Eric Burdon and the Animals: Before rock ’n’ roll was big business

Published November 18, 2014 by Sherry Carroll

Montreal Gazette

It has become difficult for pop or rock artists to imagine a time when the industry, producers and surefire hooks didn’t necessarily drive the recording process.

But when the Animals on Tour was released, rock ’n’ roll had yet to become big business, few listeners knew what a producer was and a group like the Animals could have a hit single with an electrified folk standard, then follow it up with an album of pretty much undiluted blues and R&B.

House of the Rising Sun had been the first non-Beatles British Invasion No. 1 hit in America in 1964. One might have expected pressure from the band’s label to keep the chart-topping momentum going, perhaps with the help of a hot songwriting team. Instead, their second album, the 1965 long-player The Animals On Tour — a studio album in spite of the title — was filled with covers of songs by the…

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