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The Animals

One of the most important bands originating from England's R&B scene during the early '60s, the Animals were second only to the Rolling Stones in influence among R&B-based bands in the first wave of the British Invasion. The Animals had their origins in a Newcastle-based group called the Kansas City Five, whose membership included pianist Alan Price, drummer John Steel, and vocalist Eric Burdon. Price exited to join the Kontours in 1962, while Burdon went off to London. The Kontours, whose membership included Bryan "Chas" Chandler, eventually were transmuted into the Alan Price R&B Combo, with John Steel joining on drums. Burdon's return to Newcastle in early 1963 heralded his return to the lineup. The final member of the combo, guitarist Hilton Valentine, joined just in time for the recording of a self-produced EP under the band's new name, the Animals. That record alerted Graham Bond to the Animals; he was likely responsible for pointing impresario Giorgio Gomelsky to the group.

Gomelsky booked the band into his Crawdaddy Club in London, and they were subsequently signed by Mickie Most, an independent producer who secured a contract with EMI's Columbia imprint. A studio session in February 1964 yielded their Columbia debut single, "Baby Let Me Take You Home" (adapted from "Baby Let Me Follow You Down"), which rose to number 21 on the British charts. For years, it was rumored incorrectly that the Animals got their next single, "House of the Rising Sun," from Bob Dylan's first album, but it has been revealed that, like "Baby Let Me Take You Home," the song came to them courtesy of Josh White. In any event, the song -- given a new guitar riff by Valentine and a soulful organ accompaniment devised by Price -- shot to the top of the U.K. and U.S. charts early that summer. This success led to a follow-up session that summer, yielding their first long-playing record, The Animals. Their third single, "I'm Crying," rose to number eight on the British charts. The group compiled an enviable record of Top Ten successes, including "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place," along with a second album, Animal Tracks.

In May of 1965, immediately after recording "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place," Alan Price left the band, citing fear of flying as the reason; subsequent biographies of the band have indicated that the reasons were less psychological. When "House of the Rising Sun" was recorded, using what was essentially a group arrangement, the management persuaded the band to put one person's name down as arranger. Price came up the lucky one, supposedly with the intention that the money from the arranger credit would be divided later on. The money was never divided, however, and as soon as it began rolling in, Price suddenly developed his fear of flying and exited the band. Others cite the increasing contentiousness between Burdon and Price over leadership of the group as the latter's reason for leaving. In any case, a replacement was recruited in the person of Dave Rowberry.

In the meantime, the group was growing increasingly unhappy with the material they were being given to record by manager Mickie Most. Not only were the majority of these songs much too commercial for their taste, but they represented a false image of the band, even if many were successful. "It's My Life," a number seven British hit and a similar smash in America, caused the Animals to terminate their association with Most and with EMI Records. They moved over to Decca/London Records and came up with a more forceful, powerful sound on their first album for the new label, Animalisms. The lineup shifts continued, however: Steel exited in 1966, after recording Animalisms, and was replaced by Barry Jenkins, formerly of the Nashville Teens. Chandler left in mid-1966 after recording "Don't Bring Me Down," and Valentine remained until the end of 1966, but essentially "Don't Bring Me Down" marked the end of the original Animals.

Burdon re-formed the group under the aegis of Eric Burdon and the New Animals, with Jenkins on drums, John Weider on guitar and violin, Danny McCulloch on bass, and Vic Briggs on guitar. He remained officially a solo act for a time, releasing a collection of material called Eric Is Here in 1967. As soon as the contract with English Decca was up, Burdon signed with MGM directly for worldwide distribution, and the new lineup made their debut in mid-1967. Eric Burdon and the New Animals embraced psychedelica to the hilt amid the full bloom of the Summer of Love. By the end of 1968, Briggs and McCulloch had departed, to be replaced by Burdon's old friend, keyboard player/vocalist Zoot Money, and his longtime stablemate, guitarist Andy Summers, while Weider switched to bass. Finally, in 1969, Burdon pulled the plug on what was left of the Animals. He hooked up with a Los Angeles-based group called War, and started a subsequent solo career.

The original Animals reunited in 1976 for a superb album called Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted, which picked up right where Animalisms had left off a decade earlier and which was well-received critically but failed to capture the public's attention. In 1983, a somewhat longer-lasting reunion came about between the original members, augmented with the presence of Zoot Money on keyboards. The resulting album, Ark, consisting of entirely new material, was well received by critics and charted surprisingly high, and a world tour followed. By the end of the year and the heavy touring schedule, however, it was clear that this reunion was not going to be a lasting event. The quintet split up again, having finally let the other shoe drop on their careers and history, and walked away with some financial rewards, along with memories of two generations of rock fans cheering their every note. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Restrospective

