Showing posts with label The Animals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Animals. Show all posts

The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (1964)

The Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (1964) on WLCY Radio
'60s #1 Hits on WLCY Radio, All Original Artist! Original Hits



"The House of the Rising Sun" is a traditional folk song, sometimes called "Rising Sun Blues". It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling to avoid the same fate. The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by the English rock group The Animals, was a number one hit in the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Australia.

Like many classic folk ballads, the authorship of "The House of the Rising Sun" is uncertain. Musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads such as The Unfortunate Rake of the 18th century, and that English emigrants took the song to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting. There is also a mention of a house-like pub called the "Rising Sun" in the classic Black Beauty published in 1877, set in London, England, which may have influenced the title.

The oldest known existing recording is by Appalachian artists Clarence "Tom" Ashley and Gwen Foster, who recorded it for Vocalion Records in 1934. Ashley said he had learned it from his grandfather, Enoch Ashley.

An interview with Eric Burdon revealed that he first heard the song in a club in Newcastle, England, where it was sung by the Northumbrian folk singer Johnny Handle. The Animals were on tour with Chuck Berry and chose it because they wanted something distinctive to sing. This interview refutes assertions that the inspiration for their arrangement came from Bob Dylan. The band enjoyed a huge hit with the song, much to Dylan's chagrin when his version was referred to as a cover. The irony of this was not lost on Dave Van Ronk, who said the whole issue was a "tempest in a teapot," and that Dylan stopped playing the song after The Animals' hit because fans accused Dylan of plagiarism. Dylan has said he first heard The Animals' version on his car radio and "jumped out of his car seat" because he liked it so much.

Dave Marsh described The Animals' take on "The House of the Rising Sun" as "...the first folk-rock hit," sounding "...as if they'd connected the ancient tune to a live wire." Writer Ralph McLean of the BBC agreed that, "It was arguably the first folk rock tune," calling it "a revolutionary single" after which "the face of modern music was changed forever." Van Ronk claims that this version was based on his arrangement of the song.

The Animals' version transposes the narrative of the song from the point of view of a woman led into a life of degradation, to that of a man, whose father was now a gambler and drunkard, as opposed to the sweetheart in earlier versions.
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