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YouTube Gold: The Animals

One of the best British bands of the 1960s

The Animals Performing
 The Animals performing live in the Ready Steady Go studios.  
Photo by Hulton-Deutsch/Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis via Getty Images

The Animals never hit it quite as big as some of the other bands of the British Invasion, notably The Who, The Rolling Stones and of course the Beatles. They had some real issues, first with management and second with constantly changing personnel.

But for a brief time they were great and Eric Burdon, at his best, was as good a frontman as anyone in music.

They had some classics hits not least of all the House of the Rising Sun (if you ever want to hear a radically different version of that song, Doc Watson did a version with his grandson, Richard, that is eye-opening).

But of all their songs, we’re not sure anything was better than “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.”

For Bruce Springsteen, it was an incalculable influence that he said was behind Born To Run and everything he ever did.

It has a certain awareness, partly class awareness, but also something that got beyond mere rock n roll into much bigger aspects of life. This version is from the Ed Sullivan Show. He seems firmly in the distant past, but he was willing to take chances with bands that were not necessarily family fare.