Two for Tuesday: The Animals

It’s fitting that we start our exploration of artists of the British Invasion the day after the 51at anniversary of The Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. We start today with The Animals, who had a number of hits in the 1960’s and are now performing as Eric Burdon & The Animals, a US-based group.

The band got its start in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the early 1960’s when Burdon joined the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which featured Price on organ, Chas Chandler (later Jimi Hendrix’s manager) on bass, Hilton Valentine on guitar, and John Steel on drums. Dubed “animals” because of their wild stage presence, they performed blues and R&B standards. They released “House of the Rising Sun,” arguably the first “folk-rock” hit, in 1964. It reahed #1 in both the US and the UK. The band underwent a number of personnel changes starting in 1965, eventually becoming Eric Burdon & The Animals, and moving to the West Coast.

On to the music. Our first song today is “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” from 1965, which charted as high as #3 in the UK and #15 in the US. Originally recorded by Nina Simone, the band had released a version in 1964 that was slower and close to the original.

Our second song is “Sky Pilot,” from 1968. A shorter version was done for radio; this is the longer version, complete with air war sounds and a pipe-and-drum band playing “All the Bluebonnets are O’er the Border.” It reached #40 in the UK and #14 in the US.

There’s much more music on YouTube, and Wikipedia has their full list of singles and albums, as well as chart positions.

The Animals, your Two for Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

8 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: The Animals

  1. My older brother played their music over and over, much to the chagrin of our Dad. I really liked both of these and “Spill the Wine,” too. Though I didn’t know for a long time what they were singing about in their songs, I enjoyed. Funny memories. Thanks John!!


  2. “House of the Rising Sun” was one of the first 45’s I ever bought. It was by one of those cheap imitator groups that sounded like the Animals but was not them. “Spill the Wine” was also my favorite Eric Burdon song.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out


  3. Cops face is filled with hate
    Heavens above on a street called love
    When will they ever learn?

    I think Eric Burdon was the basis of Dick Shawn’s character in “The Producers.”


    1. I had forgotten how many hits they had, although the only #1 the had was “House of the Rising Sun.” My favorite by Eric Burdon was “Spill the Wine,” with the band War. I think he did a whole album with them (“Eric Burdon Declares War,” I think it was). It put them on the charts and in people’s minds.


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