The Animals – Animalisms

Catch-up time! The next several entries will include records I’ve added to my collection since I passed their place in the alphabet!

On our record crawl back in February (which right now feels about as far away as 1980 does – time has no meaning in the midst of a pandemic), I made my first visit to Siren Records in Doylestown, PA. I knew of it because of several friends constantly raving about this store, but hadn’t made the somewhat lengthy trip up to Doylestown to check it out, so the crawl was the perfect excuse.

Animalisms -- 180gram re-release
Animalisms — 180gram re-release of the original third UK release

Well. My friends were not wrong. It was the first stop of the day and I had set a budget for my day’s purchases, and immediately found myself challenged by the incredible selection of records at Siren, both new and used. I wanted them all, but I didn’t want to end up not spending at some of the other stores — they were all giving our little group discounts or recognition of some sort, so it would have been rude not to reward them. And my budget wasn’t an absolute, more of a “how much is it reasonable to spend in one day” thing, so I had some flexibility. But still — Siren challenged that.

In normal times, I also have a thing against buying too much new music at once, because I tend not to absorb it. I may even forget that I’ve purchased it. And I’m very much a thematic listener, so if I pick up a mess of r’n’b records and a folk-rock piece, well, it may be a while before I spin that folk-rock.

But this was a special occasion, a record crawl with my friends, and I was finding stuff that I had never seen before and was afraid I might never see again. So some flexibility had to be applied.

Of course, the first thing that jumps out at me is a gorgeous 180 gram reissue of an Animals album that I have never even seen in the wild before, “Animalisms,” which was never released in the US. And it’s on colored vinyl. And it has what may be the only great cover The Animals ever were treated to. So right away, almost whatever this cost, it was going home with me.

Early in this journey through my collection, it was pretty well established that I’m a huge Animals fan. And here was an album that I didn’t have, in any form! There’s no relationship between this, their third UK album from 1966, and “Animalism,” their fifth US album released that same year. Some of the tracks do appear on “Animalization,” their fourth US release. God, I hate this cross-Atlantic confusion. In any event, this is some fabulous Animalism, nearly all covers done in rave-up Animals r’n’b style, and it sounds amazing. I’m always down for 180 gram rereleases when they’re engineered well, and this one is. Such joyous noise!

Animalisms back cover
Animalisms back cover — “Analysis and criticism of recording session reactions from new drummer Barry Jenkins.”
Animalisms picture sleeve
Animalisms picture sleeve
Animalisms liner notes
Animalisms liner notes
Animalisms on colored vinyl
Animalisms on colored vinyl — I’m colorblind but this looks fabulous to me.

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