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Monday, May 09, 2005

Chuck Berry Tribute Month continues with The Animals eponymous first LP - MGM E-4264- released in August 1964. My copy's matrices feature the engraved "8 - 11 - 64", which must be the date of pressing or stampers manufacture, and the name "Tony Romeo". Who dat?

The Animals, the "other" great British Invasion blues based band, were heavily influenced by Chuck Berry. Their first long player features two Chuck Berry covers: Memphis and Around and Around and a cover of another track by Ray Charles, Talkin' 'Bout You , which I believe Chuck Berry had cut in a more rocked up version and "generously" claimed as his own. The All Music Guide incorrectly states the Animals covered the Chuck Berry version but the LP label credits "Charles" and the Animals besides being huge Chuck Berry fans were also mega Ray Charles fanatics and one listen to the song and you know its Ray Charles. The back liner notes have Eric Burdon citing Chuck Berry as one of his favorite composers and claiming that opening for Berry on his 1964 England tour had been their "biggest break in career" while four of five band members point to working with Chuck Berry on the tour as their "most thriling experience." The Animals, yes, of House of the Rising Sun and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood fame, owed a lot to Chuck Berry and weren't shy about admitting it!

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