Friday, October 30, 2015

Legends of Rock: Eric Burdon

About: Eric Burdon

Eric Victor Burdon (born 11 May 1941) is an English singer-songwriter best known as a member and vocalist of rock band the Animals and the funk band, War and for his aggressive stage performance. He was ranked 57th in Rolling Stone's list The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

The Animals

Burdon was lead singer of the Animals, formed during 1962 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The original band was the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which formed in 1958; they became The Animals shortly after Burdon joined the band. The Animals combined electric blues with rock and in the USA were one of the leading bands of the British Invasion. Along with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, the Dave Clark Five, and the Kinks, the group introduced British music and fashion. Burdon's powerful voice can be heard on the Animals' singles "The House of the Rising Sun", "Sky Pilot", "Monterey", "I'm Crying", "Boom Boom", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Bring It On Home to Me", "Baby Let Me Take You Home", "It's My Life", "We Gotta Get out of This Place", "Don't Bring Me Down", and "See See Rider".

By late 1966, the other original members, including keyboardist Alan Price, had left. Burdon has often attributed the disintegration of the band to conflict with Price, specifically that Price had claimed sole rights and ownership to “House of the Rising Sun.” Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins reformed the group as Eric Burdon and The Animals. This more psychedelic incarnation featured future Family member John Weider and was sometimes called Eric Burdon and the New Animals. Keyboardist Zoot Money joined during 1968 until they split up in 1969. This group's hits included the ballad "San Franciscan Nights", the grunge–heavy metal-pioneering "When I Was Young", "Monterey", the anti-Vietnam anthem "Sky Pilot", and the progressive cover of "Ring of Fire".

In 1975, the original Animals reunited and recorded an album called Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted, released in 1977 and overlooked due to the dawning of punk. In May 1983, The Animals reunited with their original line-up and released the album Ark on 16 June 1983, along with the singles "The Night" and "Love Is For All Time". A world tour followed, and the concert at Wembley Arena, London, recorded on 31 December 1983, was released in 1984 as Rip it to Shreds. Their concert at the Royal Oak Theatre in April 1984 was released in 2008 as Last Live Show; the band members were augmented by Zoot Money, Nippy Noya, Steve Gregory, and Steve Grant. The original Animals broke up for the last time at the end of 1984.


During 1969, while living in San Francisco, Burdon joined forces with Californian funk rock band War. In April 1970, the resulting album created was entitled, Eric Burdon Declares "War", which produced the singles "Spill the Wine" and "Tobacco Road".

A two-disc set entitled “The Black-Man's Burdon”, was released later in September 1970. The singles from the double album, "Paint It, Black" and "They Can't Take Away Our Music", had moderate success during 1971. During this time Burdon collapsed on the stage during a concert caused by an asthma attack, and War continued the tour without him.

In 1976, a compilation album, Love Is All Around, released by ABC Records, included recordings of Eric Burdon with War doing a live version of "Paint it, Black" and a cover of The Beatles song "A Day in the Life." The band also featured ex-NFL star Deacon Jones who coined the term "quarterback sack" and sang on the band's 1975 song "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

Eric Burdon and War were reunited for the first time in 37 years, to perform an Eric Burdon & War reunion at the concert at the Royal Albert Hall London on 21 April 2008. The concert coincided with a major reissue campaign by Rhino Records (UK), which released all the War albums including Eric Burdon Declares "War" and The Black-Man's Burdon.

Solo Career

Burdon began a solo career in 1971 with the Eric Burdon Band, continuing with a hard rock–heavy metal–funk style. In August 1971, he recorded the album Guilty! which featured the blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon, and also Ike White of the San Quentin Prison Band. In 1973, the band performed at the Reading Festival and in 1974 they travelled to New York City. At the end of 1974, the band released the album Sun Secrets and this was followed by the album Stop in 1975. Burdon moved to Germany in 1977 and recorded the album Survivor with a line-up including guitarist Alexis Korner and keyboardist Zoot Money; the album also had a line-up of four guitarists and three keyboard players and is known for its interesting album cover, which depicts Burdon screaming. The album was produced by former Animal's bassist Chas Chandler. The original release included a booklet of illustrated lyrics done in ink by Burdon himself.

In May 1978, he recorded the album Darkness Darkness at the Roundwood House in County Laois, Republic of Ireland, using Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio and featuring guitarist and vocalist Bobby Tench from the Jeff Beck Group, who had left Streetwalkers a few months before. The album was eventually released in 1980. During January 1979, Burdon changed his band for a tour taking in Hamburg, Germany, and the Netherlands.

