Retrospective (LP)

The Animals

ABKCO, 2022


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The Animals were one of the premier British invasion bands of the 1960s, resulting in their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1994.

While there have been several reunions; the new vinyl edition of their 2004 collection Retrospective focuses on their rock/blues period (1964-1966), and their evolution into a California psychedelic band (1967-1969). Originally on CD, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Retrospective has now been issued as a 180-gram, two vinyl disc LP set.

Fueled by Eric Burdon’s gritty voice, “The House Of The Rising Sun” was one of the better and more unique hits of the 1960s. “It’s My Life,” “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place,” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” are all creative songs, and made the Animals stand out among their peers. The band had a way of using odd rhythms to support the blues vocals.

The second half the group’s 1960s career found their name changing to Eric Burdon and The Animals and was vastly different from their first incarnation. Relocating to California, they became a part of the Summer of Love and psychedelic era.

‘San Franciscan Nights,” while a little dated today, captures late 1960s life as few songs ever did and “Monterey” is a history lesson of the famous festival. “Sky Pilot” is a long-lost protest song and the indecipherable “White Houses” also captures the vibes of the era.

The final track, “Spill The Wine,” is not The Animals but rather Eric Burdon and War. It is one of the great early funk songs that is a perfect uniting of Eric Burdon’s voice and War’s musicianship. War, without Burdon, would go on to be one of the more successful funk bands of the 1970s.

The Animals remain an interesting piece of the development of American and British rock and roll. Their early history is an essential listening experience, while their later tracks are more quirky and fun. Retrospective captures the development of The Animals, plus with this new edition, you can watch the records go round and round.

Rating: A-

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