5 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” By The Animals
via Jonathan HB / Youtube
The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” was covered by a lot of artists from different generations, but the song has surprising facts you probably didn’t know. Here are five of them, take a look below.
1. Who is being misunderstood?
This song was written by Horace Ott, Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus. Benjamin and Marcus were a songwriting team that had been working together since the ’40s. Ott started writing the song after getting into a heated argument with Gloria Caldwell, whom he had recently married. He expressed in the song how he was misunderstood by his wife, a sentiment many married men could relate to. Gloria Caldwell was listed on the credit instead of Ott because of contractual issues.
2. Who first released the song?
Even though, the best-known version is by The Animals, Nina Simone was the first to record this song, releasing an orchestrated, downtempo rendition on her 1964 album Broadway-Blues-Ballads that nicked the US chart at #131. The Animals just reworked it into a rock song. Eric Burdon recalled in Rolling Stone magazine,
“It was never considered pop material, but it somehow got passed on to us and we fell in love with it immediately.”
3. Eric Burdon’s misunderstood life
In a 2010 interview with Eric Burdon, he said:
“I’ve really been misunderstood. By my mom, my dad, school teachers, a couple of the women that I married. I’ve been misunderstood all of my life.”
4. The songs bites
In 2013, Eric Burdon recorded a new version of this song with Jenny Lewis for the HBO TV series True Blood. The song was included on Volume 4 of the show’s soundtrack. Burdon said of recording the song for the vampire drama:
“When I was asked to record a new version of ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ for the new season with Jenny Lewis, I had to bite.”
5. Other covers
Some artists who did their own rendition of the song are:
Joe Cocker, who covered this on his 1969 debut album, With a Little Help from My Friends. His version was played over the ending credits of the 2004 film Layer Cake.
Disco group Santa Esmeralda’s 1977 dance version, which incorporated flamenco, salsa, and other Latin rhythm and ornamentation elements. Released as a single it reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s instrumental passage was later used by Quentin Tarantino during the duel between The Bride and O-Ren Ishii in his 2003 movie Kill Bill: Volume 1.
Lana Del Rey, who covered this for her 2015 Honeymoon album. Her version is in the vein of Nina Simone’s jazz original but also uses The Animals organ sound.
All the covers are great, but we cannot compare them to the original.