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The Animals

Newcastle, United Kingdom (1962 – 1966)

The Animals were a British rock band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle. They were part of the british invasion, being one of the most popular bands of their era. Known for their gritty, raw, bluesy sound and hard-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature songs House of the Rising Sun and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, the band underwent numerous personnel changes, while influencing the later heavy metal music with the riffs of their rock songs such as We Gotta Get Out Of This Place and It’s My Life. They emerged as an exponent of psychedelic music before dissolving at the end of the decade. In 1983 they had a comeback and toured for six months before disbanding forever.

First incarnation

Formed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne during 1962 and 1963 when Burdon joined the existing Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, the original line-up comprised Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (organ and keyboards), Hilton Valentine (guitar), John Steel (drums), and Bryan “Chas” Chandler (bass). The Animals’ moderate success in their hometown and a connection with The Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky motivated them to move to London in 1964, in time to be grouped with the British Invasion. They performed fiery versions of the staple rhythm and blues repertoire (Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone, etc). Signed to the Columbia Graphophone subsidiary of EMI, a rocking version of the standard “Baby Let Me Follow You Down” (retitled Baby Let Me Take You Home) was their first UK hit single.


They began as a Jazz group with Burdon on trombone. Partly because Burdon was a lousy player, he switched to vocals and they became a rock group.
Early names were The Pagans and The Kansas City 5.
Chas Chandler became one of Jimi Hendrix' managers.
Andy Summers, who joined the New Animals in 1968, would later join The Police.
Price left the group because he suddenly realized that he was afraid of flying.
In the 1990's Burdon made a cameo on the TV show China Beach and worked with David Letterman band leader Paul Shaffer on an album.
The Animals appeared in many cheesy 1960's movies, including It's a Bikini World!. After leaving the group, though, Price went on to become a real actor in movies like O Lucky Man!.

50s, 60s Hits

Bring It On Home To Me
Don't Bring Me Down
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
It's My Life
The House Of The Rising Sun
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Members of this Group










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