charm of the original hit record.

Customer Reviews

A quality collection from a great band

This collection really captures the essence of this band, and is a must have for any fan of psychadelic rock.


Formed: 1966 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The heavy, psychedelic acid rock of Iron Butterfly may seem dated to some today, but the group was one of the first hard rock bands to receive extensive radio airplay, and their best-known song, the 17-minute epic "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," established that more extended compositions were viable entries in the radio marketplace, paving the way for progressive AOR. The track was written by vocalist, organist, and bandleader Doug Ingle, who formed the first incarnation of Iron Butterfly in 1966 in San Diego...
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Light and Heavy: The Best of Iron Butterfly, Iron Butterfly
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