The Animals to Record
Story of Mersey Sound
By Les Hall
July 16 1964
THE ANIMALS are to record their own version of the story of the Mersey Sound – and it will be on their first EP which should be released shortly.
ERIC BURDON, lead vocalist with the group, whose record ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ recently swept to the top of the charts, told me: “We’ve done the number on stage, and we use the beat BO DIDDLEY used in ‘Bo Diddley’s Bo Diddley’ – copied by so many, including BUDDY HOLLY. The lyrics tell the story of the Mersey Sound and the Liverpool beat scene.”
The group are also working on an LP – their first – at present. Eric explained: “Whenever we’re in the recording studios we put numbers which aren’t suitable for single releases aside for the LP.”
Eric also told me that the boys often record a song a number of times before they are satisfied. He said: “We did HOOKER’s ‘Boom Boom’ four times because we were dissatisfied with it, and we also did RAY CHARLES’ ‘Talkin’ About You’ the same number of times.”
This is the number on the flipside of their latest hit, but Eric confessed he was disappointed with it. He explained: “On stage the number runs for eight minutes and it had to be cut down tremendously, so none of us are really pleased with it.”
The length of the ‘A’ side ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ caused controversy too, and the group were at first refused radio and TV dates, as the number runs for about four-and-a-half minutes instead of the usual three or so.
Eric said: “We’re getting the dates now the record has topped the charts, but some programmes are still fading the number off before the end. It annoys us very much. The number lasts for about seven minutes on stage depending upon the length of the solo in the middle, and we couldn’t possibly have shortened it any more without spoiling it.”
He added: “There’s no reason whatsoever why records should be restricted by time,” and then he laughed and said: “We’re thinking of getting Cecil B. De Mille to record our numbers, part 1 and part 11!”
“And we didn’t decide to do the number because of BOB DYLAN’s version,” Eric said. “We’re great fans of his, and love his version, but I had JOSH WHITE’s ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ when I was about 12, and we’ve always featured it. Josh White’s version was banned in this country, but we only changed a couple of the words, though we did leave out three verses too.”
It’s about a year since the boys played at one of the Newcastle clubs – Newcastle being their home town of course.
“But we’re having a ‘rave-up’ at the Club A Gogo in Newcastle shortly” said Eric. “It’s a fabulous place, and we regard it as our ‘home club.’ I worked there before I joined the Animals and did the interior design and décor too.”
And the boys will be appearing at Newcastle Odeon during their Autumn package which will also feature TOMMY TUCKER, CARL PERKINS, THE NASHVILLE TEENS and GENE VINCENT.
A tour of Sweden is also lined up, “but first we have two days off,” Eric laughed, “that’s our annual holiday!”
As for America, Eric said that the boys had been invited to go whenever they can. “But we are going to wait a while. Our first record ‘Baby Let Me Take You Home’ has been released and seems to be
doing particularly well in San Francisco.”