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Animals Retrospective
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1. House Of The Rising Sun
Recorded 05/18/1964
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

2. I'm Crying
Recorded July 1964
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

3. Baby Let Me Take You Home
Recorded 02/13/1964
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

4. Gonna Send You Back To Walker
Recorded 02/13/1964
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

5. Boom Boom

Recorded 01/22/1964
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

6. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Recorded 11/16/1964
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

7. Bring It On Home To Me

Recorded Early 1965
Studio: Kingsway Recording Studio, London

8. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
Recorded June 1965 (US Single Version)

9. It's My Life
Recorded 09/20/1965
Studio: RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA

10. Don't Bring Me Down

Recorded April 1966

11. See See Rider
Recorded Spring 1966
Arranged By: Dave Rowberry

12. Inside – Looking Out
Recorded January 1966

13. Hey Gyp
Recorded Summer 1966

14. Help Me Girl
Recorded 1966
Arranged & Conducted By: Horace Ott

15. When I Was Young
(Burdon/Weider/Briggs/ McCulloch/Jenkins)
Recorded February 1967
Arranged By: Vic Briggs

16. A Girl Named Sandoz
Recorded February 1967
Arranged By: Vic Briggs

17. San Franciscan Nights
Recorded Spring 1967
Remix Engineers: Gary Kellgren/Ed Kraimer
Studio: Sunset-Highland Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA/Mayfair Recording Studio, New York, NY
Arranged By: Vic Briggs

18. Monterey

Recorded Summer 1967
Remix Engineers: Gary Kellgren
Studio: Sunset-Highland RecordingStudios, Hollywood, CA/Mayfair Recording Studio, New York, NY
Arranged By: Vic Briggs

19. Anything
Recorded Spring 1967
Remix Engineers: Gary Kellgren/Ed Kraimer
Studio: Sunset-Highland Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA/Mayfair Recording Studio, New York, NY
Arranged By: Vic Briggs

20. Sky Pilot
Recorded Summer 1967
Remix Engineer: Gary Kellgren
Studio: Sunset-Highland
Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA/Mayfair Recording Studio, New York, NY
Arranged By: Vic Briggs

21. White Houses

Recorded Spring 1968
Remix Engineer: Vic Briggs
Studio: Sunset-Highland Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA

22. Spill The Wine (Radio Edit) (Miller/Scott/Oskar/Allen/Dickerson/Jordon/Brown)
Performed by: Eric Burdon & WAR
Recorded Early 1970
Studio: Wally Heider Recording Studio, San Francisco

Original Producers:
Mickie Most (Tracks 1 through 8)
Tom Wilson (Tracks 10 through 20)
Every One of Us (Track 21)
Jerry Goldstein (Track 22)

Original Engineers:
Dave Siddle (Track 1 through 7)
Dick Bogart (Track 9)
Ed Kraimer (Track 17 & 19)
Ami Hadani (Track 17, 19, 20 & 21)
Jack Hunt (Track 21)
Chris Huston (Track 22)

Eric Burdon – Lead Vocals (All tracks)
Hilton Valentine – Guitar (Tracks 1-13)
John Welder – Guitar (Tracks 15-21); Violin (Tracks 15-19)
Vic Briggs – Guitar (Tracks 20 & 21); Piano & Vibes (Tracks 15-19)
Howard Scott – Guitar (Track 22)
Bryan "Chas" Chandler – Bass (Tracks 1-13)
Danny McCulloch – Bass (Tracks 15-21)
Morris "B.B" Dickerson – Bass (Track 22)
John Steel – Drums (Tracks 1-7, 8, 9, 12)
Barry Jenkins – Drums (Tracks 10, 11-21); Percussion (Track 21)
Harold Brown – Drums (Track 22)
Alan Price – Organ/Piano (Tracks 1-7)
Dave Rowberry – Organ (Tracks 8-13)
The Royal Scots Guard Pipe and Drum Marching Band – Bagpipes, Percussion (Track 20)
Lonnie Jordan – Organ (Track 22)
Charles Miller – Flute (Track 22)
Thomas "Papa Dee" Allen – Percussion (Track 22)
Lee Oskar – Harmonica (Track 22)

Photo Credits:
Cover photo: Don Paulsen/MichaelOchsArchives.com
All other photos: MichaelOchsArchives.com

