Years: 1963 - 1966; 1975 - 1976; 1983; 1999 - 2011
Styles: Beat, Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Folk Rock, Mod Rock, Progressive Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll
Eric Burdon - Vocals (in band: 1963 - 1966; 1975 - 1976; 1983)
Chas Chandler - Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1963 – 1966; 1975 – 1976; 1983)
John Steel - Drums (in band: 1963 – 1966; 1975 – 1976; 1983; 1999 - 2001)
Hilton Valentine - Guitar (in band: 1963 – 1966; 1975 – 1976; 1983; 1999 – 2001)
Alan Price - Keyboards, Vocals (in band: 1963 – May 1965; 1975 – 1976; 1983)
Dave Rowberry - Keyboards (in band: 1965 – September 1966; 1999 – 2001)
Barry Jenkins - Drums (in band: 1966)
Steve Grant - Guitar, Synthesizer, Vocals (in band: 1983)
Steve Gregory - Saxophone (in band: 1983)
Zoot Money - Keyboards, Vocals (in band: 1983)
Nippy Noya - Percussion (in band: 1983)
Tony Liddle - Vocals (in band: 1999 - 2001)
Mick Gallagher - Keyboards (in band: May 1965 - 1965)
The Animals were a British band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, during the early part of the decade. The band moved to London upon finding fame in 1964. The Animals were known for their gritty, bluesy sound and deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature song and transatlantic No.1 hit single, "The House of the Rising Sun", as well as by hits such as "We Gotta Get out of This Place", "It's My Life", "I'm Crying" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". The band balanced tough, rock-edged pop singles against rhythm and blues-oriented album material. They were known in the US as part of the British Invasion.
Formed in Newcastle upon Tyne during 1962 and 1963, when Burdon joined the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, the original line-up was Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (organ and keyboards), Hilton Valentine (guitar), John Steel (drums), and Bryan "Chas" Chandler (bass).
After supporting legendary bluesman Sony Boy Williamson and John Lee Hooker, they moved to London early in ‘’64 and were promptly signed to EMI’s Columbia label by then virtually unknown producer Mickie Most. Re-christened The Animals by the fans, the band adopted the name with glee and hit paydirt in summer ’64 with the blues standard, “House of the Rising Sun”. A massive hit on booth sides of the Atlantic, with Burdon’s ominous vocal phrasing and Price’s wailing organ, the record remains the band’s defining moment.
The Animals' two-year chart career, produced by Mickie Most, featured intense, gritty pop music covers such as Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me" and the Nina Simone-popularised number "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". In contrast, their album tracks stayed with rhythm and blues, with John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" and Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul" as notable examples.
Alan Price Left in 1965, beginning a dispute (incredibly still ongoing after more than 30 years) with Burdon over the publishing rights to “House of the Rising Sun”. With Dave Rowberry as Price’s replacement, the band cut a few more albums including the semi-classic “Animalization”, which contained such powerful tracks as “Inside – Looking Out” and”Gin House Blues”.
As 1965 ended, the group ended its association with Most, signed a new deal with their American label MGM Records for the US and Canada, and switched to Decca Records for the rest of the world and MGM Records producer Tom Wilson, who gave them more artistic freedom. In early 1966 MGM collected their hits on "The Best of the Animals"; it became their best-selling album in the US. In February 1966, Steel left and was replaced by Barry Jenkins. A leftover rendition of Goffin-King's "Don't Bring Me Down" was the last hit as the Animals.
Original Animals fell apart towards the end of ’66, Chas Chandler going on to manage Jimi Hendrix. Burdon moved to San Francisco, where he immersed himself in the nascent psychedelic scene, consuming liberal quantities of LSD.
The original Animals line-up of Burdon, Price, Valentine, Chandler, and Steel reunited for a benefit concert in Newcastle in December 1968 and reformed in late 1975 to record again. Burdon later said nobody understood why they did this short reunion. They did a mini-tour in 1976 and shot a few videos of their new songs like "Lonely Avenue" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love". They released the album in 1977 aptly called "Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted". The album received critical praise.
All five original band members reunited again in 1983 for the album "Ark" and a world concert tour, supplemented by Zoot Money on keyboards, Nippy Noya on percussion, Steve Gregory on saxophone and Steve Grant on guitar. The first single "The Night" reached #48 at the US Pop Singles and #34 at the Mainstream Rock Charts, also gaining success in Greece. They released a second single called "Love Is For All Time".
The original Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2003, the band's version of "The House of the Rising Sun" ranked No. 123 on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Their 1965 hit single "We Gotta Get out of This Place" was ranked No. 233 on the same list. Both songs are included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
© Boar 2011 - 2018