Alan Price

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Alan Price
Price with the Animals in 1964
Price with the Animals in 1964
Background information
Born (1942-04-19) 19 April 1942 (age 81)
Fatfield, Washington, County Durham, England
GenresRock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter, musical arranger
Instrument(s)Keyboards, vocals
Years active1961–present
LabelsDecca, Parrot, Deram, CBS, Vertigo, Cotillion, Sanctuary, United Artists, Jet, Ariola, Polydor, Warner, Indigo, BGO, AP, Mooncrest

Alan Price (born 19 April 1942) is an English musician who first found prominence as the original keyboardist of the English rock band the Animals. He left the band in 1965 to form the Alan Price Set; his hit singles with and without the group include "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear", "The House That Jack Built", "Rosetta" (with Georgie Fame) and "Jarrow Song". Price is also known for work in film and television, taking occasional acting roles and composing the soundtrack to Lindsay Anderson's film O Lucky Man! (1973). He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as a member of the Animals.

Early life and career[edit]

Price was born in Fatfield, Washington, County Durham. He was educated at Jarrow Grammar School, County Durham.


The Animals[edit]

A self-taught musician, he was a founding member of the Tyneside group the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, which was later renamed The Animals. His organ-playing on songs by The Animals, such as "The House of the Rising Sun", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", and "Bring It On Home to Me" was a key element in the group's success.[1]

As a member of the Animals, he appeared on numerous television shows including; Ready Steady Go!, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullabaloo, and Top of the Pops. Price left the band in 1965, due to personal and musical differences, as well as his fear of flying while on tour.[2]

In August 1967, he appeared with The Animals at the hippie love-in that was held in the grounds of Woburn Abbey.

Price participated in three reunions of The Animals between 1968 and 1984. In July 1983, they started their last world tour. Price's solo performance of "Oh Lucky Man" was included in their set. In 1984, they broke up for the final time, and the album Greatest Hits Live (Rip It to Shreds) was released, comprising recordings from their concert at Wembley Arena in London supporting The Police.

Price was inducted as a member of the Animals into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

The Alan Price Set[edit]

Price formed The Alan Price Set in 1965, with the line-up of Price, Clive Burrows (baritone saxophone), Steve Gregory (tenor saxophone), John Walters (trumpet), Peter Kirtley (guitar), Rod "Boots" Slade (bass) and "Little" Roy Mills (drums). In the same year, he appeared in the film Don't Look Back which featured Bob Dylan on tour in the UK.


During 1966, he enjoyed singles success with "I Put a Spell on You", which reached number 9 in the UK singles chart, and "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" which reached number 11 in the same chart. In 1967, the Randy Newman song "Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear" reached number four in the chart, as did his self-penned song, "The House That Jack Built".[3] "Don't Stop the Carnival" followed in 1968, and rose to number 13 in the UK singles charts.[4]

Price went on to host shows such as the musical Price To Play in the late 1960s, which featured him performing and introducing the music of guests such as Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix. His second album, A Price on His Head (1967), featured seven songs by Randy Newman, who was virtually unknown at that time.[citation needed] Also in 1967, Price was no. 1 in the Keyboard Player category of the 1967 Beat Instrumental Gold Star Awards.[5]

A later association with Georgie Fame resulted in "Rosetta", which became a top-20 hit (1971), reaching number 11 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] An album followed, Fame and Price, Price and Fame Together. During this period, Price and Fame secured a regular slot on The Two Ronnies show produced by BBC Television, and also appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Show.[citation needed]

He recorded the autobiographical album Between Today and Yesterday (1974) from which the single "Jarrow Song" was taken, returning Price to the UK singles chart at number six.[4] The minor single hits by Price "Just For You" and "Baby of Mine" from 1978 and 1979, respectively, as well as being issued on the usual black vinyl, were also released as red, heart-shaped vinyl discs, which reflected the craze for coloured and oddly shaped vinyl records at the time.

Price recorded two albums with the Electric Blues Company featuring guitarist and vocalist Bobby Tench and keyboardist Zoot Money, the first, Covers, was recorded in 1994. A Gigster's Life for Me followed in 1996 and was recorded as part of Sanctuary's Blues Masters Series, at Olympic Studios in south-west London.[6]

Since 1996, Price has continued to perform regularly, arrange, write songs, and create other works. During the 2000s, he has continued to tour the UK with his own band and others, including the Manfreds, Maggie Bell[7] and Bobby Tench.[8]

Savaloy Dip was officially released in 2016. Due to an issuing error after the recording of this album in 1974 the album was re-called by the record company and not re-released at that time.[9][10][11] The title track for his album Between Today and Yesterday was taken from the original Savaloy Dip recording.[11]

Film, stage and TV[edit]

Price appears in the D. A. Pennebaker documentary Don't Look Back (1965) and is in several scenes with Bob Dylan and his entourage, including one where his departure from the Animals is mentioned.

