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ANIMALS BIOGRAPHY

It was pretty big news in music when, in 1983, I.R.S. announced it had signed the original (and reformed) classic rock band The Animals.

The Animals were part of the U.K. blues scene of the early 60s and one of the most noteworthy bands of the British Invasion. Originally known as the Alan Price Combo, they formed in early 1962 in Newcastle-upon- Tyne, England, the group changed its name to The Animals when Burdon joined later in 1962. The group's inspiration and much of its early repertoire came from American blues and R&B. Eric Burdon's gruff voice made him a natural blues singer. And while other "blues-based" bands of the British Invasion went "pop" (most notably The Rolling Stones), The Animals "stayed the course" and continued playing the blues, yet managing to blend a folk feel to their music. In fact, their breakthrough hit, was a scorching blues rendition the traditional folk song "House of the Rising Sun." With the release of that song in mid-1964, The Animals became the first British group after the Beatles to chart a Number One single in America. Other hits followed like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and " Don't Bring Me Down."

A big influence that made The Animals' sound unique at the time was Alan Price's organ playing, which provided dramatic accents and a blues-jazz atmosphere. Other founding members were guitarist Hilton Valentine, bassist Chas Chandler and drummer John Steel. This line-up lasted only until 1966, when Alan Price departed due to the conflicts between his fear of flying and the touring demands their "hit status" required. After that other members trickled out and new ones trickled in. With the name modified to Eric Burdon & the Animals the band transitioned to the West Coast psychedelia scene, having been to the Monterey Pop Festival (and writing a hit song about it -- "Monterey"). As members left, they made their marks elsewhere in rock: Chandler was Jimi Hendrix' first manager; Price scored the soundtrack to O LUCKY MAN! and pursued a successful solo career; A later guitarist known as Andrew Somers became Andy Summers, joined The Police and now enjoys a career as a "new age" player.

After breaking up the Animals at the end of the decade, Burdon entered the Seventies as frontman with a black funk group from the streets of Los Angeles known as War. As Eric Burdon and War, they recorded the hit single "Spill the Wine" and two albums. After Burdon left, War continued successfully into the pre-rap funk era with such hits as "Lowrider"...

Animals Line-up from their IRS era
Eric Burdon (center) and The Animals at the time they were on IRS Records.

The Animals have subsequently reunited on two occasions, first in 1977 and again (for I.R.S., the reason they're on this website) in 1983, to record and tour. These reunions have never endured, for whatever reasons, but their performances have shown that The Animals could still deliver the ferocious attack of their 60s sound at any time!

Musicians who've been "Animals" and when:

Steele and Valentine continue to perform together today as The Animals II. The Animals, both collectively and as individual bandmembers, have had an undeniable impact on the world of music.


THE ANIMALS I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only THE ANIMALS' recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for THE ANIMALS, below...

Albums & EPs

SP70037 ARK
IRS SP 70037 (Released 9 Aug 1983)

Vinyl and Cassette.
Produced by The Animals and Steve Lipsom
Engineered by Steve Lipsom
* Produced by The Animals and Engineered by Nic Rudrum
Recorded at Country Lane Studios, Germering, West Germany
Cover Concept by Eric Burdon, Illustration by Paul S Power
Design by Jim Newport, Back Photo by Brian Aris
Layout by Power Art & Design; Hollywood, CA


Musicians:
Eric Burdon Vocals
Chas Chandler Bass
Alan Price Keyboards
John Steel Drums
Hilton Valentine Guitars
Additional Musicians:
Steve Grant Guitars & Synthesizers
Zoot Money Keyboards
Steve Gregory Saxaphones
Nippy Nota Percussion

Track Listing:

  1. Loose Change (Grant) 2:57 *
  2. Love Is For All Time (Burdon/Everett/Wilson) 4:12
  3. My Favorite Enemy (Grant) 3:45
  4. Prisoner Of The Light (Burdon/Sterling/Raskin) 4:05
  5. Being There (Gemwells) 3:23
  6. Hard Times (Burdon/Sterling) 2:52 *
  7. The Night (Burdon/Sterling/Evans) 2:47
  8. Trying To Get To You (Singleton/McCoy) 4:15 *
  9. Just Can't Get Enough (Burdon/Sterling) 3:52
  10. Melt Down (Everett/Wilson) 3:05
  11. Gotta Get Back To You (Everett/Wilson) 2:40 *
  12. Crystal Nights (Burdon/Sterling/Anthony/Lewis) 4:03 *

Review Coming Soon!


SP70043 RIP IT TO SHREDS: THE ANIMALS' GREATEST HITS LIVE
IRS SP 70043 (Released 20 Aug 1984)

Vinyl and Cassette.
Produced and Engineered by Keith Grant
Recorded Live at Wembley Arena, London on 31 December 1983
Cover Photos by Ed Colver
Band Photos by Barry Plummer
Art Direction & Design by Carl Grasso
Layout by Ron Scarselli


Musicians:
Eric Burdon Vocals
Chas Chandler Bass
Alan Price Keyboards
John Steel Drums
Hilton Valentine Guitars
Additional Musicians:
Steve Grant Guitars
Zoot Money Keyboards
Track Listing:

  1. It's Too Late (Burdon/Sterling) 4:07
  2. House Of The Rising Sun (PD; arr by Price) 4:11
  3. It's My Life (Atkins/D'Erico) 3:25
  4. Don't Bring Me Down (Goffin/King) 3:45
  5. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (Benjamin/Marcus/Caldwell) 5:30
  6. I'm Crying (Price/Burdon) 3:35
  7. Bring It On Home To Me (Cooke) 2:47
  8. O Lucky Man! (Price) 2:20
  9. Boom Boom (Hooker) 3:45
  10. We've Got To Get Out Of This Place (Mann/Weil) 7:30
Review Coming Soon!

Singles

9920 Sleeve "The Night"/"No John No"
IRS IR9920 (Released 20 Jul 1983)


Produced by The Animals
Engineered by Nic Rudrum

Musicians:
Eric Burdon Vocals
Chas Chandler Bass
Alan Price Keyboards
John Steel Drums
Hilton Valentine Guitars
Additional Musicians:
Steve Grant Guitars & Synthesizers
Zoot Money Keyboards
Steve Gregory Saxaphones
Nippy Nota Percussion

Review Coming Soon!


9923 Sleeve "Love Is For All Time"/"It's Too Late"
IRS IR9923 (Released 18 Oct 1983)


Produced by The Animals & Steve Lipsom
Engineered by Steve Lipsom

Musicians:
Eric Burdon Vocals
Chas Chandler Bass
Alan Price Keyboards
John Steel Drums
Hilton Valentine Guitars
Additional Musicians:
Steve Grant Guitars & Synthesizers
Zoot Money Keyboards
Steve Gregory Saxaphones
Nippy Nota Percussion

Review Coming Soon!


Compilations & Soundtracks

MARK OF THE BEAST (#Free-666): features "House Of The Rising Sun (Live)"


THE ANIMALS LINKS AND OTHER COOL STUFF

There are plenty of websites with pages dedicated to The Animals and the various bandmembers. We list some of the best below...
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER HOME PAGE
Return To The I.R.S. CORNER ARTIST ROSTER
Return To The I.R.S. Records A&M Era Discography
Discuss The Animals in the DISCUSSION FORUM
This Page Last Updated 21 November 2003

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