'Animalisms' was the third UK album by the Animals, originally released by Decca in 1966. This edition on the German repertoire label boosts the original album with 13 further tracks drawn from Decca singles and an EP of early recordings released by Decca without the bands permission and hastily withdrawn. 1966 was a landmark year in rock music, in just a few months there were seminal releases such as 'Revolver', 'Aftermath', 'Pet Sounds' and 'Blonde On Blonde'. Judged against these milestones, 'Animalisms' comes up well short, however, judged on it's own terms it's a hugely enjoyable slice of blues rock and contains some of the best vocals Eric Burdon ever committed to tape. Sadly, the band were unable to keep up with the rapidly changing times and splintered shortly afterwards.
So why only 2 stars? Well, as I've said the music is great, if hardly revolutionary, and probably deserves 3 and a half to 4 stars, but the sound quality of this remaster is awful and makes it pretty tough listening! 'Animalisms' was never released in stereo in the UK, quite unusual by 1966, but my old battered vinyl copy sounds far superior to this, the vocals are very muddy and most of the instruments are reduced to a tinny clatter. This only applies to the original album, the bonus tracks are fine. I can only assume that repertoire have used a very poor quality source tape for the album tracks. Although long out of print, the Sequel label released a far superior sounding collection of the Animals Decca output several years ago, the only real benefit of this version is it includes the original (front cover) artwork.