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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"|
|Released||June 14, 1968|
|Iron Butterfly singles chronology|
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.
Together with music by Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, and High Tide, the song marks the early transition from psychedelic music into heavy metal. In 2009, it was named the 24th-greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. It is also often regarded as an influence on heavy metal music and one of the firsts of the genre.
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". Catalogs.com confirmed that 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."
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".
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was released as a 45 rpm single 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. All of the solos are edited out. The single reached #30 on the U.S. Billboard chart.
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.
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.
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.
- Atco Records 7″ single
|1.||"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (single edit)||2:52|
|2.||"Iron Butterfly Theme" (instrumental)||3:24|
- Atlantic Records 7″ single
|1.||"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (single edit)||2:52|
- 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
Boney M. version
|"Children of Paradise" /
|Single by Boney M.|
|Format||7″ single, 12″ single|
|Genre||Euro disco, pop|
|Label||Hansa Records (FRG)|
|Boney M. singles chronology|
"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. 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".
- "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)
- "Gadda-Da-Vida" (Long version) – 8:56 / "Children of Paradise" (12″ mix) – 5:18 (Hansa 600 280-100, Germany)
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".
Nash the Slash recorded an 8:55 version of the song on his 2008 album In-a-Gadda-Da-Nash.
New Jersey psychedelic band 6 Feet Under recorded a version in the late 60s.
- Ray Broadus Browne; Pat Browne (2001). The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Popular Press. p. 431. ISBN 978-0-87972-821-2.
- Robert Dimery (5 December 2011). 1001 Songs: You Must Hear Before You Die. Octopus. p. 1076. ISBN 978-1-84403-717-9.
- The Avant-garde and American Postmodernity. Univ. Press of Mississippi. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-61703-490-9.
- William Phillips; Brian Cogan (20 March 2009). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. ABC-CLIO. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-313-34801-3.
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- (Alfred Publishing Staff), Various (2007). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rock Guitar Songs. Alfred Publishing. ISBN 978-0739046289.
- Phillips, William (2008). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. Greenwood Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0313348006.
- Thompson, Dave (2014). Iron Butterfly: Live at the Galaxy 1967 (Liner notes). Purple Pyramid Records.
- "Top 10 Drum Solos of All Time". Catalogs.com. October 24, 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- Randolph, Laurel (August 17, 2016). "Cooking The Simpsons: Million Dollar Birthday Fries". Paste Magazine. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
- "'6 Feet Under' at Psychedelicized.com". Retrieved May 17, 2017.