In 1964 a wave of new energetic rock and roll swept over the youth of the world. On the crest of this wave was The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and of course The Animals. From the banks of the River Tyne came the North East's offering; a brand of rhythm ‘n blues that the whole world seemed to grasp greedily.
The Animals were the second British band to top the American charts after The Beatles with the now multi-million selling and legendary anthem, House of the Rising Sun. The band subsequently achieved over twenty global Top Ten hit records, many of which gained the Number One slot in various partsof the world. In Britain alone, the band had no less than twelve chart entries. The Animals were the first British band to tour Poland and Japan.
The enduring influence and breadth of appeal of The Animals’ music continues ever onwards. The Animals’ 1964 debut was recently included in CLASSIC ROCK magazines’ feature - ‘50 Albums That Built Blues Rock’.
“Though the band has changed, the songs remain eternal, thanks to the protesting dissatisfaction linking them together... alongside covers of Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker classics, they ensure that the nostalgic element comes with an enjoyably abrasive edge”. (ANIMALS AND FRIENDS review - Andy Gill, The Independent)
Serious contenders to Bob Dylan in his ‘Never-Ending Tour’, the band have in recent years embarked on two massive UK tours with Special Guest Spencer Davis, as well as tours with other Special Guests including Stax, Booker T & The MGS and Blues Brothers guitar legend Steve Cropper, The Troggs and the late, great Mick Green (The Pirates, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Bryan Ferry). ANIMALSAND FRIENDS’ appeal continues abroad, too – with shows in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Russia, and Holland.
2017 marked founder member John Steel’s 60th year as performing musician. Back in 1957 John Steel along with fellow Animals co-founder Eric Burdon began playing their trade in and around their native Tyneside with not even the slightest inkling that they would, in few years, find themselves part of a group that would be forever bracketed with the very best of British music: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Yardbirds. Respected all over the world. The Animals were also the second British band after The Beatles to top the American charts with their multi-million selling anthem, House of the Rising Sun.
Let us not forget that it was Bob Dylan's House of the Rising Sun that so inspired this legendary band to record what history has shown to be the definitive take. It is even whispered that Dylan looked to their version as inspiration for his infamous 'going electric’.
Bruce Springsteen revealed on stage in the USA that it was The Animals, not The Beatles or The Stones who were his favourite British Invasion band. "Their singles were the first full-blown class-consciousness I'd ever heard". After playing a short burst of We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Springsteen then confessed: "That's every song I've ever written; Born to Run, Born in The USA, all of them".
After 60 years, the legend still grows...