From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cover of the 1968 German single
Single by Iron Butterfly
from the album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
B-side"Iron Butterfly Theme"
ReleasedJune 14, 1968 (1968-06-14)
RecordedMay 27, 1968
StudioUltrasonic Studios, Hempstead, New York, U.S.
  • 17:05 (album version)
  • 2:52 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Doug Ingle
Producer(s)Jim Hilton
Iron Butterfly singles chronology
"Unconscious Power"
"Soul Experience"

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (derived from "In the Garden of Eden") is a song recorded by Iron Butterfly, written by band member Doug Ingle and released on their 1968 album of the same name.

At slightly over 17 minutes, it occupies the entire second side of the album. The lyrics, a love song from the biblical Adam to his mate Eve, are simple and are heard only at the beginning and the end. The middle of the song features a two-and-a-half-minute Ron Bushy drum solo.

A 2-minute-52-second 45-rpm version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was Iron Butterfly's only song to reach the top 40, reaching number 30,[6] while the album itself reached number four on the album chart and sold over 30 million copies. An 8-minute-20-second edit of the song was included in the soundtrack to the 1986 film Manhunter.[7] In 2009, it was named the 24th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[8] It is also often regarded as an influence on heavy metal music and one of the firsts of the genre.[9][10]


Though it was not recorded until their second album, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was written during Iron Butterfly's early days. According to drummer Ron Bushy, organist-vocalist Doug Ingle wrote the song one evening while drinking an entire gallon of Red Mountain wine. When the inebriated Ingle then played the song for Bushy, who wrote down the lyrics for him, he was slurring his words so badly that what was supposed to be "in the Garden of Eden" was interpreted by Bushy as "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".[11][12]

Even though nearly all of Iron Butterfly's songs were quite structured, the idea of turning the minute-and-a-half-long ballad into an extended jam emerged very early; Jeff Beck claims that when he saw Iron Butterfly perform at the Galaxy Club on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in April 1967, half a year before the band recorded their first album, their entire second set consisted of a 35-minute-long version of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".[11] The track was recorded at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.[13]


Cash Box said that it was an "eerie blues work with a pounding rhythm backing and hypnotic chord structures".[14]


Chart (1968–1972) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[15] 92
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[16] 49
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[17] 43
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[18] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 30

Other versions[edit]

Incredible Bongo Band covered the song in 1973.[20] The composer and percussionist David Van Tieghem released a version and two remixes in 1986.[21] 16 BIT (a German dance project from 1986 to 1989 by Michael Münzing and Luca Anzilotti) recorded in 1987 a single "(Ina) Gadda-Da-Vida",[22][23][circular reference] also included in album Inaxycvgtgb.[24] New Jersey psychedelic band 6 Feet Under recorded a version in the late 1960s.[25] In 1987, Slayer recorded a cover version that appears on the Less than Zero soundtrack. Rapper Nas sampled the Incredible Bongo Band's cover version of the song on his singles "Thief's Theme" and "Hip Hop Is Dead".

In popular culture[edit]

  • Ron Bushy's drum solo was the inspiration for Ringo Starr's drum solo on "The End" from the Beatles 1969 album, Abbey Road. It was the last song recorded collectively by all four Beatles.[26][27]
  • The song is prominently featured in the finale of the 1986 film Manhunter, in which serial killer Francis Dolarhyde plays the song (via an 8-track tape of its parent album) throughout his final shootout.
  • Much of "In-A-Gadda-Da Vida" is played during the 1989 season one episode of Quantum Leap, "Star Crossed".
  • In 1990, the song was featured in The Wonder Years Season 3 Episode 17, "Night Out".[28]
  • Portions of the song are featured in a 1995 episode of The Simpsons, "Bart Sells His Soul", in which Bart Simpson tricks Reverend Lovejoy's church into singing the song as an opening hymn by handing out sheet music titled "In the Garden of Eden" by "I. Ron Butterfly". Lovejoy describes the hymn as "sound[ing] like rock and/or roll". The church organist, an elderly woman, collapses after playing for the entire seventeen minutes.[29]
  • Most of the song is played during the 2007 House season three episode "The Jerk".
  • In 2007, in the film Resident Evil 3: Extinction, it is played while the caravan cruises the desert.
  • A 2010 episode of the animated sitcom Futurama references the song in its title: "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", replacing the last portion of the song title with the name of one of the show’s main protagonists, Turanga Leela.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ray Broadus Browne; Pat Browne (2001). The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Popular Press. p. 431. ISBN 978-0-87972-821-2.
  2. ^ Robert Dimery (December 5, 2011). 1001 Songs: You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus. p. 1076. ISBN 978-1-84403-717-9.
  3. ^ The Avant-garde and American Postmodernity. University Press of Mississippi. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-61703-490-9.
  4. ^ William Phillips; Brian Cogan (March 20, 2009). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. ABC-CLIO. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-313-34801-3.
  5. ^ Folk Horror Revival: Harvest Hymns. Volume I- Twisted Roots. p. 55.
  6. ^ "Iron Butterfly". Billboard. Retrieved July 6, 2020.
  7. ^ In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida at Discogs (list of releases)
  8. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  9. ^ Various staff of the publisher (2007). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock Guitar Songs. Alfred Publishing. ISBN 978-0739046289.
  10. ^ William Phillips (2008). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. Greenwood Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0313348006.
  11. ^ a b Dave Thompson (2014). Iron Butterfly: Live at the Galaxy 1967 (Liner notes). Purple Pyramid Records.
  12. ^ "Top 10 Drum Solos of All Time". October 24, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  13. ^ Thorp, Harrison (26 July 2020). "Meet Don Casale, the man behind the sound of superhit 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'". The Lebanon Voice. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  14. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. August 17, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  15. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 149. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ "Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  17. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 10, No. 6, Oct 07, 1968". RPM. 17 July 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2022.
  18. ^ "Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  19. ^ "Iron Butterfly Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Discography". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  22. ^
  23. ^ de:16 BIT#Singles
  24. ^
  25. ^ "'6 Feet Under' at". Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  26. ^ Womack 2014, pp. 258, 259.
  27. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 361.
  28. ^ "S3E17: Night Out - The Wonder Years Soundtrack". Tunefind. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  29. ^ Laurel Randolph (August 17, 2016). "Cooking The Simpsons: Million Dollar Birthday Fries". Paste Magazine. Retrieved August 26, 2016.