Songs Published By: 
Sony/ATV Songs LLC o/b/o Columbia Pictures Music Corp. (Track 1)
Beechwood Music Corp. (Track 1) EMI Al Gallico Music (Track 2)
Morris Music, Inc. (Track 3) Sloopy II Music (Track 3) Sony/ATV Songs (Track 3) Careers BMG Music Pub o/b/o Renleigh Music, Inc. and Bridgeport Music, Inc (Track 4) Conrad Music, A Division of Arc Music Corp. (Track 5) WB Music Corp o/b/o Rose Marcus Music, Chappell & Co o/b/o Bennie Benjamin Music, Chris-N-Jen Music (Track 6) ABKCO Music, Inc. (Track 7) Screen Gems –EMI Music, Inc. (Tracks 8 -10) Universal-MCA Music Publishing Div. of Universal Music Corp. (Track 11) Hill & Range Songs (Tracks 12, 16, 18, 20) Carbert Music, Inc. (Tracks 12, 15-17) Ludlow Music, Inc. (Track 12) Peer Intl Corp o/b/o Donovan Music, Ltd. (Track 13) Claus Ogermann, Pres. d/b/a Helios Music Corp. (Track 14) Unichappell Music, Inc. (Tracks 15-20) Unichappell Music, Inc. o/b/o Carlin Music (Track 21) Universal Polygram o/b/o Far Out Music, Inc (Track 22) Tracks 17-21 Courtesy of Universal Records Under License From Universal Music Enterprises Track 22 ©1970 Courtesy of Avenue Records/Far Out Productions, Inc.

Jody H. Klein & Teri Landi


The life-changing British Invasion of popular music in the mid-1960s was well underway, each unique new band bringing something more novel than the one before, each new song offering a fresh turn on what was in danger of becoming a tired Top 40 radio format.

But even then, "House of the Rising Sun" was different. Amidst a veritable flood of ultra-melodic, big-beat love songs that re-invigorated rock 'n roll while globally galvanizing a generation, "The House of the Rising Sun" was an overwhelmingly sorrowful folk blues, its lyrics also departing sharply from the romantic norm in their harrowing tale concerning a New Orleans gambling den.

Different, too, was the band that took "The House of the Rising Sun" to No. 1 for three weeks in the summer of 1964. Unlike the largely upbeat, heavily harmonic sound and adorable look of the mop-top Beatles and the plethora of largely pop-inflected Brit bands that arrived in their wake, the Animals, in image and music, could hardly be called cute.

Indeed, "The House of the Rising Sun" correctly hinted at a band whose roots were more blues  and r&b influenced than even the Rolling Stones, whose debut U.S. hit, which preceded the Animals' by three months, was but a harmless cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." And while London's Stones did in fact look far less fetching than the Beatles, the Animals, led by the ever dour vocal powerhouse Eric Burdon, made them cuddly in comparison.

Maybe it was their working class upbringing in the industrial northeastern England town of Newcastle that gave the Animals such a rough-and-tumble texture. Maybe it was the fact that the group was as unruly off stage as they were so musically unified when performing that contributed to a sonic intensity unequaled by contemporaries and unsurpassed ever since. Whatever the reason,

Eric Burdon, bassist Chas Chandler, keyboardist Alan Price, drummer John Steel, and guitarist Hilton Valentine hit on something singular that manifested itself at home and overseas in "The House of the Rising Sun."

Hear it today and it still stops you cold, what with Valentine's ascending guitar figures, Price's pumped-up organ fills, and of course, Burden's awesome, unvarnished blues wail.

"We all knew that the song would be a huge success if we recorded it," recalls Burdon today, "though the record company thought the subject matter was too doomy--and that it was too long."

True, the Animals' recording clocked in at four minutes and 20 seconds, making it the longest single ever at the time in the U.K. (the U.S. version was edited down to two minutes, 58 seconds). But it quickly lived up to the band's expectations, topping the charts both at home and abroad.

Rooted in 17th century British folk music, the traditional tune, which was originally about a brothel, was popular throughout the American South, having been recorded by the varied likes of bluesman Texas Alexander, country great Roy Acuff, and folksinger Josh White before Bob Dylan, who was a big influence on the Animals

(Alan Price appears in D.A. Pennebaker's legendary "Don't Look Back" documentary of Dylan's 1965 tour of England), included it on his 1962 self-titled album debut. The Animals, who had moved to London in January, 1964, and were signed to EMI's Columbia label (in the U.K.) by the visionary independent producer

Mickie Most, had originally used it to set them apart from other support bands on Chuck Berry's 1964 U.K. tour. "Everybody was trying to out-rock [Berry], so I was looking for something not-so-typical that would stay in people's minds," continues Burdon. "It worked so well that during a day off from touring, we took a train to London and pushed our equipment on a cart to a studio and recorded it in one take. The downside was that it was such a big hit that it was tough to follow."

