Saturday, 25 March 2017

"The Complete Animals" by THE ANIMALS (July 1990 EMI 2CD Reissue - No Noise Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

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"…It's My Life And I'll Do What I Want…"

After nearly 25 years of CD reissues The Animals back catalogue still frustrates – especially when it comes to price and sound. There are other reissues that offer more for sure (and man do some of them cost), but none that do the job so thoroughly as this early 2CD retrospective from EMI. It covers the Newcastle R’n’B band’s rocking beginnings with EMI’s Columbia Records (MGM in the USA) between 1964 and 1965 – Production by Mickie Most. It used the NoNoise Sonic Solutions process for remasters and achieved great results too. Here is a detailed show of what’s on offer (with a Discography)…

UK released July 1990 – "The Complete Animals" by THE ANIMALS is a 2CD set on EMI Records CD EM 1367 (Barcode 0077779461325) breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (65:36 minutes):
1. Boom Boom
2. Talkin’ ‘Bout You (Full Version)
3. Blue Feeling (Previously Unreleased In The UK)
4. Dimples
5. Baby Let Me Take You Home
6. Gonna Send You Back To Walker
7. Baby What’s Wrong (Previously Unreleased)
8. The House Of The Rising Sun
9. F-E-E-L (Previously Unreleased)
10. I’m Mad Again
11. The Right Time
12. Around And Around
13. I’m In Love Again
14. Bury My Body
15. She Said Yeah
16. I’m Crying
17. Take It Easy
18. The Story Of Bo Diddley
19. The Girl Can’t Help It
20. I’ve Been Around

Disc 2 (60:14 minutes):
1. Memphis Tennessee
2. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
3. Club-A-Gogo
4. Roadrunner
5. Hallelujah I Love Her So
6. Don’t Want Much (Previously Unreleased)
7. I Believe To My Soul
8. Let The Good Times Roll
9. Mess Around
10. How You’ve Changed
11. I Ain’t Got You
12. Roberta
13. Bright Lights Big City
14. Worried Life Blues
15. Bring It On Home To Me
16. For Miss Caulker
17. I Can’t Believe It
18. We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place
19. It’s My Life
20. I’m Going To Change The World

Outside of the FOUR tracks noted in the lists above as being ‘Previously Unreleased’ – the remainder of the 37 songs on this 2CD set will allow fans to digitally line up THE ANIMALS years with Columbia Records in the UK and MGM Records in the USA between 1964 and 1965 – non-album singles and both of their UK albums complete. You can sequence them as follows [17/1 = Track 17 on Disc 1, 2/2 = Track 2 on Disc 2 etc]:

1. Baby Let Me Take You Home [4/1] b/w Gonna Send You Back To Walker [6/1] – April 1964 UK 7” on Columbia DB 7247 and September 1964 USA 7” on MGM K 13242. Note: USA had “Gonna Send You Back To Walker” as the A with “Baby…” on the B.

2. The House Of The Rising Sun [8/1] b/w Talkin’ ‘Bout You [2/1] – June 1964 UK 7” on Columbia DB 7301 and July 1964 USA 7” on MGM K 13264. Note: the single mix of “Talkin’ ‘Bout You” runs to less than 2 minutes; this CD provides the ‘Full Version’ at over seven minutes.

3. I’m Crying [16/1] b/w Take It Easy [17/1] – September 1964 UK 7” on Columbia DB 7354 and October 1964 USA 7” on MGM K 13274.
4. Boom Boom [1/1] b/w Blue Feeling [3/1] – November 1964 USA 7” MGM Records K 13298 [No UK release]

5. Don’t Let Me Misunderstood [2/2] b/w Club A-Gogo [3/2] – January 1965 UK 7” single on Columbia DB 7445 and February 1965 USA 7” on MGM K 13311

6. Bring It On Home To Me [15/2] b/w For Miss Caulker [16/2] – April 1965 UK 7” on Columbia DB 7539 and May 1965 USA 7” on MGM K 13339

7. We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place [18/2] b/w I Can’t Believe It [17/2] – July 1965 UK 7” on Columbia DB 7741 and August 1965 USA 7” on MGM K 13382

8. It’s My Life [19/2] b/w I’m Gonna Change The World [20/2] – October 1965 UK 7” on Columbia DB 7741 and November 1965 USA 7” on MGM K 13414

“The Animals”, October 1964 UK LP on Columbia 33SX 1669
Side 1.
1. Story Of Bo Diddley [18/1]
2. Bury My Body [14/1]
3. Dimples [4/1]
4. I’ve Been Around [20/1]
5. I’m In Love Again [13/1]
6. The Girl Can’t Help It [19/1]
Side 2:
1. I’m Mad Again [10/1]
2. She Said Yeah [15/1]
3. The Right Time [11/1]
4. Memphis [1/2]
5. Boom Boom [1/1]
6. Around And Around [12/1]

“Animal Tracks”, May 1965 UK LP on Columbia 33SX 1708
Side 1:
1. Mess Around [9/2]
2. How You’ve Changed [10/2]
3. Hallelujah I Love Her So [5/2]
4. I Believe To My Soul [7/2]
5. Worried Life Blues [14/2]
6. Roberta [12/2]
Side 2:
1. I Ain’t Got You [11/2]
2. Bright Lights Big City [13/2]
3. Let The Good Times Roll [8/2]
4. For Miss Caulker [16/2]
5. Roadrunner [4/2]

The piddly 8-page inlay is a strangely disorganised affair even by today’s standards. The tracks are listed across two pages with no discography info (you can’t work out what track is on what) - Disc 2 is typed over Disc 1 in error and worse there’s a Track 21 listed on the rear sleeve for Disc 2 (not in the booklet) called “New Year Radio Spot” but it never turns up! But it has to be said that BRIAN HOGG’s densely packed essay (a deep appraisal of the band) is great - as are the three colour photos depicting sheet music and magazine covers with a broody ERIC BURDON giving his best cowboy stare. Outside of the NoNoise Logo and explanation on the rear of the double jewel case as to the process (removing hiss from tapes) – it doesn’t say who did what or where –but the sonic results are great - packing real punch and clarity. What’s missing of course is the natural air surrounding the recordings - breathing like they did on those original vinyl records - so some might find the cleanliness a little ’too’ sterile in places.

Musically the Blues, R’n’B and Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes of John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry loom large over every tune with a smattering of Jimmy Reed and even Louis Jordan. The American only B-side of “Blue Feeling” is a welcome inclusion as is the hopping R’n’B of the shockingly good Previously Unreleased “F-E-E-L” and “Don’t Want Much”. Great album tracks include “Bury My Body” and the very Stones Blues of “I’m Mad Again” where Alan Price’s wicked organ runs sound like the Doors a year before they happened. "Roberta" is great Sixties Rock 'n' Roll and I still get a kick out of that bass intro to “We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place”. Another nugget is their take on Chet Attkins “It’s My Life” which they instil with a kicking Kinks guitar-vibe (lyrics above).

Their stay at Decca for “Animalisms” and “Animalization” in 1966 is the subject of other CD reissues. But if you want to know why Them and The Animals elicited such homegrown excitement in the UK – then this is a sonically cool/slightly flawed place to start…

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