Heavy, man….

Every once in a while, an album just catches me off guard.  The sound that comes out of the speakers just doesn’t align with my expectations.  Since I am familiar with Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita, I thought I knew what was coming from their album “Heavy”.  I was very wrong.


Instead of something that sounded like the forerunner of hard rock, I was surprised to hear what I have come to consider a West Coast psychedelic sound.  I would have never associated myself with psychedelic rock, but albums from artists like Hendrix, The Litter, the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and The Peanut Butter Conspiracy  have opened my ears to a great sound.

As it turns out, Iron Butterfly was formed in San Diego.  This album was recorded in 1967.  Once again it is the magic combo of California and 1967, which seem to be the sweet spot of Psych music in my opinion.  This entire album has that classic 1967 sound, with the exception of the last track which foreshadows some of their heavier tendencies that would come.  Titled Iron Butterfly Theme,  I can see why Iron Butterfly was an inspiration for Jimmy Paige and originally toured with Zeppelin.

Tracks like Get out of my life, woman, You can’t win, and Stamped Ideas are awesome. Listening at 6 am, I can’t turn it up as loud as I’d like, but that might be the order of the day for evening.  In fact, maybe I’ll throw together a series of psychedelic albums and develop some film one night this week!

One other note:  I upgraded my turntable during the winter to a Denon DP-300F, and the speakers to JBL SVA1600’s.  They sound incredible at reference levels together, but I feel like the Dual 506 presented high detail better with smaller speakers at lower volume, so sometimes there was an extra “sparkle” to the sound with that turntable.    So sometimes at lower volumes, things sound good, but not great.


Follow up:  Tonight I listened to The Album Soup, Procol Harum’s Broken Barricades, and Savoy Brown’s Looking In.   Not really a night of psychedelic rock, but just awesome guitar blues rock.


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