The Animals

The Best of the Animals [Abkco]

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There had been so many compilations of the Animals' hits by 2000, between England and America and the various labels that had owned the rights to their catalog, that this single-CD, 20-song collection mostly passed listeners by without much notice. But it is worth owning, and not just for the generally good sound -- there are lots of excellent-sounding CDs on the Animals' work out there. The appeal lies in the programming, which is confined primarily to the group's Mickie Most-produced EMI catalog -- the only exceptions are the Tom Wilson-produced "Don't Bring Me Down" and "Inside-Looking Out" that close the CD). But included here, apparently for the first time on a hits compilation, is the seven-minute uncut "Talkin' 'Bout You," an epic performance that rates alongside he band's best released work of the '60s, which first surfaced on the 1990 double-CD Complete Animals. Its presence elevates this collection above most of the competing hits assemblies devoted to this band.

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