As the lead singer of the Animals, Eric Burdon was one of the British Invasion's most distinctive vocalists, with a searingly powerful blues-rock voice. When the first lineup of the group fell apart in 1966, Burdon kept the Animals' name going with various players for a few years. Usually billed as Eric Burdon & the Animals, the group was essentially Burdon's vehicle, which he used to purvey a far more psychedelic and less R&B-oriented vision. Occasionally he came up with a good second-division psychedelic hit, like "Sky Pilot"; more often, the music was indulgent, dating it almost immediately.
A 19-track collection of otherwise unavailable live performances from 1966-1968, taken from shows in Melbourne, Stockholm, London, and the '67 Monterey Pop Festival, as well as radio and television broadcasts. Most of this dates from the psychedelic version of the band, which will disappoint those who are primarily interested in the group's rock/R&B prime. It's quite a good relic, though, with rough and ready execution by both Burdon and the band, and some unusual R&B and psychedelic material alongside the versions of hits like "Inside Looking Out," "Monterey," "San Franciscan Nights," and "When I Was Young." Sound ranges from fair to very good.
These are live or redone versions of Eric Burdon's solo hits and the hits he did with his 1960s group, the Animals
The original band, The Animals, broke up in 1966 and this band was entirely new except for lead singer Eric Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins, who joined the original lineup when John Steel left in February 1966. With the new band, featuring guitarist Vic Briggs, bassist Danny McCulloch and electric violinist John Weider, Burdon began to move from the gritty blues sound of the original mid-1960s group into psychedelic music. All albums for sale by Eric Burdon & The Animals was released May 29, 2013 on the Universal Japan label.
Eric Burdon never stopped working but he did effectively disappear, falling away from the spotlight sometime before the Animals were inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He kept touring, kept recording, but was decidedly underneath the radar until Bruce Springsteen made him a centerpiece of his 2012 South by Southwest keynote address, inviting the veteran rocker to share the stage with him later that night. Suddenly, Burdon was pushed into the spotlight and he capitalized upon his raised profile, cutting a quick and dirty indie EP with Cincinnati rockers the Greenhornes and then re-upping with Abkco (home of the Animals catalog) for 2013's 'Til Your River Runs Dry, his first high-profile record in eons and his first album of largely original material since 2004.