Esoteric Recordings is pleased to announce the release of a new boxed set featuring all of the albums recorded by ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS for the MGM Records label issued between October 1967 and December 1968. ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS came together in December 1966 when the original Animals had ground to a halt. Vocalist Eric Burdon recruited Vic Briggs (guitar, piano), John Weider (guitar, violin, bass), Danny McCulloch (bass) and Barry Jenkins (drums) to form a new group which changed direction away from raucous Rhythm and Blues and embraced Psychedelic rock and the influences of the emerging counter-culture.
Signing to MGM Records in the USA (where he became based) and teaming up with producer TOM WILSON (also famed for his work with BOB DYLAN, THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION & THE VELVET UNDERGROUND), the band’s debut single “WHEN I WAS YOUNG” was released in April 1967 and was a powerful statement, featuring Weider’s violin and Briggs’ fuzzed guitar, becoming a hit in Europe, Australia and the USA. The B-side of the single A GIRL NAMED SANDOZ was a psychedelic ode to the Swiss pharmaceutical company which developed LSD. The follow-up single, SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS, issued in August 1967, came on the heels of the band’s famed appearance at the MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL in June 1967 and would be the band’s biggest hit, breaking the top twenty in the UK, Europe and the USA.
The band’s debut album, WINDS OF CHANGE was issued in October 1967 and featured the singles SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS and GOOD TIMES, along with an inventive cover version of PAINT IT BLACK and the psychedelic rockers YES, I AM EXPERIENCED (a tribute to Burdon’s friend Jimi Hendrix) and IT’S ALL MEAT.
The album “THE TWAIN SHALL MEET” was recorded in December 1967 but not issued until May 1968 and featured two further singles, MONTEREY and SKY PILOT (Parts One & Two). Incredibly 1968 would see a further two album releases by the group in the USA and Europe; “EVERY ONE OF US”, recorded in June and issued in August of that year, was a fine album which saw ZOOT MONEY join the band on organ and piano, but inexplicably the album failed to gain a release in the UK.
By the time of its release, Vic Briggs had departed to be replaced by ANDY SUMMERS (formerly with Zoot Money in the band DANTALIAN’s CHARIOT) on guitar. This line-up recorded the double album “LOVE IS” in Los Angeles in October 1968, issued only as a single LP in the UK, which featured imaginative cover versions of RIVER DEEP, MOUNTAIN HIGH, RING OF FIRE (also a hit single in many countries) and Traffic’s COLOURED RAIN. The album also featured the song GEMINI which segued in to a fine re-make of the DANTALIAN’s CHARIOT classic THE MADMAN (RUNNING THROUGH THE FIELDS). Released in December 1968, it was to be the final album by the group. Burdon remained in the United States and joined forces with the group WAR in 1969.
The set features the albums “WINDS OF CHANGE” (both stereo and mono versions), “THE TWAIN SHALL MEET”, “EVERY ONE OF US” and “LOVE IS”, all newly re-mastered from the original master tapes, along with ten bonus tracks drawn from the band’s single releases, including the classic B-sides A GIRL NAMED SANDOZ, AIN’T THAT SO and GRATEFULLY DEAD, all remastered from recently located original master tapes. Also included is an illustrated booklet with new essay and a replica poster. “WHEN I WAS YOUNG – The MGM Recordings” is a fine tribute to the music of Eric Burdon & the Animals.
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