The House Of The Rising Sun By The Animals

March 9, 2015

“The House Of The Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song made famous by Josh White. It’s most famous incarnation was by the Animals who took it to number one on September 5, 1964, where it remained for three weeks.

The Animals were the bluesy side of the 1960s British Invasion. They evolved from the Alan Price Combo, which in 1960 included keyboardist Price, lead guitarist Hilton Valentine, bassist Chas Chandler, and drummer John Steel. When Burdon joined the band in 1962, the original Animals line-up was complete.

“House Of The Rising Sun” was their second single and the only number one in a career that eventually led to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.


‘Til Your River Runs Dry by Eric Burdon

March 14, 2013

A performance by the original Animals was one of the first concerts I ever attended. During 1966 they were touring the United States with Herman’s Hermits but their performance at the Cape Cod A-Go-Go Club was just them and a local band, whose name has completely disappeared from my mind during the intervening 47 years. In fact I had to Google The Animals’ 1966 tour to pinpoint the date, which was August 2, 1966.

The summer of 1966 was my first time living away from home, as I worked in the kitchen of a camp on Cape Cod. It was a summer of work, coming of age, and expanding my musical horizons. I don’t remember a lot about the performance but it had an impact, as all of their early albums adorned my growing music collection and opened my mind to seek music outside the orbit of The Beach Boys and Roy Orbison.

Nearly a half century later I still have a loyalty and affection for the bands of my youth. As with many music lovers they form a connection to a time long past, the memories of which age well if inaccurately at times. I have lost track of Eric Burdon for periods of time but he always seems to resurface.

Time has passed for myself and Eric Burdon. Now in his early 70s, he is one of the grand old men of the original British music invasion and of rock and roll itself. His journey toward the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame began with The Animals who occupied the middle ground between rock and blues. They managed to strike a chord with the music mainstream with such hits as “House of the Rising Sun,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” and “It’s My Life” among others.

The second half of the 1960s found him embracing the California lifestyle and culture with such hits as “San Franciscan Nights,” “Monterey,” and “Sky Pilot.” They may have been a little self-indulgent but they were good vehicles for his gritty vocals.

During the early 1970s he went in a funky direction with the band War and a blues direction on two albums with Jimmy Witherspoon. He has consistently released solo albums for the last 30-plus years, and has now returned with his latest solo effort, ‘Til Your River Runs Dry.

The old dog may not have learned many new tricks but the old ones will do just fine. The tracks run the gamut from rock to blues and everything in between. “Devil and Jesus” and “Water” look back to his blues/fusion work with the Animals. “Memorial Day” would have fit in well with his late 1960s material as he philosophizes about hating war but loving the soldiers who fight them. “Wait” travels in a different direction, as it is a poignant love song. The Bo Diddley/Muddy Waters tune “Before You Accuse Me” finds him exploring his blues roots. No Eric Burdon album would be complete without some pontificating and here it is: his “Invitation to the White House,” in which he preaches to the President about how to improve the country.

The face staring out from the album cover shows the wear of the years. “Old Habits Die Hard” and “In the Ground” find him reflecting on his journey through life. In many ways these two songs form the heart and soul of the album.

His voice may have aged a bit but it is still one of the more distinctive in rock music and the material fits it well.

I am betting that he does not remember very much, if anything, about his performance on Cape Cod almost 47 years ago. The years have passed and I find myself reconnecting with his music again. It is an album that should resonate with any fan of Burdon’s or anyone who just likes good music.

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood 45 by Santa Esmeralda

November 5, 2012

An idea like this could have only worked during the disco era. Create a studio group and record a dance version of the old Animals hit, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Amazingly it not only became a big hit but was actually one of the more creative singles of the disco era.

Nicolas Skorsky and Jean-Martin de Scarano formed the group in 1977 and hired Leroy Gomez as the lead singer. “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” first reached the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart on November 15, 1977, and finally peaked at number 15. The song proved so successful that a band was formed to tour.

Gomez would leave the band after their biggest hit but would return during 2005 when the band reformed.

I’m Crying 45 by The Animals

August 23, 2011

The Animals were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994. They were part of The 1960s British Invasion. Their early material had a blues feel that was different from many other British groups at the time.

“I’m Crying” was their first third single release and was the first to begin moving in a true rock direction. Released September 26, 1974, it rose to number 19 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.

It may not be one of their more memorable songs but I consider it one of their best.

Monterey 45 by Eric Burdon and The Animals

March 6, 2011

The Animals, with lead singer Eric Burdon, were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994.

The Animals were s different type of British Invasion band. They did not have a rock/pop foundation but were a rhythm & blues band that fused their sound with rock. Songs such as “The House Of The Rising Sun,” “I’m Crying,” and “We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place” were all successful singles and represented their early sound.

By the late 1960’s their sound had become more Americanized. They had begum to move in a more rock oriented direction.

“Monterey” was released December 16, 1967 and rise to number 15 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. It was a clever story about the legendary Monterey Pop Festival, which was held June 16-18, 1967. While the lyrics are extremely dated today, it remains a nice artifact of the era.

San Franciscan Nights 45 by Eric Burdon and The Animals

August 29, 2010

Eric Burdon and The Animals were inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994. The had 19 singles reach The American charts yet only three reached the top ten. “See See Rider” hit number ten, their big hit “The House Of The Rising Sun” was number one for three weeks, and “San Franciscan Nights” rose to number nine during August of 1967.

The single hooked into the summer of love that was taking place in California at the time. It was a gentle ode to flower power and was totally unexpected given The Animals past history.

The song may sound a little dated today but remains one of their better releases.

The House Of The Rising Sun 45 by The Animals

August 12, 2010

The Animals were a sixties British Invasion band but their sound was far from that of The Beatles. The had a rhythm & blues foundation upon which they built their rock sound.

The group consisted of vocalist Eric Burdon, keyboardist Alan Price, bassist Chas Chandler, guitarist Hilton Valentine, and drummer John Steel.

Their first single release in The United States would be their biggest hit and signature song. “The House Of The Rising Sun” was an ominous song and featured Burdon’s bluesy vocal. It would top The American singles charts for three weeks during the late summer of 1965.

This huge hit song would set The Animals on the road to induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994.