"The House of the Rising Sun," which was the second U.K. Animals single, was so big that it would actually revisit the British Top 40 in 1972 and again in 1982; Burdon was even compelled to rerecord it many years later with a string quartet for German television.

And while the Animals could never exceed the No. 1 success of the first hit, the ones that followed would add to a truly historic body of work that earned them induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The first Animals single in England was "Baby Let Me Take You Home." It, too, was a folk-blues song that Dylan included on "Bob Dylan," though his version was a racier one entitled "Baby Let Me Take You Down."

"Dylan had such a big influence on all of us," says Burden. "But you've got to understand that I was into folk music up to my brains, and had first got the song as 'Mama, Don't You Tear My Clothes,' which was recorded in New Orleans by Snooks Eaglin. The original Animals was a very folk-influenced band."

The British B-side of "Baby Let Me Take You Home" was "Gonna Send You Back to Walker," which reached No. 57 in the U.S. as the follow-up single to "The House of the Rising Sun." It was another modified cover of a U.S. song, "Gonna Send You Back to Georgia," a minor r&b hit by Timmy Shaw; "Walker" was substituted for "Georgia" since it was the name of the district of Newcastle where Burdon came from.

Born in 1941, Burdon became enrolled at the Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design in 1956, and met John Steel on his first day there. Both were jazz fans, and formed a band called the Pagan Jazzmen. But the folk-flavored skiffle of Lonnie Donegan and Elvis Presley's black music influence had a huge impact on Britain's budding rockers, and the Pagans, as they were later called, were no different: Trending into r&b--especially that of Burdon hero Joe Turner--they enlisted a distinctive Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano player, Alan Price, and evolved into a Louis Jordan-type sound as the Kansas City Five.

Price, however, soon split to join a pop cover band the Kontors, whose bass player was Chas Chandler. The Kansas City Five dissolved, and Price spun off the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which eventually included Burdon, Chandler, Steel, and guitarist Hilton Valentine, whom Chandler had discovered in another local band. Burdon directed the group toward material by the likes of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, and Little Richard, plus their deeper blues brothers like Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker; the group recorded an EP in 1963 ("I Just Wanna Make Love to You," featuring the Willie Dixon blues classic), Price transferred his piano style to the new, portable Vox Continental organ, and the group was renamed the Animals.

"The greatest thing about the Animals is that we and the Stones and [people like British blues luminary] Alexis Korner helped preserve black American culture rather than let the record companies throw it into the cultural trash-can," says Burdon. On December 30, 1963, in fact, the band backed blues harmonica legend Sonny Boy Williamson in a scorching blues set at the Club-A-Go-Go in Newcastle that was released years later. But while the Animals third U.S. single, "I'm Crying," was an original (written by Burdon and Price), it did show a pronounced blues influence.

"It was from a period when the terminology 'folk-blues' came into being," notes Burdon, recalling seeing Muddy Waters' first U.K. visit, when he was playing acoustic guitar and was known as a folk artist rather than an electric blues guitar great. "I remember hearing that 'House of the Rising Sun' influenced Bob Dylan to go electric! It was a period where creative energy was bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic."

"I'm Crying" reached No. 19 in the fall of 1964, when the group was personally introducing itself to American audiences on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and on tour. It was followed by "Boom Boom," a No. 43 U.S. hit in early 1965.

One of numerous Animals covers of blues boogie king John Lee Hooker (it previously appeared on their debut EP), "Boom Boom" was quintessential Animals—bare bones blues and rave-up break and fadeout. It's follow-up, however, proved a portentous departure.

"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," with its galloping doubled keyboard/guitar intro and Burdon's anguished plea for understanding and forgiveness, was a cover of a Nina Simone classic and paved the way for a series of monumental covers and originals that took the Animals beyond the realm of blues and r&b.

"It's such a part of my life that I named a book after it," relates Burdon, who followed his 1986 autobiography "I Used to be an Animal, But I'm Alright Now" with a 2001 tome, "Don't Let Me be Misunderstood." (Simone, incidentally, originally hated the Animals' take, which opened with a characteristically riveting keyboard/guitar riff and went to No. 15. She would later praise Burdon personally as a "musical historian.")

A No. 32 cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home to Me" came next. Burdon recalls that a Cooke performance in Newcastle, which also starred Little Richard and Buddy Holly, was one of his most memorable concert experiences, "so it was natural that we would do it." But the Animals' two subsequent singles would become hallmarks of the era.

