ERIC BURDON and The ANIMALS – ” Winds Of Change ” Classic Albums Released in September, 1967.

Posted: July 18, 2018 in ALBUMS
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The original band of the Animals, broke up in 1966 and this band was entirely new except for lead singer Eric Burdonand drummer Barry Jenkins, who joined the original lineup when John Steel left in February 1966. With the new band, featuring guitarist Vic Briggs, bassist Danny McCulloch and electric violinist John Weider, Burdon began to move from the gritty blues sound of the original mid-1960s group into psychedelic music.

The album is the first to feature nearly entirely original material, written by Eric Burdon and band members, and involving equal songwriting credit. This practice would continue with the following album, The Twain Shall Meet,

The album opens with the sound of waves washing over the title track, “Winds of Change”. “Poem by the Sea” is a spoken-word piece by Burdon with a swirl of echo-drenched instruments. “Good Times” and “San Franciscan Nights”

Burdon dedicated the album to George Harrison of the Beatles, whose espousal of Hindu philosophy following a visit to India the previous year Burdon cited as an inspiration. Burdon was also a fan and friend of Jimi Hendrix and wrote the fifth track as an answer song to Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced” Burdon was so inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s music that he wrote one of the psychedelic era’s rare “answer” songs, “Yes I Am Experienced,” as an homage to the guitarist; the latter’s influence could also be heard in “It’s All Meat,” the LP’s closing track,

Winds of Change was the band’s first real psychedelic rock album. They praised the closing track “It’s All Meat” and the hard rocking cover of the Rolling Stones “Paint It, Black” as rare examples of psychedelic rock songs by the Animals that are strong and convincing one of the group’s handful of memorable covers from this period, “Paint It Black” — driven by John Weider’s electric violin and Vic Briggs’ guitar, and featuring an extended vocal improvisation by Burdon, their approach to the song was good enough to make it part of the group’s set at the Monterey International Pop Festival that June, and also to get a spot in the documentary movie that followed.

“The Black Plague” opens with a Gregorian chant structure that recalls “Still I’m Sad” by the Yardbirds, and was another vehicle for Burdon’s surreal spoken contributions.

“Hotel Hell”, is an obscure but very fine (and quite moody) track on Eric &The New Animals first album, “Winds Of Change” The album was released in 1967, which peaked at a halfway point on the US charts. With a brand new band of New Animals, “Winds Of Change” introduced a “kinder and gentler” Eric, ready to take up the cause of peace and flower power on “warm San Franciscan Nights”…and all that… It was a surprise to many, and the LP was termed a “psychedelic album” (a sign of the times, of course). It was quite experimental really, with a variety of styles and song types, some working exceptionally, some not as well. “Hotel Hell” works great – it is an understated bluesy ballad, recounting a singer’s lonely life on the road .”and I’m so very far…. from my home…” I recall reading that Eric wrote the song, inspired (or perhaps depressed) by his stay in a Northern Californian Central Valley town when touring back in those days – and no, he wasn’t “stuck in Lodi again…” It was somewhere else. “Hotel Hell” is perhaps the best track on the album, with Eric’s voice and phrasing perfectly on target for the subject matter. It ain’t the original Animals….but it is “Something Else”, in more ways than one. And how about that horn in the background! Whoever is playing it was not credited, but what a great touch, giving the song kind of a Spanish feel as well. Great performance! Excellent song!

The Animals :

  • Eric Burdon – vocals 
  • Vic Briggs – guitar, piano, arrangements 
  • John Weider – guitar, violin 
  • Danny McCulloch – bass 
  • Barry Jenkins – drums 
Additional Personnel
  • Keith Olsen – “stepped in on some tracks to deputise on bass after Danny McCulloch broke his wrist

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