ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS - 4 Albums 1967/69
Winds of Change is the debut album by Eric Burdon & the Animals, released in October 1967. Winds of Change opened the psychedelic era in the history of Eric Burdon & the Animals although Burdon's drug experiences had taken a great leap forward months earlier with his first acid trip, and he and the group had generated some startlingly fresh-sounding singles in the intervening time, it was Winds of Change that plunged the group headfirst into the new music. The record was more or less divided into two distinctly different sides, the first more conceptual and ambitious psychedelic mood pieces and the second comprised of more conventionally structured songs, although even these were hard, mostly bluesy and blues-based rock, their jumping-off point closer to Jimi Hendrix than Sonny Boy Williamson.
The Twain Shall Meet is the second album by Eric Burdon & the Animals. It was released in 1968 on MGM Records. The mix of topical songs, surreal antiwar anthems, and diffuse psychedelic mood pieces on The Twain Shall Meet is extremely ambitious, and while much of the group's reach exceeds its grasp, it's all worth a trip through as a fascinating period piece. In fact, the mood pieces predominate, mostly underwritten and under-rehearsed, and recorded without the studio time needed to make them work. "Just the Thought" and "Closer to the Truth" are dull and unfocused, even as psychedelia, while "No Self Pity" and "We Love You Lil" are above average musical representations of mind-altered states. "We Love You Lil" opens with a clever play on the old popular tune "Lili Marlene" that leads to an extended guitar jam and ethereal backing that rather recalls the early work of Focus, among other progressive rock acts. "All Is One" is probably unique in the history of pop music as a psychedelic piece, mixing bagpipes, sitar, oboes, horns, flutes, and a fairly idiotic lyric, all within the framework of a piece that picks up its tempo like the dance music from Zorba the Greek while mimicking the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'." On the more accessible side are "Monterey," a distant precursor to Joni Mitchell's more widely heard post-festival anthem "Woodstock," with some clever musical allusions and a great beat, plus lots of enthusiasm; and the shattering "Sky Pilot," one of the grimmest and most startling antiwar songs of the late '60s, with a killer guitar break by Vic Briggs that's marred only by the sound of the plane crash in the middle.
Love Is is the third album by Eric Burdon and The Animals. It was released in 1968 as a double album. Love Is was issued in both the United Kingdom and United States. It was the last album released before The Animals' second dissolution in 1968. An edited version of the track "Ring of Fire" was released as a single and peaked at No. 35 in the UK pop charts, breaking the top 40 in Germany, Holland, and Australia as well. Aside from the self-penned "I'm Dying Or m I?", the album consists entirely of cover songs with extended arrangements by the Animals and sometimes even additional lyrics and musical sections. The entire Side D is occupied by a medley of songs originally by Dantalian's Chariot, a former group of band members Zoot Money and Andy Summers. Dantalian's Chariot archivists have been unable to locate a recording of "Gemini", and it is possible that Eric Burdon and the Animals were the first to actually record the song.
Every One of Us is an album by Eric Burdon & The Animals. It was released in 1968 on MGM Records. Eric Burdon & the Animals were nearing the end of their string, at least in the lineup in which they'd come into the world in late 1966, when they recorded Every One of Us in May of 1968, just after the release of their second album, The Twain Shall Meet. The group had seen some success, especially in America, with the singles "When I Was Young," "San Franciscan Nights" and "Sky Pilot" over the previous 18 months, but had done considerably less well with their albums. Every One of Us lacked a hit single to help drive its sales, but it was still a good psychedelic blues album, filled with excellent musicianship by Burdon (lead vocals), Vic Briggs (guitar, bass), John Weider (guitar, celeste), Danny McCulloch (bass,12-string, vocals), and Barry Jenkins (drums, percussion), with new member Zoot Money (credited, for contractual reasons, as George Bruno) on keyboards and vocals.
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