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The Animals
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No group of musicians did more to promote the music of the blues players of the southern states of the USA than the British groups of the early 60s, such as the Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones, the Pretty Things and Newcastle on Tyne's the Animals.á

Fronted by Eric Burdon, a gritty-voiced dynamo, once described by bandmate Alan Price as an "epileptic Beatle on a pogo stick," Burdon and the Animals astounded audiences with raw, emotive vocal power and fierce dedication to the blues. The band featured a keyboard-influenced, groove-oriented style, heavily influenced by the music of Ray Charles, Sonny Boy Williamson, Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker. They hit almost immediately with their interpretation of the folk classic, The House of the Rising Sun. In short order they followed with Nina Simone's Donét Let Me Be Misunderstood, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, It's My Life, I'm Crying, Inside Looking Out, The Story of Bo Diddley, Bring It On Home to Me, and See See Rider.

Keyboard wizard Alan Price eventually moved on to a successful solo career, and Chas. Chandler, the band's solid bassist, became the catalyst who brought Jimi Hendrix out of relative musical obscurity in New York to London in 1967, and as his manager guided him into a stunning and still unrivalled position as one of the world's leading guitar players. Eric and Jimi became best friends and it is a relationship that haunts Burdon to this day.á

Eric moved to Los Angeles in the late 60s, and put together the New Animals. This time the music had a "peace and love" direction. They played the Monterey Pop Festival, and in addition to San Francisco Nights, recorded Colored Rain, When I Was Young, White Houses, the anti-war song Sky Pilot, and the now-famous homage to the festival itself, Monterey.á

In the early 70s, Eric disbanded the New Animals and shortly thereafter he and harmonica-great Lee Oskar formed a new percussion-based outfit and began touring as Eric Burdon & War. The debut album Eric Burdon Declares War produced two immediate classics: Tobacco Road, and a world-wide hit, Spill the Wine.

The original Animals regrouped in 1976. Their last recording together was Greatest Hits Live, released in 1983.

Eric continued on with a successful solo career, and in 1994, Eric Burdon and the Animals were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.

Eric continues his artistic endeavors with a current biography, an involvement in fine art, and continued performing. His current schedule of activities and work can be found at the link to his home page.

© 2004