This Sixties rock song was written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. They originally wrote it for The Righteous Brothers, for whom they had written the mega-hit “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” However, the British record producer Mickie Most got a hold of Mann’s demo of the song and thought it would be great for The Animals. Group member Chas Chandler added a distinctive bass line. (For those who like this sort of trivia, there’s been a brouhaha about a difference in lyrics on the second version between the U.K. and the U.S. releases. Evidently, for the U.S., a mistaken earlier version had “See my daddy in bed -a’dyin'” instead of the U.K. versions which had “watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’. While the U.S. version made it onto the U.S. versions of their 1965 album Animals Tracks and 1966 album The Best of the Animals, over the years reissues have the corrected British version.)
The song went to #2 on the U.K. Singles Chart and in Canada. It went to #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” became very popular with the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It’s been said that every band that played in an armed forces club had to play that song. Accolades include listing on Rolling Stone magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”
The Animals formed in Newcastle and then moved to London. The group had many changes over time, but on this track were Eric Burdon (vocals), Dave Rowberry (keyboards) , Hilton Valentine (guitar), John Steel (drums), and Bryan “Chas” Chandler (bass).