On 28 August 1982, "The Eric Burdon Band" including Red Young (keyboards) performed at the Rockpalast Open Air Concert in Lorelei, Germany. Following this Burdon toured heavily with his solo project from March 1984 to March 1985, taking in UK, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Canada and Australia. In 1986, Burdon published his autobiography entitled I Used To Be An Animal, But I'm Alright Now.

In March 1979, he played a concert in Cologne and changed the band's name to "Eric Burdon's Fire Department", whose line-up included backing vocalist Jackie Carter of Silver Convention, Bertram Engel of Udo Lindenberg's "Panik Orchester" and Jean-Jaques Kravetz. In mid 1980, they recorded the album The Last Drive. "Eric Burdon's Fire Department" toured Europe with this line-up and Paul Millins and Louisiana Red made special appearances in Spain and Italy. By December 1980, the band had broken up.

In April 1981, Christine Buschmann began to film Comeback with Burdon as the star. They created a new "Eric Burdon Band" whose line-up included Louisiana Red, Tony Braunagle, John Sterling and Snuffy Walden. This band recorded live tracks in Los Angeles. They also recorded in Berlin with another line-up, the only remaining member being John Sterling. In September 1981, the final scenes of Comeback were shot in the Berlin Metropole and Burdon and his band continued to tour through Australia and North America. A studio album titled Comeback was released in 1982. The 1983 album Power Company also included songs recorded during the Comeback project.

In 1988, he put together a band with 15 musicians including Andrew Giddings – keyboards, Steve Stroud – bass, Adrian Sheppard – drums, Jamie Moses – guitar and four backing vocalists to record the album I Used To Be An Animal in Malibu, in the United States. In 1990, Eric Burdon's cover version of "Sixteen Tons" was used for the film Joe Versus the Volcano. The song, which played at the beginning of the film, was also released as a single. He also recorded the singles "We Gotta Get out of this Place" with Katrina & The Waves and "No Man's Land" with Tony Carey and Anne Haigis. Later in 1990, he had a small line-up of an Eric Burdon Band featuring Jimmy Zavala (sax and harmonica), Dave Meros(bass), Jeff Naideau (keyboards), Thom Mooney (drums) and John Sterling (guitar) before he began a tour with The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and they appeared at a concert from Ventura Beach, California, which was released as a DVD on 20 June 2008.

On 13 April 2004, he released a "comeback" album, My Secret Life, which was his first album with new recordings for 16 years. When John Lee Hooker died in 2001, Burdon had written the song "Can't Kill the Boogieman" the co-writers of the songs, on the album, were Tony Braunagel and Marcelo Nova. In 2005, they released a live album, Athens Traffic Live, with special DVD bonus material and a bonus studio track and disbanded in November 2005. He began a short touring as "The Blues Knights".

On 27 January 2006, he released his blues–R&B album Soul of a Man. This album was dedicated to Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker. The cover of the album was a picture which was sent to Burdon a few years before. Burdon then formed a new band, with the following members: Red Young (keyboards), Paula O'Rourke (bass), Eric McFadden (guitar), Carl Carlton (guitar), and Wally Ingram (drums). They also performed at the Lugano Festival and in 2007 he toured as the headlining act of the "Hippiefest" line-up, produced and hosted by Country Joe McDonald.

Burdon, at 71, recorded an E.P. with Cincinnati garage band the Greenhornes called, simply, Eric Burdon & the Greenhornes. The album was recorded at an all-analogue recording studio, and released on 23 November 2012 as part of Record Store Day's "Black Friday."

In 2013, Eric Burdon came out with a new album called, “Til Your River Runs Dry”. The lead single off the album was called, "Water" and was inspired by a conversation he had with former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev.

Other Associations:

In 1991, Burdon and Brian Auger formed the "Eric Burdon – Brian Auger Band" with the following line-up: Eric Burdon – vocals, Brian Auger – keyboards, vocals, Dave Meros – bass, vocals, Don Kirkpatrick – guitar, vocals, and Paul Crowder – drums, vocals. By 1992, Larry Wilkins replaced Kirkpatrick and Karma Auger (Brian's son) replaced Crowder and in 1993 they added Richard Reguria (percussion). The live album Access All Areas was then released. In 1994 the "Eric Burdon – Brian Auger Band" disbanded. Burdon then formed the "Eric Burdon's i Band". The line-up included Larry Wilkins, Dean Restum (guitar), Dave Meros (bass) and Mark Craney (drums).

In 1995, Burdon made a guest appearance with Bon Jovi, singing "It's My Life"/"We Gotta Get out of This Place" medley at the Hall of Fame. He also released the album Lost Within the Halls of Fame, with past tracks and re-recordings of some songs from I Used to be an Animal. In October 1996, Aynsley Dunbar replaced Craney on drums. The Official Live Bootleg was recorded in 1997 and in May that year Larry Wilkins died of cancer. He also released the compilations Soldier of Fortune and I'm Ready which featured recordings from the 1970s and 1980s.

