Discover more from Hippy Toons
The Animals were a British rock band that achieved international fame in the 1960s.
Known for their gritty, bluesy sound and iconic hits like "House of the Rising Sun," the band played a pivotal role in the British Invasion of the American music scene. Here's a detailed history of The Animals:
Formation and Early Years (1962-1963):
The Animals were formed in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 1962. The original lineup consisted of Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (keyboards), Hilton Valentine (guitar), Chas Chandler (bass), and John Steel (drums). They initially played blues and R&B covers in local clubs and built a strong following.
Breakthrough and "House of the Rising Sun" (1964):
In 1964, The Animals recorded "House of the Rising Sun," a traditional folk song arranged with a distinctive electric blues-rock style. The song became an international sensation, reaching the top of the charts in the US and the UK. It remains one of the most iconic songs of the era.
International Success and Personnel Changes (1964-1965):
The band's success continued with hits like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," and "It's My Life." However, internal tensions led to some lineup changes. Alan Price left the band in 1965 and was replaced by Dave Rowberry on keyboards. Chas Chandler also departed in 1966, making way for Danny McCulloch on bass.
Later Years and Decline (1966-1968):
The Animals' success began to wane as musical trends evolved, and the band struggled to maintain their early popularity. They released a series of albums, including "Animalism" and "Winds of Change," which incorporated elements of psychedelia and folk rock.
By 1968, The Animals had disbanded, with Eric Burdon pursuing a solo career. Several members formed new projects, including Eric Burdon and the New Animals.
Reunions and Legacy:
Over the years, various incarnations of The Animals have reunited for tours and recordings. Eric Burdon continued to release music as a solo artist and with different bands, maintaining his status as a prominent figure in rock music.
The Animals' impact on the music scene was significant, as they helped bring British R&B and blues-rock to a global audience during the British Invasion. Their influential sound, characterized by Eric Burdon's powerful vocals and the band's raw, bluesy instrumentals, has left a lasting legacy in rock music history. Their songs have been covered by numerous artists, and The Animals' music continues to be celebrated by fans and musicians alike.
In 1994, The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recognizing their enduring influence on the evolution of rock and blues music. The band's hits, particularly "House of the Rising Sun," remain staples of classic rock radio and continue to be enjoyed by new generations of music enthusiasts.