The Animals - It's My Life

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"It's My Life" is a song written by Brill Building songwriters Roger Atkins and Carl D'Errico. The song was originally performed by English R&B band The Animals, who released it as a single in October 1965.

The song became a hit in several different countries and has since been recorded by multiple artists.

D'Errico, who wrote the music, and Atkins, who wrote the lyrics, were professional songwriters associated with the greater Brill Building scene in New York City. By 1965 they were working for Screen Gems Music, but had only found minor success at best.

"It's My Life" was written specifically for the Animals as their producer Mickie Most was soliciting material for the group's next recording sessions. (Other Animals hits to come out of this Brill Building call were "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and "Don't Bring Me Down".). It would become D'Errico and Atkins' best-known work.

The Animals' recording was propelled by a bass guitar riff from Chas Chandler, soon joined by an electric twelve-string guitar riff from Hilton Valentine; in the view of musicologist Walter Everett, the doubled line gave the song its strength. Dave Rowberry (Alan Price's replacement) on organ gave the record the sound that distinguished the Animals from other "British Invasion" groups, differing from Dave Clark Five's Mike Smith's through its darker timbre. Music writer Dave Marsh compared the dual part to a rock version of pointillism. Then lead singer Eric Burdon's low-pitched, gruff vocal entered with lyrics that author James E. Perrone thought rhetorically matched Burdon's origins from Tyneside in the working class North East England

"It's My Life" was visually premiered on the US television show Hullabaloo in autumn 1965, where the group sang live vocals against canned music on a den-type set that featured attractive young women sticking their heads through holes in the wall, where normally animal heads would be mounted.
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