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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Super Audio Compact Disc > Animals Retrospective (Super Audio Compact Disc/SACD)

The Animals Retrospective (Super Audio Compact Disc)


PCM CD Sound: B†††† DSD 2.0: B+†††† DSD Multi-channel: N/A†††† Music: B+



How great were The Animals?When it comes to Rock of the 1960s that has endured, they are always at the top of the list.Still strong, rich, haunting, and fresh decades later, their music is still used, referenced and sought after more often than I think people realize.ABKCO has issued The Animals Retrospective, and though there are still tracks that are not present, this covers their classic years at the now-defunct MGM Records quite well.Best of all, they have all been cleaned and restored in the best collection of this material yet issued, because this is a Super Audio Compact Disc.


Like ABKCOís very popular and high-quality Rolling Stones (of whom The Animals could go a few rounds with at their best) and Sam Cooke SACDs, this two-channel presentation is remarkable just in the regular PCM CD tracks the dual-layer SACD offers.This disc offers the following titles:


1)     The House of The Rising Sun

2)     Iím Crying

3)     Baby Let Me Take You Home

4)     Gonna Send You Back To Walker

5)     Boom Boom

6)     Donít Let Me Be Misunderstood

7)     Bring It On Home To Me

8)     We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (U.S. Version)

9)     Itís My Life

10) Donít Bring Me Down

11) See See Rider

12) Inside Ė Outside Looking

13) Hey Gyp

14) Help Me Girl

15) When I Was Young

16) A Girl Named Sandoz

17) San Franciscan Nights

18) Monterey

19) Anything

20) Sky Pilot

21) White Houses

22) Spill The Wine (Eric Burdon & War)



That includes the 14 Top 40 and only three Top Ten Pop hits the band managed in the U.S., with House of The Rising Sun being their only #1 hit.That last track by War is when the band was briefly at Animals home label MGM Records before going over to also-defunct United Artists Records, then a big rival, whose catalog is now handled by Capitol.ABKCO has all the MGM rights here (their entire U.S. output went through them) and Spill The Wine is the best sounding track here, cut and released in 1970.The output otherwise runs 1964 Ė 1968.


Burdonís voice is incredible and it has never sounded better on any playback format as it does here, the rasps, the rawness, the phrasing, and the power.SACD gives great vocalists like him a new chance to be heard for how great they really are, and Burdonís ability to be bluesy is very authentic, even ripping through Donovan Leitchís repetitious Hey Gyp.On the best five Animals hit songs, The House of The Rising Sun, Donít Let Me Be Misunderstood, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Itís My Life and When I Was Young, you can hear details you never heard before that will give you a new appreciation for how great they really are.Sky Pilot is also up there as a great hit, included here in its 7:27 version, unlike the half-length version that was the hit single as 45-rpm singles could not hold that much music.It was also sadly their last big hit.


Though the PCM CD tracks are fine and will outdo any other Animals CD or download, the DSD Super Audio CD tracks are a revelation with detail and clarity that has made the format a huge hit with audiophiles.It is the kind of playback that makes SACD a format that can finally out perform vinyl once and for all, with depth and presence that is nothing short of remarkable at its best.The white DigiPak bound paperboard case comes with a fine booklet pasted inside the front cover with great information and details about the band and their history.


An alternate House of The Rising Sun that Martin Scorsese used in his segment of the 1988 anthology film New York Stories is not here, nor is the alternate non-U.S. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, but this is very well rounded otherwise.Hot 110 hits are also represented that did not make the Top 40.SACD is still in its early years, but The Animals Retrospective is a must-have in the format that will endure for years to come.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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