The Animals are an English rhythm and blues and rock band, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in the early 1960s. The band moved to London upon finding fame in 1964. The Animals were known for their gritty, bluesy sound and deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature song and transatlantic No. 1 hit single, “House of the Rising Sun”, as well as by hits such as “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”, “It’s My Life”, “I’m Crying” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”. The band balanced tough, rock-edged pop singles against rhythm and blues-orientated album material and were part of the British Invasion of the US.
The Animals underwent numerous personnel changes in the mid-1960s and suffered from poor business management. Under the name Eric Burdon and the Animals, the much-changed act moved to California and achieved commercial success as a psychedelic and hard rock band with hits like “San Franciscan Nights”, “When I Was Young” and “Sky Pilot”, before disbanding at the end of the decade. Altogether, the group had ten Top Twenty hits in both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100.
The original lineup of Burdon, Alan Price, Chas Chandler, Hilton Valentine and John Steel reunited for a one off benefit concert in Newcastle in 1968. They later had brief comebacks in 1975 and 1983. There have been several partial regroupings of the original era members since then under various names. The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.