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Years before an American band, the Doors perform blues rock songs with disturbing keyboard sounds, gloomy lyrics, and haunting voice from the lead singer, that image was already embedded in the Animals which formed during 1962 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. The Animals combined electric blues with rock. Consists of Eric Burdon (vocals), Hilton Valentine (guitar), Chas Chandler (bass), Alan Price (keyboards) and John Steel (drums). They were rebels in suit and tie who rivalled the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Hollies, the Dave Clark Five, and the Kinks. Those groups were leading bands of the British Invasion who introduced British music and fashion.
The Animals began publicly known in 1964 through an old traditional American folk song, House of the Rising Sun which became a big hit. They were storming the charts in Britain, the US, Canada and Australia. Eric Burdon's voice and performance are the Animals' enticement. Burdon is a singer-songwriter from Newcastle who rooted in blues and jazz. He has the same charisma and intellect as his friend, the legendary singer Jim Morrison. But unlike the enigmatic Morrison, Burdon is a respectful and warm figure. He express things more deeply with his rebellious image. Burdon discovered his own voice hanging out at jazz clubs in Newcastle when he was around 15. He would sneak in and try to get on stage with the musicians. At one point, they allowed him on stage to sing a song and soon enough he had his own set. He is not playing significant instrument in bands. He had been messing around with a trombone, but being short of lung capacity, due to his asthma, he is not playing trombone anymore. Burdon's baritone voice can be heard on the Animals' songs such as The House of the Rising Sun, I'm Crying, Boom Boom, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, Bring It On Home to Me, Baby Let Me Take You Home, It's My Life, We Gotta Get out of This Place, Don't Bring Me Down, and See See Rider. By the late 1960's, the other original members of the Animals had left. Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins reformed the group. In the new formation, the Animals music turns psychedelic. As well as adding a violin in their music. Burdon's performance and voice became more poetic and aggresive. This group's hits included San Franciscan Nights, When I Was Young, Monterey, Sky Pilot, White Houses, and Ring of Fire.
In 1969, while living in San Francisco, Burdon joined forces with Californian funk rock band, War. In April 1970, the resulting album created as a result of this association was entitled Eric Burdon Declares "War" which produced the singles Spill the Wine and Tobacco Road. A two-disc set entitled The Black-Man's Burdon, was released later in September 1970. The singles from the double album, Paint It, Black and They Can't Take Away Our Music, had moderate success during 1971. When Burdon was performing with War, his performance became groovy and wild.
Burdon began a solo career in 1971. Experimenting with various musical styles, he has worked with famous musicians. Among them are Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix. At seventy-something, Burdon still doing live performance. Living in the United States for decades, he will hold a show in his hometown, at Newcastle City Hall on Wednesday, September 7 – his only UK date this year. “I recall walking past the City Hall as a kid on my way home from school. From inside I could hear Muddy Waters sound-checking for a performance he was to give there. His great voice bellowed out and I knew immediately that was the direction I wanted to take. It’s a full circle experience for me to come back there to perform. The City Hall truly shaped my destiny.” he told