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No. 82: The Animals, ‘House Of The Rising Sun’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs

Abkco Records

Though it dates back to at least the early ’30s, the Animals first heard the song which lands them on our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list, ‘House Of The Rising Sun,’ on the debut album by Bob Dylan.

This folk song was passed down through the years, ultimately making its way into the hands of Greenwich Village folk mainstay Dave Van Ronk, who put his own twist on it. His version is the one that Dylan took from for his 1962 debut and in turn, the one the Animals would use as a blueprint for their own rendition.

In the heat of the British Invasion in the summer of 1964, the Animals’ ‘House of the Rising Sun’ hit the top of both the UK and US charts. Alan Price’s haunting hammond organ and Eric Burdon’s impassioned vocals were a perfect fit for the track.

It would become not only the Animals’ signature song, but also the first seeds of what would eventually become ‘folk rock.’ Out of step with most of the rest of the British invasion sounds, this record stood alone and utterly unique. Somehow, it has been able to hold that vibe nearly 50 years later!

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Watch the Animals Perform ‘House Of The Rising Sun’

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