Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy birthday, Alan Price

It's Alan Price's birthday today; Alan was one of the founders of the Animals, an important group from the British Invasion during the time of Beatlemania in 1964 and '65.

That's Alan whipping out the incomparable electric organ solo on "House Of the Rising Sun," a huge hit of the day. Unfortunately, his solo was edited from the single played on radio, but you can see it here from a color film of the song.

Eric Burdon is singing lead. The big guy is Chas Chandler, who went into producing music and introduced Jimi Hendrix to the world. The Animals was an all-around great band, with three elements I think keep their songs sounding great even today: Burdon's powerful voice, Chandler's great bass lines, and Price's inspired playing.

Vocally, Price could belt it out, too, as shown in his version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You." Price was also one of the first artists to cover the uniquely eccentric American songwriter Randy Newman, here with "Simon Smith and The Amazing Dancing Bear."

So, happy 68th birthday Alan!

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