George Starostin's Reviews



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David McLeod <> (17.07.2000)

It should be noted that bass player Kramer,was found dead in a ravine in Southern Ca. in 1995, amidst extremely mysterious/sinister circumstances.

Bradley Loos <> (22.10.2000)

I'm a little puzzled my your assertion that Iron Butterfly did not significantly influence later metallic bands. Their signature song, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda", is certainly the prototypical "heavy riff tune played in unison" later exploited to greater effect by second generation metal bands such as Zeppelin and Sabbath. Sabbath in particular owes both their resolute grunge groove and industrial hook power to Butterfly workouts like "Iron Butterfly Theme" ("Electric Funeral") and "Unconscious Power" ("Paranoid").

barry <> (25.01.2003)

Hey ding bat these guys where awesome.totally original and pioneers. Ingles keyboard is angelic and his voice pure and don't have a clue. You probably think dave matthews is still good.

Maarcis <> (24.03.2003)

It is strange to see that such interesting "viewpoint" or so, came out from Russia (Am I right?). About an American band.

I will read comments on Iron Butterfly again and (hope) again, but I wish to mention this strange and, in my opinion, deep and significant fact above.

Iron Butterfly - not long lived group, not many albums, but one of my favourites, feel some "closiness" about the way our brains working.

Linden Jordan <> (29.11.2003)

Just thought I should mention: Erik Braunn died earlier this year in LA at the age of 53. I haven't yet checked out these latest IB albums, but will definitely make it a priority to do so.

Erik Braun RIP it up

tear it up

have a ball...

tony waltz <> (22.01.2004)

just want to correct David McLeod statement  

<It should be noted that bass player Kramer,was found dead in a ravine in Southern Ca. in 1995, amidst extremely mysterious/sinister circumstances>

WRONG! Taylor Kramer's Skeletal remains were found in 1999 four years after he went missing. in Tuna Canyon a mile off P.C.H.


<> (01.10.2002)

heavy is a not only a psycadelic rock masterpiece but a classic example of less is more! To date no hard rock band has been so outragiously original and diverse and recieved as little credit as iron butterfly. It's up to dadays fans to pick up the slack.


Fredrik Tydal <> (24.03.2000)

I can't believe anyone hasn't commented on this minor classic. It's really hard to say what the appeal of this album is, I mean; their instrumental skills are about average and the lyrics are laughably bad (you were spot on when you correlated Ingle's lyrical skills to that of Lennon/McCartney's in '63 - "I just want to make you happy, that's all I'm trying to do, yes I just want to make you happy and spend my life-time with you" - I mean; hello, this was 1968, for crying out loud!) And these guys were so influenced by The Doors that it's scary - just listen to that organ part in "Most Anything You Want", I swear some of those chords were ripped from the "Light My Fire" intro. In the end, the appeal of the album is probably the title track, where the group's average instrumentation adds up to a pretty impressive whole with, thankfully, less embarrassing lyrics. And those seventeen minutes really seems like less, in fact; it's one of the few side long tracks in rock history that works - love that riff. All in all, a strangely appealing album - 7 out of 10.

<> (10.01.2001)

One of the first albums I got after my Beatles craze and I play it a lot. All the songs are great, even though 'My Mirage' drags along. Who can't help but sing along with 'Flowers And Beads' and 'Are You Happy'. Also the story goes that Bushy and Ingle were living together after the break up of the first Butterfly. When Bushy came home from work Ingle was drunk off his ass and trying to write a song. When Bushy asked him the title Ingle slurred out 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. Also rumored is that when looking for a new guitar player Jeff Beck and Neil Young were interested in the position.

Tony Manfre <> (15.02.2003)

Having own and still have all but the first of their vinyl LP records ( my kids say I'm old) I was and still am a big fan of theirs. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida gets played at least once a week in my car on my Pioneer in dash CD player. Heck I think if I looked hard enough between former high school mates and myself I might find an 8 track version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Now you know I'm dating myself as I was sophmore in high school when In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda was released. I recently saw the Butterfly in an outdoor concert on HDTV in a local Circuit City store. They were playing a shortened 2000's version of In-A-Gadda-Vida. Ron Bushy and Lee Dorman sure looked a lot older but that's what adding 35 years on to a person's life will do.

