The Animals – The Animals (1964)

Vivien Louizos

Psychology Teacher and Counsellor, Aged 75

I was 16 when this album came out, and although I didn’t really have albums at this age, I used to hear these songs on the radio and at youth clubs and buy the singles to listen at home on my Dansetti record player. So many of The Animals songs and lyrics I remember became sort of anthems – songs such as Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and We Gotta Get Out Of This Place really hit that part of you that was getting a bit more rebellious as a teenager thinking there must be something different, there must be another way. Even though I wasn’t really that much of a rebel, that spirit of youth driven change was coming more into the mainstream, giving a voice to the rebel in everyone.

I remember whenever my friends or I ended up in a situation or a job that we didn’t like, we’d sing to each other ‘we’ve gotta get out of this place’! ‘We gotta get out of this place. If it’s the last thing we ever do. We’ve gotta get out of this place. Girl there’s a better life, for me and you’. This is just how we were feeling at the time, and everybody got it! Reading about it later I saw that even the GIs in the Vietnam War were singing this to each other. Such an anthem of disaffection and empowerment.

I didn’t realise that actually Cynthia Weil wrote this song – who was famous for writing ballads with Carole King, Burt Bacharach and Neil Diamond, three of my favourite songwriters. The Animals were actually quite a magical marriage of balladic songwriting and rock music – the lyrics were always very poetic in these songs. I don’t think they wrote them all themselves, but quite a few of their tracks such as It’s All Over Now Baby Blue were about the ending of relationships and the darker side of love, which also spoke to all of us at the time.

Kingston link:

The Animals had a regular residency at Kingston’s Cellar Club in 1964.

AMP Kingston:
Art, Music, Pop Fashion

The AMP Kingston Heritage Trail explores and celebrates Kingston’s rich music heritage from the 1960’s to the present day at key sites across the town.

Find out more and explore the map of venues.