The Animals

The House of the Rising Sun

Composed by Alan Price / Traditional

Song Review by

Few folk songs rank higher in the pantheon of traditional music than "House of the Rising Sun." The song's origins are believed to date back to the 17th century, and folk song collector Alan Lomax noted that part of the song's melody may have been borrowed from "Lord Barnard and Little Musgrove." "House of the Rising Sun" was widely known in the South, but spread more rapidly following recordings by singers like Alger "Texas" Alexander (1928) and Roy Acuff (1938). Leadbelly included the song in his repertoire, and a number of singers -- Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott -- recorded it during the early to mid-'60s. For most people at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, however, "House of the Rising Sun" was a big hit for the Animals in 1964 (and an early version of folk-rock). The meaning of the "rising sun" differed from version to version, from a house of prostitution to a prison. In either case, the singer warns that a miserable life awaits anyone who follows his or her example. Given its lurid story -- a drunken gambling father or husband, a misspent youth, and a train ride to the "rising sun" -- combined with an evocative chord pattern, "House of the Rising Sun" remains popular on oldies radio stations.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Animals [US] 1964 ABKCO Records 4:31
Most of the Animals [LP] 1966
The Best of the Animals [Abkco] 1966 ABKCO Records / Abko
No Image 1974
Original Soundtrack
Arista 2:27
The Animals [Compilation] 1983 EMI Music Distribution 4:29
Rip It to Shreds: Their Greatest Hits Live 1984 I.R.S. Records 4:11
Legends [DCC] 1986
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
The EP Collection 1988 See For Miles Records 4:29
Our Generation 1989
Various Artists
Telly Disc 4:27
The Complete Animals 1990 EMI Digital / Parlophone 4:29
The Sullivan Years: British Invasion 1990
Various Artists
TVT
No Image 1991
Various Artists
RCA
No Image 1991
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
House of the Rising Sun [BR Music] 1994 BR Music 4:31
The Singles Plus 1994 EMI Digital / Parlophone 4:29
Best Sixties Album in the World Ever 1995
Various Artists
Alex 4:28
Basic Original Hits 1995 Disky 4:30
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [1996] 1996
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:28
The Best of the Animals [K-Tel] 1997 Dominion / K-Tel Distribution 4:28
Greatest Hits Live! 1997 Castle Music Ltd. 4:10
Totally 60's 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Columbia
The Most of the Animals 1998 EMI Digital / Parlophone 4:29
The Best of the Best [Insight] 1998
Various Artists
Insight (3)
40 Hits: 1960-1964 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 4:29
Millennium Box Set 1999
Various Artists
Disky 4:30
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
Hits at Planet Earth 2000
Various Artists
Planet Earth Recordings 4:30
Best of the 60's 2000 Disky 4:30
Animals [Mastersound] 2000 Mastersong / Mastersound
The Best Pub Jukebox in the World...Ever! 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 4:29
The Woodstock Generation: Wonderful World Beautiful People 2001
Various Artists
Woodstock Records 4:29
Totally Number 1 Hits of the 60s 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
Totally Groovy 60's: 1963-1966 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
Capital Gold Legends 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
American Bandstand 2001
Various Artists
Band Stand 4:28
Simply the Best of the 60's [2001 Single Disc] 2001
Various Artists
Sony Music
No Image 2001
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Complete Collection 2001
Various Artists
Disky 4:29
Radio Caroline Calling 60's Flashback 2001
Various Artists
Disky
45's: 45 Classic No. 1's 2001
Various Artists
BMG
Sounds of the Sixties: Superhits 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
All-Time Greatest Hits [K-Tel] 2002 K-Tel Distribution 4:30
House of the Rising Sun [Brentwood] 2002 Time Music 4:27
The Ultimate Gangster Movie Soundtrack 2002
Various Artists
BMG
Up the Junction: 60 Original 1960's British Classics 2002
Various Artists
Disky 4:29
Totally 60's: The Essential 60's Beat Album 2002
Various Artists
EMI 4:30
Up the Junction [CD2] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 4:29
A's, B's & EP's 2003 EMI Music Distribution 4:27
Sixties Number 1's 2003
Various Artists
EMI
Absolute Animals 1964-1968 2003 Raven 4:29
Triple Value: Sixties 2003
Various Artists
Red X
Box of Rock 2003
Various Artists
Import 4:31
Highway Rock Classics 2003
Various Artists
Disky
Singers and Songwriters: 1960-1964 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Tobacco Road: Beat Generation 2004
Various Artists
Disky 4:29
Gold Collection: Oldies Party Songs 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 5:00
Happy Days of Rock 'n' Roll 60s [Bonus DVD] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 4:57
Capital Gold Rock Legends 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
20 Best of Rockin' 60's 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 4:57
Let's Dance: Pure 60's Summer Oldies 2004
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP
Retrospective 2004 ABKCO Records 4:32
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony BMG 4:27
The Original Sixties Album 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:28
Happy Days of Rock 'n' Roll 60s - Disc 1 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 4:57
