Not the Setting Sun--New Eric Burdon

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The striking thing about Eric Burdon’s  ‘Til Your River Runs Dry is its penchant for nostalgia.  Of course Eric Burdon should be allowed to wax nostalgic, without question, being over fifty years in the music business, clearly established in the rock-and- roll canon, and seventy-two as of May 11th, 2013. 

It is one of his songs from ‘Til Your River Runs Dry that inspired us to create this site; thankfully he is not part of the 27 Club. He could have been, easily enough.

2013, Not 2004

Our site celebrates the notion of the twenty-seven club pondered from the vantage point of survivors, well beyond McCartney’s youthful projection of the heady age of sixty-four!  So the album reviewed here is Burdon’s 2013 one, though the associated album is 2004’s My Secret Life, an equally nostalgic look at many of the same issues from the perspective of a mere sixty-two year old.  These two albums, nine years apart, make for great comparison.

So what do we have from Burdon in 2013? Well, perhaps—it sure as hell seems to be—one of his best albums ever. It is so because he isn’t nostalgic in the sense of performing Vegas-versions of his early successes; he’s creating. 

He’s credited with all but two tunes on the twelve-track album.  His absences are a Bo Diddley classic, “Before You Accuse Me,” that Biblical, early rocker, covered by some of the best in the business, and a great Marc Cohn piece called “Medicine Man.”  The latter is a pretty good tune, though it would have been  better suited to 2004’s My Secret Life.

New by Old

 ‘Till Your River Runs Dry is a great album and it is clearly by Burdon—the old-man Burdon. It’s wonderful that way—it’s a reply to his youth from the vantage point of pretty-close-to-wisdom.  We could devote a good portion of this to his musical experimentation and his successes and lesser experiences over those decades.  It’s kind of all here though.  His period with War is here, his Animals time, his solo life, and all the other aspects of Burdon we may think of.  He’s still a punk, of course; he’s the criminal against the state who is its future—it’s Eric Burdon.

These pieces won’t ever be on the radio like “House of the Rising Sun” was, but “Invitation to the Whitehouse” is one of the best Burdon pieces I’ve ever heard.  If he’d sung it during the Nixon or Bush administrations it may be a classic by now, like many of his old pieces, but it isn’t doing anything right now. 

These aren’t Vegas-tunes by some retiree.  The album deserves a careful listen, 70’s dorm-room reverence and all that entails.

His website, out our review of 2004's My Secret Life.


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