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The House of the Rising Sun (Columbia, 1964)

The House of the Rising Sun is a traditional folk song that tells the story of life gone wrong in New Orleans. The most successful version of the song remains from 1964 by the British rock group The Animals. Vocalist Eric Burdon first heard the song in a Newcastle club being performed by Northumbrian folk singer Johnny Handle. The Animals were on tour with Chuck Berry and he wanted something distinctive for the band to sing. They began using it as their closing number. It got an immediate response and eventually won over their reluctant producer Mickie Most. Between stops, they recorded it officially in London in May 1964 (in one take). It was released about a month later and topped the charts in the UK, the U.S. and Canada. It remains one of the classics of British pop music.