Posts Tagged ‘The Animals’

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Love Is… is the third album by Eric Burdon and The Animals. It was released in 1968 as a double album. Released to pretty much general apathy in 1968 the original Animals final album, ‘Love Is’, is packed with ace covers of some of their contemporaries recent(ish) tracks. Stand out tune for me is the cover of Traffic’s ‘Coloured Rain’ complete with awesome lengthy guitar solo by future Police-man Andy Summers.

Eric Burdon & company’s “Love Is . . . “ is probably one of their most polarizing albums. On the one hand, it is probably their slickest production and most coherent “concept album” statement — on the other hand it is a ridiculously overproduced piece of hippy silliness with some surprisingly sloppy moments in the playing and singing.
“Love Is . . . “ is a double album with 8 tracks, nearly all of which are covers. The “New Animals” who play on the LP include Zoot Money and Andy Summers, later of The Police (these two had previously recorded an interesting psychedelic single together as Dantalion’s Chariot, more on that below.)

Track 1 is “River Deep, Mountain High” the Phil Spector tune which was a hit for Ike & Tina Turner. It kicks things off in a rousing fashion, Burdon doing his best white-man-soul vocalizing plus groovy wish-I-was-Black adlibs like “I love you baby like a flower loves the spring / I love you baby like Aretha Franklin needs to sing.” Supremely over-arranged in high sixties style, the song climaxes with a wonderful psych-out bridge section where a platoon of acid munchkins chant “tina tina tina tina-nee-na-na” (as in Tina Turner of course.)

Track 2 is a Sly Stone cover, “I’m An Animal”, chosen for obvious reasons (Burdon being the Animal”, ?) IMHO, one of the least interesting Sly tunes which gains little by this remake, the only twist being a floaty electronic piano & gentle wah guitar extended bridge with Eric jiving something about “creation! creature! animalism! brute!”

Track 3 is one of the originals “I’m Dying, Or Am I?” with Zoot doing the call-and-response thing with Eric. More high sixties sub Cream wah guitar dueling with psuedo-spanish acoustic guitars and lots keyboard overdubbage and some extremely out-of-tune background harmonies, plus ye oldest 60’s trick in the book: verses in 4/4 time and choruses in 3/4 for that carnival effect. “God knows I’m dying / my body can’t keep up with my mind.”

Track 4 is a bonafide kitsch classic rock’n’roll massacre with Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” it’s given the all-out syke-ee-delick treatment. Martial snare rolls, superquiet to superloud dynamics-via-overdubs, unnecessary acid guitar licks, the MOST out-of tune (and echo-drenched) harmonizing on an album that is chock full of tuneless harmonizing (all the Animals are credited with vocals — bless Eric for his democratic leanings in this respect — how punk!) Plus Eric gives a wonderfully overdramatic reading of what are essentially very corny lyrics. He goes back and forth between a hoarse whisper during the verses and a full-throated roar on the chorus.

Track 5 is nearly as wonderful Traffic’s “Coloured Rain” extended to nearly ten minutes. Where the original was light and hippy-dippy, Eric’s reading is again hilariously over-serious. Extended grooovy raga guitar solo in the middle complete with riffing horn section, and more of that outasite, outatune backup harmonizing (is all that echo supposed to hide whoever it is that’s always a little flat??)

Track 6 is “Too Love Somebody” by the Gibbs, here sounding a bit like Vanilla Fudge (slow with droney organ.) Points off for hiring a blackgirl soulchorus — I dig it more when the guys in the band sing!

Track 7 is a ten minute blues opus “As The Years Go Passing By” — lougey piano jazz plus sub-Hendrix acid blues guitar with Eric at his gauche best/worst, sing-speaking in a ridiculous “black accent.”

The climactic two-part 17-minute-plus monster that took up all of side 4 of the original LP is comprised of a medley of covers: first, “Gemini” originally by Quatermass Eric and Zoot call-and-response again, the lyrics describing the contradictory nature of guess which zodiac sign: “I am black and I am white” etc. Highlight is the overblown (even by the standards of this record) bridge where Eric uses the duality of stereo to schizo-whisper stuff to himself like “there is only one side” — “no there are two sides” — back and forth from left & right speakers. Eventually it transitions into the poppier “The Madman” (a remake of “The Madman Running Through The Fields”, the aforementioned Dantalion’s Chariot single), which is about how the “straights” are like, crazy, man, and features some cool backwards cymbals and a delightful Barrett-Floydish bridge: “isn’t that the madman running through the fields? / isn’t that the madman, wonder how he feels?”

