Winds Of Change

Eric Burdon & The Animals

One Way Records, 1967

http://www.ericburdon.com

REVIEW BY: Eric E5S16

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/24/1998

The new world different from the old with new jewels to be consumed, new frontiers to be won, and much more love to be given. The recognition of existence of pain and ecstasy to know that they are both there in the pit of my stomach, and can be turned on or off easily as a stereo colour T.V. set. I love you all, and want you to gain something from these new sounds as I gain from listening to my saints in past years. If you feel alone and confused and unhappy discontented, just know that I (and there are many like me) love you, and maybe you'll know why I am happy contented and un-confused. The games I play are mostly games of children (not all) happy games, games of love, games of mystery, games of wonder, please excuse my games of fear and jealousy, I'm only human after all and still a student of life. Maybe the next production will be all games of love, but by then I could be in another world...

from the album cover

As the album title states, there were changes being made for the 60's British group, The Animals. By 1967, the original band had fell apart. But Eric Burdon, the man behind the success of The Animals, and what would be their only #1 and signature song, "The House Of The Rising Sun", reformed his former group, and called it Eric Burdon & The (New) Animals. Burdon would become the only original member. The first release with the new Animals lineup was Winds Of Change, an album that not only dealt with change for the group, but it would also project the future of Eric Burdon as a solo artist.

The album starts out with the title track, and ends with "It's All Meat". Both songs are tributes to Burdon's musical influences, mostly the blues. Burdon sings "Robert Johnson sang the blues" in "Winds Of Change". Muddy Waters and Ray Charles are mentioned in the latter song. The title track is truly psychedelic, as the rest of this album signifies. "Poem By The Sea" is just as psychedelic. And "The Black Plague," is a spoken word tune, with church-choir background vocals similiar in sound and just as eerie as The Yardbirds' "Still I'm Sad."

Burdon does his own version of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black". Completely different in sound as compared to the Stones, this song would be a regular favorite of Burdon's, as he would perform it in concert, and would also record another version of it when he left The Animals to join a black funk band, War, in the Seventies.nbtc__dv_250

"Yes I Am Experienced", is the group's answer to the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Are You Experienced," released earlier in the year 1967. Even if you didn't know the title of this song, it does resemble the sound of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first album. Chas Chandler, original Animals bass player, became Jimi Hendrix's manager after leaving the original Animals lineup. Another Animals favorite, "San Franciscan Nights" is featured on this album, as the San Francisco scene was booming in 1967, as many popular rock groups were formed from that city, like The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

"Man - Woman" is another spoken word tune. Burdon's spoken talents sounds exciting and vibrant, as he tells the story of how man and woman dominate the love scene, aka The Love and Peace Generation, another happening event of the late 1960s. These four words in this song pretty much tells it all, all, as Burdon shouts: "Man! - Woman! - Desire! - Love!". This song, as well as "The Black Plague", is probably the beginnings of what would later become a very popular hit with War, "Spill The Wine."

The next three songs are slow-paced tunes, yet they match the rest of the album's excellence. "Hotel Hell" has a Spanish sounding guitar and horns are just fantastic, making this song work so well. "Good Times", features the line that makes you think:

"When I think about the Good Times I have wasted, having Good Times." (Actually, it would a autobiographical song about Eric Burdon himself.) Lastly, "Anything" features the line "For you, I'll Do Anything", a phrase meant for a friend or loved one.

Winds Of Change features some excellent musical instrument arrangements. The spanish sounding accoustic guitar, and throughout this album has the late '60s George Harrison/Beatles indian-sounding guitar (sitar). Violins are also used, and the gong is featured on "Poem By The Sea". This album is also psychedelic, as this style of music was dominating the scene at the time.

Winds Of Change is an experience. For the Sixties favorite, this is a must. Eric Burdon & The Animals were number two on my list next to The Beatles in the category of favorite groups of the Sixties. (Yes, I thought it was so cool that there was a musician out there named Eric; I learned this before I discovered Eric Clapton.) I have always been a big fan of Burdon/Animals music ever since. They've had a few reunion albums later in their career, featuring all of the original members. Unfortuately, Chas Chandler passed away in 1996.

Polygram, the record company that purchased many of the M-G-M recordings, re-issued many of the original late 60s albums of Burdon & The Animals in 1994. Yet to see its faces on compact disc are the very early original albums, and the later ones when the original group reformed. Before We Were Rudely Interrupted, the band's first reunion studio album in 1977, has yet to see the CD laser beam. Their 1983 reunion studio album, Ark (a personal favorite of mine), can be found on CD through import ads. Burdon still performs today, as he seldom releases an album. He's released three albums with War from 1970-1976. From 1971-1988 (as Eric Burdon), he's released six albums. His latest album was in 1993, where he teamed up with British jazz-rock keyboardist Brian Auger. Througout his solo career, Burdon participated in movies and television.

If you're only familiar with "The House Of The Rising Sun," boy, do you have a lot of catching up to do! The original lineup's material is probably considered their best work. Their later material had some big hits, but not as as many as the original lineup. In either case, this band is not to be passed up. Discover The Animals' music; it's an event you will cherish and enjoy.

Rating: A

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