|Eric Burdon and the Animals|
Years: December 1966 - December 1968
Styles: Beat, Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Pop Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll
Eric Burdon - Vocals (in band: 1966 - December 1968)
Barry Jenkins - Drums, Percussion, Tambourine, Vocals (in band: 1966 - December 1968)
John Weider - Bass Guitar, Celesta, Guitar, Violin, Vocals (in band: 1966 - December 1968)
Vic Briggs - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Vibraphone (in band: 1966 - July 1968)
Danny McCulloch - 12 string guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals (in band: 1966 - July 1968)
Zoot Money - Bass Guitar, Hammond organ, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals (in band: April 1968 - December 1968)
Andy Summers - Bass Guitar, Guitar, Vocals (in band: July 1968 - December 1968)
A group with Burdon, Jenkins, and new sidemen John Weider (guitar/violin/bass), Vic Briggs (guitar/piano), and Danny McCulloch (bass) were formed under the name Eric Burdon and Animals (or sometimes Eric Burdon and the New Animals) in December 1966 and changed direction. The hard driving blues was transformed into Burdon's version of psychedelia.
Some of this group's hits included "San Franciscan Nights", "Monterey" (a tribute to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival), and "Sky Pilot". Their sound was much heavier than the original group. Burdon screamed more and louder on live versions of "Paint It Black" and "Hey Gyp". In 1968, they had a more experimental sound on songs like "We Love You Lil" and the 19-minute record "New York 1963 - America 1968". The songs had a style of being silent at the beginning and then becoming psychedelic and raw straight to the end with screaming, strange lyrics and "scrubbing" instruments.
There were further changes to this lineup: Zoot Money was added in April 1968, initially as organist/pianist only, but upon McCulloch's departure he also took on bass and occasional lead vocals. In July 1968, Andy Summers replaced Briggs. Both Money and Summers were formerly of British psychedelic outfit Dantalian's Chariot, and much of this new lineup's set was composed of Dantalian's Chariot songs which caught Burdon's interest. Due to Money's multi-instrumental load, in live settings bass was played alternately by Weider and Summers.
By December 1968, these Animals had dissolved, and both their double album "Love Is" and the singles "Ring of Fire" and "River Deep – Mountain High" were internationally released. Numerous reasons have been cited for the breakup, the most famous being an aborted Japanese tour.
The tour had been scheduled for September 1968 but was delayed until November, due to difficulty obtaining visas. Only a few dates into the tour, the promoters - who, unbeknownst to the band, were yakuza - kidnapped the band's manager and threatened him at gunpoint to write an IOU for $25,000 to cover losses incurred by the tour's delay. The manager wrote out the IOU but, correctly surmising that none of his captors could read English, added a note that it was written under duress. The yakuza released him but warned that he and the band would have to leave Japan the next day or be killed.
The Animals promptly fled the country, leaving all their tour equipment behind. Money and Summers both subsequently pursued solo careers (though this pursuit was swiftly aborted in Summers' case), Weider signed up with Family, and Burdon joined forces with a Latin group from Long Beach, California, called War.
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