Iron Butterfly - Metamorphosis. 1970 USA
Iron Butterfly - Metamorphosis. 1970 Atco
Select LP issues: 1970 Atlantic (Japan); 1970 Atco (UK)
Select CD reissues: 1992 Repertoire (Germany); 1993 Rhino/Atco; 2006 Victor (Japan mini-LP); 2009 Victor (Japan mini-LP)
Metamorphosis is the album that supports the thesis of Ball. By this time, Iron Butterfly were so utterly confused as to what their self-identity was, they ended up in a stasis of nothingness. Like many bands coming from the US in 1970, Iron Butterfly's album can simply be described as "rock". It's mildly heavy, it's mildly progressive, and it's mildly annoying. 'New Day' represents about the only decent song here, while the rest sort of blows by without notice. 'Butterfly Bleu' is their last gasp at thinking perhaps maybe they were still a groundbreaking unit. And there are glimpses of great within, but of course most of it is just noodling around in the name of high art. They really had no clue at this point what they had started only 2 short years before. And then finally Ingle threw in the towel. Game over. As we learned with the 45 of 'Silly Sally', Iron Butterfly continued on in vain without him. They were moving in the direction of BST styled horn pop, so they were definitely going the wrong way. It was hopeless.
Iron Butterfly were to reform in the mid 70s without Ingle in tow. That unit predictably had little impact and also imploded. For the 40 years since then, Iron Butterfly has reformed (with Ingle this time) and broken back up. There's always going to be a new album, but yet it never somehow surfaces. Now the living members are in their 70s. Somehow I doubt a Spettri like phenomena will happen here (2973 La nemica dei ricordi). Woulda, coulda, shoulda. That should be on their tombstone outside the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Almost there, but not quite.
The Japanese mini-LP on Victor (2009) is highly likely sourced from one of the original digital transfers, but with better packaging.