The English rock band The Animals topped the charts with the first folk-rock single in 1964

The Animals
The Animals / Davies/GettyImages

The Animals began a three-week stretch at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their cover of "The House Of The Rising Sun" on this day in 1964. The haunting, electric arrangement was a unique sound of the era and proved to be popular with the band's fans.

Formed in Newcastle in the early 60s, The Animals had a gritty, bluesy sound that was accentuated by the deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon. Alan Price, Chas Chandler, Hilton Valentine, John Steel, and Burdon would form the original lineup of the band.

The first time Burdon heard "House Of The Rising Sun," it was sung by the Northumbrian folk singer Johnny Handle. Like most folk songs, the origin story is uncertain. The song, also known as "Rising Sun Blues," has many theories of where it originated from, from 16th to 17th-century ballads to American Miners in the early 1900s.

The Animals' version was recorded in one take featuring Valentine's famous guitar chord, Price's pulsating organ, and Burdon's iconic vocals described by The Age as "...deep and gravelly as the north-east English coal town of Newcastle that spawned him".

The band was searching for a song that would grab attention and first used their arrangement as their closing song during their tour with Chuck Berry. This was a drastic change from the traditional rock and roll song used by other bands. And it worked; fans were mesmerized.

Producer Mickie Most wasn't convinced it was a good idea to have a song run four and a half minutes long. But since it only took 15 minutes to put together and he saw the positive response, he became a believer. The song was never included on an album but would reach No. 1 and stay for three weeks. It would then be reissued in 1972, reaching No. 25 and No. 11 in 1982.

Over the years "House Of The Rising Sun" would be covered by many including Henry Mancini, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Jeremy Renner, and Five Finger Death Punch. Check out 52 covers in the Spotify playlist by Leo Lopez.

The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and they have influenced many other musicians. Bruce Springsteen had this to say of The Animals' influence on his music and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place."

" "That's every song I've ever written ... That's 'Born to Run,' 'Born in the U.S.A.,' everything I've done for the past 40 years including all the new ones. That struck me so deep. It was the first time I felt I heard something come across the radio that mirrored my home life, my childhood.""

Bruce Springsteen

Next. Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr cover of Let It Be. Dolly Parton, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr cover of Let It Be. dark

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