Eric Burdon

Eric Burdon

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Eric Burdon

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Eric Victor Burdon
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1941|5|11|df=y Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Died =
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre = Rock, blues-rock, R&B, psychedelic rock, rock and roll, funk, blues, soul, hard rock
Occupation = Singer, musician, songwriter
Years_active = 1960s–present
Label =
Associated_acts =The Animals, War, The Eric Burdon Band, Brian Auger
URL = []
Notable_instruments =

Eric Victor Burdon (born 11 May 1941, Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne) is the former lead singer of The Animals and War before becoming a solo artist.


Burdon was a founding member and vocalist of The Animals, a rock band formed in Newcastle, England in 1962. The Animals, combining electrified blues with rock, were one of the leading bands of the "British Invasion." Along with, among others, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, and The Kinks, the group introduced Americans and the world to British music and fashion, its outspokenness and attitude. Burdon's powerful, deep voice is featured on such Animal singles as "The House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Bring It On Home to Me", "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place", "Don't Bring Me Down" and "See See Rider".

By late 1966 the other original members of The Animals, including keyboardist Alan Price had quit, and Burdon and drummer Barry Jenkins reformed the group as Eric Burdon and the Animals. This more psychedelic incarnation of the group featured future Family member John Weider, and had hits such as "When I Was Young", "San Franciscan Nights", "Sky Pilot", and "Monterey". This ensemble lasted until 1969, going through several line-up changes sometimes called itself Eric Burdon and the New Animals.

Burdon is claimed by some to be the "Eggman" in The Beatles song "I Am The Walrus". The reason for this is that Burdon was known as "Eggs" to his friends, from his fondness for breaking eggs over naked girls. Burdon's biography mentions such an affair taking place in the presence of John Lennon, who shouted "Go on, go get it, Eggman ..." [cite book |last=Miles |first=Barry |title=Paul McCartney - Many Years From Now|publisher=Secker & Warburg|date=1997|pages=p. 357|isbn=0-436-28022-1]

When the New Animals disbanded, Burdon joined forces with funky California jam band War. The resulting album, "Eric Burdon Declares "War"" yielded "Spill the Wine" and "Tobacco Road". A second Burdon and War album, a two-disc set, "The Black-Man's Burdon", was released later in September 1970. The singles "Paint it Black" and "They Can't Take Away Our Music" charted in 1971.

In 1971, Burdon broke down on the stage due to an asthma attack. War continued the tour without him. In August, he recorded the album "Guilty!" (later released on CD as "Black & White Blues") with the blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon and also featuring Ike White & the San Quentin Prison Band.

Burdon began a solo career as The Eric Burdon Band, without the members of War, but continuing in with a hard rock/heavy metal/funk style. In 1973 the band performed at the Reading Festival, and in 1974 in New York. At the end of 1974 the band released the album "Sun Secrets" in 1975 the album "Stop". Both had chart success. Also in 1975, Burdon returned to the recording studio with record producer Chas Chandler -- an original member of The Animals -- and recorded a still unreleased album with the other original members of his first group.

In 1976, after Rhino Records published a compilation album of Burdon & War, "Love Is All Around", which featured an unreleased live version of "Paint it Black" and an unreleased jam session called "A Day In The Life", Burdon toured with The Animals, including all of its original members except Chas Chandler. In 1977 the group released their R&B studio album "Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted".

Burdon then went to Germany and recorded the album "Survivor" with guitarist Alexis Korner, keyboardist Zoot Money, producer Chandler and several other musicians, including a line-up of four guitarists and three keyboard players. The album is known for its interesting album cover which depicts Burdon screaming. In May 1978 he recorded the album "Darkness - Darkness" in the Republic of Ireland with a completely different line-up. In January 1979 he changed his band line-up again to jam in Hamburg, Germany and for a gig in Holland. In the following month he changed the line-up once more for a February 4 concert in Cologne. Burdon then had another gig with this line-up on 12 August. He wanted to record with this band and changed the name into "Eric Burdon's Fire Department". The line-up included backing vocalist Jackie Carter, former member of Silver Convention, Bertram Engel of Udo Lindenbergs "Panik Orchester" and Jean-Jaques Kravetz. In the mid of 1980 they recorded the album "The Last Drive". The other album recorded in 1978, "Darkness Darkness", released that time and featured the track "Darkness, Darkness". With several changes, adding Paul Millns and Louisiana Red, "Fire Department" toured through Europe with special appearances in Spain and Italy, but by December that year they split up.

