Amazing Legacy For ‘The Animals’

The power to transport you back to a place and a time instantly

British Performance From 1964
Certain songs have the power to transport you back to a place and a time instantly. For example, hearing this version of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ recorded by The Animals instantly conjures the Brit-Pop utopia of the mid-’60s, right after the first wave of Beatlemania.

While The Animals had a handful of other hits, it is this song that goes down in history as their legacy, much like the 1966 anthem that memorialized Buffalo Springfield.This was their number-one hit, and it has remained their most recognizable tune to this day, long after the band fell apart, disbanded, reformed, and reformed again.

Interestingly, it was not actually their original work. The song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ is a folk song, most likely derived from a 19th century English barroom ballad. With the influx of European immigrants to the U.S. , the ballad travelled down to the American South.

At some point, it landed in Louisiana, where it picked up its much-cited “house in New Orleans.” From there, it traveled up into Appalachia, becoming part of the blues-influenced folk sound popularized by musicians like Odetta.

In an impressive example of history repeating itself, The Animals discovered it after hearing a folk musician perform it in a bar in Newcastle in the U.K. True to form, they carried the song back to the Atlantic, where it continued its cycle and brought the band acclaim.


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