The Animals

Blues Years

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This is actually a bootleg re-release of the group's 1966 Animalism album, enhanced with the presence of eight bonus tracks. The title is a kind of non sequitur (when did any version of the Animals totally abandon blues?), but it resurrects the really cool cover shot off of Animalism. The bonus cuts, some of which have shown up on Raven Records' Roadrunners CD, are attributed to live BBC sessions and include the 1966 Animals lineup as well as the subsequent version of the band: Eric Burdon and Barry Jenkins with Vic Briggs, John Wieder, and Danny McCulloch. The bonus songs include "Heartbreak Hotel," "Corinna, Corinna," "Inside Looking Out," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Jailhouse Rock," "When I Was Young," and "San Franciscan Nights." The quality is generally good to excellent throughout on the studio and the live tracks, and in the absence of an authorized reissue of Animalism -- which, ironically, is the best album the original group ever recorded -- this is the only way to get the material.