The Animals released the album Animal Tracks in 1965. Once again the album featured all cover songs with the exception of Eric Burdon’s “For Miss Caulker.” The album Animalization was released in 1966. On the album, keyboardist Dave Rowberry replaced Alan Price. Just like their previous album, it was all covers with the exception of one Eric Burdon original. It would also mark the end of the original Animals at least until 1977, as the band broke up after the release. A new band would form with Eric Burdon labeled as Eric Burdon and The Animals.
While the new band was forming Eric Burdon released an album entitled Eric Is Here. The album featured only Eric Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins. The album also featured The Horace Ott and Benny Golson Orchestras. The Eric Is Here album gave credit to Eric Burdon and The Animals as the artist even though it was clearly not the same band that had just released five previous albums together.
In 1967, Eric Burdon and The Animals released the album Winds Of Change, They could not have come up with a better title because it was an entirely new band. The group was also headed in a completely different musical direction. This was no longer a group releasing albums full of blues and rock covers. It was now a group writing most of their own material and diving into the new world of psychedelic music. The band featured Eric Burdon on vocals, Vic Briggs on guitar, John Weider on guitar and violin, Danny McCullock on bass and Barry Jenkins on drums.
In 1968 the band Eric Burdon and The Animals released the album The Twain Shall Meet. Later that year the band released the album Every One Of Us. That same year in 1968, the band released a double record album of covers entitled Love Is. The album also featured Andy Summers on guitar. Ten years later, Andy Summers would go on to form the band The Police with Sting and Stewart Copeland. Nonetheless, in 1968 Eric Burdon and The Animals released three albums. After the third one was released in 1968, The Animals once again broke up. Fans of the original lineup were greatly rewarded when the five original members of the band, Eric Burdon, Alan Price, Hilton Valentine, Chas Chandler, and John Steel, reunited in 1977 to release a new album. The record was amusingly titled Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted.
In 1983, the five original members of The Animals who had reunited in 1977 released one more album entitled The Ark. After a tour, The Animals broke up for good. Eric Burdon would continue releasing albums as a solo artists. Eric Burdon had also released albums with the band War throughout his career. His latest solo album was released to critical acclaim in 2013. The album entitled Til Your River Runs Dry was accompanied by a shared tour with Pat Benatar.
There were so many great songs released by both version of The Animals. The one commonality was always Eric Burdon. Here are ten Animals songs that we think anyone who has never heard of the band need to hear.
# 10 – Talkin’ About You
We open our Top 10 Animals songs list with a track from the band’s first album. The great song “Talkin’ About You,” was written by Ray Charles. The song was placed as the last song on side one. The album entitled The Animals was released in 1964.
# 9 – I’m Crying
The Animals second album was released in 1965 entitled The Animals On Tour. Every track on the album with the exception of this one was a cover song. On “I’m Crying,” Eric Burdon and Alan Price were credited as the songwriters.
# 8 – White House
This song was released on Eric Burdon and The Animals 1968 album entitled Every One of Us. “White Houses,” was the album’s opening track. It was also the album’s first single release. The song as every other song on the album was written by Eric Burdon. One of the interesting aspects of the album was the great addition of new member Zoot Money on the Hammond organ and piano.
# 7 – Riverside Country
The very cool slick blues tune was released on The Animals comeback album Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted in 1977. It was an album filled with many cover songs just like the band had started out doing. However this slow grooving track was an original Animals song written by Eric Burdon, Alan Price, Hilton Valentine, Chas Chandler and John Steel. If we are going to cover the entire history of the band, this is an important track to not go unnoticed.
# 6 – Sky Pilot
If you were an artist releasing music of substance in the late 1960s, chances are you were not going to ignore The Vietnam War. Every major artists of the 1960s including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and especially Creedence Clearwater, and Bob Dylan were writing protest songs in one form or another. The song was released on the Eric Burdon and the Animals album entitled The Twain Shall Meet. The album was released in 1968. “Sky Pilot,” became one of the most important anti-Vietnam protest songs to be released in the 1960s. What happened to today’s artists? Everyone seems too scared to write anything of protest.
# 5 – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
While the first five songs on this list may have only really been known by hardcore Animals fans, the next five were songs that became ingrained in pop culture. It starts with the classic Animals song “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” The song was released on the album Animal Tracks in 1965. The song was written by Bennie Benjamin, Horace Ott and Sol Marcus. It was originally written for Nina Simone. “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” has been covered by many artists. Nonetheless, in our opinion the definite version belongs to The Animals.
# 4 – Don’t Bring Me Down
The Animals classic track “Don’t Bring Me Down,” was released on the Animalization album in 1966. The song was released as a single and hit number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song was written by the legendary songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin.
# 3 – It’s My Life
These next three classic rock songs are almost interchangeable in their order of importance. These are songs that defined an era of rock and roll that we will never have again. The Animals song “It’s My Life,” was released as a single in 1965. The song was written by Roger Atkins and Carl D’Errico. At the time it was not a huge hit, although it did reach number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, over time it has come to symbolize the meaning of classic in classic rock! What a bass line!
# 2 – House Of The Rising Son
Most top 10 lists featuring the songs of The Animals will always have this one at number one. It was the band biggest hit and the most popular song they ever released. It’s an iconic cover of an old folk song that is so old no one knows who wrote it. The song went to number one in both the United Kingdom and United States. “House of the Rising Son,” has been covered by many artists but no one had a hit with it like The Animals did.
# 1 – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
Rock and roll has always been about rebellion. Without rebellion there would be no rock and roll. Eric Burdon’s “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” is the ultimate testament to rebellions. It why we have chosen this song over “House of the Rising Sun,” as the number one choice on our top 10 Animals songs list. There is no doubt about how influential this song was on the careers of so many rock and roll stars that came out of the 1970s. It was not The Animals biggest hit, but in the end it was the most important recording they ever released.