The Animals: Eric Victor Burdon (vocals); Alan Price (guitar, piano, organ, vibes, bass); Hilton Stuart Patterson Valentine (guitar); Bryan James "Chas" Chandler (bass); John Steel (drums).
When ABKCO Records acquired the U.S. rights to the Animals' 1964-1965 recordings produced by Mickie Most, they resurrected the title and artwork (and even the catalog number) of the classic MGM-issued Best of the Animals compilation from 1966. But as 1987 was the era of the CD, with its longer running time, they felt compelled to make some changes -- in addition to adding 15 more minutes of material, upping the the track list from 11 to 15 in the process, they also re-ordered all of it so that "House of the Rising Sun" led off the album, instead of being in the middle (at the end of side one on the original LP), though it was still the unedited 4:29 version, which had graced the original LP. What they did change was to pull a couple of songs -- "Roberta," which wasn't considered a great loss, and also the U.S. version of "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place." The latter, made from a tape of an outtake (an accident by EMI, copying the wrong take and sending it to MGM in America), had reached the Top 20 -- it was replaced with the U.K. version. The latter was generally not considered as good as the American rendition, and the opinion was strong enough so that when ABKCO released another compilation, Retrospective, in 2004, the American-released version of the song was restored. Otherwise, the additions, including "The Story of Bo Diddley," "Dimples," and "Around and Around," were considered enhancements. And this is a good collection to start out with the band, though one might do better with EMI's Complete Animals two-CD set of the same label's 2000-vintage The Best of the Animals, both of which include the epic uncut seven-minute version of "Talkin' 'Bout You" (from which the familiar under-two-minute cut was distilled). ~ Bruce Eder