Best Sixties Party 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:31
Best #1 Singles in the World Ever 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
Brit Pop 2005
Various Artists
Double Pleasure
Gunsight 2005 Akarma
The Ultra Selection 2005 Disky 4:29
20 UK No. 1's from the 60s 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:30
Highway Classics 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Cool Britannia [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Totally #1 of the 60's 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:30
I Love Music 1960-1964: Shakin All Over 2005
Various Artists
Disky 4:29
Hits of the 60's [Dynamic] 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Complete Sixties 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:31
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 4:29
Radio Vietnam: Music of a Generation 2005
Various Artists
Disky Classics 4:29
Original 60's Number 1's Album 2006
Various Artists
EMI 4:28
Greatest Hits of the 60's 2006
Various Artists
Disky 4:29
The Animals [Odeon] 2006 Toshiba EMI
K-Tel Presents: The Animals 2006 Brentwood Records 4:31
Very Best of Heartbeat 2006
Various Artists
EMI/Virgin TV
No Image 2006
Various Artists
Rock Legends [EMI 1] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:28
Animals Story 1964-1967 2007 Magic France
Hits of the 60's: The Ultimate Collection 2007
Various Artists
Red Box 4:25
101 60's Hits [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
Where Were You: 1964 2007
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:28
Cavern: The Most Famous Club in the World 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:30
Die Hit Giganten, Vol. 23 2007
Various Artists
Sbm Records / Sony BMG 4:30
Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:31
Top of the Pops 1964 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:29
Flower Power: Time of the Season [Time Life #2] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:30
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP 4:28
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Cheap O Lata / WG Productions
101 Driving Songs 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 4:28
Dad's Jukebox 2008
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 4:29
Platinum 2008 EMD Int'l 4:32
This Is 1964 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 4:30
Rock'n'pop Ballads 2008
Various Artists
ZYX / ZYX Music 4:32
Bild Oldies [2008] 2008
Various Artists
Sbm Records 4:29
Sounds of the 60's Generation 2008
Various Artists
Destra 4:30
100 Essential Tracks: No. 1 Hits 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:30
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [2009] 2009
Various Artists
EMI 4:28
Good Vibrations [EMI] 2011
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:29
100 Hits: Classic 60s 2011
Various Artists
100 Hits / EMI 4:29
Massive Hits! Sixties 2011
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Gold 4:29
The  Very Best of the Animals 2012 ABKCO Records 4:31
Plug It In! Turn It Up! Electric Blues - The Definitive Collection, Pt. 3: 1960-1969 2012
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 4:30
Now That's What I Call a No. 1 2012
Various Artists
EMI / Joint Venture 4:28
100 Hits: UK No. 1s 2012
Various Artists
100 Hits 4:29
The Mickie Most Years and More 2013 Real Gone Music 4:31
Ultimate Collection: 60s Classics [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square / Universal 4:29
Silence Is Golden 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music 4:29
20 Moments Magiques 2016
Various Artists
Les Disques Creation
Greatest Hits Ever! 2017
Various Artists
Stargrove
'60s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 4:29
101 Sixties Party Hits
Various Artists
EMI 4:29
Air Guitar Anthems [UMOD]
Various Artists
UMOD
No Image Rak
Best of British [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:28
No Image
Various Artists
Mastersong
Box of Rock [Disc 4]
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 4:31
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 4:32
Car-aoke: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 4:29
No Image
Various Artists
Phantom Records (England)
No Image
Various Artists
Eurotrend 4:23
Happy & Glorious
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 4:29
Hits, Vols. 1-2: '60s, '70s, '80s
Various Artists
Mediterrano
No Image
Various Artists
Disky
Mélodies en Or, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Polygram
No Image
Various Artists
4:31
No1s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino
Number 1 Hits of the 60s
Various Artists
Legend 4:39
Power Ballads: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / WSM 4:29
RTL Jazz: La Collection (Blues)
Various Artists
Blue Note
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 4:32
Romantic Collection, Vol. 1: Millennium Edition
Various Artists
Umbrella
Sounds of the Sixties: Number Ones
Various Artists
EMI Gold / EMI Music Distribution 4:29
The  Hits That Rocked the Airwaves
Various Artists
Universal 4:30
The Best Ever Road Trip
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image
Various Artists
Life Music / Time / Time Life / Time/Life Music
Tio I Topp 1963-64, Vol. 2
Various Artists
EMI
Top of the Pops: 1964-1969
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:29
Ultimate '60s Pop Classics
Various Artists
Rhino
Vol. 1-Capital Gold Legends
Various Artists
Virgin
Vol. 2-Jim Beam-40 Shots of Rock-2nd Shout
Various Artists
Festival Records
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