Eric Burdon & the Animals Box Set Due

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Esoteric Recordings has announced the release of When I Was Young—The MGM Recordings, a new boxed set featuring all of the albums recorded by Eric Burdon and the Animals for the MGM Records label issued between October 1967 and December 1968. Eric Burdon and 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 the rhythm and blues and embraced psychedelic rock.

Eric Burdon (far right) and the Animals, 1967

Signing to MGM Records in the U.S. (where Burdon became based) and teaming up with producer Tom Wilson (also famed for his work with Bob Dylan, the Mothers of Invention and the Velvet Underground), the band’s debut single “When I Was Young” was released in April 1967, featuring Weider’s violin and Briggs’ fuzzed guitar. The B-side of the single, “A Girl Named Sandoz,” was a psychedelic ode to the Swiss pharmaceutical company that developed LSD. The follow-up single, “San Franciscan Nights,” issued in August 1967, came on the heels of the band’s appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 and would be the band’s biggest hit, breaking the top 20 in the U.K., Europe and the U.S. 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 a 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).” The year 1968 would see a further two album releases by the group in the U.S. and Europe: Every One Of Us, recorded in June and issued in August of that year, saw Zoot Money join the band on organ and piano. 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 lineup recorded the double album Love Is in Los Angeles in October 1968, issued only as a single LP in the U.K., which featured 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 remake of Dantalian’s Chariot’s “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.

Related: The Animals’ love song to the Monterey Pop Festival

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 remastered from the original master tapes, along with 10 bonus tracks drawn from the band’s single releases, including the 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.

Watch the video for “Sky Pilot”

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  1. Vinny Marino
    #1 Vinny Marino 19 December, 2019, 23:55

    If this doesn’t have the rare mono single mix of “Sky Pilot,” it’s not worth it.

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