When I Was Young (song)

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"When I Was Young"
Single by Eric Burdon and The Animals
B-side"A Girl Named Sandoz"
ReleasedApril 8, 1967
Format7", 45rpm
GenrePsychedelic rock, protometal
Length3:00
LabelMGM
Songwriter(s)Eric Burdon, Vic Briggs, John Weider, Barry Jenkins, Danny McCulloch
Producer(s)Tom Wilson
Eric Burdon and The Animals singles chronology
"Help Me Girl"
(1966)
"When I Was Young"
(1967)
"San Franciscan Nights"
(1967)

"When I Was Young" is a song with a countercultural theme released in early 1967 by Eric Burdon, with The Animals and was written by five of the band members Eric Burdon (vocals), Barry Jenkins (drums), John Weider (guitar/violin), Vic Briggs (guitar), and Danny McCulloch (bass). It charted in Australia peaking No. 2 and stayed 4 weeks there. Later it was a hit charting No. 10 on the Canadian RPM chart, No. 15 in the United States and No. 9 in the Netherlands. The song has been covered by many punk rock and heavy metal bands.

Background[edit]

This somewhat autobiographical song told about Burdon's father, who was a soldier during tough times, as well as young Eric's adventures including his first smoke of a cigarette at 10, to his meeting his first love at 13. The final verse shows his disillusionment with society by saying:

"My faith was so much stronger then,

I believed in fellow men,
And I was so much older then.
When I was Young".

This song is noted for its Indian riff, played by an electric guitar as well as a violin. It is also distinctive for its introduction featuring a heavily distorted guitar's tremolo descent from E to D. This song begins in E Minor, and ends in G Minor. The B-Side "A Girl Named Sandoz" is named after the drug company that invented LSD.

Later it was used for a German TV commercial. In the early 1980s Burdon began to mention many stars who died at the end of the song.

Cover versions[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
position
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[1] 10
Germany (Official German Charts)[2] 31
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[3] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 15

References[edit]

External links[edit]