Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Animals - Complete Animals




This is not really a "Complete Animals", actually. It covers all the tracks on the first two albums - "Animals" and "Animal Tracks". The sound is in glorious, punchy, crystal clear booming mono. The bluesy intensity of this seminal British r 'n' b band is showcased superbly, however, particularly the keyboard talents of Alan Price and the versatile blues vocals of Eric Burdon. Guitarist Hilton Valentine was an underrated member of the group too, contributing some impressive blues guitar throughout. The cover picture, which was also used on "Animal Tracks" is a somewhat bizarre one that sees the group dressed up like a group of WWII Yugoslav partisans about to blow up a railway line.

The great hit singles from the same era are included too - the iconic "House Of The Rising Sun"; "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"; "We Got To Get Out Of This Place" and "It's My Life" plus their 'b' sides, all of which are excellent. The group really came into their own on these songs. The albums were nearly all made up of Chuck Berry and old blues covers, with was de rigeur for the British blues bands of the time. That is not to say that the tracks are not delivered with a musical competence, attack, verve and intensity.

The Animals were up there with The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Them, John Mayall and The Kinks in the vanguard of the mid-sixties British blues explosion. Their contribution and influence cannot be under-estimated. This compilation is an ideal way of catching them at their very best.

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