In 2000, he recorded the song "Power to the People" together with Ringo Starr and Billy Preston for the motion picture “Steal This Movie!”. On 11 May 2001, the Animals were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Burdon's 60th birthday. On 3 March 2002, the live album Live in Seattle was recorded. Ex-War member Lee Oskar made a guest appearance on the album. In 2003 he made a guest appearance on the album Joyous in the City of Fools by the Greek rock band Pyx Lax, singing lead vocal on "Someone Wrote 'Save me' On a Wall".

In 2001, his second critically acclaimed memoir, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," written with author/filmmaker J. Marshall Craig, was released in the US, followed by editions in Greece, Germany and Australia; it covers the British Invasion, moving to Los Angeles and Palm Springs, and various anecdotes about Rock and Roll stardom.

On 7 June 2008, Burdon performed at the memorial service of Bo Diddley in Gainesville, Florida. During July and August 2008, Burdon appeared as the headline act of the "Hippiefest". He also recorded the single "For What It's Worth" with Carl Carlton and Max Buskohl.

On 12 November 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Eric Burdon No. 57 on the list of the 100 Greatest Singers of all Time. On 22 January 2009 he first performed with his new band, including keyboardist Red Young, guitarist Rick Hirsch, bass player Jack Bryant and drummer Ed Friedland. For a few months he was sick and did not perform except in the United States. On 26 June, he began his European tour. The band included Red Young (keyboards), Billy Watts (guitar), Terry Wilson (bass), Brannen Temple (drums) and Georgia Dagaki (cretan lyra). The tour ended on 7 August.

On Monday 28 January 2013, Eric Burdon made a rare appearance performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, backed by the Roots. Fallon hyped Burdon's current album, 'Til Your River Runs Dry.

On Tuesday 23 July 2013, Eric was a guest on stage with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Cardiff Millennium Stadium, performing "We Gotta Get Out of This Place."

In August 2013, he toured with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.


The sound of The Animals influenced many Britpop, alternative rock and power pop groups as well as the bands Deep Purple, The Black Crowes, The Hives, Grand Funk Railroad, MC5, The White Stripes and his voice has been highly respected by many singers such as Jim Morrison, Robert Plant, Tom Petty, David Johansen, Joe Cocker, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Hunter, Ryan Adams, Julian Thome, Jack White, John Mellencamp and Dan Zanes.


The Animals

1964 - The Animals
1965 - The Animals on Tour
1965 - Animal Tracks
1966 - Animalisms
1977 - Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted
1983 - Ark

Eric Burdon & The Animals

1967 - Eric Burdon & The Animals
1967 - Winds of Change
1968 - The Twain Shall Meet
1968 - Every One of Us
1968 - Love Is

Eric Burdon & War

1970 - Eric Burdon Declares "War"
1970 - The Black-Man's Burdon (double album)
1976 - Love Is All Around – 1976, No. 140 US

Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon

1971 - Guilty! (Re-released in 1976 as "Black & White Blues")

The Eric Burdon Band

1974 - Sun Secrets
1975 - Stop
1982 - Comeback

Eric Burdon

1977 - Survivor
1980 - Darkness Darkness
1980 - The Last Drive
1983 - Power Company
1988 - I Used To Be An Animal
1995 - Lost Within the Halls of Fame
2004 - My Secret Life
2006 - Soul of a Man
2008 - Mirage
2012 - Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes
2013 - 'Til Your River Runs Dry

Live Albums:

1965 – In The Beginning
1973 – The Animals with Sonny Boy Williamson
1984 – Rip It To Shreds: Greatest Hits Live, No. 195 in US
1985 – That's Live
1993 – Access All Areas
1996 – Eric Burdon Live
1998 – Live at the Roxy
2000 – The Official Live Bootleg #1
2000 – The Official Live Bootleg #2
2001 – The Official Live Bootleg 2000
2002 – Live in Seattle 2002
2005 – Athens Traffic Live
2009 – Live 17th October 1974

“It’s My Life” – Live in Berlin 2015

Spill the Wine – Live Mill Valley, Sweetwater – 2015

Water – (Album: ‘Til Your River Runs Dry – 2013)

27 Forever - (Album: ‘Til Your River Runs Dry – 2013)

Memorial Day - (Album: ‘Til Your River Runs Dry – 2013)

Wait - (Album: ‘Til Your River Runs Dry – 2013)

The Devil & Jesus - (Album: ‘Til Your River Runs Dry – 2013)

