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Good Times - Eric Burden and the Animals





Of all the great British rock groups of the sixties the Animals had the most working class credentials. Perhaps it was his simmering Geordie anger that made lead singer Eric Burden so appealing to American audiences, perhaps his palpable Irish ancestry that struck a chord the other side of the pond, or perhaps even the adoption of the Animals' "We've got to get out of this place" as the theme tune of Vietnam troops (see 3 posts ago). Either way, when the original incarnation of the Animals split up in 1966, lead singer Eric Burden moved to California to be part of the flowering "new generation".


Burden and drummer Barry Jenkins reformed the group as Eric Burden and the Animals and eschewed their original blues based music for a more West Coast sound as epitomised in their 1967 hit "San Francisco Nights". "Good Times" was the follow-up and suggests that, although he famously didn't miss the endless rain and the Dickensian squalor of his early years in Newcastle upon Tyne, Burden still had some hankerings for the good old English pub, even if he does send it up with the posh talkie moment in the middle.


Although the song is a criticism of the "good times", listening to it we can't help reminiscing on our own good times, and what fun they were. Which is what Burden is doing, thinking of all of his good times (and bad\) back in the UK. He's still living in California by the way, although he might be having second thoughts at the moment.


"When I was drinking

I should've been thinking,

when I was fighting

I could have done the right thing;

all of that boozing

I was really losing...."


We've all wondered about that, at some time or other.



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