The British blues boom was arguably one of the most important movements in musical history. Not only did it launch the careers of various guitar heroes – players much loved for decades afterwards – but the guitar driven sounds also paved the way for a whole universe of rock music. With that in mind, it’s interesting how few compilations have celebrated the British blues scene. Aside from Grapefruit Records’ excellent ‘Crawling Up A Hill’ box set, any other releases have been label specific, leaving a huge gap in the market for a set to explore some of the more niche sounds from the era.
‘Shake That Thing: The Blues In Britain 1963-1973’ is perfect in that regard. This three CD set from Grapefruit casts a much wider net than their earlier box set, but never loses site of its core objective. Bluesy sounds are out there, front and centre, at all times, but it also looks beyond the usual suspects to celebrate blues laden tunes shared by other singer songwriters, folkies and rock bands during a hugely transitional period.
When most people think of Eric Burdon, they think of The Animals. More specifically, they think of The Animals’ hit-making period between 1964-66. They might even think about Eric’s recordings with War, a brief association that spawned cult albums in 1970.
Between these two high profile periods, Burdon continued to record. Much like Fleetwood Mac’s “wilderness period” that caused a drought of UK success between 1971 and 1975, Burdon’s output in 1967 and 1968 is often overlooked, yet in a little over a year, he released a string of non-charting albums credited to Eric Burdon & The Animals.