In April 1981, Christine Buschmann began to film "Comeback" with Burdon starring. They created a new ´"Eric Burdon Band" whose line-up included Louisiana Red, Tony Braunagle, John Sterling and Snuffy Walden. This band recorded live tracks in Los Angeles. When they recorded in Berlin the line-up had another change with the only remaining member being John Sterling. In September they changed another time for the final scenes of "Comeback", which were shot in the Metropole in Berlin. This band continued to tour through Australia and North America.

On 28 August, a different line-up of "The Eric Burdon Band" including Red Young (keyboards) performed at the Rockpalast Open Air Concert in Lorelei, Germany. In May 1983 The Animals, in their complete original line-up, reunited. The album, "Ark", which was released on 16 June yielded the singles "The Night" and "Love Is For All Time". The world tour followed and the final concert in the London's Wembley Arena was recorded and published in 1984 as "Rip It To Shreds" and the concert in April 1984 in the Royal Oak Theatre was completely released in 2008 as "Last Live Show". Additional members were Zoot Money, Nippy Noya, Steve Gregory and Steve Grant. Following the reunion, he led a number of groups named Eric Burdon Band or some variation thereof, with constantly changing personnel. From March 1984 to March 1985 he toured through Spain, Germany, Sweden] , Canada and Australia.

In 1986 he published his autobiography entitled "I Used To Be An Animal, But I'm Alright Now". In 1988 he put together a band with 15 musicians and 4 backing vocalists to record the album "I Used To Be An Animal" in Malibu, in the United States. By 1990 he had a small line-up of an Eric Burdon Band featuring Jimmy Zavala (sax and harmonica), Dave Meros(bass), Jeff Naideau (keyboards), Tom Mooney (drums) and John Sterling (guitar) before he began a tour with ex-The Doors-member Robbie Krieger. The concert from the Ventura Beach in California, was released as a DVD on 20 June 2008.

In the same year Eric Burdon's cover version of "Sixteen Tons" was used for the film, "Joe Versus the Volcano". The song, which played over the beginning of the film, was also released as a single, and a video shot for MTV. He also recorded the singles "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" (with Katrina & The Waves) and "No Man's Land" (with Tony Carey and Anne Haigis).

In 1991, Burdon and Brian Auger formed the "Eric Burdon - Brian Auger Band" with following line-up: Eric Burdon - vocals, Brian Auger - keyboards, vocals, Dave Meros - bass, vocals, Don Kirkpatrick - guitar, vocals, and Paul Crowder - drums, vocals. By 1992, Larry Wilkins replaced Kirkpatrick and Karma Auger (Brian's Son) replaced Crowder and in 1993 they added Richard Reguria (percussion). The live album "Access All Areas" was then released. In 1994 the "Eric Burdon - Brian Auger Band" disbanded. Burdon then formed the "Eric Burdon's i Band". The line-up included Larry Wilkins, Dean Restum (guitar), Dave Meros (bass) and Mark Craney (drums).

In 1995, after Burdon made a guest appearance with Bon Jovi singing "It's My Life"/"We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" medley at the Hall of Fame. He also released the album "Lost Within The Halls Of Fame", with past tracks and re-recordings of some songs from "I Used To Be An Animal". In October 1996, Aynsley Dunbar replaced Craney on drums. "The Official Live Bootleg" was released in 1997. In May that year Larry Wilkins died of cancer. After releasing the compilations "Soldier Of Fortune" and "I'm Ready" (with recordings from the 1970s and 1980s), a new band was formed in 1998, and billed as "Eric Burdon & The New Animals" featuring Dave Meros on bass, Dean Restum on guitar, Aynsley Dunbar on drums and Neal Morse on keyboards and guitar. The gig from 17 October was released as a Video/DVD, "Live At The Coach House". By 1999 they released "The Official Live Bootleg #2" and in August 2000, "The Official Live Bootleg 2000" released with Martin Gerschwitz on keyboards.

