Rolling Stone - p.1924 stars out of 5
- "The Animals were the most authentic-sounding R&B band to emerge from the British Invasion of the mid-Sixties....An essential collection."
Rolling Stone - p.154
Included in Rolling Stone's The 10 Best Reissues & Anthologies Of 2004 - "The Animals finally get a best-of set that shows off the breadth and ferocity of their Sixties-hit streak..."
The Animals: Alan Price (keyboards); Chas Chandler (bass instrument); Eric Burdon, John Steel , Hilton Valentine.
Personnel: Eric Burdon (vocals); John Weider (guitar, violin); Vic Briggs (guitar, piano, vibraphone); Howard H. Scott, Hilton Valentine (guitar); Charles Miller (flute); Royal Scots Guard Pipe And Drum Marching Band (bagpipe, percussion); Lee Oskar (harmonica); Alan Price (piano, organ); Lonnie Jordan, Dave Rowberry (organ); Barry Jenkins (drums, percussion); Harold Brown , John Steel (drums); Thomas R. Allen, Jr. (percussion).
Additional personnel: War.
Audio Remixers: Eddie Kramer; Gary Kellgren; Vic Briggs.
Liner Note Author: Jim Bessman.
Recording information: Kingsway Recording Studio, London, England (01/22/1964-??/??/1970); Mayfair Recording Studio, New York, NY (01/22/1964-??/??/1970); RCA Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/22/1964-??/??/1970); Sunset-Highland Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (01/22/1964-??/??/1970); Wally Heider Recording Studio, San Francisco, CA (01/22/1964-??/??/1970).
Arrangers: Vic Briggs; Horace Ott; Dave Rowberry.
Today the most recognition the Animals get is "House of the Rising Sun" being played on oldies radio, but in the mid-1960s they were a powerful part of the British Invasion, often reckoned on a par with the Beatles, the Stones, and the Who. Like those bands, the Animals had strong roots in blues and R&B, but, in their original incarnation, they stayed closer to those roots than their peers did. This definitive compilation, masterfully assembled by the ABKCO think tank of Teri Landi and Jody Klein, shows the tough, uncompromising use to which the Animals put their American influences. John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" is recast as a raw garage rocker glazed with Alan Price's sinister organ riffs, and the aforementioned "House of the Rising Sun" is transformed from a traditional folk lament to an urgent, ominous piece of churning tumult.
Of course, the group skillfully expanded those roots (with the help of some great writers), and turned out some classic working-class-rebel anthems ("We Gotta Get Out of This Place," "It's My Life"). By '67, the original lineup disbanded, and Eric Burdon led a new batch of Animals into a psychedelic West Coast sound ("San Franciscan Nights," "Monterey"). The Animals may not be given pride of place in the rock history books, but RETROSPECTIVE shows that they fully deserve it.