The Animals originally the Alan Price Combo in 1598 became the Animals shortly after the edition of lead singer Eric Burdon in 1962. The R&B band from Newcastle-on-Tyne quickly rose to prominence in 1964 with their number 1 hit “House of the Rising Sun”. The song topped charts on both sides of the Atlantic. They gained more hits in the fallowing year like, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” (Number 15 1965), “We Gotta Get out of This Place” (Number 13 1965), and “It’s My Life” (Number 23 1965). In 1965 Alan Price (Pianist) left the band, after a longstanding dispute with Eric Burdon, to pursue a solo career. He was replaced by Dave Rowberry and the band had another hit with “Inside Looking Out” (Number 34 1966). John Steel (Drummer) left the band and was replaced by Barry Jenkins, with whom the band had the hits “Don’t Bring Me Down” (Number 12 1966) and “See See Rider” (Number 10 1966). At the end of the year Hilton Valentine (Guitar) left for a solo career and Bryan “Chas” Chandler had become a successful manage for the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Slade with Steel as his assistant. The band, reformed as Eric Burdon and the Animals, now recorded more psychedelic hits like “San Franciscan Nights” (Number 9 1967), “Monterey” (Number 15 1968), and “Sky Pilot” (Number 14 1968). The band again disintegrated and was reformed as Eric Burdon and the New Animals which briefly included Andy Summers on guitar before he began a solo career. The original Animals reunited several times. They played a Christmas show at Newcastle city hall in 1968. They joined together again in 1976 to record the one-shot LP (long-playing record) “Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted”. In 1983 they united again to record Ark and tour before they separated again. In 1992 an alternative lineup including Vic Briggs and Barry Jenkins preformed in Moscow. In 1994, thirty years after their rise to fame, the animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Animals were at the spearhead of the 1960s British Invasion. They were considered as R&B, British Blues, Blues-Rock, Rock and Roll and later Psychedelic. They were clearly influences by black American R&B rather than Blues like other Invasion Bands. Muddy Waters, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, and Ray Charles were all influential to the Animals’ music. Eric Burdon, like Little Richard, was sometimes known to sing in the harsh raspy style of a shouter. Like other artists of the 1960s the Animals started dressed in suits and ties and slowly began to take on a more psychedelic appearance. The Beatle similarly altered their appearance. The Beatles, like the Animals, were forerunners of the British Invasion. They gained fame in 1963 with “Love Me Do” (Number 17). The Rolling Stones are also comparable to the Animals as an Invasion band gaining fame in1964. In their song “Paint It Black” (Number 1 1966) Mick Jagger shows a soulful shouting style similar to Eric Burdon’s rasp in “House of the Rising Sun”. Jimi Hendrix as well, managed by Chas Chandler, was comparable to the Animals’ gruff bluesy vibe like in “Machine Gun”.
In the 1960s America had just lost a president. JFK was assassinated February 9, 1964. This may have been one reason America was so open to the more cheerful sounds of the British Invasion. They gave a more reckless and raucous sound to black American music. Prim and proper Britons didn’t have the rock and roll juvenile delinquent subculture on the same level as the Americans. These new British artists took their example from James Dean, Marlon Brand, and Elvis and later from Chuck Berry and Little Richard. The gleefully modified chaos of the Beatles, Chuck Berry’s total commitment to fun, and the Rolling Stones’ fast metallic and strict blues understatement as well as their careful attention to the quality of their music were influential to the Animals. The Animals were considered among the most gifted and beloved of the in British