Forty Seven Years ago today, July 20, the first heavy-metal song to ever hit the charts appeared at #117. It would top out at Number Thirty.
In my opinion the song was stolen from Cream, the psychedelic power trio of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Their song, Sunshine of Your Love, was included on their 1967 album.
Rock music was going through one of its periodic changes in the late ‘60s. Heavy Metal music was taking over, but hadn’t reached the Billboard Charts until Iron Butterfly took the Cream riff, started it two beats later and went into the studio to record.
The producer for their LP was drunk and didn’t show up while the band was waiting to record. The recording engineer, Don Casale, told the band they needed to do a sound check while they waited for the producer to come through the door.
The band had this song (the copycat song) that Doug Ingle, singer, wanted to do. It had some places for guitar solos, organ solos and drum solos. So they took off playing and singing their new tune, In The Garden Of Eden.
The only problem was the singer was also drunk and high. He slurred the words. There is a boring silly guitar solo followed by a long weird drum solo that my kid could have copied when he was seven. Then the organ solo with the drums which consists of the organist basically playing different version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” The jam took seventeen minutes. They loved it. No producer showed up so they used the seventeen minute song as ONE SIDE of the album. Don Casale, the engineer, was also listed as the producer.
When they re-released it in 1995, the liner notes stated that Doug Ingle had told their drummer, Ron Bushy the name of the song and Bush wrote down, in a gadda da vida. He showed it to Ingle. Ingle laughed and said, “Yeah man, that’s it.”
Whatever, in 1968 the seventeen minute tune was cut down to under three minutes, released as a single, and the rest is history.
In 2004, VH-1 named In a Gadda Da Vida as the 24th greatest heavy metal tune of all time. Really?
It’s kind of fun for your mouth to pretend you are really drunk and then lower your voice in a growl and slur…”In A Garden of Eden.”
Yep, sounds like “in a gadda da vida.”
I bet you feel better about your week now that you know this shit.
Now for the few souls that just don’t feel like working at all today, here is the full seventeen minutes. I bet half of you give up before the horrible drum solo is over.