Eric Burdon & The Animals – Love Is (1968)

FrontCover1.JPGLove Is is the third album by Eric Burdon and the Animals. It was released in 1968 as a double album.

Love Is was issued in both the United Kingdom and United States. It was the last album released before the Animals’ second dissolution in 1968. An edited version of the track “Ring of Fire” was released as a single and peaked at No. 35 in the UK pop charts, breaking the top 40 in Germany, Holland, and Australia as well.

Aside from the self-penned “I’m Dying (or am I?)”, the album consists entirely of cover songs with extended arrangements by the Animals and sometimes even additional lyrics and musical sections. The entire Side D is occupied by a medley of songs originally by Dantalian’s Chariot, a former group of band members Zoot Money and Andy Summers. Dantalian’s Chariot archivists have been unable to locate a recording of “Gemini”, and it is possible that Eric Burdon and the Animals were the first to actually record the song.

This album captured the only studio work of guitarist Andy Summers with the group. The recording of Traffic’s “Colored Rain” includes a guitar solo by Summers which runs a full 4 minutes and 15 seconds. To ensure he ended at the right place, Zoot Money kept count throughout the solo and gave him the cue out at bar 189. (wikipedia)

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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. I like it for both reasons!

“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. 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.)

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Track 2 is a Sly Stone cover, “I’m An Animal”, chosen for obvious reasons (Burdon is “an Animal”, get it?) 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 subCream 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 that would fit right in with William Shatner’s rock’n’roll massacres — Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” is 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. Verdict: Hilarious!

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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.”

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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?”

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.) (by dog3000)

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Personnel:
Eric Burdon (vocals)
Barry Jenkins (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Zoot Money (keyboards, bass, vocals on 03. + 08.)
Andy Summers (guitar, background vocals)
John Weider (guitar, violin, background vocals)
+
Robert Wyatt (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. River Deep, Mountain High (Spector/Barry/Greenwich) 7.27
02. I’m An Animal (Stewart) 5.39
03. I’m Dying (Or Am I?) (Burdon) 4.32
04. Ring Of Fire (Carter/Kilgore) 4.59
05. Colored Rain (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) 9.42
06. To Love Somebody (B.Gibb/R.Gibb) 6.59
07. As The Years Go Passing By (Malone) 10.18
08. Gemini (Hammond) / Madman Running Through The Fields (listed as “The Madman”) (Money/Summers) 17.23

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The Animals – Live At Ed Sullivan (1964 – 1966)

FrontCover1The Animals had hit the ground running with “House of the Rising Sun”, which topped the US and UK charts in 1964. Bob Dylan had previously recorded the folk song about a brothel in New Orleans, but the Animals took it to Number One. This song was the perfect vehicle for their powerful take on rhythm and blues, highlighted by Eric Burdon’s gritty howl. The quintet was made up of lead singer Burdon, Hilton Valentine on guitar, Alan Price on keyboards, Bryan “Chas” Chandler on bass, and John Steel on the drums.

The boys first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on October 18th 1964. With young girls screaming their lungs out, The Animals took the audience hostage as they played “I’m Crying” followed by their #1 hit “House of the Rising Sun.” The audience got so out of control that Sullivan had to shush them several times.

Eric Burden remembers, “I was making my way to CBS one time to do The Sullivan Show, and I ran down this back alley and got cornered and I had to get rescued by a couple of New York cops, and the kids were so wild, one cop lost his badge and his cap and his gun, I think, and the other one backed into a corner and he had a night stick, and he put the night stick across this doorway, and I was in the doorway. And the hounds were like this, and the door under the pressure just gave in, and I fell in through the door and landed in somebody’s front room.”

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For their second appearance on January 24, 1965 The Animals performed “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” These early shows recorded some of The Animals best performances as they energetically charged the audience. Although Burdon’s singing was emotionally raw, he came off as shy and somewhat awkward.

During 1965, they did two more Sullivan shows, singing “Bright Lights Big City,” “Bring it Home to Me” and “The Work Song.” On February 6, 1966 they again appeared, and performed the hit “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” and “Inside Looking Out.” For their last appearance on August 14th 1966, they sang Sam Cooke’s “Shake” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.” But by this time, they had begun to disintegrate.

The original lineup of the group only recorded three albums, yet nevertheless managed to break out eight Top 40 hits between 1964 and 1966. Price left in 1965, and Steel the following year. Also in 1966, Chandler left to start managing talent, and it was he who discovered Jimi Hendrix in Greenwich Village. Now a very different group, they were known as Eric Burdon & The Animals, and had six additional Top 40 hits before finally disbanding in 1968.

