After Eric Burdon left the Animals he moved to California and
immersed himself in the hippie scene. A new line-up of the
"Animals" recorded two LPs and played the Monterey Festival in
1967. Further personnel changes resulted in Zoot Money and Andy
Summers joining from the Big Roll Band and they played on
Love Is, the only studio recording of future Police member Summers
with the Animals.
Love Is was originally released as a double LP. There is only one
band-written track which is Eric Burdon's I'm Dying. Madman Running Through the
Fields was written by Zoot Money and Andy Summers. The Animals were playing
Dantalion's Chariot songs in the live set so this was effectively a cover
version of a psychedelic classic.
The album is really a mix of styles from the purer blues of As the Years
Go Passing By to the soul sound of River Deep, country of Ring of
Fire and psychedelia of Madman Running Through the Fields.
Traffic's Coloured Rain is far longer than the original and is a
great showcase for Eric Burdon's voice.
The opening track River Deep, Mountain High is a cover of the Ike & Tina
Turner classic and a bold choice. However, Burdon has a superb voice and he
carries the song well. Indeed Burdon's voice is powerful across the album with
the exception of the final track where the lead vocal is taken, not
surprisingly, by Zoot Money.
Barry and Robin Gibb's To Love Somebody is a wonderful song. Barry
Gibb recently noted it was the song he was most proud of. There have been many
cover versions and The Animals' version is amongst the best.
This album is a great listen. Eric Burdon's amazing voice is well-suited to
these songs and the band are able to stretch out on extended versions of classic
tracks. It is unfortunate that the band disbanded after just one album as there
is so much promise from this line-up.
MGM SE 4591-2
Original release: December 1968
CD Release: 20 June 2011
- I'm An Animal
- To Love Somebody
- Coloured Rain