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This article is about the song. For the album, see In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (album). For the video, see In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (video).
Cover of the 1968 German single
Single by Iron Butterfly
from the album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
B-side "Iron Butterfly Theme"
Released June 14, 1968 (1968-06-14)
Format 7"
  • 17:05 (album version)
  • 2:52 (single version)
Label Atco
Writer(s) Doug Ingle
Producer(s) Jim Hilton
ISWC T-070.241.144-6
Iron Butterfly singles chronology
"Soul Experience"
Music sample

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is a song recorded by Iron Butterfly and written by bandmember Doug Ingle, released on their 1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

According to the press page on Iron Butterfly's official web site,[5] the song:

was supposed to have been named "In The Garden of Eden," but the singer was slurring his words when he told Ron Bushy, the drummer, the title, and the garbled name stuck. That's rock for you!

At slightly over 17 minutes, it occupies the entire second side of the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album. The lyrics are simple, and heard only at the beginning and the end. The track was recorded at Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long Island, New York.


The song is considered significant in rock history because, together with music by Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, and High Tide, it marks the early transition from psychedelic music into heavy metal.[citation needed] In 2009, it was named the 24th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[6] It is also often regarded as an influence on heavy metal music and being one of the firsts of the genre.[7][8]

Edited versions[edit]

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was released as a 45 in the US and other territories. The 17-minute original version was edited down to 2:53. This version contains the intro, two complete verses, the repeat of the main theme very near the end, a short break, and the closing segment. Nothing at all is left of any of the solos.

In the Netherlands (and perhaps other territories, too), a different, longer 4-minute, 14-second edit was released first on a 45 with catalogue number 2019 021 and later on an EP with catalogue number 2091 213. This edit features only one verse, a large portion of the drum solo, the final verse, and the closing segment.

Another edit, supplied to some radio stations, runs at 5:04. It includes the first verse, about 20 seconds each of the organ and guitar solos, part of the drum solo segueing into the drum/bass solo, the final verse, and the closing of the song.[citation needed]

A European compilation album on the EVA label (EMI, Virgin, BMG, Ariola) entitled Pop Classics 2, features a 10:26 edit of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". The original soundtrack CD of the movie Manhunter features an 8:20 edit of the song. In these edits, mostly the guitar solos were edited out.

Live version[edit]

A live version over 19 minutes long was released as part of their 1969 live album, simply titled Live. This version lengthens the drum solo by roughly four minutes and the organ solo by about one minute. It also omits the bass and drum solo jam (heard from 13:04–15:19 on the studio recording).

When Doug Ingle wrote the song, he had not intended for it to run 17 minutes long. However, Ingle said that he "knew there would be slots for solos". During live renditions, Erik Brann's (guitar) and Ron Bushy's (drum) solos varied from performance to performance, while Ingle's organ solo remained the same.

Track listing[edit]

Atco Records 7" single
No. Title Length
1. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (single edit) 2:52
2. "Iron Butterfly Theme" (instrumental) 3:24
Atlantic Records 7" single
No. Title Length
1. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (single edit) 2:52
2. "Soul Experience"   2:50
1969 French single
No. Title Length
1. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (vocal part) 4:50
2. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (instrumental featuring drums and organ) 5:12
1971 French single
No. Title Length
1. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (part 1) 3:30
2. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (part 2) 3:58
German single
No. Title Length
1. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (edit) 3:10
2. "Easy Rider"   3:06

Boney M. version[edit]

"Children of Paradise" /
Single by Boney M.
Released September 1980
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1980
Genre Euro disco, pop
Label Hansa Records (FRG)
Producer(s) Frank Farian
Boney M. singles chronology
"I See a Boat on the River / My Friend Jack"
"Children of Paradise" / "Gadda-Da-Vida"
"Felicidad (Margherita)"

"Children of Paradise" / "Gadda-Da-Vida" is a 1980 single by disco band Boney M. Intended to be the first single off the group's fifth album Boonoonoonoos (scheduled for a November 1980 release), the single was ultimately never included because the album release was delayed for one year. "Children of Paradise" peaked at number 11 in the German charts, whereas it became the group's lowest-placing single in the UK at number 66 only. Boney M. used the double A-side format in this period, typically with the A1 being the song intended for radio and A2 being more squarely aimed at discos. The sides usually were switched on the accompanying 12″ single.

"Gadda-Da-Vida" became a controversial Boney M. record since none of the original members sang on it. Because of a fall-out between producer Frank Farian and the group, he had session singers La Mama (Cathy Bartney, Patricia Shockley, and Madeleine Davis) sing the female vocals while he did the deep male vocals, as usual. The group only promoted it once on TV. Two different single edits were done of the full 9-minute version that appeared on the 12-inch single. "Gadda-Da-Vida" was the A-side in Japan. Only the French release correctly stated the song title as "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida".


7" singles

  • "Children of Paradise" (Farian, Reyam, Jay) – 4:40 / "Gadda-Da-Vida" (Ingle) – 5:18 (Hansa 102 400-100, Germany)
  • "Children of Paradise" (Final mix) – 4:28 / "Gadda-Da-Vida" (Final mix) – 5:05 (Hansa 102 400-100, Germany)

12" single

  • "Gadda-Da-Vida" (Long version) – 8:56 / "Children of Paradise" (12" mix) – 5:18 (Hansa 600 280-100, Germany)

Other versions[edit]

Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band covered the song in 1973. Samples from this version are used in the Nas songs "Thief's Theme" and "Hip Hop Is Dead".

The power metal band Blind Guardian released a remastered version of "Gada-Da-Vida" as a single. The Thrash metal band Slayer recorded a short and fast version of this song for the movie soundtrack of Less than Zero.

Portions of the song are featured in an 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."[9]

South Korean rock musician Shin Jung-hyeon covered this song in one of his live sessions in the 1970s.[10]

Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper recorded the song on their album Frenzy. At 1:29, it is played only on harmonica and bongos.

Nash the Slash recorded an 8:55 version of the song on his 2008 album In-a-Gadda-Da-Nash.

A shortened version of the song was played on bagpipes at Lou's funeral in the final episode of the FX series Rescue Me.

Psychedelic band Six Feet Under covered the song as an 11:20 version in 1969.

The (St. Thomas) Pepper Smelter, a Peruvian psychedelic band, covered a shorter version of the song in 1969.

Avant-garde group The Residents included this song in a medley of other '60s pop covers on their 1976 album The Third Reich 'n Roll.


  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 (5 December 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. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-61703-490-9. 
  4. ^ William Phillips; Brian Cogan (20 March 2009). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. ABC-CLIO. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-313-34801-3. 
  5. ^ "Press page on Iron Butterfly's official web site". Retrieved July 15, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  7. ^ (Alfred Publishing Staff), Various (2007). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock Guitar Songs. Alfred Publishing. ISBN 978-0739046289. 
  8. ^ Phillips, William (2008). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. Greenwood Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0313348006. 
  9. ^ Randolph, Laurel (August 17, 2016). "Cooking The Simpsons: Million Dollar Birthday Fries". Paste Magazine. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 
  10. ^ EGON. "The Godfather Of South Korean Rock". NPR. Retrieved 23 September 2014.