On 11 May 2001, The Animals were inducted into the Rock Walk Of Fame on Burdon's 60th birthday. On 3 March 2002, the live album "Live in Seattle" was recorded. Ex-War member Lee Oskar made a guest appearance on the album. In June 2003, he formed another "Eric Burdon & The Animals" band. This included: Eric Burdon - vocals, Martin Gerschwitz - keyboards, Dave Meros - bass, Dean Restum - guitar, and Bernie Pershey - drums. On 13 April 2004 he released his comeback album "My Secret Life", which was his first album with new recordings since nearly 16 years. In 2005, they released another live album "Athens Traffic Live" with special DVD bonus Material and a studio bonus track. They disbanded in November. On 27 January 2006 he released his blues/R&B album "Soul Of A Man". This album was dedicated to Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker. Burdon then formed a new band, with the following members: Red Young (keyboards), Paula O'Rourke (bass), Eric McFadden (guitar) and Wally Ingram (drums). They also performed at the Lugano Festival.

In 2007 he toured as the headlining act of the "Hippiefest" lineup, produced and hosted by Country Joe McDonald.

Current work

On 7 February 2008 Burdon announced: "I also plan to put together a video of "Slow Moving Train" from Soul of a Man this spring to coincide with the sad 40th anniversary of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy." A day later an announcement was made about Burdon and War reuniting for the first time in 37 years, to perform a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on 21 April 2008. See Eric Burdon & War reunion at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert coincided with a major reissue campaign courtesy of the UK division of Rhino Records, who will be releasing all of War's albums including "Eric Burdon Declares "War" and "The Black-Man's Burdon".

On 7 June 2008, Burdon performed at the memorial service of Bo Diddley in Gainesville, Florida and stated, "Bo's one of the guys who invented rock 'n' roll, He took two and western and the kind of blues that used to be known as 'race music' -- and put them together". ["Bo Diddley." "Calgary Herald" (June 8, 2008) ( accessed 8 June 2008)]

Since 11 July 2008, Burdon has been touring as the headlining act of the "Hippiefest" lineup. On 19 July Burdon was interviewed by Mark Simone on WABC where he said he may have two albums released this year. He is currently touring as "Eric Burdon & The Animals" with a variable lineup of backing musicians consisting of the following:

* Eric Burdon - vocals, percussion
* Red Young - keyboards, vocals
* Hilton Valentine - guitar, vocals
* Paula O'Rourke - bass, vocals
* Billy Watts - lead guitar
* Steve Conte - lead guitar
* Tony Braunagel - drums
* Herman Matthews - drums
* Steve Murphy - drums
* Bobby Furgo - violin

On 9 August 2008, Burdon announced at the concert in Clearwater, Florida, that they will release a "Hippiefest" CD next year.

His concert in Oklahoma on September 21 was cancelled due health problems. On September 25 he was guest star on the British ITV1 show "Soundtrack to my Life"

On October 2 an announcement was made about that he is joing War for a tour in summer 2009. They are also nominated for being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Album discography

