Initially, the Animals' Retrospective looks like just another greatest-hits compilation recycling the same old tracks already easily available elsewhere. Yawn! Yet, on closer inspection, there's a big difference with this particular set. These 22 tracks are taken from the ABKCO masters and utilize Direct Stream Digital (DSD), containing both CD and Super Audio CD layers. ABKCO initially previewed this technology with much fanfare on the Rolling Stones' reissues of 2003. That excellence is again applied here and the material undeniably sparkles. The first incarnation of the band with Mickie Most's production is represented by what have to be the cleanest recordings heard yet of favorites like "House of the Rising Sun," "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," and "Don't Bring Me Down." However, it's the psychedelic phase of the band, when they became Eric Burdon & the Animals, that the DSD really kicks. Every nuance present, and sometimes hidden, on a song like "San Franciscan Nights," or "Monterey," in which the horns noticeably jump out at you, or the battle sequence on "Sky Pilot," is incredibly vivid whether you're using high-tech gear or an average playback unit. Even if you've heard these tracks a zillion times, this ABKCO release gets you as close to hearing studio playback as you're likely to get!
AllMusic Review by Al Campbell