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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)
  • 17:05 (album version)
  • 2:52 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Doug Ingle
Producer(s)Jim Hilton
Iron Butterfly singles chronology
"Soul Experience"
Audio sample

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

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.[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 one of the firsts of the genre.[7][8]


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".[9][10]

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 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".[9]

Track listing[edit]

Atco Records 7-inch single
1."In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (single edit)2:52
2."Iron Butterfly Theme" (instrumental)3:24
Atlantic Records 7-inch single
1."In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (single edit)2:52
2."Soul Experience"2:50
1969 French single
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
1."In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (part 1)3:30
2."In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (part 2)3:58
German single
1."In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (edit)3:10
2."Easy Rider"3:06

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".[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

The composer and percussionist David Van Tieghem released a version and two remixes in 1986.[11]

Doom metal band Church of Misery covered the song on their EP "Taste the Pain" in 1998.[citation needed]

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".[12] The length and complexity of the song are referenced with the caption "17 minutes later" when the elderly female organist faints from exhaustion, showing Bart handed out the full 17 minute version of the song.[citation needed]

Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper recorded the song on their album Frenzy.[citation needed]

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

Avant-garde group The Residents included this song in a medley of other 1960s pop covers on their 1976 album The Third Reich 'n Roll.[citation needed]

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",[13][14][circular reference] also included in album Inaxycvgtgb[15]

New Jersey psychedelic band 6 Feet Under recorded a version in the late 1960s.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

In the film This Is Spinal Tap by the fictional-come-real band Spinal Tap, one of the band's fictional albums was entitled Intravenus de Milo, an apparent mashup parody of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and Venus de Milo.


  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. ^ "Vh1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  7. ^ Various staff of the publisher (2007). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock Guitar Songs. Alfred Publishing. ISBN 978-0739046289.
  8. ^ William Phillips (2008). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. Greenwood Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0313348006.
  9. ^ a b Dave Thompson (2014). Iron Butterfly: Live at the Galaxy 1967 (Liner notes). Purple Pyramid Records.
  10. ^ "Top 10 Drum Solos of All Time". October 24, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  11. ^ "Discography". Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Laurel Randolph (August 17, 2016). "Cooking The Simpsons: Million Dollar Birthday Fries". Paste Magazine. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^ de:16 BIT#Singles
  15. ^
  16. ^ "'6 Feet Under' at". Retrieved May 17, 2017.