Animals – We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place

I think some of us will be thinking of this title soon if we haven’t already.

This was written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. The Animals producer Mickie Most heard this song and had the band record it. He was looking for American material as he was trying to break the band in the States, and had a call out to the New York City songwriters in the Brill Building and 1650 Broadway looking for songs.

Eric Burdon: “I’ve always viewed myself as a punk. The Animals could have evolved that way. We had the energy and the anger, but we didn’t stick together. When the punk scene became commercial, I was all for the politics of the movement, but the music didn’t really stand up and ultimately, it was self destructive.”

The song peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100, #2 in the UK, and #2 in Canada in 1965.

 

From Songfacts

Mann had just signed a record deal and recorded this song himself, but his version was pulled when The Animals released the song. Mann and Weil were very productive in the mid-’60s, as they made the transition from writing fluffy pop songs like “Blame It On The Bossa Nova” to songs with more of a message, which appealed to rock bands like The Animals.

Animals lead singer Eric Burdon came in #57 in a Rolling Stone poll to find the greatest singers of all time. On this song, he delivers an anger and energy that was an influence on later punk bands. 

There are two entirely different recordings of this song by The Animals. The US single version is an alternate take, shipped to MGM, The Animals’ American record label, by mistake. Nevertheless, this is a far superior version of the song. Unfortunately, it’s this version that’s played by almost all Oldies radio stations today. 

Adrian Cronauer (the movie Good Morning Vietnam was based on his life) mentioned on a special Independence Day show on Sirius Satellite Radio that this was the most requested song on Armed Forces Radio when he was in Vietnam. 

TV series to use this song include:

Supernatural (“A Little Slice of Kevin” – 2012)
Heroes (“Into Asylum” – 2009)
Absolutely Fabulous (“The Last Shout: Part 1” – 1996)
The A-Team (“Beneath the Surface” – 1986)
Miami Vice (“Glades” – 1984)

Among the movies to use it:

Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Hamburger Hill (1987)

At the 2012 SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Bruce Springsteen talked about this song when he gave the keynote speech. After reciting the lyrics, he said, “That’s every song I’ve ever written.”

Bruce was referring to his penchant for writing songs about getting away in search for something better in life.

Denmark + Winter recorded a dark electronic cover as part of their 2014 Re: Imagined album. Their version was featured on the season 5 episode of Pretty Little Liars “Taking This One to the Grave” to underscore a character’s death.

We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place

In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain’t no use in tryin’

Now my girl, you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away, oh yes I know it

(Yeah!) he’s been workin’ so hard (yeah!)
And I’ve been workin’ too, baby (yeah!)
Every night and day (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
‘Cause girl, there’s a better life for me and you

Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true, yeah
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know it

Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey, yeah
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
I know he’s been workin’ so hard

(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby (yeah!)
Every day baby (yeah!)
Whoa!
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Somewhere baby
Somehow I know it, baby

We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Believe me baby
I know it baby
You know it too

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

27 thoughts on “Animals – We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place”

  1. Back in November, Mama and I fulfilled a dream 20 years in the making, and bought a little shanty, under a palm tree. As Massachusetts governor threatens a “shelter in place” order, we’re gonna Get Outta This Place. Heading South. See ya.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good song that did set the pace for a fair bit of punk and garage rock to follow. I just watched that Springsteen speech on Youtube last week, was surprised he was such a huge fan of the Animals, but it kind of makes sense in context of this song and a lot of his themes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank goodness we still have our blogging community! This is a great song, from how it builds, to how he sings it, to the musical backup, to the kick butt stage they are on. The guy who introduces them has been in some horror movies. I don’t remember his name. He’s one of the 3 killers in house of a thousand corpses I think it’s called, maybe directed by Rob Zombie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I saw this yesterday…that was the funniest video of him singing. I wanted to steal it and post it…damn that was funny.

      That is cool. You know my cousin is staying with us for a while. He is the singer…I need to get him to put his vocals down. We have the time that is for sure.

      Like

  4. My favorite song by The Animals- and I don’t know how many times I’ve been somewhere and thought of this song- as the soundtrack for that moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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