(1992/Avenue-Rhino) 5 tracks - This is the original sealed first CD
pressing on the Avenue/Rhino Label from 1992! Performing around the L.A.
area during the late '60s. Lonnie Jordan (keyboards), Howard Scott
(guitar), B.B. Dickerson (bass). Harold Brown (drums). Charles Miller
(saxophone), and Papa Dee Allen (percussion) were members of The
Nightshift, a club act that mixed R&B covers with originals and
backed up a rotating cast of singers on stage. Prior to this, most of
the musicians had been in The Creators, who had likewise played the
local circuit and released a few little-heard singles. The
Creators/Nightshift nucleus was not a typical club act. 'Our influences
and upbringing made us different,' says Jordan. 'Howard and I were
raised in Compton (south of L.A.). and we heard a lot of mariachi and
salsa music from the Latin people there. And I was also listening to
ska, jazz organ players, a variety. Sometimes club owners didn't
understand our music —they wanted us to sound like Booker T. & The
MG's or whatever else was happening back then.' Besides mainstream
R&B vocalists. The Creators found themselves backing up psychedelic
sax player Jay Contreli in the mid-'60s. an experience that gave them a
foretaste of the far-ranging improvisations they would later perform
with Burdon. The Nightshift came to the attention of Goldstein, then
enjoying considerable success as the head of a rock poster company.
Previously, he had compiled an impressive track record as a New
York-based bandmember (The Strangeloves), songwriter (for The Monkees
and Every Mother's Son, among others), and producer/writer (of The
Angels' 'My Boyfriend's Back' and The McCoys' 'Hang On Sloopy').
Goldstein was putting such activities on hold when sometime Nightshift
bass player Peter Rosen (who also worked for the poster company) told
Jerry about his group. 'I thought their music was a real interesting mix
of funk and Latin,' says Goldstein. 'The Nightshift had an interesting
direction, but they were still looking for something...' During late
'68/early '69. Goldstein became reacquainted with Burdon, who was
half-seriously threatening to return to England to shovel coal for a
living. Goldstein suggested instead that he check out The Nightshift.
then playing a stint as backup band to ex-football star Deacon Jones at a
club called The Rag Doll in nearby North Hollywood. One night in early
1969, Goldstein, Burdon, and Oskar stopped by to hear the band laying
down the grooves behind Jones' athletic routines. At the end of the
night. Oskar jumped on-stage and jammed up a storm — at the time, the
group thought this harmonica wizard was actually Burdon. Events moved
rapidly from that point onward. Burdon and Oskar had found their group.
though The Nightshift let several horn players go in order to become
War. Burdon had the novel idea of creating a horn section with just
harmonica and saxophone. According to Jordan, Oskar fit in from the
beginning: 'It was natural — we were already used to the harmonica
players we grew up with in Compton. so it was very easy to bring Lee
in.' After only a few weeks of rehearsals, Burdon and War began
performing live. One of their first gigs was at the Devonshire Downs
rock festival before a crowd of 100,000. Months of steady touring took
them across the U.S. and Europe. 'They never did Animals songs,'
Goldstein recalls of these early shows. 'Eric was doing something
totally different. It was like a jazz band, and Eric could improvise
vocals on the spot. Every night, the same song would be different
lengths. Sometimes. they'd do three- or four-hour sets — it was just
magic.' This emphasis on spontaneous creation carried over into the
sessions for Eric Burdon Declares War. Basic tracks were recorded
January 2-4. 1970, at Wally Heider's studios in San Francisco, with
overdubs done at Crystal in Los Angeles. The free-flowing approach of
the album starts immediately with 'The Vision Of Rassan,' a piece that
begins with a jaunty gospel/rock feel before sliding into a horn-driven
soul-revue sound. 'That song was a tribute to [jazz reed player] Roland
Kirk.' says Harold Brown. 'Eric turned us on to Kirk's music — he was
always sitting us down somewhere and playing different things. He
inundated us with music.'
Article properties: Eric Burdon: Eric Burdon Declares 'War' (CD)
Sky Pilot was a 7:21 song that had to be split in two to accommodate the 45 rpm format. Part One with Eric Burdon’s vocal and the first four verses became a sizable hit [#14] in June 1968, a month before the group disbanded. Part Two is an extended guitar solo that segues into the noise of planes taking off, an apparent parade with bagpipers and crowd noises and then the last two verses. As the song ends, one is left with the contradiction of how young men can be both 'soldiers of God' with the fate of their country in their hands and obey the 6th Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill."
The British group The Animals began as The Alan Price Combo in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. In addition to Price, born April 19, 1942, on keyboards, it featured Eric Burdon (born May 11,1941) on vocals, Bryan 'Chas' Candler (born December18, 1938) on bass, Hilton Valentine (born May 21, 1943) on guitar, and John Steel (born February 4, 1941) on drums [The group that recorded Sky Pilot was minus Alan Price and John Steel from its original lineup, with Steel having been replaced by Barry Jenkins]. Their arrival on the music scene in 1964 coincided with that of Manfred Mann, The Hollies and The Zombies, groups for who The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones and others had already paved the way.
The Animals' first release for MGM, an electric cover of the folk song The House Of The Rising Sun, immediately shot to #1 on both sides of the Atlantic. For their next five releases they reworked more blues-type songs such as Boom Boom and Bring It On Home To Me, a style that well-suited Burdon’s raspy voice. Then they, like many of their colleagues, they turned to New York’s Brill Building songwriters. It was their 1965 recording of Brill stalwarts Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill’s composition We Gotta Get Out Of This Place that first and forevermore endeared The Animals to Vietnam soldiers