Check out these new and used Animals vinyl records LPs for sale. We recommend starting your Animals vinyl collection with the essential albums The Animals, Pink Floyd and Best Of The Animals. Our inventory is always changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl records for sale from rock musicians.
The Animals: A British Invasion Phenomenon
The Animals, a band that emerged from the vibrant streets of Newcastle, England, became one of the defining acts of the British Invasion in the 1960s. With Eric Burdon’s distinctive vocals leading the way, The Animals forged a sound that blended blues, R&B, and rock, leaving an indelible mark on the music landscape. In this exploration, we delve into the band’s history, ethos, and some of their seminal albums that contributed to their iconic status.
Origins and the Newcastle Scene
The story of The Animals begins in the gritty industrial city of Newcastle upon Tyne, where a group of young musicians, including Eric Burdon, Alan Price, and Hilton Valentine, coalesced around a shared love for American blues and R&B. The vibrant local music scene, influenced by the sounds of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and Ray Charles, provided fertile ground for the band’s early development.
The Animals (1964): The Debut That Defined a Sound
The self-titled debut album, “The Animals,” released in 1964, catapulted the band to international acclaim. The album encapsulates The Animals’ raw, blues-infused sound, with Eric Burdon’s soulful vocals commanding attention. Tracks like “House of the Rising Sun” and “Boom Boom” showcased the band’s ability to reinterpret blues classics with a distinctive edge.
“The Animals” not only established the band’s signature style but also marked their arrival as a force to be reckoned with in the British music scene. The success of “House of the Rising Sun” made The Animals trailblazers, with the song becoming an anthem of the era.
Animal Tracks (1965): A Dynamic Follow-Up
Hot on the heels of their debut, The Animals released “Animal Tracks” in 1965, solidifying their reputation for dynamic and energetic performances. The album featured a mix of R&B covers and original compositions, showcasing the band’s evolving songwriting prowess.
Tracks like “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” revealed a deeper emotional and social consciousness in The Animals’ music. The latter, in particular, would become a significant hit and a testament to the band’s ability to infuse substance into their rock and blues offerings.
Animalization (1966): Transatlantic Success
“Animalization,” released in 1966, marked a shift in The Animals’ trajectory. The departure of keyboardist Alan Price paved the way for the introduction of Dave Rowberry. The album, reflecting the changing landscape of mid-60s rock, featured a more pronounced use of organ and showcased the band’s adaptability.
The inclusion of tracks like “Inside-Looking Out” demonstrated The Animals’ penchant for pushing musical boundaries. The album’s success in the United States further solidified the band’s status as a transatlantic phenomenon, with their dynamic stage presence earning them a dedicated global following.
Winds of Change (1967): Artistic Evolution
“Winds of Change,” released in 1967, marked a significant departure from The Animals’ earlier blues-driven sound. The album embraced a more psychedelic and experimental approach, reflecting the broader musical landscape of the late 1960s.
Tracks like “San Franciscan Nights” and “Sky Pilot” showcased the band’s willingness to explore new sonic territories. “Sky Pilot,” in particular, delved into anti-war themes, showcasing The Animals’ engagement with the socio-political issues of the time. “Winds of Change” reflected not only the band’s musical evolution but also their desire to engage with the cultural currents of the era.
Twain Shall Meet (1968): A Fusion of Styles
Continuing their exploration of diverse musical styles, The Animals released “The Twain Shall Meet” in 1968. The album featured a fusion of blues, rock, and elements of psychedelia. With tracks like “Monterey” and “Sky Pilot,” The Animals continued to demonstrate their versatility and willingness to experiment.
“Monterey” paid homage to the iconic Monterey Pop Festival, encapsulating the spirit of the 1960s counterculture. On the other hand, “Sky Pilot” delved into the complexities of war, presenting a sprawling and ambitious composition that underscored the band’s commitment to addressing substantive themes through their music.
The End (1970): A Farewell Statement
“The End,” released in 1970, served as The Animals’ farewell album before their initial disbandment. The album featured a mix of new material and live recordings, capturing the band in a reflective and introspective mode. Tracks like “When I Was Young” and the self-referential “The Story of Bo Diddley” provided a poignant bookend to The Animals’ career.
“The End” signaled the conclusion of an era, but it also highlighted the enduring impact of The Animals’ contribution to the evolution of rock music. Eric Burdon’s charismatic vocals and the band’s ability to navigate diverse genres left an indelible legacy that continued to resonate with fans around the world. Eric Burdon later joined the band War.
Legacy and Continued Influence
The Animals’ legacy extends beyond their discography, influencing subsequent generations of musicians across genres. Their ability to infuse blues and R&B with a distinctive British rock sensibility contributed to the broader cultural exchange between the United States and the United Kingdom during the British Invasion.
Eric Burdon’s powerful vocals, Hilton Valentine’s evocative guitar work, and the band’s collective energy made The Animals a dynamic force in the 1960s music scene. Their impact, evident in the enduring popularity of songs like “House of the Rising Sun” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” solidified their place in the pantheon of rock and roll.
As we revisit their albums, we immerse ourselves in the sonic journey crafted by The Animals—a journey that encapsulates the spirit of a transformative era in music history. Whether channeling the blues, exploring psychedelic landscapes, or addressing social issues, The Animals remain a testament to the power of musical innovation and the enduring appeal of authentic rock and roll.