The quietly intense "Soldier In Our Town" (on Metamorphosis), addresses the hypocrisy of war heroism with the lines: 'There's a statue in the square / But the things they're hiding, it ain't fair / ...'Cause beneath the stone / The greatest man is all alone' - a potent shift from the image of the monument to the gravestone. With its soul wrenching vocal (Ingle's best ever performance) and a rare use of earthy acoustic guitar, Iron Butterfly delivers one of the most heart-felt antiwar statements of the early '70's.
In the 1993 liner notes to the Rhino compilation Light and Heavy, Ingle said the composition concerns 'war in general and our culture's inbred thought that people have to fight. And it's about the few elite at the top that control the masses.' This particular recording (essentially an Ingle solo session) exemplifies the internal dissension that befell Iron Butterfly after scoring their mega-success.
Erik Brann, stressed out from the endless touring, departed the year prior. In an 1988 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he recalled the grueling tours with Iron Butterfly, saying 'My first vacation I bought a car, a Jaguar, and parked it outside the hospital where I spent two weeks for ulcers and gastroenteritis.' It required two guitarists to fill his shoes. These new members (Mike Pinera, of "Ride Captain Ride" fame, and Larry 'Rhino' Reinhardt) quickly asserted themselves and, refusing to follow Ingle in search of a mellow (yet idiosyncratic) muse for the band, shifted the sound towards mainstream rock (along with bassist Lee Dorman, they refused to perform on "Soldier In Our Town").
After another tour, Ingle quit the band. Presaging this development, the LP cover for what would be the last (authentic) Iron Butterfly album, Metamorphosis (1970), prominently displays a coffin on a barren mountaintop (who, save Donovan, could have kept the Butterfly alive?).
by Barry Stoller
1. Free Flight - 0:40
2. New Day - 3:08
3. Shady Lady (Robert Woods Edmonson, Iron Butterfly) - 3:50
4. Best Years of Our Life - 3:55
5. Slower Than Guns (R. W. Edmonson, Iron Butterfly) - 3:37
6. Stone Believer - 5:20
7. Soldier in Our Town (R. W. Edmonson, Iron Butterfly) - 3:10
8. Easy Rider (Let the Wind Paythe Way) (R. W. Edmonson, Iron Butterfly) - 3:06
9. Butterfly Bleu - 14:03
All song by Iron Butterfly unless otherwise written.
* Doug Ingle - Lead Vocals, Organ
* Mike Pinera - Lead Vocals, Guitar
* Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt - Guitar
* Lee Dorman - Bass
* Ron Bushy - Drums
* Richard Podolor - Sitar, Twelve String Guitar
* Bill Cooper - Twelve String Guitar
the Free Text