May 4, 2011
My film class was busy making Monty Python/Terry Gilliam style animation today. While they moved cutouts around on a black cloth, one student played video DJ with a stream of fantastic tracks on youtube. The clean production design and absolute cool of this House of the Rising Sun performance by the Animals really made people look up from their work. Nice to see that the British Invasion can still inspire! The students talked about being amazed that this was almost fifty years old, because they felt a connection to the era and its style. The tune was originally found and archived by Alan Lomax in 1937, and was then recorded over the years by Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and others. The Animals recorded their famous version in one take on May 18th, 1964. This TV production features a beautiful contrast between the yellows, greens, and grays of the set/costumes and the warmth of the Vox Continental organ- itself a masterpiece of design introduced in 1962. A bit of personal trivia: House of the Rising Sun was the first song I ever learned to play on the guitar! More about the Animals on their official website here and Eric Burdon site here. Vox website here.