Eric Burdon: ’Til Your River Runs Dry

Blues masterclass from veteran former Animals singer.

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A leading figure in the British Invasion, musical trailblazer with War and, as his brilliant memoirs Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood reminded us, a countercultural outrider who still found time to race motorbikes through the Hollywood Hills with Steve McQueen, Eric Burdon has long been one of rock’s most charismatic figures.

Mercifully recovered from back trouble, the delayed follow-up to 2006’s Soul Of A Man finds him tackling issues ranging from the environment (Water) to religion (Devil And Jesus) with characteristic good humour. Whether tipping his hat to Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley Special) or putting Obama straight on foreign policy (Invitation To the White House), he’s irrepressible throughout, even sending up his own outlaw status on Old Habits Die Hard, where he declares: ‘Nothing bugs me/I’m Mr Anarchy’.

Exactly 50 years since he joined The Animals, Eric Burdon’s flame still burns brighter than that of most bands half his age.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.