The Animals
*1964: "The Animals"
*1965: "Animals Tracks"
*1965: "In the Beginning" (Live)
*1965: "The Animals on Tour"
*1966: "Animalisms"
*1966: "The Best of The Animals" (Compilation)
*1966: "Animalization"
*1966: "Animalism"
*1973: "The Animals with Sonny Boy Williamson" (Live)
*1973: "Best of The Animals" (Compilation)
*1977: "Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted"
*1983: "Ark"
*1984: "Rip it to Shreds: Greatest Hits Alive" (Live)
*1988: "The Best of The Animals" (Compilation)
*1990: "The Complete Animals" (Compilation)
*1997: "The Best of The Animals (1997 album)
The Best of The Animals
" (Compilation)
*2008: "Last Live Show" (Live)Eric Burdon and The (New) Animals
*1967: "Winds of Change"
*1967: "The Best of Eric Burdon & The Animals, Vol. II" (Compilation)
*1968: "The Twain Shall Meet"
*1968: "Every One of Us"
*1969: "Love Is"
*1969: "The Greatest Hits of Eric Burdon and The Animals" (Compilation)
*1990: "Roadrunners!" (Live)
*1991: "The Greatest Hits of Eric Burdon & The Animals 1966–1968 (Compilation)
*2003: "Absolute Animals 1964–1968 (Compilation)
*2004: "Gratefully Dead 1964–1968 (Compilation)
*2004: "Retrospective" (Compilation)Eric Burdon and War
*1970: "Eric Burdon Declares "War""
*1971: "The Black-Man's Burdon"
*1976: "Love Is All Around"
*1996: "The Best of Eric Burdon & War" (Compilation)Others
*1967: "Eric Is Here" (as Eric Burdon & The Animals)
*1971: "Guilty"
*1974: "Sun Secrets" (The Eric Burdon Band)
*1975: "Stop" (The Eric Burdon Band)
*1977: "Survivor"
*1980: "Darkness Darkness"
*1980: "The Last Drive"
*1982: "Comeback"
*1983: "Power Company"
*1988: "I Used To Be An Animal"
*1988: "Wicked Man" (Compilation)
*1992: "That's Live" (Live, from 1985)
*1993: "Access All Areas"
*1994: "Sings the Animals' Greatest Hits"
*1997: "The Official Live Bootleg" (Live)
*1997: "Soldier of Fortune" (Compilation)
*1998: "Live At The Roxy" (Live)
*1999: "Absolutely the Best"
*1999: "The Official Live Bootleg #2" (Live)
*2000: "The Official Live Bootleg 2000" (Live)
*2001: "The Night" (Compilation)
*2004: "My Secret Life"
*2005: "Athens Traffic Live" (Live)
*2006: "Soul of a Man"
*2006: "Wild & Wicked" (Compilation)
*2008: "Mirage" (Unreleased Project)
*2008: "Ultimate Rarities Vol. 1" (Unreleased Songs)
*2008: "Ultimate Rarities Vol. 2" (Unreleased Songs)


*1964: "Get yourself a College Girl"
*1964: "Whole Lotta Shakin"'
*1965: "Pop Gear"
*1965: "The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood"
*1967: "It's a Bikini World"
*1967: "Tonite Let's Make All Love in London"
*1968: "All my Loving"
*1968: "Monterey Pop"
*1973: "Mirage (never filmed)"
*1979: "11th Victim"
*1980: "Gibbi - Westgermany"
*1982: "Comeback"
*1991: "The Doors"
*1999: "Snow on New Year's Eve"
*2001: "Plaster Caster"
*2001: "Screamin' Jay Hawkins: I Put a Spell on Me"
*2007: "The Blue Hour"

Concert films

*1991: "Finally..." "(Documentary)"
*1999: "Live at the Coach House"
*2000: "The Eric Burdon Band Live"
*2001: "The British Invasion Returns" (Various Artists)
*2003: "Yes, You Can Go Home"
*2008: "Live At The Ventura Beach California" (with Robby Krieger & Friends)


"Main article: Eric Burdon Bootleg discography"
* "The Deluxe BBC Files"
* "Unreleased Project #2"
* "Unreleased Masters and Alternative Takes"
* "War" (Live from '71)
* "Searching for a Brand New Day" (Live from '86)
* "When I Was Young" (Live from Oct. 1974)
* "Live at the Marquee Club 1967"


*1965: "The Richmond Jazz Festival (with The Yardbirds, The Animals Big Band, The Who,...)"
*1967: "The Windsor Jazz Festival of the Flower Power Children"
*1967: "Monterey Pop Festival"
*1968: "Newport Pop Festival '68"
*1969: "Newport Pop Festival '69 (with Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, Lee Oskar,...)"
*1994: "Sziget"
*2006: "Lugano Jazz Festival"
*2008: "Hippiefest"


* Burdon, Eric. "I Used to Be an Animal, but I'm All Right Now". Faber and Faber, 1986. ISBN 0-571-13492-0.
* Burdon, Eric (with J. Marshall Craig). "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood: A Memoir". Thunder's Mouth Press, 2001. ISBN 1-56025-330-4.


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Interview with Eric Burdon on Music Towers]

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