The Animals: Animalisms (Decca)

A ROCKIN’ ANIMALS LP!

IN THE GOOD old days when the Scene Club was the centre of mass rock activity, Jerry Lee Lewis went along there and found the Animals playing. Watching Eric Burdon leaping up and down like an enraged chimp on top of the piano, Jerry Lee exclaimed: “Yeah, they’re playing the real rock music.”

Now we can all indulge in a bit of nostalgia via Animalisms, the group’s first Decca LP.It’s the Animals Rock And Roll Band, folks, and here’s what they play:

‘One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show’ — a slow, almost spoken blues at first with piano predominant — Eric has a yelling spell with vocal support, then reverts to quieter mood. The subdued raving finally builds up again to a mass of noise.

PIANO & GUITAR

‘Maudie’ — the John Lee Hooker original in much the same tempo as the previous track and with Eric explaining the background of the song first. The tempo speeds up and there’s a sudden explosion of action with excellent piano and guitar work. Just rock.

‘Outcast’ — the “B” side of the last single, so we’re all familiar with it by now.

‘Sweet Little 16’ — what else could it be but out and out rock? Again the piano is good and there’s a great sequence where it has a “battle” with Hilton’s guitar!

‘Monday To Friday’ — a beautiful sad old ballad about a man who can’t get his woman off his mind. There’s real painful feeling in Eric’s voice and the accompaniment, though simple, is very effective. Would make a good single.

‘Clapping’ — a mini-track which is just what the title suggests. Only the crazy Animals or someone like Zoot Money could get away with this.

‘Gin House Blues’ — the classic which Nina Simone did a lot for. Treated simply with emphasised guitar notes at first, then a gradual warming up process takes place. Exceptional quality.

‘Squeeze Her Tease Her’ — they’ve been doing this raver on stage for ages and going down a storm. Raving vocal unison and belting instrumental backing

‘What Am I Living For’ — back to the blues which seem to suit Eric’s voice very well. Bass work stands out and there’s plenty of woe-ridden atmosphere.

‘I Put A Spell On You’ — more like the Jay Hawkins treatment than Nina’s or Alan Price’s. Lovely twangy guitar snippets and a rather complicated piece where everything goes at once.

‘That’s All I Am To You’ — fast and furious ditty. Wild screaming and uncontrolled raving from the rest of the lads.

‘She’ll Return It’ — driving rhythm on a song they wrote themselves. Typical Eric Burdon lyrics and noteable guitar work.

© Richard GreenRecord Mirror, 21 May 1966

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