Don't Bring Me Down (The Animals song)

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"Don't Bring Me Down"
Single by The Animals
B-side "Cheating"
Released May 21, 1966 (U.K.); released in U.S. at earlier date
Format 7" single
Recorded 1966
Genre Rock
Length 3:13
Label Decca Records (UK), MGM Records (U.S.)
Writer(s) Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer(s) Tom Wilson
The Animals singles chronology
"Inside-Looking Out"
(1966)
"Don't Bring Me Down"
(1966)
"See See Rider"
(1966)

"Don't Bring Me Down" is a rock song composed by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and recorded as a 1966 hit single by The Animals.

History[edit]

"Don't Bring Me Down" was the third of The Animals' epic personalisations of Brill Building material, following the 1965 hits "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "It's My Life". According to one account, all three came out of one call in 1965 that The Animals' then-producer Mickie Most made for songs.[1]

The Animals had always had a somewhat contentious relationship with such songs, knowing they gave them hits but preferring the more straightforward R&B numbers they used for album tracks. Moreover now they were performing a Goffin and King selection; although the couple was already legendary for their pop songwriting prowess, Animals lead singer Eric Burdon had previously seemingly mocked Goffin-King's "Take Good Care of My Baby" in The Animals' 1964 stream-of-consciousness rock history "Story of Bo Diddley". Furthermore they were now using Tom Wilson as a producer, who promised them more artistic freedom than they had had under Mickie Most.

The Animals' arrangement is led by a pulsating organ riff from Dave Rowberry, which is then set against a prominent bass guitar line from Chas Chandler. Hilton Valentine decorates the song with fuzz guitar chords. Eric Burdon sings the verses in a quiet manner:

When you complain and criticize
I feel I'm nothing in your eyes
It makes me feel like giving up

before sliding into a loud, pleading voice on the chorus:[2]

Oh oh no!
Don't bring me down
No no no no
Oh babe oh no
Don't bring me down

"Don't Bring Me Down" was a solid hit, reaching the Top 10 (#6) in the UK pop singles chart, and falling just short of that on the U.S. pop singles chart, reaching number 12 during June and July 1966. It was also popular in Canada, reaching number 3 on the CHUM Chart. It was also one of their most popular singles in Germany, reaching number 17.

Rolling Stone would later write that "Don't Bring Me Down" represented one side of the Goffin-King "boy-girl, loneliness-togetherness" duality.[3] Allmusic considers "Don't Bring Me Down" an exemplar of The Animals' "brutally soulful inspiration."[4]

Later versions[edit]

New York Dolls singer David Johansen's Animals medley from his 1982 live album Live It Up gained considerable MTV exposure; "Don't Bring Me Down" was in the middle, following "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and before "It's My Life".

The Guess Who? did this song on the bootleg live album "Live in Winnipeg" in 1967.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had "Don't Bring Me Down" in their concert repertoire from 1977–1986, and a 1978 performance of it was captured on their 1985 live album Pack up the Plantation: Live!.

The song has also been recorded by Riki Maiocchi, Paul Shaffer, and Southside Johnny.

Eric Burdon has performed it with Shaffer, Robby Krieger and Brian Auger, as well as in his own bands of the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

Similarly titled songs[edit]

Some websites erroneously claim the song has earlier been recorded by The Pretty Things in 1964; in fact, that "Don't Bring Me Down" was a different song, written by Johnnie Dee, that was a Top 10 hit in the UK.

There also are two subsequent songs by the same title: the pop hit "Don't Bring Me Down" by Electric Light Orchestra in 1979, and an R&B/dance hit "Don't Bring Me Down" by Spirits in 1995.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Songwriter Carl D'Errico Interviewed by Mick Patrick". Spectropop. Retrieved 2007-02-18. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Denise (2009-11-04). "'Don’t Bring Me Down'". Crawdaddy!. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  3. ^ Jon Landau (1971-04-29). "Carole King: Writer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  4. ^ Thom Jurek. "Don't Bring Me Down: The Decca Years". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 

External links[edit]