" is a psychedelic rock epic
by Iron Butterfly
, released on their
1968 album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
. At a
little over seventeen 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 on May 27, 1968, at
Ultrasonic Studios in Hempstead, Long
Island, New York.
The recording that is heard on
the album was meant to be a soundcheck
for engineer Don Casale while the band waited for the arrival of
producer Jim Hilton. However, Casale had rolled a recording tape,
and when the rehearsal was completed it was agreed that the
performance was of sufficient quality that another take wasn't
needed. Hilton later remixed the recording at Gold Star Studios in
Los Angeles. The single reached number thirty on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100
In later years, band members claimed that the track was produced by
legendary Long Island producer George "Shadow" Morton, who earlier
had supervised the recordings of the band Vanilla Fudge
. Morton subsequently stated in
several interviews that he had agreed to do so at the behest of
Atlantic Records chief Ahmet Ertegun
but he also allowed that he was drinking heavily at the time and
that his actual oversight of the recording was minimal. Neither
Casale nor Morton receives credit on the album.
The song is considered significant in rock history because,
together with music by Blue Cheer
, it marks the point when
. To wit, Blue Cheer's
treatment of "Summertime Blues
Hendrix's "Voodoo Child
", and Steppenwolf's "Born to Be
" – whose lyrics contain the phrase "heavy-metal thunder" –
have in common insistently driving rhythms that typify music of the
heavy metal style. In 2009, it was named the 24th greatest hard
rock song of all time by VH1
The song's length has long made it popular with radio DJs,
especially when they desire a break to stretch their legs or use
the rest room.
A commonly related story says that the song's title was originally
"In The Garden Of Eden" but at one point in the course of
rehearsing and recording, singer Doug
became intoxicated and slurred the words, creating the
that stuck as the title.
However, the liner notes on 'the best of' CD compilation state that
drummer Ron Bushy
was listening to the
track through headphones, and couldn't clearly distinguish what
Doug Ingle answered when Ron asked him for the title of the song
(which was originally "In-The-Garden-Of-Eden"). An alternate
explanation, as given in the liner notes of the 1995 re-release of
, is that Ingle was drunk and/or high when he first told
Bushy the title, and Bushy wrote it down. Bushy then showed Ingle
what he had written, and the slurred title stuck.
The song features a memorable,
"endless, droning minor-key riff
," a guitar
and bass ostinato
, which is
repeated throughout nearly the entire length of the song. It is
also used as the basis for extended organ
and guitar solos, which are
interrupted in the middle by an extended drum
, one of the first such solos on a rock record and one of
the most famous in rock. What made this particular drum solo unique
was its surreal tribal
removed the bottom heads from his tom-toms to give them less of a
resonant tone, and during the recording process, the drum tracks
were subjected to a process known as flanging
, producing a slow, swirling sound. It's
then followed by Doug Ingle's ethereal polyphonic
organ solo (which resembles variations
on "God Rest Ye Merry,
") to the accompaniment
of drums (beginning around 9:20 into the piece). There are then
interludes in cut time
and a reprise
of the original theme and vocals.
A live version reaching over 19 minutes long was released as part
of their 1969 live album
. This version,
however, has evidence of heavy editing from the actual live
recording. The guitar solo, for example, seems to have been
recorded in a studio or somewhere else where there was no audience
in attendance. The live version also lengthens the drums solo by
roughly four minutes and the organ solo by about one minute. The
version also omits the bass and drum solo jam (heard from
13:04–15:19 on the studio recording). The version that was edited
and released as a single omits the instrumental solos and leaves
roughly three minutes of music.
When Doug Ingle
originally wrote the
song, he had not intended for it to run seventeen minutes long.
However, Ingle said that he "knew there would be slots for solos".
As it turned out, during live renditions of the song, Erik Brann
's (guitar) and Ron Bushy
's (drum) solos varied from performance
to performance, while only Ingle's organ solo remained the
Boney M. version
"Children of Paradise
" is a 1980
single by German band Boney M.
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 #11 in the German charts, whereas it became the group's
lowest placing in the UK at #66 only. Boney M. would use 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 would usually be switched on the accompanying 12″ single.
Although no-one knew at the time it was recorded, "Gadda-Da-Vida"
became a controversial Boney M. record since it turned out none of
the original members sang on it. Due to a fall-out between producer
Frank Farian and the group, he had session singers La Mama
(Cathy Bartney, Patricia Shockley and
) 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)
- By Mongo Santamaría on the album Feelin' Alright
- By the Incredible Bongo Band on the album Bongo Rock
- A version entitled "In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky" can be found on the
Frank Zappa album Guitar. The main riff can be
distinctly heard during the beginning of the song.
were used in the following songs.
In popular culture
- In the "Flying Saucers" episode of Home Improvement, Tim Taylor used the
song to scare his kids.
- The song was used in the climax of the movie Manhunter (directed by Michael
Mann), the filmed version of Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon.
- The song appears in Leisure Suit Larry: Love for
Sail! during a drug-induced dream sequence.
- The song was used in the TV series Supernatural in episode 6 of
season 1, titled "Skin".
- The song was used in the television series Criminal Minds, season 1, episode 16,
titled "The Tribe" in the opening scene.
- The song was used in The
Simpsons episode "Bart
Sells His Soul", where Bart
switches a hymn out for "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" with an adapted
chorus: "In the Garden of Eden," the song's original title.
Reverend Timothy Lovejoy
believed I. Ron Butterfly to be the one who penned the song, in
lieu of the band: Iron Butterfly. Homer tells Marge he remembers
making out to "this hymn". Although the length is cut-edited, it's
implied the whole long version was played, ending with the caption
"SEVENTEEN MINUTES LATER" and the organist passing out, banging her
head on the keyboard.
- In the television series That
70's Show episode "Drive in", where Fez needs to hide rock
music from his foster parents, he and Hyde are listening to this
song while singing "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My
- In The Simpsons Episode
"Stark Raving Dad", to celebrate
the news of Michael Jackson coming to visit Springfield, KBBL Radio
plays "a seldom-heard, extra-long version of
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". In another The
Simpsons Episode "New
Kids on the Blecch", when Lisa becomes suspicious about The
Party Posse's new lyrics, Homer comforts her by saying that "it's
just one of those lyrics that don't make sense, like
- The song was used in Resident Evil: Extinction
when the convoy is driving down the long road.
- The opening riff of the cover by the Incredible Bongo Band was
sampled in the song "Hip Hop is
Dead" and Thief's Theme by
- "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is contained in the polka medley "Polkas
on 45" from the 1984 Weird Al album
"Weird Al" Yankovic in
- The song was used in Freddy's Dead: The Final
Nightmare, in the house when Spencer sits in the living room
- The song was used in the film The Pirates of Silicon
- It was heard in a Castrol TV commercial that aired during NBC's telecast of Super Bowl
- It was played in the denouement of the film Ocean's Twelve.
- In the video game Postal 2
after smoking Cat nip, the Postal Dude says
- It is mentioned in Gilmore
Girls, in season five's episode "Come Home", by Gil, when
he asks Lane's cousins, "Do you guys know In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida?"
- It can be heard playing in the sitcom Seinfeld by
- It was heard in the show 'CSI: Las
Vegas' in episode the Dead Zone
- In the House episode
"The Jerk", House's team treats an
obnoxious teenager using painkillers. In the scene where Cameron
and Chase are examining him while he is "high",
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" plays in the background.
- Huey, Steve (2008). "Iron Butterfly biography",
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2008). "'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida' review",