Phillip Hutcherson <> (19.04.2004)

Well! I picked up the "deluxe" edition of this nifty little album recently (which adds the live version of the title track from their Live album, as well as the single edit, remastered sound, an expanded set of liner notes, and all that jazz), and I have to say, if nothing else, it's highly entertaining. The album is so retro and hippie-esque and "flower-powery" that it's damn near irresistable, I tell you! The magnum opus of the record is 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,' of course, but the other five tracks (particularly 'Flowers And Beads' and 'Termination') all have a charm of their own, as well. Also, I'd like to mention that I think that the remastering has helped the live take on 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,' I believe - I haven't heard the original CD or LP version, but Erik Braunn's guitar playing certainly sounds much more in your face and up front in the mix than your description of it, and the instruments do kind of blend together at times, but again, there's more precision than the way you described it, George, so I'd reccommend checking that out, if possible. All in all, though, I certainly wouldn't overlook this minor gem of an album if I were a music lover. As I said before, if nothing else, it's sure to provide an entertaining listen.

Amanda Kenyon <> (15.05.2004)

I have this album on vinyl, and all I can say is it's freakin' bizarre. I am of course speaking of the title track, as I cannot immediately bring to mind any of the others. As much as I basically dislike it, I have to admit that it's really like nothing else that came before it (at least not that I know of). The organ and vocals are creepy beyond belief and the layering of all the different sounds is at least interesting and new. Not to mention the basic technical proficiency of the musicians. After all is said and done, though, metal (or metal prototypes) is really not my particular cup of tea. They get mad props for technical brilliance, but not much for listenability.

Jubilee Valence <> (18.01.2006)

Two things I'd like to present from the perspective of being there, one--to this day, I'm just amazed & entranced by the truths that were presented throughout this epic piece as a final production--i.e. "musically" and "as released" --to the public; I'm a professional musician and Gypsy;

The brilliantly described applications that people relate synonymously with "Eastern" "Oriental" "Egyptian" "Arabic" etc are all fundamentals of the music that is core to the Gypsy peoples and has been given over into every culture having direct & associated contact--throughout all time

Having their beginning in ancient India and rooted obviously in the 22 note octave scale that exists as truth to this very day throught India, China, Japan etc--it was here in our final culmination in the "west" in where our truths have manifest themselves through the Western extensionings and classical embodiments of instruments and the 11 note octave-that these familiarly different ideas have achieved such presence-by the Andalusian cadence that indeed every great classical composer has inserted a dynamic passage in every great work-just about the place along in where the audience of the day would get lethargic!

The drumming as you've noted--and I'll point out "a first"-(although you tend to credit it as more of a common notion, I've not been enabled this truth from any non-Gypsy ("Gadjo")--I never considered it myself until I read it right here!)is continuously "in tempo" and indeed does appear to be influenced through even it's smallest degree by the more primitive but still used techniques today such as clapping & stomping/pounding etc within the also more modern flamenco compas-"meters"

I'm afraid I'm rambling out of the context in that I initially meant to bring with you--that being Eric Braunn's "sounds"/effects & secondly--much later Mike Pinera's use of the "talk box"

The first is referencing the "wild sounds" towards the intro of the first guitar work fills/ he using a "COMB"?? an aluminum one I'd expect(we NEVER carried combs back then!!! LOL) and the instrument must've incorporated a tailpiece with a set of short strings available near the pick-up such as a "Bigsby" or "Trapeze" style found on some archtops as "tickling" up by the headstock on say, a "strat" would not lead properly via the observation

Second (and last--see? LOLOLOL!!!!!!!) is the "Trivia" I promised and is "good as gold"!

I sent this to _ report/2003/12/do_you_feel_lik.html

not sure if it will post because I didn't type in the "Track URL #" when I sent it off & am to tired to re-do I'll check it tommorrow or whatever.......

oh! BTW--your quoted remark from Doug Ingle is a crack-up--"regurgitating" in describing the device! Also--I posted your link--again thanks!

The "Talk Box" made famous by Joe Walsh & Peter Frampton predates them significantly; "Sly and the Family Stone's" album from 1969 called "Stand"---- LINK: _ 3?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=5174_

---featured a extended cut called "Sex Machine" that took up the whole side of the album--a la "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"-same thing drum solo everything!--This cut featured extensive use of the then infant but tested device which had been designed & demonstrated by Mike Pinera who co-incidentally was a member of the "SECOND" line-up of "Iron Butterfly"!!

