December 18: The Animals Reach No. 24 With “It’s My Life”

 

New York’s Brill Building songwriting factory ended up providing some of the greatest songs of the British Invasion. The Animals’ manager Mickie Most would fly from London to New York to visit music publisher Don Kirshner, listen to his latest tracks, and buy the best.[i] “We Gotta Get Outta This Place” was an electrifying vow to make it, no matter what the cost, by Mann-Weil. Equally fierce was Roger Atkins-Carl D’Errico’s declaration of independence, “It’s My Life.” The Animals also recorded Goffin-King’s “Don’t Bring Me Down,” but felt they were too cool for Mann-Weil’s anti-drug anthem “Kicks” and left that for Paul Revere and the Raiders. The incendiary triumvirate of hits made it briefly irrelevant that lead singer Eric Burdon was not evolving as a songwriter like rivals Jagger-Richards or Van Morrison.

 

[i] Keith Hayward, Tin Pan Alley: The Rise of Elton John, 122.

 

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