Price has been closely involved with the work of film director Lindsay Anderson. He wrote the music for Anderson's film O Lucky Man! (1973), which he performs on screen in the film and appears as himself in one part of the storyline. The score won the 1974 BAFTA Award for Best Film Music.[12]

Later, he wrote the score to Anderson's final film, The Whales of August (1987).

He acted as the lead in Alfie Darling (1975), a sequel to the film Alfie (1966), during the course of which he became romantically involved with his co-star, Jill Townsend. He also composed and sang the theme tune to the film adaptation of The Plague Dogs (1982), "Time and Tide".[citation needed]

In 1979, Price composed and sang the theme song to the ATV series Turtle's Progress. In 1981 he composed the score for the musical Andy Capp based on the eponymous comic strip. He also wrote the lyrics, together with the actor Trevor Peacock. The play transferred from the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, to London's Aldwych Theatre in September 1982.[13] Price later provided the theme to Thames Television's 1988 sitcom adaptation of Andy Capp in the form of a rewritten "Jarrow Song". Other TV theme work includes a re-recorded version of his 1974 single "Papers", which was used as the theme tune to the London Weekend Television situation comedy Hot Metal and the song "Changes", soundtrack to a popular TV commercial for the VW Golf.[14]

In 1992, Anderson included an episode in his autobiographical BBC film Is That All There Is?, with a boat trip down the River Thames to scatter Rachel Roberts and Jill Bennett's ashes on the waters, while Price accompanied himself and sang the song "Is That All There Is?".

In 2004, Price appeared in the Christmas edition of Heartbeat as Frankie Rio, the leader of a dubious band of musicians, the Franke Rio Trio, who are booked to appear in the Aidensfield Village Concert. The episode was entitled "In the Bleak Midwinter".

Film appearances[edit]

TV appearances[edit]

  • Ready, Steady, Go! – as the Alan Price Set (9 December 1966)
  • Beat-Club – 1967–68
  • Top of the Pops – 7 April 1966, performing "I Put a Spell on You" with the Alan Price Set
  • Top of the Pops – 14 July 1966, performing "Hi Lili, Hi Lo" with the Alan Price Set
  • Top of the Pops – 15 February 1968, performing "Don't Stop The Carnival" with the Alan Price Set[15]
  • Disco – Episode No. 1.5 as Price and Fame (1971)
  • The Two Ronnies – as himself (1972) eight episodes
  • Saturday Night Live – as himself (April 1977)
  • Pop Quiz – as himself (25 September 1984)[16]
  • Heartbeat – Frankie Rio (a "shifty" musician) "In the Bleak Midwinter" (2004)

Personal life[edit]

Price is believed to have two children and has been married twice. He married Maureen Elizabeth Donneky at Fulham towards the end of 1971.[17] The couple divorced. Price and Donneky had one daughter, Elizabeth.[18][19]

In 1992, he was living in London with his second wife Alison and two daughters.[20]

Price is a Sunderland A.F.C. supporter although, ironically, Sunderland's local rivals Newcastle United often used his version of "Blaydon Races" at matches.[21][22] In 2011, he took part in the Sunderland A.F.C. charity Foundation of Light event.[23]




  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Alan Price autobiography". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Making Time- The Animals". Retrieved 21 April 2023.
  3. ^ Not the same song as "The House That Jack Built" (Lance-Robbins) recorded by Aretha Franklin (1968): Alan Price - "The House That Jack Built" at Retrieved 14 January 2019
  4. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (w19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 438. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ Beat Instrumental, Feb. 1967 - Page 20 BEAT INSTRUMENTAL'S 1967 GOLD STAR AWARDS, Keyboard Player
  6. ^ "A Gigster's Life. Alan Price and the Electric Blues Company". 1995. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Flying Music tours". Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  8. ^ Fran, Leslie (October 2009). Bobby Tench to play tour with Alan Price. Blues in Britain. pp. 18 Vol 1 issue 94.
  9. ^ "Savaloy Dip - Alan Price | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  10. ^ "Alan Price – Savaloy Dip: Words & Music By Alan Price – Omnivore Recordings".
  11. ^ a b "Review: Alan Price, "Savaloy Dip: Words and Music by Alan Price"". 26 January 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Film | Anthony Asquith Memorial Award in 1974". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Alan Price Andy Capp credits". Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Alan Price". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  15. ^ "TV Pop Diaries 1968".
  16. ^ "The Alarm - Mike Peters on Pop Quiz (aired 25th September 1984)".
  17. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Alan Price Online | Alan and daughter Elizabeth". Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  20. ^ Carinthia West (9 August 1992). "How We Met: 46. Georgie Fame and Alan Price". The Independent. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ "It's all Red and White to former Animal Price". The Northern Echo. 28 May 2002.
  23. ^ "Carols of Light charity fundraising event - Durham University".
  24. ^ "Alan Price".


  • Burdon, Eric. I Used to Be an Animal, but I'm All Right Now. Faber and Faber, 1986. ISBN 9780571129522
  • Burdon, Eric (with J. Marshall Craig). Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood: A Memoir. Thunder's Mouth Press, 2001. ISBN 1-56025-330-4

External links[edit]