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One of the great British bands of the 1960s, the Animals' star has been eclipsed over the years by the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Who and even the retro cultists' favourites, the Yardbirds. This authoritative Best Of serves as a reminder of just how unfair that is. The Animals caught the spirit of the blues and gave it an English force and feel in a way other, equally reverent bands never quite accomplished. Their version of "We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place" sums up the industrial north of its era as well as any John Braine novel, while "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is an R&B classic to stand proudly with any of its American inspirations. There's plenty to enjoy in many of the less famous tracks, too--"I'm Crying", "Bright Lights Big City", "Baby Let Me Take You Home", the band's take on John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom". It's true that the Animals never produced the extensive repertoire some of their contemporaries achieved; but that means every bit of their coarse energy has been preserved on this collection. --David Bennun
Eric Burdon had one of the great white boy soul voice of the 60's: gritty, expressive, charged with a nicotine-fuelled bluesy rasp that lifted it far above most of his contemporaries. Songs like "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and the impassioned "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" bespoke a turbulence and emotion that was matched only by Dylan and the Stax/Volt crew. "Let The Good Times Roll" and "Club A Gogo", meanwhile, hinted at a substance-fuelled hedonism that gave the lie to UK bubblegum pop. Burdon's Animals had a roughness and charm all the more enticing for those sweaty, ill-fitting suits they always sported. Perhaps it was hailing from Newcastle that did it. --Everett True
Apart from their singles, the Animals recorded many other covers including Boom boom, Dimples, I'm mad again (all John Lee Hooker), Around and around, Memphis Tennessee, How you've changed (all Chuck Berry), I'm in love again, I've been around (both Fats Domino), Talking about you, Hallelujah I love her so and I believe to my soul (all Ray Charles). These covers clearly demonstrate what their main influences were, but they also wrote some of their own songs.
Eric Burdon - the Animals and Beyond [DVD] 
A look at the life and musical career of Eric Burdon, singer with The Animals. Performance footage includes tracks such as 'House Of The Rising Sun', 'It's My Life', 'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place', 'Monterey', 'CC Ryder' and 'Shout'.
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