The band fell apart after disastrous tour of Japan and threats from the Yakuza. Eric declared War, John Weider joined Family, Zoot Money and Andy Summers worked with many people including Kevin Coyne and of course in 1977, Andy Summers joined The Police.

  • Eric Burdon — lead vocals, spoken word
  • Zoot Money — bass, backing and co-lead (3, 8a) vocals, organ, piano, spoken word
  • Andy Summers — guitar, backing vocals
  • John Weider — guitar, violin, backing vocals
  • Barry Jenkins — drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Robert Wyatt – backing vocals

This album is both a classic of the high-sixties groovy style and a hilariously dated campy relic right down to the silly photomontage cover art (the band in negative, giant size towering over the grand canyon with an oversize moon in the background.)

Eric Burdon “Rarities” – #12: “Gemini”. Another great track on Eric and The Animals’ 1968 LP “Love Is”, this one takes psychedelic rock to a new level (as the album cover suggests (with The Animals on Cloud 9?). Keyboard player Zoot Money gets some singing time here with Eric and the interplay between them is a marvel. And new New Animal, future Police-man Andy Summers is on guitar here as well! The song was written by Money’s friend, guitarist Steve Hammond, and while it is likely that Money’s previous group, Dantalion’s Chariot, played the song in concert, this track by Eric Burdon is probably the very first recorded version. Great song on a great album!

Take What You Need UK Covers Of Bob Dylan Songs 1964-69In February of 1965, Melody Maker asked John Lennon about his enthusiasm for Bob Dylan material and Dylan interpretations. “I just felt like going that way,” he said about the new acoustic guitar-based material The Beatles were then recording at Abbey Road. “If I’d not heard Dylan, it might have been that I’d written stuff and sung it like Dominic Behan, or somebody like that.” Despite the non-committal answer, Dylan’s impact on Lennon was clear .

Out of the public eye, Lennon after being hipped to the album by George Harrison had spent summer 1964 absorbing Dylan’s Freewheelin’ album. All four Beatles smoked cannabis with Dylan. Lennon went further and confessed he’d written “a folky song which I try to sing in a Dylan style. I didn’t want to overdo it, but I like it.

Indeed, The Beatles weren’t the only British pop stars in thrall to Dylan. In openly acknowledging this, they and Donovan had been beaten to the record shops in 1964 by The Animals, whose first two singles – “Baby Let Me Take You Home” and “House of the Rising Sun” – reinterpreted material from Dylan’s first album, issued in 1962. Those were pre-existing songs covered by Dylan but when he began issuing his own compositions they were, in turn, also ripe for covering.

Any of Dylan’s songs were up for grabs and the enlightening, entertaining new 22-track compilation “Take What You Need: UK Covers of Bob Dylan Songs 1964-69” charts the early days of these endeavours on this side of the Atlantic. The oldest track is The Fairies’ version of “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”, issued on 31st July 1964. The latest are five tracks from 1969 which range from Joe Cocker to Sandie Shaw, and Fairport Convention to the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber-sponsored The Mixed Bag.

Britain, though, was initially resistant to Dylan’s charms. He had been in London at the end of 1962 and appeared on television, as well as live at The Troubadour and other folk clubs. As the fine liner notes say, “few on the British scene were taken with Dylan; most were at best indifferent or, in the case of arch traditionalists Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl, completely dismissive.” There was one exception: the open-minded Martin Carthy. He alone was not going to help Dylan’s recognition.

Take What You Need UK Covers Of Bob Dylan Songs 1964-69 The Fairies Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright

So how did Bob Dylan become embedded in the fabric of British pop? The generalised opening of minds and ears integral to Beatlemania is one answer. Playing London in May 1964 helped push Dylan towards the pop, rather than niche folk, market. More specifically, bands like The Animals were blues fans who also liked folk and were on the lookout for material. Cover versions laid the table for the real thing – Dylan himself. Another factor was the high-profile support Dylan enjoyed in America which attracted attention in Britain. Joan Baez’s espousal did no harm and Peter, Paul and Mary’s version of “Blowin’ in the Wind” in June 1963 was a massive US hit. Handily for Dylan, the manager he shared with the latter was keen on cross-collateralisation. It all ensured 1964 became Dylan’s breakthrough year in the UK.

Take What You Need kicks off with The Fairies’ bouncy “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”, which features session-era Jimmy Page on guitar. It’s followed by Marianne Faithfull’s Baez-style “Blowin’ in the Wind” (on which Page probably also appears). She sings preciously, as if afraid of the song. The Fairies blast away with nary a care for the nature of the source material. This twin-track approach courses through the compilation: wholesale reinterpretation versus on-eggshells respect for what’s being recorded.

