9 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guitarist Erik Brann had left the group before Metamorphosis, replaced by Mike Pinera and Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt. Those two were originally given equal billing with the remaining group, known as “Iron Butterfly with Pinera and El Rhino.” This album would fare commercially less well than Ball, but it did feature the No. 66 single “Easy Rider (Let the Wind Pay the Way),” the group’s second-highest-charting single. (“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” had been their biggest hit at No. 30.) Singer/organist Doug Ingle remained the band’s chief singer, but the songs here are mostly composed by the band’s core members: Ingle, bassist Lee Dorman, and drummer Ron Bushy, with Robert Woods Edmonson writing the lyrics for four songs, including the anti-smoking-industrialization ballad “Slower Than Guns,” the hippy-trippy love song “Soldier in Our Town," and the “Easy Rider” single. The extended jam of “Butterfly Bleu” features Pinera on vocals and is the heaviest jam the band had attempted on album since “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” The addition of the two guitarists (with two more guitarists guesting on 12-string guitars) makes Metamorphosis the group’s most musically adventurous album and, arguably, their best.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guitarist Erik Brann had left the group before Metamorphosis, replaced by Mike Pinera and Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt. Those two were originally given equal billing with the remaining group, known as “Iron Butterfly with Pinera and El Rhino.” This album would fare commercially less well than Ball, but it did feature the No. 66 single “Easy Rider (Let the Wind Pay the Way),” the group’s second-highest-charting single. (“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” had been their biggest hit at No. 30.) Singer/organist Doug Ingle remained the band’s chief singer, but the songs here are mostly composed by the band’s core members: Ingle, bassist Lee Dorman, and drummer Ron Bushy, with Robert Woods Edmonson writing the lyrics for four songs, including the anti-smoking-industrialization ballad “Slower Than Guns,” the hippy-trippy love song “Soldier in Our Town," and the “Easy Rider” single. The extended jam of “Butterfly Bleu” features Pinera on vocals and is the heaviest jam the band had attempted on album since “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.” The addition of the two guitarists (with two more guitarists guesting on 12-string guitars) makes Metamorphosis the group’s most musically adventurous album and, arguably, their best.

TITLE TIME

About Iron Butterfly

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 with drummer Ron Bushy. After the group moved to Los Angeles and played the club scene, it secured a recording contract and got national exposure through tours with the Doors and Jefferson Airplane. Following the release of their 1968 debut album, Heavy, original members Jerry Penrod (bass), Darryl DeLoach (vocals), and Danny Weis (guitar) left the band and were replaced by guitarist Erik Braunn and bassist Lee Dorman. Weis went on to join Rhinoceros. The new lineup recorded In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida later that year, which sold four million copies and spent over a year in the Top Ten. (The title has been translated as "In the Garden of Eden" or "In the Garden of Life.") A shortened version of the title track, which contained extended instrumental passages with loud guitars and classical/Eastern-influenced organ, plus a two-and-a-half-minute drum solo, reached number 30 on the singles charts. The follow-up, Ball, showed greater musical variety and went gold, but it also marked the beginning of the band's decline. Braunn left the group and was replaced by guitarists Mike Pinera and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt, but the group's success was largely over. Iron Butterfly broke up in 1971; Braunn and Bushy re-formed the group in the mid-'70s without success. ~ Steve Huey

ORIGIN
San Diego, CA
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1966

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