The Animals – ‘The Animals’ (1964 / 2022 reissue)
The long out of print early US mono albums by The Animals are at last once again available, beginning with the reissue of their debut 1964 LP presented in confusingly almost original format by ABKCO Records, the only deviation among the twelve tracks being the inclusion of the full 4:28 UK version of #1 hit ‘House Of The Rising Sun’, a traditional tune arranged by Alan Price, replacing the rather clumsy 2:59 single edit found on the original LP.
The long player consists solely of R & B covers and includes the edited single version of ‘Talkin’ ‘bout You’, penned by Ray Charles, with the song’s full seven minute take added as a bonus track on the issue’s CD version.
‘The Animals’ featuring Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (organ, vibraphone, guitar, bass guitar, backing vocals), Hilton Valentine (guitar, backing vocals), Chas Chandler (bass guitar) and John Steel (drums) was produced by British hitmaker Mickie Most, hitting record shops in September, its UK counterpart gaining release a month later, albeit with substantially different contents. The album dominated by Burdon’s vocals, Price’s organ and Valentine’s guitar includes such familiar material as Bobby Troup’s ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, Jimmy Henshaw’s ‘Blue Feeling’, and John Lee Hooker’s ‘I’m Mad Again’ as well as two Fats Domino tracks ‘I’m In Love’ written with Dave Bartholomew and ‘’I’ve Been Around’ and two Chuck Berry covers ‘Around and Around’ and ‘Memphis, Tennessee; The band’s debut single, coupling the Wes Farrell/Burt Berns composition ‘Baby Let Me Take You Home’ with Johnnie Mae Matthews’ ‘Gonna Send You Back To Walker’ bubbled under the Hot 100, stalling at #102, while the follow-up ‘House Of The Rising Sun’, featuring Valentine’s A minor chord arpeggio guitar and Price’s organ c/w ‘Talkin’ ‘bout You’ was a smash, topping the charts in both the US and UK, The band then re-released their debut 45 as a double a-sided single, this time reaching #57, while the album was their breakthrough, making #7 on the US charts, its UK counterpart faring slightly better, reaching #6.
With these four reissues fans will have the contents of the out of print and pricey 2013 4 disc box set ‘The Mickie Most Years And More’, with the exception of the Graphic Sound EP which was actually released in 1963 by The Alan Price Rhythm And Blues Combo before The Animals were a working entity and thus not actually part of the bands recorded legacy. The original mono masters tapes were used and the mastering and transfers are the same utilized on the 2013 boxed set. The 180 gram vinyl edition was mastered by Adam Ayan, with sound transferred by Peter Mew, its lacquer cut by Carl Rowath and includes sleeve notes by David Fricke. The CD edition has the same sound credits and includes eight page foldout liner notes by Fricke.
The Animals – ‘The Animals’ (1964, 2022 ABKCO reissue)
Eric Burdon & The Animals – ‘When I Was Young-The MGM Recordings 1967-1968’ (2020)
An avalanche that you put in today. Thank you.
I especially love the years 67-69 by Eric Burden. Belongs to the best of the S. F. Sound. Also have The Animals -Animalism, Before we were so Rudely Interrupted and the 75 album Sun Secret. All recommended.
Thank you Josef. The next 3 Animals albums will follow soon as ABKCO finally reissued the US albums in mono. ‘Animalism’ I have in both mono and stereo, and the mono recordings are indeed superior. As for the 67-68 recordings on MGM, they are in the 5 disc box set on Cherry Red’s Esoteric Recordings that I reviewed in 2020. ‘When I Was Young’ it is titled and won some awards for Mark and Vicky Powell who compiled it. There is the ‘Eric Is Here’ outlier that is really a Burdon solo album that sticks out like a sore thumb. Thank you for the kind words as always. Hope you enjoy the rest of The Animals’ reviews as well. Trying to finish Pentangle’s 1984-1995 box set, 6 discs, that is truly a joy with Jansch and McShee, but sadly without Renbourn and the lineup changes from album to album. Still, it is very well done. Then I have a couple of long term projects that are of unorthodox varieties that I really want to put together, especially a nice piece dedicated to Harry Nilsson’s RCA years. As always thanks for the kind words and enjoy Mason Williams!