Artistically and commercially, the most successful of the Britain’s Sixties Dylan fanciers were serial Dylan interpreters Manfred Mann, whose still daisy-fresh “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” is sandwiched between the Ian Campbell Folk Group’s gloopy, portentous “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and The Cops ‘N Robbers‘ tense “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue”. Next up is Chad & Jeremy’s limp “Mr Tambourine Man”.

Take What You Need UK Covers Of Bob Dylan Songs 1964-69 Manfred Mann If you Gotta go go Now

As the decade winds on, the mostly chronologically sequenced Take What You Need scoops up some extraordinary obscurities. Alex Campbell’s superb “Tom Thumb’s Blues” balances reverence for the material with spontaneity. Best of all is The Factotums’ romp through “Absolutely Sweet Marie”. Conversely, Cocker’s clod-hopping assassination of “Just Like a Woman” – with yet more Jimmy Page – is almost impossible to listen to.

Take What You Need is a wild ride. And it should be. During the years covered, it was open season on Dylan’s songs. The smooth comes with the rough and, in acknowledging this, the true nature of British musician’s response to Dylan is revealed.

Animals, TheAnimals, TheImage of The Animals - Five Animals Dont Stop No Show

By Summer 1966, the Animals were ready to call it a day. John Steele had bailed out back in February and Nashville Teens drummer Barry Jenkins was drafted in as his replacement. The band had decided to break up in May, but they were contracted to do a lengthy American tour along with teen stars Herman’s Hermits, so the reluctant five-piece dragged themselves over to the States to fulfil the commitment. But it turned out to be a pretty eventful tour, culminating in a trip to San Francisco where Eric Burdon saw the light.

There, R&B was out but Psychedelia was very definitely in. The group cut a couple of tracks in Los Angeles with Frank Zappa, one of which, The Other Side of This Life, came out as a US 45 in November after the break up. Over on the East Coast, they played a gig at New York’s Wollman Rink Central Park on August 3rd and later on that evening, Chas Chandler had a Damascene moment after seeing an obscure, unsigned guitarist by the name of Jimi Hendrix. Chandler’s days of playing bass were over.

The group’s last gig was on September 5th at the Steel Pier Resort in Atlantic City and that was it for the Animals – at least, until Eric Burdon and The New Animals made their appearance.


Side One: 1. Inside Looking Out (Lomax / Burdon / Chandler) 2. Sweet Little Sixteen (Berry) 3. In The Wee Wee Hours (Turner) 4. Maudie (Hooker) 5. She´ll Return It (Rowberry/Burdon) 6. John Steel (Interview) 7. One Monkey Don´t Stop No Show (Tex)

Side Two: 1. Shake* (Cooke) 2. Don´t Bring Me Down* (Goffin/King) 3. Inside Looking Out* (Lomax / Burdon / Chandler) 4. That´s All I Am To You* (Blackwell / Scott) 5. One Monkey Don´t Stop No Show* (Tex) 6. It´s My Life* (Atkins/Enrico) Work Song (Adderly/Brown)

Every One Of Us  by Eric Burdon and The Animals

First released in 1968 by MGM Records in the USA and later elsewhere, but surprisingly not in the UK. The album made the US Top 200 and the single ‘White Houses’ peaked at No.67. Most of the material is written by Burdon with contributions from Zoot Money and John Weider of the band. Other band members included ex-Nashville Teens drummer Barry Jenkins, Vic Briggs and Danny McCulloch
Though not a commercial success, it was indeed a critical one, being acclaimed a great psychedelic blues album


White Houses
Uppers And Downers
Serenade To A Sweet Lady
The Immigrant Lad
Year Of The Guru
St. James Infirmary
New York 1963 – America 1968

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One of the most important music festivals and music events in popular history and the event that helped coin the phrase “THE SUMMER OF LOVE” it also concluded with the first major appearance of JIMI HENDRIX, The WHO and Indian sitar musician Ravi Shankar psychedelic band MOBY GRAPE………also appearing at the festival were The Association, Lou Rawls, ERIC BURDON and the Animals, plus SIMON and GARFUNKEL and the first big appearnce of JANIS JOPLIN and bought the introduction to white audiences the soul of OTIS REDDING.

A song written by American Blues legend and guitarist JOHN LEE HOOKER recorded in 1961 the song became not just a hit on the R’N’B charts but in the pop charts too, recorded by many Blues and other artists. It became a huge hit for THE ANIMALS in 1965 recorded for their debut album. There are several wordless phrases How,How,How,How. and Hmm,Hmm,Hmm,Hmm. Thirty years after Hooker’s release it was taken up by Lee Jeans for a Commercial in 1992.