Both were recorded after Price abruptly quit the band, claiming he hated having to fly to Animals global gigs. Price, who went on to a solo career most noted for his musical performances in Lindsay Anderson's acclaimed film "O Lucky Man!," was replaced by Dave Rowberry, a member of Newcastle jazz/blues band the Mike Cotton Sound.

The group's first single with Rowberry was "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." Built on Chandler's fundamental bass guitar figure, the song was written by the renowned Brill Building husband-wife song-writing team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who were responsible for such hits as the Drifters' "On Broadway" and together with Phil Spector, the Ronettes' "Walking in the Rain."

Mann had scored his own teen-oriented hit in 1961 with the goofy doo-wop tribute "Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)." But "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," which detailed the pressing need of a young couple to leave home for a better life, was Mann's effort to be more socially relevant as a writer-artist. Much to his dismay, Most found the song first and produced it for the Animals; their No. 13 hit (it reached No. 2 in England) not only resonated with alienated youth on both sides of the Atlantic, but became an obvious anthem for Americans in Vietnam.

"I have endless stories of people who were in Vietnam saying how the song helped them get through it," says Burdon. "Then I heard it was recently voted the No. 1 song by British troops in Iraq."

The next single would be Most's last for the group--but it was another stunner. "It's My Life" was a take-no-prisoners declaration of independence, perfectly suited for Burden's virile delivery. It only reached No. 23, but "seems more powerful with audiences today," he says, and surely, it resounded powerfully in 1982, when David Johansen, the former lead singer with the notorious New York Dolls, used it to cap his Animals tribute medley hit (which also included "Don't Bring Me Down" and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place"). Now contracted to Decca, the band began recording with Dylan's producer Tom Wilson at the helm.

The first single under this arrangement was "Inside--Looking Out," an overpowering revision by Burdon and Chandler of "Rosie," an old Negro prison song compiled by Alan Lomax (the Animals' version was later covered by Grand Funk Railroad). It peaked at No. 34, and was the last single for Steel, who left fed up that the band had somehow seen so little of the money they'd made. He was replaced by Barry Jenkins, who had played drums with the Nashville Teens (another Mickie Most discovery), whose cover of Nashville songwriter John D. Loudermilk's "Tobacco Road" was a Top 20 hit in 1964.

But "Don't Bring Me Down," which was the Animals' last U.K. single, brought Valentine's guitar play more to the fore. Cited by Burdon as his favorite Animals single, the tune was penned by the great Brill Building team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King and reached No. 12 in May, 1966. The next month, however, saw the release of the Animals documentary "Animals Around the World," which put on display the incredible tensions within the band that soon led to its inevitable demise. Their swirling final single, a cover of Ma Rainey's 1925 blues hit "See See Rider," made it to No. 10 in the U.S.; the band ended its run there with a tour supporting Herman's Hermits--during which Chandler checked out a young guitarist named Jimi Hendrix, whom he would soon manage to superstardom.

Considered one of their best album's, "Animalism," which was released only in the U.S. after the band's demise, was heavily blues and r&b cover-oriented, but contained a cover of Donovan's bluesy "Hey Gyp." Burdon's next effort, "Eric is Here," was cut in New York with session players under the name Eric Burden & The Animals. It included a splendid, sophisticated pop tune in "Help Me Girl," which hit No. 29 in the U.S.

But Burdon was now entering a major songwriting mode, to be heavily influenced by his move to the West Coast and embrace of its sociopolitical scene--the drugs of which he was already well familiar with. Retaining only Jenkins from the old Animals, he recruited guitarist John Weider, who had played with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and also played violin and keyboards, bassist Danny McCulloch, ex of Screaming Lord Sutch, and guitarist Vic Briggs, who had played with Weider in the Laurie Jay Combo.

From this point on, most of the key Animals songs would be original, including Burdon's autobiographical "When I Was Young," a No. 15 hit in 1967. It started off with Briggs' "guitar dive bomb" and also starred Weider's electric violin, and was the harbinger of a more complex and progressive Animals sound. The B-side, "A Girl Named Sandoz," took its name from the company that the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann worked for when he synthesized LSD.

"We were knee-deep into [LSD] at the time," says Burdon, conceding that he can't take the tune too seriously now-- though the Smashing Pumpkins later covered it. "Face it," he adds. "It couldn't last forever." But the warm, California psychedelic vibe was beautifully celebrated by "San Franciscan Nights"--a No. 9 U.S. hit, No. 7 in the U.K.--as well as "Monterey," its No. 15 follow-up, which documented the momentous June, 1967, pop music festival starring everyone from the Animals to Hendrix, Otis Redding, the Who and Ravi Shankar.

