Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Animals Retrospective 2004

The Animals were one of those "other" British Invasion bands, not the Beatles, not the Stones. There was a ton of great music made by the Kinks, the Dave Clark Five, the Searchers, and many other great bands out of the UK. And the Animals, who, like the Stones, took a more blues-inspired approach than some of the others.

Although this compilation is ostensibly by the Animals, it includes the Eric Burden and War classic Spill The Wine, which certainly sweetens the pot. The early hits are here, and House Of The Rising Sun, Boom Boom, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place and Don't Bring Me Down are all great to hear again. The young Eric Burden was one scary dude, angry and full of piss and vinegar. And a big testosterone-fueled baritone. Nobody would let their daughter leave the house with this guy. Watch some of the early YouTube videos. They are bad boys with a capitol B.

Even the later singles like When I Was Young, San Franciscan Nights, Monterey and Sky Pilot sound great, not just because of the performances, but also because the CD is very nicely recorded. These songs never sounded this good. Analog to digital transfers done at Abbey Road, mastered by Bob Ludwig, the sound is sharp and crisp without an overly hard edge.

There's twenty-two songs, so you get some of the less successful singles, and a fair amount of the later work that was performed by only Burden from the original band, even if the records were still being sold as Eric Burden and the Animals. The original band with Chas Chandler, Alan Price and Hilton Valentine from 1962-1966 was a remarkable outfit, but Burden still had some good work in him, and it's not like the bands he assembled weren't professionals. But they weren't the Animals either.

They have almost as many compilations out there as they had originals albums. This one is certainly one of the better.

1 comment:

  1. Always loved The Animals. Sky Pilot was, and is, a great song.