English keyboard player Alan Price was a self-taught musician, and in the early 60s formed The Alan Price Rhythm & Blues Combo. They were subsequently joined by singer Eric Burdon and became The Animals. They hit it big in 1964 with their version of the traditional American folk song "House Of The Rising Sun", which was a #1 on both sides of the Atlantic, and many more hits followed. Their music was steeped in R&B, and it was Burdon's vocals and Price's organ which gave them their unique sound.
However Price left The Animals in 1965, to form his own group. This group was The Alan Price Set, consisting of Price himself (vocals/keyboards), Clive Burrows (baritone sax), Steve Gregory (tenor sax), John Walters (trumpet), Peter Kirtley (guitar), Rod Slade (bass) and Roy Mills (drums). They released a few singles straight away, and the second one, a brilliant cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You", made it to #9 in the UK. He also made an appearance on the Bob Dylan documentary Dont Look Back, where he was seen talking about his departure from The Animals.
Their debut album came out in 1966. The Price To Play was a fine mix of R&B and pop. Price wasn't as powerful a vocalist as Burdon, but to be honest he wasn't far off, with a quite similar voice. His use of a three-piece horn section gave him access to some excellent arrangements, with his signature organ remaining the featured instrument. The album had covers of Robert Parker's "Barefootin'", Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose", Wilson Pickett's "Land Of 1,000 Dances", Don Covay's "Mercy Mercy", The Four Tops' "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar". It also featured a version of the song "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo", from the 1953 film Lili, which was released as a single and got to #11.
|> A Price On His Head (1967)