Is "The House of the Rising Sun" a rock song?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by 2HBStrat, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    This is the version I learned 'way back in the '70s. I would say this rocks.
     
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  2. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I don't know. Sure are a lot of versions! I can say I liked Eric Burdon's vocal then and, after listening tonight, still do.
     
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  3. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    This is the second time in the last week I've come across this sentiment.

    Personally, I'm with Homer Simpson on this one.

    "If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing."





    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  4. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Let's just repeat the correct answer: it is a folk song and goes way back in the folk tradition. It has been reinterpreted in other styles, as in the many examples given, but it was created as a folk song... by folk.
     
  5. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Boy howdy! It was for me too, but it became a damn sight less so when I shifted to cross picking, after I finally googled what that was.
     
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  6. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Holic

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    When I first read the quote, it was attributed to Dizzy Gillespie.

    But still a trumpet player.
     
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  7. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    I think that in the 50s and early 60s you had rock and roll, and you had folk music. Folk music was more serious. When the Beatles came along, the folk musicians wanted to get in on the action, so they combined the seriousness of folk music with the excitement of electric guitars and drums and created "rock" music.

    So if you're talking about the Animals hit version, it was a folk song that was adapted by a rock and roll band in the 60s, making it a "rock" song.

    I'd also say that all "rock" music is "pop" music, but not vise-versa.
     
  8. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Afflicted

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    Traditional folk / rock / blues song. All ages know it.
     
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  9. P Thought

    P Thought Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Funny how there are different versions of both the lyrics and the background mythology. That happens a lot with folk songs, I think. My version suggests that the house in New Orleans was a prison:

    I've got one foot on the platform.
    The other's on the train.
    I'm going down to New Orleans,
    got to wear that ball and chain
    .

    Wonder if it was Pete Seeger who changed it. (Edit: the Levant story sounds pretty credible, and some of the versions posted here would back that up.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 12:31 PM
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  10. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    “Wear that ball and chain” could also be symbolic of the burden of the narrator’s sinful lifestyle, rather than a literal ball and chain that a prisoner would wear.

    Kinda like how my Brother-in-law calls his wife the “old ball and chain.”
    Except his situation is closer to a literal prison. My sister-in-law is a piece of work.
     
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  11. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    +1

    And Frijid Pink's version was rubbish. Getting lots of airplay on one of the few stations I can receive clearly and I'll run to mute it now - just sick of it.

    Back to cool things: I think Hilton Valentine's guitar riff sent the song from its Folk origins into the Rock category.

    But I disagree with most folks, when they say Valentine's riff is one of his best contributions. Virtually every hit the Animals released while he was aboard, has killer guitar parts and he's very much responsible for why they were the real counterpoint to the Beatles for a while there - not the Stones.

    I'm sympathetic to Bones' opinion here. This song is probably the last Animals song I would care to hear, at any moment. But I adore Eric for just pronouncing New Orleans in the way locals do when nobody is catering to tourists or being a goof.

    I don't think the song is blues, really. I'd like to point out a Soul component to the Animals. Prior to Paul Weller, few UK guys had it - with the exception being Eric. He's got soul.
     
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  12. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    of course the Animals version became one of the first songs aspiring young ROCK guitarists learned. The organ, the arpeggiated chords and Eric Burdon.
    The continuation of the British Invasion.
     
  13. maxvintage

    maxvintage Poster Extraordinaire

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    Folk Song
     
  14. LeftFinger

    LeftFinger Friend of Leo's

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    In my opinion the best version
     
  15. lowatter

    lowatter Tele-Holic

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    I think that they need to round up all the moronic "stage designers and directors" for music videos from this era and(insert proper justice here). I bet none of them won any notable awards for their production efforts and they made musicians look like puppet retreads. I liked the version they did but I would loved to see what pedals and amps were used in the release and how the band "jammed" together naturally. Lose "the Man" aspect and... Bob's your uncle. JMHOYMMV
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 6:55 PM
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