Eric Burdon's interpretation of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" in celebration of Amnesty International's 50th year.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Eric Burdon turned 76 yesterday and celebrated by turning back the clock with a cover of Buffalo Springfield's classic hit "For What It's Worth."
On his website, Burdon put up a streaming-only "sneak preview" of his newly-recorded version of the 1966 protest anthem. It will later be mixed and mastered, but he wanted to make it available for streaming on his birthday; he also appeared on last night's installment of the CNN series Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History.
Burdon's history, of course, includes his role as frontman of the legendary British Invasion group the Animals, as well as a substantial solo career that has been given new life by a new band of young musicians, with whom he's lately been spending much time in the studio. With the Animals, the politically-outspoken artist sang such anti-war anthems as "We've Got to Get Out of This Place" and "Sky Pilot."
"The whole idea of recording this song came as a result of a conversation I had with a young fan backstage, when she asked me, 'Where are the protest songs today?'" Burdon said on his site. "Right then and there, I wanted to write to say something about the brutality that's going on in the world today—but I couldn't find any better way to say it than Buffalo Springfield did in 'For What It’s Worth.' I thought of reintroducing this classic, which is as relevant today as it was during the Vietnam war and speaks to this generation just as it spoke to mine."
Burdon continued: "The message is clear. Racism is back, stronger than it ever has been. The struggle between the sexes is at a boiling point. Violence is out of control. Our very home planet is under threat. It's time to grow up and take responsibility. We must wake up before it's too late. Everything we believed in, everything people fought and died for in the '60s, is under attack today."
"So join me, sing with me, speak out against the madness," he concluded. "We are not afraid."