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Eric Burdon: Rock 'n' Roll - Animal

  • 2020
  • Documentary and factual
  • News and current affairs


How pop group the Animals were important standard bearers of the `British Invasion' of America, behind the Beatles but ahead of the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Kinks. Alongside his passion for original American blues, frontman Eric Burdon got together in the late 1960s with the black LA band WAR - itself a political statement in the Black Panther era - and, inspired by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, expanded his musical spectrum with jazz and funk. This documentary reveals how Burdon's creative output has made an important and profoundly authentic contribution to popular culture.



“Some of our artists in their times are not as appreciated as other artists…” Patti Smith is talking about Eric Burdon but the same could be said for his band the Animals, who are always mentioned after 60s giants the Beatles, the Stones, the Who and the Kinks. This full-throttle doc begins with the Animals “invading” Manhattan in 1964, riding their motorcade cars like they’re go-karts, but backtracks to the grimy, rough-and-tumble Geordie childhood of their gruff frontman (he has one lung as a result of the filthy postwar air) and his early initiation to the blues.

He’s often described as a hothead, a hellraiser and someone who’s hard to work with, and bitterness clearly still surrounds the royalties to House of the Rising Sun (your jaw will drop at what he’d like to do to Alan Price). But Burdon is nobody’s fool, his views on war and musical identity are passionate, and you won’t hear a more generous tribute than that of Bruce Springsteen, after playing the Animals’ We Gotta Get Out of This Place, saying, “That’s every song I’ve ever written.”

How to watch




ProducerKatharina Maus
ProducerKatja Lau
ProducerKerstin Papke
DirectorHannes Rossacher
UnknownStefan Mathieu


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