Dec 2, 2009

ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS - EVERY ONE OF US (MGM 1968) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 1 bonus




Eric Burdon & the Animals were nearing the end of their string, at least in the lineup in which they'd come into the world in late 1966, when they recorded Every One of Us in May of 1968, just after the release of their second album, The Twain Shall Meet. The group had seen some success, especially in America, with the singles "When I Was Young," "San Franciscan Nights" and "Sky Pilot" over the previous 18 months, but had done considerably less well with their albums. Every One of Us lacked a hit single to help drive its sales, but it was still a good psychedelic blues album, filled with excellent musicianship by Burdon (lead vocals), Vic Briggs (guitar, bass), John Weider (guitar, celeste), Danny McCulloch (bass,12-string, vocals), and Barry Jenkins (drums, percussion), with new member Zoot Money (credited, for contractual reasons, as George Bruno) on keyboards and vocals. Opening with the surprisingly lyrical "White Houses" — a piece of piercing social commentary about America in early 1968 — the record slid past the brief bridge "Uppers and Downers" and into the extended, John Weider-authored psychedelic mood piece "Serenade to a Sweet Lady," highlighted by Briggs' superb lead acoustic guitar playing and Weider's subdued electric accompaniment. This is followed by the acoustic folk piece "The Immigrant Lad," a conceptual work that closes with a dialogue, set in a workingman's bar, in which two Cockney workers, voiced by John Weider and Terry McVay, talk about their world and their lives. "Year of the Guru" is another in a string of Jimi Hendrix-influenced pieces by this version of the Animals, showing the entire band at the peak of their musical prowess, and Burdon — taking on virtually the role of a modern rapper — generating some real power on some surprisingly cynical lyrics concerning the search for spiritual fulfillment and leaders. "St. James Infirmary" recalls "House of the Rising Sun," as both a song and an arrangement, and is worthwhile just for the experience of hearing this version of the group going full-tilt as a rock band. And then there is "New York 1963 — America 1968," an 18-minute conceptual track with a center spoken word section featuring not a group member, but a black engineer named Cliff, who recalls his experience as a fighter pilot during World War II, and tells of poverty then and now — although the opening section starts off well enough musically, amid Burdon's sung recollections of coming to America and his fixation on the blues and black music in general, and the closing repetition of the word "freedom" anticipates Richie Havens' famed piece (actually an extension of "Motherless Child") from Woodstock, the track is too long and unwieldy for any but the most fanatical listener to absorb as more than a curiosity of its time...
Here

7 comments:

Gerard said...

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Love the Animals.
Zim

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I was looking for this one!

Tommy C said...

Thanks for this Animals. I was a fan but I guess that I had given up on them by this time - my loss. Do you happen to have the Eric Burdon album "I Used To Be An Animal"? That's another that I'm curious to hear. Thanks again. You have a great blog and I appreciate all of the great stuff that you post.

mtn.charley said...

Man do I remember this one. Year of the Guru + White Houses are vibrant, letter perfects rock rants. The 19 minute closer I've listened to many times. I've always found it strangely compelling. I love the stuff about the European immigrant finding his spiritual homeland by visiting the Apollo Theater at 128th St. if I recall correctly.
At first I didn’t care much for the album in it’s entirety. Now however, like Winds of Change & at a lesser extent the Sky Pilot album I find these late era Animal tracks a fascinating projection of Eric Burdon’s inner life.
Awhile after this was released I was lucky enough to see EB live w. War on a 1 foot high stage at the dual stage Family Dog by the Sea. Eric B was wearing a long African garment rather like a Moo-Moo, though I know this isn’t the correct name, I don’t know what is. This was the earliest War material, stuff like Roll On Kirk, that later appeared on the fist LP.
Family Dog By the Sea was Helms new venue after Bill graham was successfully at diving his original venue, the Avalon Ballroom out of downtown San Francisco by means of a newspaper drive smear campaign printing stories of urination, drug taking & drinking going on in the line outside the Avalon. Such were the Underground Politics after the Bummer of Love.

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Anonymous said...

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