The Animals: “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

ALBUM: Animal Tracks

YEAR: 1965

WRITERS:  Benny Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus

Peaked at number-15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Animals recorded “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” not long after Nina Simone released the original version of it. Hers didn’t chart, but theirs reached the Top 15. Animals singer Eric Burdon tells us that when they met not long after, she really wasn’t happy about that. “Nina Simone, she had a real go at me when she heard ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.’ ‘So you’re the white punk that’s been stealing my song.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute,’ and we had this big head-to-head argument, but eventually she said, ‘Ah, OK, my name’s Nina Simone, what’s your name?’ I feel that songs for me, since I don’t play an instrument, they’re like plays. That’s why I like to sing other people’s songs, but I like to play them my way.”

Animals’ singer Eric Burdon celebrates his 76th birthday today (May 11th).


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