The Animals is a British rock band from the 1960s. Like the Rolling Stones, this group was one of the pioneers of the British Blues Boom and helped bring American black rhythm and blues to Europe. In the early 1960s, Alan Price, John Steel, Chas Chandler and Hilton Valentine played every weekend in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in a small jazz orchestra called Alan Price Combo after the singer, also the most influential member of the group. Quickly, they were joined by Eric Burdon, another singer. Passionate about blues and rhythm and blues, Burdon moves the band in a direction that corresponds more to his musical aspirations. They cover the greatest American bluesmen and assert themselves as a remarkable stage band. Their savagery on stage, where Burdon's harsh and powerful voice emerges, quickly earned them the nickname The Animals, which became their official name in 1963. Arriving in London in 1964, the Animals signed with Columbia, a subsidiary of EMI, and recorded their first songs in the studio. They met with immediate success with the traditional American song The House of the Rising Sun. For the next two years, the Animals went on to record hits under the direction of producer Mickie Most, with covers of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and Boom Boom. Alan Price left the group in May 1965. He was briefly replaced by Mick Gallagher, then by Dave Rowberry who appeared on the hits We Gotta Get out of This Place and It's My Life. In search of more artistic freedom (they recorded mostly covers until then), the Animals ended their contract with Columbia and their collaboration with Mickie Most at the end of 1965. They are released on MGM Records for North America and Decca for the rest of the world. Drummer John Steel left the band in February 1966. His replacement is Barry Jenkins. The Animals disperse before the end of the year.