Don't Bring Me Down (The Animals song)
|"Don't Bring Me Down"|
|Single by the Animals|
|Released||May 21, 1966 (U.K.); May 17, 1966 U.S.|
|Recorded||13 April 1966|
|Label||Decca Records (UK), MGM Records (U.S.)|
|Songwriter(s)||Gerry Goffin, Carole King|
|The Animals singles chronology|
"Don't Bring Me Down" is a song composed by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and recorded as a 1966 hit single by the Animals. It was the group's first release with drummer Barry Jenkins, who replaced founding member John Steel as he had left the band in February of that year.
"Don't Bring Me Down" was one of a series of Animals renditions 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.
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
- Because my best just ain't good enough
- Girl, I want to provide for you
- And do all the things that you want me to
before sliding into a loud, pleading voice on the chorus:
- 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. Allmusic considers "Don't Bring Me Down" an exemplar of the Animals' "brutally soulful inspiration."
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.
Similarly titled songs
Some websites erroneously claim the song has earlier been recorded by 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.
- "Songwriter Carl D'Errico Interviewed by Mick Patrick". Spectropop. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
- Sullivan, Denise (2009-11-04). "'Don't Bring Me Down'". Crawdaddy!. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
- Landau, Jon (1971-04-29). "Carole King: Writer". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Thom Jurek. "Don't Bring Me Down: The Decca Years". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-04-07.