Animal magic

Eric Burdon: Rock and Roll Animal – a new biographical documentary aired on BBC4 at the end of February and available now on the BBC iPlayer – is a reminder of one of the great British R&B voices of the 1960s.

Burdon’s unforgettably powerful vocals featured on a string of hits by The Animals – including House of The Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out of This Place and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – throughout the decade and provided inspiration for later stars such as Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith, who feature in the hour-long documentary, directed by Hannes Rossacher.

It explores Burdon’s early days as a musician in Newcastle and his friendship with Jimi Hendrix while bringing his story up to date with his life in California and his latest recording venture.

Now 78, Burdon joined The Animals as lead singer in 1962 and the band formed part of the so-called ‘British invasion’ of the American market led by – among others – The Beatles and Rolling Stones. The group broke up and reformed a couple of times over the following 20 years and Burdon has continued to record either as a solo artist or with a band over the past 50 years.

Here at The Record Album we have a lovely UK mono first pressing of Animal Tracks, the group’s second album (complete with 33SX on the label), and a UK mono first pressing of Animalisms (Decca LK 4797), their last album as The Animals. We also have the first two albums released as Eric Burdon & The Animals on the MGM label – Winds of Change and The Twain Shall Meet.

Eric Burdon: Rock and Roll Animal can be watched on the BBC iPlayer until the end of March.