35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Sixties R+B from Newcastle,
This review is from: The Complete Animals (Audio CD)
The Animals, a group that included Eric Burdon and Alan Price, were the first major pop stars to emerge from Newcastle, a city located about 300 miles north of London, therefore far removed from where most talent scouts were searching. It is fortunate for us all that the Animals were discovered because they recorded some of the best R+B music to come of the UK in the sixties.
Their biggest hit was House of the rising sun, a re-working of a folk song (apparently inspired by Josh White's version of the song) that gave them a transatlantic number one hit. They had five other top ten UK hits with Mickie Most, these being I'm crying, Don't let me be misunderstood (a cover of a Nina Simone song), Bring it on home to me (a Sam Cooke cover), We gotta get out of this place (the version included here is the UK version – a markedly different recording was released in America but was unavailable for inclusion in this set) and It's my life.
Apart from their singles, the Animals recorded many other covers including Boom boom, Dimples, I'm mad again (all John Lee Hooker), Around and around, Memphis Tennessee, How you've changed (all Chuck Berry), I'm in love again, I've been around (both Fats Domino), Talking about you, Hallelujah I love her so and I believe to my soul (all Ray Charles), These covers clearly demonstrate what their main influences were, but they also wrote some of their own songs.
All the music I've mentioned so far and much more can be found on this excellent compilation. Nevertheless, despite the title of the compilation, it isn't actually their complete recordings – there is a sub-text explaining that these are the complete recordings that they made with Mickie Most as producer, although the liner notes describe their whole career. After the split, they switched to another record label, where they had some success using the name Eric Burdon and the Animals, including two more UK top ten hits (Don't bring me down, San Franciscan nights) and several lesser hits, all of which can be found elsewhere (search for Eric Burdon. Alan Price left the group before the split with Mickie Most and had several hits as a solo singer. These are also outside the scope of this collection but are easy to find.
This complete collection (apart from the American version of We've got to get out of this place) of the first and most important part of the Animals' career may be more than some people want – there are single CD collections available if you just want the hits – but if, like me, you like to explore beyond the hits, this is for you.