Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Eric Burdon turned seventy years old today. The lead singer of The Animals was born May 11, 1941, and led these Newcastle toughs to international stardom with his aggressive bluesy growl. Others performed this age-old folk song, including Dylan on his very first album, but after this Burdon owned the song. You will probably never forget this tune--that rising chord progression on Hilton Valentine's electric guitar and Eric's howling voice that sounded like it belonged to an old bluesman three times his age--and you'll probably never forget the other tough, working class anthems they put on the radio, "It's My Life," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." When most Top-40 radio songs were singing about cars and girls, they were warning us that it was a hard world to get a break in--and that all the good things had been taken. They told us about the dirty old city where the sun refused to shine, and let us know that Daddy was in bed dyin' from working and slaving his life away. They warned us about a house in New Orleans that ruined people, that had ruined them. Their world was dark, but they were getting out--you could stay if you wanted--but there was a better life and they were going to get it. "Can you believe?"

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