Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Iron Butterfly: "Metamorphosis" (1970)

In my teens, when I was really getting into collecting, one thing I would do is find 8-tracks at either the Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores that we had around the area. They were always cheap, usually in pretty good condition, and it was a good way to check something out before seeking it out on vinyl.

At the end of August of 1990, this was such a case. I'd been a fan of these guys for years, but this album was a bit of a mystery. Dad didn't have it, and there were a few cuts on it on the album-spanning compilation album Evolution. I tried to listen to the three songs that were on there, but they didn't do much of anything to me. Maybe it was that they sounded way different than what preceded it, more guitar-driven than keyboard-driven. The 8-track was only 39 cents, and I figured What the hell!

I stuck it into my player when I got it home, and played it all the way through...and I loved it! Yes, it was much different with Mike Pinera and Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt on guitars in Erik Braunn's place, but that was exactly the point of this album. There are more than a few instances where the dual lead-guitar lines sound something like the Allman Brothers. Hearing Doug Ingle on the Hammond organ instead of the old Vox Continental was quite a welcome surprise.

Great timing to have found this one...I was just entering high school that September, so life was going through a metamorphosis of its own. I recorded the 8-track onto cassette, and it was played often, just as soon as I got home from school. I still think of this album at the end of the summer, just as it's on its way into the autumnal equinox.

Later on, I would find further adventures with these guys (in a way) by discovering that Rhino and Lee Dorman joined forces with Deep Purple's original singer Rod Evans, and Johnny Winter's drummer Bobby Caldwell, and formed Captain Beyond. That would be a handful of years in the future, and quite a handful out of my pocket (especially that their albums were only available on Japanese import CD's at the time), but that's another story to be told soon.

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