1. House Of The Rising Sun

2. I'm Crying

3. Baby Let Me Take You Home

4. Gonna Send You Back To Walker

5. Boom Boom

6. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

7. Bring It On Home To Me

8. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

9. It's My Life

10. Don't Bring Me Down

11. See See Rider

12. Inside - Looking Out

13. Hey Gyp

14. Help Me Girl

15. When I Was Young

16. A Girl Named Sandoz

17. San Franciscan Nights

18. Monterey

19. Anything

20. Sky Pilot

21. White Houses

22. Spill The Wine

x

Track List: Gratefully Dead 1964-1968

1. Dimples

2. I'm Mad Again

3. She Said Yeah

4. Talkin' 'Bout You

5. Bright Lights Big City

7. Don't Want Much

8. I'm Gonna Change The World

9. All Night Long

11. A Girl Named Sandoz

13. Gratefully Dead

15. Anything

x

Track List: The Complete Animals

Disc 1

1. Boom Boom

2. Talkin' Bout You

3. Blue Feeling

4. Dimples

5. Baby Let Me Take You Home

6. Gonna Send You Back To Walker

7. Baby What's Wrong

8. The House Of The Rising Sun

9. F-E-E-L

10. I'm Mad Again

11. The Right Time

12. Around And Around

13. I'm In Love Again

14. Bury My Body

15. She Said Yeah

16. I'm Crying

18. The Story Of Bo Diddley

19. The Girl Can't Help It

20. I've Been Around

Disc 2

1. Memphis Tennessee

2. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

4. Roadrunner

5. Hallelujah I Love Her So

6. Don't Want Much

7. I Believe To My Soul

8. Let The Good Times Roll

9. Mess Around

10. How You've Changed

12. Roberta

13. Bright Lights Big City

14. Worried Life Blues

15. Bring It On Home To Me

16. For Miss Caulker

17. I Can't Believe It

18. We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place

19. It's My Life

x

Track List: Animalisms

1. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

2. Maudie

4. Sweet Little Sixteen

5. You're On My Mind

7. Gin House Blues

9. What Am I Living For

10. I Put A Spell On You

12. She'll Return It

13. Inside Looking Out

14. Don't Bring Me Down

15. Cheating

16. Help Me Girl

17. See See Rider

19. Boom Boom

22. Don't Bring Me Down

23. See See Rider

24. Help Me Girl

25. Cheating

x

Track List: The Best Of The Animals

1. House of the Rising Sun

2. I'm Crying

3. Baby, Let me Take you Home

4. Around and Around

5. Talkin' Bout You

6. Don't Let Me be Misunderstood

7. Boom Boom

8. Dimples

9. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

10. I'm in Love Again

11. Bury My Body

12. Gonna Send You Back to Walker

13. Story of Bo Diddley

14. It's My Life

15. Bring it on Home to me

Comments

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I
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Cool beat reminds me of when i was a lil kid ,my uncle was a big fan of THIS band,rideing around in his 68road runner.
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colewingo5
FFDP remade this song they are both awesome
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lqe33

I
Mkkkkiokikik k k i o i k i i i i m m m m i mmomkmmkm
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lqe33
Ok
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lqe33
k

Kk
K
Kk
Mm
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lqe33
K

K
KI
Ok
Knoll
K
Km
Mmmkmmimiiii m k
Ikmknmmmmmmm k
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tjb600
Great voice. He still got it. Great songs.
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nleshelman
O.klkk
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We all b Animals
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Wrong group. 100% sure this is Eric Burden and War.
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they will be playing 2/13/16 at Kent,Ohio at Kent Stage 8pm cc_union
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41 years ago this was my favourite song, still a classic, love Eric's voice
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Casino,... .....in God I know ....I'm One!¡!.....X x x X x x X x x O o O o O o o o
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T
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crsartin
Best nam song
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NICE INDEED !!!!
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Outstanding burdon!!! Saw him live in the early 90s at a bar in Eugene or with my wife we were pretty hamered in the front of the stage I got to yell into his Mike , he put his hand on the top of my head!! Totally cool man
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One of their best had it on 8 track
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Been to that house in Wallace Idaho in the 70s....good times
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My song for the day nothing like gutter a** neighbors to make you want to get the hell out of this place
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This tune and all other Animal tunes are pure classic. I am 64 now and still play them. My kids grew up with this music and they are still huge fans of it.
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Beginning of bubblegum.
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Always a good song love it
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I like this song. It's great.
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Great stuff!!-The Animals!
Chas Chandler later when on to manage a then unknown guitarist by the name of Jimi Hendrix!
.....and history was made.
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When u walk that walk and talk that talk!!!!
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Cool song.
Classic
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DIG THAT GIRL!!!!!!
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Lots of good music by the Animals. There greatest hits my favorite.
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saw Eric Burdon in 2014, he can still rock it!
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Classy gas on fire!
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This is my jam! Miss this group! Don't let me be misunderstoo d ! This was when music was music people!
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lol
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Feeling young again and the world seems so more pleasant.
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Good song
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tanefendi
British band singing about New Orleans? I am sure they didn't steal this one.
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DOPE!!!! :)
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jayramirez01 3
dope ��
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Rock on brothers and sisters. P.S. J.R. kicks a**.
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Great. Song:!!!
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WTF......say s it all!
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GOOD
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F**king A
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rp3mritter
Best Nam war song. ����
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no kidding @krowin3
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Good song!
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Eric burdon had the greatest blues voice.its what you call soul.
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One of my favorite
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plewis214art
Grew up with the house of the rising Sun ,still love it.
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