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Eric Burdon & The Animals at Mountain Winery

In Music
FREE RANGE: Don't let him be misunderstood, Eric Budon is bringing the Animals to the Mountain Winery.

FREE RANGE: Don't let him be misunderstood, Eric Budon is bringing the Animals to the Mountain Winery.

Many of the bands considered part of the “British Invasion” of the mid-’60s drew from American soul and R&B. Some, like the Beatles, filtered those influences through their own musical sensibilities, creating something completely new in the process. Others—The Rolling Stones, for example—built upon an R&B foundation, getting their start playing their own arrangements of others’ material. Initially, however, The Animals were the most faithfully blues-based of all British acts to score on the American charts.

Formed in 1962 in Newcastle upon Tyne, The Animals lit up the American hit singles chart 19 times between 1964 and ’68, including the No. 1 smash, “The House of the Rising Sun.” Along with the stirring, soulful organ of Alan Price, a key to the group’s appeal was Eric Burdon’s deeply expressive, sonorous and gravelly voice. Hits like “It’s My Life,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “We Gotta Get out of this Place” would go on to earn classic status.

By 1967, The Animals had endured numerous personnel changes and relocated to California. They developed a more psychedelic sound, one exemplified by songs such as “San Franciscan Nights” and “Sky Pilot.” The band members went their separate ways by 1969, with Burdon going on to a solo career.

In 1970, Eric Burdon took part in a brief but very successful collaboration with Long Beach funk band War, scoring the hit single, “Spill the Wine.” In 1994, The Animals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Burdon 57th on its list of “100 Greatest Singers.” Today, Burdon leads his own group using The Animals name.

In 2017, Burdon recorded his own version of the 1966 Buffalo Springfield classic “For What it’s Worth.” The recording—posted on Burdon’s website ericburdon.com—shows that the years have done little to diminish his vocal presence.

Burdon’s adventures have become the stuff of legend: John Lennon’s lyric “I am the eggman” in the Beatles song “I am the Walrus” is a veiled reference to Burdon’s sexual exploits. In May 2018, he made the news once again: Poet and songwriter Patti Smith personally delivered a cake to Burdon onstage in celebration of his 77th birthday, accidentally setting her hair on fire in the process. The Animals vocalist quickly extinguished the flames with his bare hands, but the fire in his voice still burns brightly.

Eric Burdon & The Animals
Jun 9, 7:30pm, $39.50+
Mountain Winery, Saratoga

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