Label: Metro Records (UK), 2356-142
Style: Classic Rock
Country: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Format: Flac Tracks 16/44,1 kHz
Size: 343 Mb
Hailing from Newcastle, England, The Animals formed in 1963. After splitting in 1969, various incarnations of the band kept playing together under the same name and are still playing live today. They were one of the key artists of the British Invasion and remain highly influential to this day
When no lesser artist than Bruce Springsteen openly admits that he ripped your bands songs off to make some of the most legendary albums in rock history, that’s the point where respect becomes not so much deserved as undeniable. Yet by and large, The Animals are widely known for only one song, and a cover at that. I suppose we can write that one off to time’s reduction of everything to its simplest story and, let’s face it, there was some pretty stellar competition in those days (welcome to the 60’s, where you either rivalled The Beatles in quality or no-one gave a damn!). However, The Animals were no one hit wonders, charting twenty top ten hits in the U.K and U.S combined by the end of the 1960’s.
This was all achieved in record time as well. The band began life as the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which featured a fluid line up but by 1962, band leader Alan Price had settled on himself playing the organ and keyboards, Hilton Valentine playing guitar, John Steel drumming, and Bryan "Chas" Chandler on the bass guitar. The group needed a vocalist to compete in the thriving U.K pop scene and, although they were originally a jazz-flavoured combo by trade, they chose the charismatic blues singer Eric Burdon to be there frontman. Burdon joining the group was the catalyst for a radical change in their performance style, their wild and energetic shows led them to be called “animals” by a few audience members. Needless to say, the name stuck.
By 1964 the band had signed to Columbia and put out their first single, but their second effort was what really took them into the stratosphere. The band had faith in their raucous version of the old folk standard “House Of The Rising Sun” given the rapturous reception it had gotten night after night on a tour they’d played with Chuck Berry, but no-one alive at the time could have predicted that it would top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic and provide some of Rock and Roll’s most iconic sounds. By September 1964, The Animals were one of the world’s biggest bands, but the music world worked faster than we can comprehend today, and by 1966 the original incarnation of the band imploded in a mess of mismanaged business affairs, internal friction and pressures from fans and the record company alike.
However, Eric Burdon formed a new incarnation of the group in December 1966, ditching their rhythm and blues roots for a far more psychedelic style of music that was heavier than the band had ever dreamed of being. The band were highly successful but at a far steadier rate than the original incarnation, with hits like "San Franciscan Nights", "Monterey", and "Sky Pilot" keeping them a very big deal but at a more manageable rate. However, at this point the group was a solo project for Burdon and the revolving door style of membership (Future Police guitarist Andy Summers played with the band briefly!) began to take its toll.
The band dissolved at the end of 1968, and after that the original line up reunited twice, once for an album in 1977 and again in 1983 for an album and a highly succesful tour that took in the band’s biggest ever headline show, at Wembley Stadium on New Years Eve of that year. Several different incarnations of the band have sprung up since then but whichever one you see is still showing a side of rock history that many know of but not many truly appreciate. Seek them out and you’ll find one of the true greats of classic rock and a band that are truly timeless, always at the top of their game. Highly recommended.
01. A1 Good Times (03:05) - "Winds of Change" 1967
02. A2 Sky Pilot (07:30) - "The Twain Shall Meet" 1968
03. A3 San Franciscan Nights (03:25) - "Winds of Change" 1967
04. A4 Paint It Black (06:16) - "Winds of Change" 1967
05. A5 When I Was Young (03:03) - UK Single A-Side 1967
06. A6 C.C. Rider (04:04) - "Animalization" 1966
07. B1 Ring Of Fire (04:48) - "Love Is" 1968
08. B2 River Deep, Mountain High (07:25) - "Love Is" 1968
09. B3 Monterey (04:41) - "The Twain Shall Meet" 1968
10. B4 Help Me Girl (02:43) - "Eric Is Here" 1967
11. B5 I'm An Animal (05:37) - "Love Is" 1968
12. B6 To Love Somebody (06:55) - "Love Is" 1968