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Eric Burdon (Eric Burdon) - All about the musician: a complete biography

About the legendary vocalist...

Eric Burdon Story: Biography and Facts

Eric Burdon is known to the world not only as the frontman of the British band The Animals. The musician is reputed to be one of the greatest white-skinned blues performers ever to exist in the history of music!

Eric Burdon: Blues Founder of The House of the Rising Sun

Eric Burdon self-portrait, 1964
Eric Burdon self-portrait, 1964

Eric Burdon grew up in a poor family, so from childhood he was well acquainted with poverty and the shadow side of life: gambling, drugs, dubious companies. The pioneer of British rhythm and blues during the Second World War was born on May 11, 1941, in the industrial center of Newcastle upon Tyne in the north of England.

“From birth, I screamed blues songs so loud that they could be heard even during a Nazi air raid,” the musician once said in an interview with Hollywood Soapbox.

Success with The Animals

Eric Burdon (far left) and the Animals, 1966.
Eric Burdon (far left) and the Animals, 1966.

The mid-60s was the peak of their career for the blues team The Animals: the mega-hit "House of the Rising Sun" stormed the top charts in several countries, including the UK and the USA. The most interesting thing is that, according to Burdon himself, it took him about fifteen minutes to record this thing that thundered all over the world!

In addition to the "House of the Rising Sun", the group's repertoire is rich in other no less famous hits. A vivid example is "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", which later became the title for one of Burdon's many biographies, as well as the single "We Gotta Get Out This Place", which has become a kind of unofficial anthem for the team.

The departure of Alan Price and new changes

Alan Price, The Animals
Alan Price, The Animals

In 1965, their permanent keyboardist Alan Price left the band, at the same time taking the rights to the world-famous "House of the Rising Sun", which caused serious damage to the band. Until 1966, The Animals kept afloat with the last of their strength. With the departure of Price, the composition of the group constantly changed.

Once Burdon confessed to the Australian edition of the Sydney Morning Herald:

“When I first heard Muddy Waters, I was very young, but I firmly decided for myself what I wanted to do.”

In the early 60s, during the era of protests against racial segregation and the Vietnam War, Eric managed to make his dreams come true. In 1961, he performed with Alexis Corner's Blues Incorporated, which led him to meet keyboardist Alan Price. Later, the guys formed a fruitful tandem, as a result of which in 1963 the world learned about a new rhythm and blues ensemble - The Animals.

The era of drug addiction and career decline

Burdon went in a new direction and released "Eric Burdon and War" in 1969.
Burdon went in a new direction and released "Eric Burdon and War" in 1969.

In the late 60s, Burdon's repertoire was replenished with such pensions as "When I Was Young" and "Monterey". The latter, by the way, was dedicated to the musician's LSD trip to the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Perhaps it was drugs that became the determining factor that ultimately influenced both Burdon's success and his fall ...

In 1969, the singer met the group The Night Shift. He was fascinated by their funk blues, which inspired him to form his own new funk rock band War. Already with the release of the first album "Eric Burdon Declarations War", the team quickly gained popularity and recognition of the general public.

The beginning of the 70s was the period of the fall and career collapse of Burdon, and only in 1977 the blues performer was lucky. During those years, Eric settled with his wife and daughter in Germany, where American blues was once again making its way to the top of the music scene. After hearing the sound of Burdon, German rock musician Udo Lindenberg was impressed and invited the British singer on a joint tour. But the drugs again made themselves felt. Because of them, Burdon was even arrested by German police in 1983. Only with the help of former colleagues and just loyal friends from The Animals, the singer managed to return to the States, but career advancement, apparently, hit a glass ceiling. Even at home, he was no longer able to win his former success and recognition ...

A glimpse of new rays of glory

Eric Burdon & Brian Auger Band - Access All Areas - Live - 1993
Eric Burdon & Brian Auger Band - Access All Areas - Live - 1993

In pursuit of blinding glory, Burdon had to sit in the shadow of other musicians right up to the 90s. It was during this period that "Access All Areas", written by Burdon in tandem with Brian Auger, became the gem of the singer's later repertoire, winning worldwide success. From that moment on, Eric Burdon once again found himself in the rays of glory both on the music scene and in the minds of millions of fans. And in 1995, The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Burdon's career as a blues musician has gone through many ups and downs. Experimenting with a range of musical styles, Eric has worked in tandem with acclaimed musicians such as Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Bo Diddley and Ray Charles. And communication with each of these blues geniuses influenced the sound of Burdon: the musician learned to use his voice to the fullest, which made him unique!

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