Two long out-of-print greatest hits collections are back in print today thanks to the fine folks at Rhino Records. Iron Butterfly’s Evolution: The Best of Iron Butterfly arrived on the Atco label in 1971 and brought together 11 tracks from the hard rock pioneers’ first four albums. Andy Gibb’s 1991 Greatest Hits, originally on the Polydor label, differed from the 1980 RSO Records hits compilation, and offered 12 prime pop cuts from the youngest of the Brothers Gibb.
Although Rhino’s Light and Heavy: The Best of Iron Butterfly upped the number of tracks to 21 for the compact disc era, Evolution was the original LP worn out by fans of the “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” rockers. Its 11 songs are all drawn from Heavy (1968), In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968), Ball (1969) and Metamorphosis (1970). The calling card of the band, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is heard in its edited single version. Together with Rhino Handmade’ s lavish 2-CD Fillmore East 1968 (watch for a review coming soon!), the all-killer, no-filler Evolution is a great reminder of one of the first bands to synthesize strains of hard rock, acid rock and psychedelia into a successful whole. The group’s personnel, alas, wasn’t as consistent as its sound, dogged by line-up changes almost from the start. Evolution is a fine opportunity, though, to remember guitarist Larry “Rhino” Reinhardt, who died on January 2 at the age of 63. He can be heard on the tracks culled from Metamorphosis. Doug Ingle’s organ and vocals tie the disparate tracks together: the garage fury of “Unconscious Power,” the pop of “Flowers and Beads,” the prog rock-anticipating instrumental force of “Iron Butterfly Theme,” the acid psychedelia of “Belda-Beast” and the folk-rock of “Slower than Guns.” Evolution is a particular bargain courtesy the budget Rhino Flashback line; you’ll likely find it for around five bucks!
Hit the jump for the scoop on the re-release from Andy Gibb, plus order links and track listings for both titles!
A welcome part of the 2010 Bee Gees box set Mythology was the inclusion of an entire disc devoted to the music of Andy Gibb, the youngest Gibb brother who tragically died in 1988 at the age of 30. Andy’s music was a family affair, and like his brothers, he found remarkable chart success. Brother Barry’s song “I Just Want to Be Your Everything” was Andy’s first single outside of Australia, and it shot to America’s No. 1 spot in 1977, with “(Love is) Thicker Than Water” following it straight to the top. (It was a very Gibb year: “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” replaced “Stayin’ Alive” atop the American charts, only to be displaced itself by “Night Fever.”) All four Gibb brothers teamed to write “Shadow Dancing,” which made history for Andy when it hit No. 1 and he became the first male solo artist to have three consecutive No. 1 singles! You’ll hear all of those on Greatest Hits, as well as the perennial “An Everlasting Love” and beautiful “(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away,” also recorded by both The Bee Gees and Barry’s duet partner, Barbra Streisand. Andy Gibb’s solo catalogue has been frustratingly out-of-print for years now despite only consisting of three studio albums, so this reissue on the Reprise label is a real step in the right direction!
Both Evolution: The Best of Iron Butterfly and Andy Gibb’s Greatest Hits are in stores today from Rhino Flashback and Reprise Records, respectively. You can pre-order at the links below!
Andy Gibb, Greatest Hits (Polydor 314 511 585-2, 1991 – reissued Reprise, 2012)
- Man on Fire
- I Just Want to Be Your Everything
- (Love Is) Thicker Than Water
- Flowing Rivers
- Shadow Dancing
- An Everlasting Love
- (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away
- After Dark
- I Can’t Help It (with Olivia Newton-John)
- Time is Time
- Me Without You
Iron Butterfly, The Best of Iron Butterfly: Evolution (Atco SD 33-369, 1971 – reissued Rhino Flashback R2 33369, 2012)
- Iron Butterfly Theme
- Unconscious Power
- Flowers and Beads
- Soul Experience
- Stone Believer
- Easy Rider
- Slower Than Guns