"These songs were the sound tracks to my life at the time," asserts Burdon. The next U.S. single, "Anything," was a surprisingly lush love ballad, "sweetly sentimental" to Burdon as it reflected a period where he married and "slowed down and grounded myself a bit."

While it was the Animals' least successful chart single (No. 80), the epic "Sky Pilot," which followed, went to No. 14. Surely one of the most extraordinary pop singles ever, the soaring, cynical "Sky Pilot" timed out at seven minutes, 27 seconds, taking up both sides of a 45 r.p.m. disc. An anti-war masterpiece where drums approximate the sound of propellers and martial bagpipes (played by the Royal Scots Guards Pipe Band) fade into heavenly violins and flutes, the song elicited an official complaint that military pipers were used for a pro-peace song.

"White Houses" would be the last Animals U.S. hit (peaking at No. 67 at the end of 1968) save for "The Night," which came out during the original group's short-lived reunion in 1983. "It was my view of the downside of the California dream, and my personal desire to get straight--which I did, at least for a while," says Burdon, whose lyrics distinguished between the living standards of the state's upper and lower classes. The song appeared on "Every One of Us," the second of three albums the Animals released in 1968, which featured the addition of keyboard player and longtime Burdon buddy Zoot Money. By the time the third and last Animals album "Love Is" was released at the end of the year, Briggs and McCulloch were gone; in was Money's former cohort in the Big Roll Band (and future Police guitarist) Andy Summers, with Weider and Summers alternating on bass.

Clearly, however, the "new" Animals were going the way of the old ones. A disastrous Japan tour in November, 1968, together with the grossly uneven nature of the band's albums, the shifting personnel, and perpetually poor finances, took its predictable toll. A disillusioned Burdon disbanded the Animals again, though he did fulfill a commitment for a charity reunion gig in December with the original Animals back home in Newcastle, which ended in typical frustration. Burdon joined forces in 1970 with L.A. funk band War and scored a No. 3 hit with "Spill the Wine," which featured the spoken-word style that he effectively employed on much of the latter Animals' albums. He lasted two albums with the group, then cut an album with his blues hero Jimmy Witherspoon. But three years after the 1972 hit re-release of "The House of the Rising Sun" in England, the original Animals regrouped and recorded "Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted" -- though it didn't come out until 1977 and met with little success. Burdon continued to issue solo albums up through 1982, when "The House of the Rising Sun" hit big yet again in England and the Animals again came together, this time for a studio album, tour, and live album. But as usual, egos got in the way, and this reunion would be the last: Even when the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Burdon was a no-show, and Price sat at a different table than his other former mates.

Two years later Chandler was dead of a heart attack.

"We were the ultimate club band," concludes Burdon. "We had our differences and sometimes came to blows, but we all stood together when anybody attacked us from the outside."

Today, four decades after "The House of the Rising Sun" first left its indelible mark, Burdon soldiers on, alone, as one of rock history's most compelling singer-poets. And whenever he steps on a stage, the rest of the Animals, in spirit, are never far behind.

- Jim Bessman, NYC 2004

Jim Bessman

Art Directors:
Iris W. Keitel & Alisa Coleman-Ritz

Brian Fitzpatrick/Jon Paul LoMonaco

Concept: Lenne Allik
Analog to Digital Transfers: Teri Landi & Peter Mew –Abbey Road Studios Sound Restoration & Archive Coordinator: Steve Rosenthal, The Magic Shop Mastering: Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering & DVD

DSD Engineer: Gus Skinas
Session Research: Maria Papazahariou
Production Coordinator: Laura Walton
Art Production Coordinator: Janessa Gursky
Assistant Engineers: Stacin Gregson, Matt Boynton & Tom Psipsikas

Special Thanks:

Seth Adkins, April Hobbs, Hillary Putnam, Kenneth L. Salinsky, Peter J. Howard, Lucy Launders (Abbey Road Studios), Ian Pickavance (Abbey Road Studios), Mike Heatley (EMI Group), Bill Levenson (Universal), Jerry Goldstein (Avenue Records)

This disc actually has two layers. One is a normal CD, the other layer is Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) of the same repertoire. Both layers benefit from Direct Stream Digital (DSD) technology which uses extremely high sample rates to reproduce the full range of musical expression far beyond the capability of ordinary Compact Discs. You will hear every nuance of the original master tapes and the vocal quality as it was originally recorded. And you can hear it on any CD player you own today or any SACD-compatible player. SACD and DSD are trademarks of Sony and Philips.

This Compilation (P) & © 2004 ABKCO Music & Records, Inc.

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