Recently was asked to review an upcoming release by Iron Butterfly, “Live At The Galaxy 1967”. I jumped at the opportunity to review one of my favorite bands of all time.
This album has been dug out of the vaults some place not yet known and was most likely done from a late ’60s sound board/mixer or even a table top reel-to-reel recorder. With that said, the quality reflects that recording procedure and the time frame. The actual recording date was November 9, 1967. Although this show has been around a number of years as a full blown bootleg this is its first release as a true recording with all the pomp and circumstance it really deserves.
The set list this particular night included:
Filled With Fear
Fields of Sun
It’s Up To You
Gloomy Day To Remember
Gentle As It May Seem
Iron Butterfly Theme
You Can’t Win
The album is dirty, grimy and heavy…everything we have come to expect and love about Iron Butterfly. It has that high quality bootleg feel, but don’t let that fool you. It feels live and truly gives you the aural experience of a late ‘60s club concert! You can almost smell the reefer wafting through the air and clink of glasses and bottles in between songs. Don’t expect the quality of your favorite boy band’s new release though or you’ll be absolutely disappointed.
This set encompasses 6 songs from their 1st album, “Heavy” which hadn’t been released yet. You can hear the future being born in these 6 songs. “Iron Butterfly Theme” is here in still an unpolished state but still very recognizable and moving. Many of the songs will cause you to listen to them several times to understand how much more work went into them to bring them to the final form we saw upon release of the “Heavy” album.
Even more amazing is the fact 3 songs found here weren’t released until their 3rd album, “Ball”, which went to #3 position on the USA music charts in 1969. That’s a full 2 years after they recorded them in this performance. You may have to listen close to recognize them but the development will stun you.
There are also 3, still unreleased songs, in this set list. They are “It’s Up To You”, Gloomy Day To Remember” and “Evil Temptation”. One has to wonder why they didn’t spend more time to polish and complete them at some point. I will go out on a limb and speculate that maybe the large amount of band member changes did not let that happen. That is unfortunate for Iron Butterfly fans around the world.
With all this said this is not an album for your typical radio listener or non-rock fan. What this album is though is a historical account of one of rock’s most famous and favorite bands. If you are a Iron Butterfly collector, music history aficionado or just someone who is interested in the growth of your favorite Iron Butterfly tune than this is a MUST HAVE ALBUM for you. I found it to be a great listen and will add it to my music collection when the vinyl version is released on June 10, 2014. The CD version is being released on May 27, 2014 for those of you who can’t wait for the vinyl. All I can say is…we miss you Iron Butterfly!
“Electric Mike” Langford