One of the most successful bands to emerge in the 1960s British R&B boom, The Animals won widespread respect for the rugged authenticity with which they tackled blues-rooted pop, due in part to the wild singing of front man Eric Burdon. Moving to London from Newcastle in 1964, they struck it big with their howling version of the old blues favorite “House of the Rising Sun”, a Number 1 in both Britain and the US that proved influential to future rock, folk, and blues. It triggered an impressive run of hits, including “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”, “Bring It On Home to Me”, and “I'm Crying”. By 1965, however, the band began to fall apart, following the departure of keyboard player Alan Price, who went on to a successful solo career. Gradually other members departed and the band disbanded, though their front man kept them going for a while as Eric Burdon and the Animals, and later, the New Animals. There were various reunions with different line-ups in the 1970s and 1980s, but disputes about ownership of the Animals name continued while Burdon embarked on a colorful solo career. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. The band’s guitarist, Hilton Valentine, passed away January 29, 2021.