Brian May has paid tribute to Hilton Valentine, the guitarist in The Animals, who died last Friday at the age of 77.
May saysin 1964, "a revolutionary sound burst upon the airwaves ... 'The House of the Rising Sun,' an immortal record made by The Animals and it really was totally revolutionary in its time because English pop music was not like that. It was very fluffy and rather lovely and melodic and sweet, but it didn't have the passion that ['Rising Sun'] had.
"These guys from the north and the Midlands of England didn't care about English music that much. What they loved was the music of the black blues men, who put into their music a passion and a feel and an urgency which really wasn't known in England at that time. So they're one of the pioneers of the blues. We called it rhythm and blues at that time. I don't know why it was called rhythm and blues around where we were, but it ushered in a whole era, which included The Rolling Stones, and after on Eric Clapton with The Yardbirds and then Jimi Hendrix, who came along and I guess changed everything because he took it - he took blues into space in some way - in musical style...
"R.I.P. Hilton Valentine. We love ya; and thank you for this amazing, amazing contribution to the development of rock music. Gonna always love it."
Valentine is the second member of The Animals to pass following bassist Chas Chandler-- who discovered and went on to manage Jimi Hendrix -- in 1996.