Monday, July 2, 2012

Eric Burdon And The Animals - Eric Is Here (1967 uk, classic psych blues rock)



This album made during the transition between the original Animals and the new line-up, the title of Eric Burdon & the Animals is sort of a misnomer. For the most part, the songs were Eric Burdon backed by the Horace Ott Orchestra, to add to the general confusion surrounding this material, some of it seems to have been recorded with the original Animals, or at sessions conducted while they were still together.
The reason Ott was on Eric is Here is that it was released during a gap between the time the original configuration of The Animals broke up and a new one could be put together, hence the stand-in band. It doesn't sound much like either version of the Animals and it is certainly not representative of their image. It does however demonstrate Burdon's vocal range and expression. The opening "In the Night" may be the best song but "Help Me Girl" was actually a top 40 hit in the U.S. In a way most of the songs remind me of several soundtracks from movies made in the sixties. Eric's voice singing orchestrated pop songs this isn't really that bad of an album in a novel sort of way,songs are jazzy, orchestrated pop that contains influence from the Beach Boys primarily Pet Sounds. It also has a soul/ Motown feel to it with a touch of Otis Redding and country Jerry Lee Lewis. Eric's vocals are very impassioned and he sings with conviction in interepting these songs like Billie Holiday (one of his idols) and Frank Sinatra.

Eric is Here (LP) USA 1967 - MGM Records Issued in stereo (SE-4433) and mono (E-4433) versions with minor variation to wording on LP covers.
The recordings on this album are credited to Eric Burdon & The Animals. The Animals had however already disintegrated and the new line up (to be known as Eric Burdon & The Animals) had not yet been put together. The tracks were recorded by Eric Burdon with Barry Jenkins on drums and various studio musicians before Weider, Briggs and McCulloch were recruited.

Produced by Tom Wilson. Reached #121 on US charts. Re-relesed in CD format in USA (One Way Records OW31376).

The album features the work of various very serious songwriting talent of the day, with Burdon on vocals backed up by the orchestra. Tracks are as follows:

Tracks
1. In the Night (Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart )
2. Mama Told Me Not To Come (Randy Newman )
3. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today (Randy Newman)
4. On This Side of Goodbye (Carole King and Gerry Goffin )
5. That Ain't Where It's At (Martin Siegel)
6. True Love (Comes Only Once In A Lifetime) (Bob Haley and Neval Nader)
7. Help Me Girl (Scott English and Lawrence Weiss )
8. Wait Till Next Year (Randy Newman)
9. Losin' Control (Carl D'Errico and Roger Atkins)
10.It's Not Easy (Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil )
11.The Biggest Bundle of Them All (Richie Cordell and Sal Trimachi )
12.It's Been A Long Time Comin' (Joe Brooks and Jimmy Radcliffe)

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