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After a few unsuccessful attempts at reunions, The Animals got together for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1996, Chandler died in his sleep from a heart attack, and Rowberry died of heart failure in 2003. The Ed Sullivan Show remains an integral part of the group’s history. In a recent interview with The Examiner, Burdon recalls The Ed Sullivan Show as “Long hours of continuous rehearsals, but if you didn’t do the show, you went nowhere. It seems like he liked us. We were invited back to the show many times. Six appearances in all.” (by edsullivan.com)

And here ar six songs from this legendary perio of The Animals …

Listen and enjoy this fucking good band from Newcastle/UK.

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Personnel:
Eric Burdon (vocals)
Bryan “Chas” Chandler (bass)
Alan Price (keyboards)
John Steel (drums)
Hilton Valentine (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. The House of the Rising Sun (Traditional) 3.12
02. Don’t Bring Me Down (Goffin/King) 2.23
03. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Benjamin/Caldwell/Marcus) 2.25
04. Baby Please Don’t Go (Williams) 2.32
05. We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place (Mann/Weil) 2.13
06. Inside Looking Out (J.Lomax/A.Lomax/Burdon/Chandler) 2.53

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In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain’t no use in tryin’
Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
Oh yes I know it
(Yeah!) He’s been workin’ so hard
(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby
(Yeah!) Every night and day
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
’cause girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true, yeah
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know it
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey, yeah
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
I know he’s been workin’ so hard
(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby
(Yeah!) Every day baby
(Yeah!) Whoa!
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Somewhere baby, somehow I know it
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Believe me baby
I know it baby
You know it too

Eric Burdon And The Animals – Roadrunners! Rare Live And Studio Recordings (1990)

front-cover1Eric’s at his wild best in these rare recordings-many never heard by even the most ardent Animals collector! Four tracks are British radio broadcasts from ’66, one is from German TV in ’67; the rest are all live, from Monterey in ’67, London in ’67 (including Inside Looking Out ) and Stockholm in ’68 ( San Franciscan Nights; Monterey , and more). And the rarest of the rare: six live cuts from Melbourne, Australia in ’67, including See See Rider and When I Was Young .
This is a mixed bag of live and BBC recordings from both the post-Alan Price edition of the original band, and the later New Animals of “San Franciscan Nights” fame. Sound quality varies, but the obscurity of these tracks more than compensates. The Beeb tracks include one Price number, a faithful rendition of “Heartbreak Hotel.” Other highlights include gritty takes on “Inside Looking Out” and “Maudie” plus a fantastic version of “Jailhouse Rock” that comes within shouting distance of Elvis (honestly!). Barry Jenkins almost steals the show with his knockout drumming, and Zoot Money’s organ washes are utterly scintillating. There’s also a raw set culled from the New Animals’ tour of Australia, highlighted by spirited versions of standards like “Shake Rattle and Roll” and “See See Rider.” The version of “When I Was Young” is also strong and the groovy radio announcer at the end is a trip. Burdon’s Monterey appearance is showcased in a pair of freakout versions of “Ginhouse Blues” and “Hey Gyp”, both of which are way too long and too self-indulgent. This is the weakest part of the album by far. New Animals fans will adore the 1968 tracks from Stockholm which feature the band at its psychedelic apex. As goofy as it sounds on WINDS OF CHANGE, “Yes I’m Experienced” really rocks on stage (especially the killer feedback rave up—and Eric’s rap at the end is hilarious), and the other tracks (“Paint It Black”, “San Franciscan Nights” and “Monterey”) are faithful, though edgier recreations of the group’s studio versions. Vic Briggs always claims the band was much better on stage than in the studio and this set backs him up, mainly because Burdon’s often wearying improvisations are kept to a reasonable minimum. Grab it if you dig Burdon’s post-1966 work (although Glen A. Baker’s liner notes are so fawning they’re worthless).(by an amazon customer

booklet01aPersonnel:
Various Animals line-ups

booklet03aTracklist:

Broadcasts:
BBC 1966:

01. Heartbreak Hotel (Axton/Durden) 2.40
02. The Work Song (Adderley/Brown) 2.52
03. Corrina Corrina (Traditional) 2.46
04. Jailhouse Rock (Leiber/Stoller) 2.52

German TV 1967:
05. Roadrunner (McDaniel) 2.53

Concerts:
Monterey 1967:
06. Gin House Blues (Troy/Henderson) 5.51
07. Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness) (Leitch) 8.24