Funny how those things work out!

Anyway I'm a guitarist from that era and it had come to my attention that this rather critical bit of info doesn't exist in cyber--therefore I'm contacting the various key listings on the search engine to rectify it---the discographys should be verifyable enough if in fact you can't contact Freddie Stewart[*or "Steward"-JV](Sly's guitarist and brother)or Mike Pinera or perhaps Doug Ingle--the device was used on a cut that post dated Sly's on the album Metamorphosis in the song called "Butterfly Blue" from 1970

Happy to be of assistance!

Tagbo Munonyedi <> (09.10.2006)

I was and and after a few years still am really disappointed with this album, which has a fearsome reputation. I suppose it's my own fault for waiting 20 years before getting round to listening to it. I'm not entirely sure why I never checked them out even though I knew quite a bit about them and when I was in my heavy metal zenith, you'd think with album titles like "Heavy" and Jimmy Page's endorsement {at least in terms of band name} I would've been in my element. But I've always had a love for the heavy stuff and still discover albums I'd not come across. I find four of the tracks on here to be sheer pap that just do zilch for me, and I love 1968's unique brand of rock {of all genres} that was partly still psychedelic yet also leaving it behind and moving into new territory. I guess at the end of the day, you either like something or you don't. I'm sort of ambivalent about the title track, the riff is good but 20,000 leagues under the sea in the league of riffs IMO and that lengthy mid section is sometimes quite relaxing and other times so annoying. Doug Ingle's Dad was a church organist and if you listen closely, you'll find some interesting snippets like 'God rest ye merry gentlemen' that distort cleverly just as they become familiar. For me, not a great long track. There is one truly weird classic on here though and that's MY MIRAGE.....I don't know what it is about this song but I think it's fantastic. It's got such a weird feel and it kind of rescues their reputation in my sight.


<> (18.08.2000)

at first i thought this lp sounded lightweight.after repeated listens i really admire evrey second.compared to alot of modern rock we can obviously see many me that all that really matters...sound,rythm,ideas....theres lots of it here..i've come to admire the fact that this isn't a loud distorted rock the doors this group was equally capable of making intelligent spooky mention,"memorable"alot..."memorable"doesn't always account for "enduring".

Konstantin Hedin <> (27.01.2001)

Hi! Very good. Put better marks!

Frank Fotia <> (28.11.2001)

In my opinion, Lee Dorman's bass lines make this album more than decent.  In particular, listen to the bass in "Belda-Beast". Can anyone get their hands on the tabs for that song?


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Richard <> (10.06.2002)

To All -

I just bought Scorching Beauty. Yeah, a little late to the party, I know,but I you know how that goes sometimes. Anyway, I thought it would be interesting, as a long time IB freak, to pass along my first thoughts, to you all -

'The Overture' is a great invocation to arms.I love the mentioning of the song titles, something that I have never hear before in rock, and something that lends an air of importance to the following tracks. Great touch.

Of course 'Hard Miseree' - what a solid, terrific call to arms. It sets the pace,and the guitar leads the way. As if to say, hey, I am Eric Braunn, THIS is Iron Butterfly right now, so - dig it ! The guitar sets the tone, and the keyboard says, Doug is not here, but I AM ! Nice, solid work. Organ even has traces of the IB past there. I would think this is the most solid rocker, and the most sentimental link to IB from their heyday- Scorching guitar !!

'High on a Mountain Top' - one of my favorites. The emergence of his Bryan Ferry persona. I guess. Not really to me. People talk about that, but I would disagree, it's just Eric. Nothing wrong with it, although the parallels are certainly there - as with 'Am I down' - I hear traces of T Rex there....Still, nice chugging rocker. Nice. I think Eric is liberated on this record. Sounds as though, without the 'heavier'presence of Doug, he feels free to rock out. Just my own thought.

All in all, this is an interesting addition to the legacy of the band. Think of it as a sort of sub division of the Butterfly. As if the IB Corporation " spun " off part of the sound. Ron, of course, moves things along beautifully on this, as all IB works. He becomes larger in the scope of things, as this plays out. He is even more of the glue for them, than even I ever thought. Kind of reminds me of Chris Squire's work with Yes. His drumming is terrific. But then, you all knew that.

Some cuts haven't aged as well as others. I can live without 'Circles', among them. A bit wearing on the whole. What is interesting to me on this record, is his guitar quality, his voice if you will, seems lost in the songs. I don't hear that magnificent sound from Ball. One of the great, unique, raw guitar voices, if you will, in rock. I would have liked to hear more of that. A really hot instrumental is something here I would have expected. He seems more intent on establishing his voice and song writing talents than anything else.

I am surprised we haven't heard more from Eric over the years. Almost as if this were a solo album, and I would like to know why he hasn't come out with more ? Maybe it's just the reality of record deals, and no money available.

Some of the cuts are just weak. Ultimately, this keeps the record from being on the level of Ball, and previous work. It's a valiant attempt, and while I wish I had heard more guitar, it must return to the shadows of the previous great works that preceeded it. As a fitting end, his guitar starts to take off in, appropriately enough- 'Before You Go'. Almost a tease, and an afterthought- that muscular guitar comes to the front. Eric, next time, before you go - let it all out, in your best molten, heavy and light surging guitar !!


Carlos Werzel Jr. <> (26.08.2003)

My name is Carlos, I'm from Brazil, I'm 24 years old, almost 25. I saw your homepage about Iron Butterfly's albums reviews, and I agree with you about Sun and Steel album. It really is a good album, I have it in mp3.

Kevin MacNutt <> (19.08.2004)

I recently found this one on a German import vinyl as a two fer (with Scorching Beauty) and while they are not really to my taste (but are growing on me with every listen), it amazes me why these album were not more successful. Perhaps calling themselves Iron Butterfly was not exactly a wise choice since really they sound nothing like the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida era band. Really someone expecting the Butterfly of '68 would just be confused by this stuff, especially the very Framptonish "Beyond The Milky Way." They remind me of 1972-74 period Amon Duul II for some reason and a bit like Captain Beyond (the band which featured former Deep Purple singer Rod Evans). Of the two mid seventies albums this is the strongest one, though some of the lyrics are pure crap.

<> (14.05.2006)

Yeah, Sun And Steel is a great mid 70's piece of exuberant fun! I agree that Eric Braunn sounds quite a bit like Bryan Ferry (from the same era) on songs like 'Scorching Beauty'. It's that warble in his voice. And man, he really puts his all into songs like the title track, Scion, the aforementioned Scorching Beauty and Get It Out. He also shows some nice restraint on the lovely Watch The World Goin' By. That song really captures the essence of the 70's--the feeling that something needs to change but not really knowing how to make that definite decision. The line "times we've lost were times we never tried" capture that post Vietnam ennui. Braunn sounds a bit like Ferry on this piece too. Beyond The Milky Way is one of those songs that borders on sheer saccharine sweetness and yet works very effectively as a cool 1970's love song. Something like a cross between The Raspberries and Paul McCartney and with a nice dramatic outro. Keyboardist Bill DeMartines pulls off the perfect vocal style on this and shows a nice contrast to Braunn's tougher delivery. Too bad it's his only lead vocal on the album. It is true that the band threw in the kitchen sink with sounds and styles on this work. DeMartines is at the forefront of this utilizing every type of synth and organ he could squeeze into the studio and it's an infectious kaleidoscope of sound. Braunn is also up to show off his guitar chops and is searing on stuff like Sun And Steel and I'm Right, I'm Wrong and even Beatlesesque on the acoustic fret work on Watch The World Goin' By. The sound on that latter song reminds me of a McCartney outtake from The White Album. All in all this is simply a varied and enthusiastic gem. It sounds like a band who has nothing to lose and the world to gain. Sadly the record buying public of the time didn't pick up on the fun vibe and the band threw in the towel soon after (for a while at least). This album stands as a pleasing testament to the recently deceased Eric Braunn who was at the peak of his creative powers here as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Too bad he is now only a footnote as the guy who played guitar on In A Gadda Da Vida. He was a lot more than that as this fine, mostly forgotten album ably shows. If you like 1970's rock this is a must have. A bit naive but all the better for it.

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