Bo Diddley Special - (Album: ‘Til Your River Runs Dry – 2013)

Eric Burdon SXSW Interview – 2013

Out of My Mind – (EP: Eric Burdon & The Greenhornes – 2012)

Eric Burdon Interview - Montreal International Jazz Festival – 2010

Forty Days and Forty Nights - (Album: Soul of a Man – 2006)

Soul of a Man – Live at Lugano 2006 – (Album: Soul of a Man – 2006)

Never Give Up Blues – Live in Spain 2005 – (Album: Soul of a Man – 2006)

Can’t Kill the Boogieman - (Album: My Secret Life – 2004)

Factory Girl – (Album: My Secret Life – 2004)

Once Upon a Time – (Album: My Secret Life – 2004)

Broken Records - (Album: My Secret Life – 2004)

Eric Burdon - Interview with Jools Holland - (2002)

New Orleans Rap – (Album: Lost Within the Halls of Fame – 1995)

Going Back to Memphis – (Album: I Used to Be an Animal – 1988)

Run For Your Life - (Album: I Used to Be an Animal – 1988)

Leo’s Place - (Album: I Used to Be an Animal – 1988)

Heart Attack – Live UK TV Show Gas Tank 1982 – (Album: Power Company – 1983)

Take it Easy - (Album: Comeback – 1982)

It Hurts Me Too - (Album: Comeback – 1982)

No More Elmore – (Album: Comeback – 1982)

It’s Too Late – Live Loreley Germany – 1982 – (Album: Darkness Darkness - 1980)

Baby What’s Wrong – (Album: Darkness Darkness - 1980)

Cry to Me - (Album: Darkness Darkness - 1980)

Atom-Most-Fear – (Album: Last Drive – 1980)

Hollywood Woman (live Germany 1978) - (Album: Survivor – 1977)

Famous Flames - (Album: Survivor – 1977)

Rocky – (Album: Survivor – 1977)

The Eric Burdon Band – Rainbow – (Album: Stop – 1975)

The Eric Burdon Band – City Boy – (Album: Stop – 1975)

The Eric Burdon Band – Medley  “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood / Nina’s School” – (Album: Sun Secrets – 1974)

The Eric Burdon Band – The Real Me – (Album: Sun Secrets – 1974)

Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon – I’ve Been Driftin’/ Once Upon a Time – (Album: Guilty? – 1971)

Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon – Soledad – (Album: Guilty? – 1971)

Eric Burdon & Jimmy Witherspoon – Home Dream – (Album: Guilty? – 1971)

Eric Burdon & War – They Can’t Take Away Our Music – (Album: The Black-Man’s Burdon – 1970)

Eric Burdon Interview

Eric Burdon & War – Spill the Wine – (Album: Eric Burdon Declares “War” – 1970)

Eric Burdon & War – Tobacco Road – (Album: Eric Burdon Declares “War” – 1970)

River Deep Mountain High – (Album: Love is – 1968)

Monterey - (Album: The Twain Shall Meet - 1968)

Sky Pilot – (Album: The Twain Shall Meet - 1968)

Closer to the Truth - (Album: The Twain Shall Meet - 1968)

All is One - (Album: The Twain Shall Meet - 1968)

San Franciscan Nights – (Live in TV Studio) – (Album: Winds of Change – 1967)

Good Times - (Album: Winds of Change – 1967)

Poem By the Sea - (Album: Winds of Change – 1967)

When I was Young - (Single – 1967)

Help Me Girl - (Single – 1966)

See See Rider – (Single – 1966)

Inside Looking Out – (Single – 1966)

She’ll Return It - (Album: Animalisms – 1966)

You’re on My Mind – (Album: Animalisms – 1966)

We’ve Got to Get out of This Place – (Single – 1965)

It’s My Life – (Single – 1965)

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Live) – (Single – 1965)

Bring it on Home to Me – (Single - 1965)

Boom Boom – (Single – 1965)

For Miss Caulker - (Album: Animal Tracks – 1965)

Bright Lights Big City – (Album: Animal Tracks – 1965)

I’m Crying – (Single – 1964)

House of the Rising Sun – (Single – 1964)

Memphis Tennessee – (Album: The Animals – 1964)

I’m Mad Again - (Album: The Animals – 1964)

Dimples - (Album: The Animals – 1964)

The Story of Bo Diddley – (Album: The Animals – 1964)

Eric Burdon – Official Website
Eric Burdon - Wikipedia
Eric Burdon – Last FM
Eric Burdon - Facebook
Eric Burdon - Twitter
Eric Burdon – YouTube VEVO
Eric Burdon – Official Store
Eric Burdon - iTunes
Eric Burdon - Amazon

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