I hope the '1001 LPs' folks led you to the same YouTube channel that I just enjoyed while listening to 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.' A bonus visual of multi-colored lights pulsating from within the two large orbs on the cover, recreating the feel of the liquid light shows that were characteristic of psychedelic rock concerts in the mid to late 60s. And this particular group possessed one of my favorite band names, again so reminiscent of the times: Iron Butterfly. Strawberry Alarm Clock is not even close. Moby Grape? Getting there, but not quite. 'In-A-Gada-Da-Vida,' Iron Butterfly’s second studio album, outsold every record in the history of recorded music to that time- 8 million copies. No doubt on the strength and success of that famous title track, all 17 minutes of the entire second side! And if you haven’t heard it in its entirety, do yourself a favor and drop the needle. It’s worth the time; that is, if you like this particular genre of music, which according to Wikipedia is labeled, variously, as hard rock (no), heavy metal (hell no), occult rock (huh?), and finally, acid rock (we have a winner!) But side one has been virtually overshadowed by the title track, and sadly, I fear, forgotten; while, I find it just as enjoyable, maybe more so. Don’t go searching for anything profound here, lyrically speaking. With the exclusion of ‘Mirage (I’m guessing an LSD inspired song),’ and ‘Termination (either the death of material life, or possibly the death of one’s ego experienced during an LSD trip?),’ the two openers and the closer on side one are all about the joy of being in love. And a sweet, innocent joy it is: ‘I met a pretty girl on a date last night… I kissed the pretty girl, and I held her tight. And let me tell you now, she was groovy (‘Are You Happy’).’ And while he’s not exactly T.S. Eliot, Doug Ingle can sing- an interesting voice for a rock singer, deeper than most and with a slight, undiscernible accent, but sung with the unmistakable happiness of just being young and alive. But the real reason why we listen to Iron Butterfly is not for the lyrics, but the music: bright, tenor organ contrasting the thundering walking bass and pounding tribal drum beats. And, the integral part to every good acid rock band: that fuzz tone, distorted, wahwah pedal, bending notes, loud (very important) psychedelic guitar. If you’re not burning some patchouli incense and dancing like a whirling hippie dervish until your love beads get tangled up in the flowers adorning your long hair… then Iron Butterfly just isn’t your bag. But don’t get hung up on it, man. Admittedly, for many (most especially, the many who weren’t there in ’68), this band is an acquired taste. But hey, so’s caviar and cabernet. I believe my favorite part of the whole LP comes at about the two minute mark on ‘Termination.’ The music takes an abrupt stop, and then for the remainder of the song (about another minute) there is the most tender, almost mystical duet between guitarist Erik Brann’s lovely, soft fingerpicking of his electric guitar (sans distortion) and I’m guessing drummer Ron Bushy on tinkling wind chimes. That little minute, for me, always takes me back to the late 60s of my childhood and, if only for a brief moment in American history… allow me to defer to a real poet from the same generation, Paul Simon, on 'Bookends': ‘Time it was and what a time it was. It was a time of innocence…’ There was an awful lot of corruption back then, too, of course. But I was nine years old when 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' was released, and mostly still innocent myself. Well, I certainly lost mine a long, long time ago- that’s for sure (and shame)- but I’m still able to find it, rediscovered, in this remarkable LP. And that makes me very happy, even despite the lack of a groovy, pretty girl with a pair of luscious lips to kiss and some curvy hips to hold tight. Just as Doug Ingle lets us know on this LPs opening song that ‘Most anything that you want, girl, is all right by me,’ I’m letting them (and you) know that most anything that Iron Butterfly wants to play, boy, is all right by me, too.