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The Animals

The Animals were a British rock and roll band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Comprising Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (organ), Hilton Valentine (guitar), John Steel (drums) and Bryan 'Chas' Chandler (bass) their moderate success in their hometown motivated to move to London in 1964, in time to be grouped with the British Invasion. Influenced by folk music, the blues the band released a version of the standard "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" (which they had learnt from Bob Dylan's first album) as their initial single. A moderate success, they followed it with "The House of the Rising Sun" (learnt the same way) whose distinctive guitar intro helped to make a massive transatlantic hit. After the failure of the self-penned "I'm Crying" they continued to record cover material, including soul music such as "Bring It On Home To Me" (a hit for Sam Cooke) and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" (later a hit for Burdon's next group, War).

By 1965 however, the group was on the verge of splitting. Price, who had been their arranger, left to reappear with as a solo artist, recording a hit version of Randy Newman's "Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear." The group carried on under the name "Eric Burdon and the Animals" in 1966, essentially serving as Burdon's backing band. Under the new name, they recorded British tinged psychedelic rock, before finally folding in 1969. Some of their hits included "San Francisco Nights" and "Monterey", a tribute to the 1967 rock festival that featured, among others, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix (the last managed by Chandler).