“House Of The Rising Sun” is a traditional Folk song that was first recorded in the ‘30’s and later covered by Pete Seger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, among others, in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. That was before The Animals, a British Blues band, took it to #1 in the U.S., U.K. and Canada on the strength of Alan Price’s brilliant arrangement and Eric Burdon’s powerful vocals.
Aside from The Animals, probably the most distinctive (or over the top) version of the song was released by Detroit’s Frijid Pink. The Blues Rock outfit formed in ’67 and was recording two years later. Their first two singles stiffed (“Tell Me Why” and “Drivin’ Blues”) before they unfurled their bombastic, distorted guitar interpretation of “House Of The Rising Sun.” Frijid Pink’s take was an afterthought at best, laid down at the end of a session to kill time.
As luck (or something) would have it, “House Of The Rising Sun” reached the Top 10 in the U.S. peaking at #7 and sold over a million copies. The album, with the pink cover, band photo and ‘psychedelic’ lettering, went to #11 on the strength of the hit.
A rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and subsequent singles failed to generate much interest. After their sophomore album, “Defrosted, vocalist Tom Beaudry and guitarist Gary Ray Thompson left. Their replacements fared no better.