Festival Hall, Melbourne, 1967:
08. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Calhoun) 4.25
09. When I Was Young (Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch) 3.15
10. See See Rider (Rainey) 4.02
11. Rock Me Baby (King/Josea) 2.36
12. Tobacco Road (Loudermilk) 5.37
13. So Long (Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch) 3.46

Live London, 1967:
14. Inside Looking Out (L.Lomax/A.Lomax/Burdon/Chandler) 3.04
15. Maudie (Hooker) 4.15

Live Stockholm, 1968:
16. San Franciscan Nights (Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch) 4.33
17. Monterey (Burdon/Briggs/Weider/Jenkins/McCulloch) 6.16
18. Paint It Black (Jagger/Richards) 6.28

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The (Original) Animals – Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted (1977)

FrontCover1Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted is a 1977 reunion album from The Animals, billed here as The Original Animals.

This was a reunion of the five original Animals from the group’s first incarnation — Eric Burdon, Alan Price, Hilton Valentine, Chas Chandler, and John Steel, in their first recording sessions (and, save for a one-off concert in 1968, their first musical project at all) since 1965. Bassist Chandler produced the effort using his Barn Records team.
The title refers to the first sentence of William Connor’s first column in the Daily Mirror after World War II: “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted,…”.
The album has received strong critical notices. Rolling Stone writer Dave Marsh called it “a surprisingly successful […] one-shot, with the original group, again dominated by Price and Burdon, turning in fine, hard-nosed blues performances.” Bruce Eder of Allmusic judged it “just short of a lost classic.” The Italian e-zine Viceversa ranked it #42 on their top 100 albums of all time.

However, record company promotion for the album was weak, no tour was held, and the sound was out of phase with the popularity of disco and punk rock; Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted reached #70 on the U.S. pop albums chart, #24 in Netherlands and did not chart at all in the UK.

AnimalsLive1977And here some euphoric reviews (taken from amazon):

This is one of the best albums by the Animals. Burdon’s singing is exceptional. The keyboard work is fantastic, as are the other instruments.

This album is the essence of the era. I can smell the beer,whiskey and cigarettes as I listen. Music not for a concert hall but a smaller, rowdier environment. Straightforward, not overdubbed, it almost sounds live. Pour a cold one, fire up a smoke. It don’t get much better than this.

It is one of the most under-rated recordings in the History of Rock and one of the best recordings by the band, in spite of having been made more than 10 years after the original line-up broke down. As in the previous albums by The Animals, most of the songs are covers and only one song has been written by the band. However, and as they did before, the covered songs are completely recreated, till the extent that may be listen to as if they were new songs. For instance, Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” is sung by Eric Burdon with such a feeling, and backed by a terrific piano comping and solo by Alan Price that reminds me the work they did on “The House of The Rising Sun”, also inspired by Bob Dylan’s first album. There are a few differences on this recording, compered to the previous albums: the band does not sound as they did in the 60’s, they sound pretty much better in terms of record production, credited to the bass player Chas Chandler, without loosing that live recording feeling they have in their 60’s albums, which doesn’t happen with “Ark”, the last official studio recording by the band. Another difference in terms of music is that they approach styles they never did before, such as Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers To Cross”. There are some great out-takes from this recording, available in the collector market, which should have been included on this re-issue, such as Lennon/McCartney’s “Let It Be”. Eventually, a recording that is a must, not only for The Animals fans, but also for all Classic Rock, Blues and R&B lovers.

Animals1977Personnel:
Eric Burdon (vocals)
Chas Chandler (bass)
Alan Price (keyboards)
John Steel (drums)
Hilton Valentine (guitar)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Brother Bill (The Last Clean Shirt) (Leiber/Stoller/Otis) 3.18
02. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Dylan) 4.39
03. Fire On The Sun (Jake) 2.23
04. As The Crow Flies (Reed) 3.37
05. Please Send Me Someone To Love (Mayfield) 4.44
06. Many Rivers To Cross (Cliff) 4.06
07. Just A Little Bit (Thornton/Bass/Washington/Brown) 2.04
08. Riverside County (Burdon/Price/Valentine/Chandler/Steel) 3.46
09. Lonely Avenue (Pomus) 5.16
10. The Fool (Clark) 3.24

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And here are the lyrics of “It´s All Over Now, Baby Blue” … listen to Eric Burdon´s version, the best version ever  !

You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out the saints are comin’ through
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home
All your reindeer armies, are all going home
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you’ve left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who’s rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue …