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Before We Were So Rudely Interrupted [LP]
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  • Cut 11 years after the Animals' original lineup recorded their last LP and six years before their more well-remembered reunion tour, this oft-overlooked album is just short of a lost classic; it lacks the intensity of their 1983 studio effort, Ark, but it is more substantial musically than that album and fits in very neatly with their preceding work, as though they'd scarcely skipped a beat. Recorded under the auspices of the late Chas Chandler's Barn Productions, the album was highlighted by a dramatically bluesy rendition of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," boasting superb playing by Alan Price. Hilton Valentine's soaring guitar pyrotechnics light up "Fire on the Sun," perhaps the flashiest performance of his career for this most introspective of '60s British blues axemen, and "As the Crow Flies" has the group returning to its roots, as a dark, brooding rendition of the Jimmy Reed song that gives room for Chandler, Valentine, Price, and John Steel to show off their '60s-era blues chops in a more expansive form. After a promising start, the gospel number "Many Rivers to Cross" falls apart a bit, but "Just a Little Bit," with its rippling organ break, the group original "Riverside County," and the pounding finale, "The Fool," make the rest of side two eminently enjoyable, although, coming out in the midst of the punk and disco booms, the LP never had a chance to be heard by more than the most dedicated fans. ~ Bruce Eder
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