The Last Thing We Ever Do

The Animals recorded ‘We Gotta Get Out of this Place’ on their US 1965 Animal Tracks album and the song went to #2 in the UK and #13 in the US.  The husband and wife team Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, from the Brill Building wrote this song and made a demo that was originally offered to the Righteous Brothers, but they turned it down.  That demo was circulated to various record people, including record label executive Allen Klein, to get them interested.  Klein had managed the business affairs of Sam Cooke, and later on would also be the manager for the Rolling Stones and, for a short time, the Beatles, heard it, liked it, and thought it would be a good choice for the Animals.  He sent a copy of the demo to the Animals producer Mickie Most in the UK.

The song became a popular Vietnam War anthem demanding the U.S. government to withdraw from the Vietnam conflict, but it is not a war song.  This song is about a young couple caught in a working-class city slum, trying to make a better life for themselves before the working-class lifestyle literally kills them, like the narrator’s father who worked himself to death at a young age.  The song can be viewed as an act of hope and faith where the man must find that better future for him and his girl.  There ain’t no use in trying to have a future if he is not able to share it with his girl, who is so young and pretty. He sees his battered father has become grey haired because of his tough life and he feels that if they stay in this dirty old city, that will mean nothing but slaving away at work for both him and his girl and they will be condemned to dying before their time.

The Animals released separate UK and US albums, which was also done by the Beatles and the Stones.  The UK Animal Tracks and the US Animal Tracks albums by the Animals both came out in 1965, but they contained different songs.  The UK and US single releases were different versions from the same recording sessions.  The US single version is an alternate take, shipped to MGM, The Animals’ American record label, by mistake.  It’s this version that’s played by almost all Oldies radio stations today.  It seems to depend on which version you heard first as the one which song is preferred by most listeners.  Animal Tracks has Eric Burdon singing vocals, Alan Price and his replacement Dave Rowberry both play keyboards, Hilton Valentine plays guitar, Chas Chandler is on bass and John Steel on drums

In 2004 ‘We Gotta Get Out of this Place’ was ranked number 233 on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list; it is also in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.  The Animals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and Eric Burdon came in #57 in a Rolling Stone poll asking who is the greatest singer of all time.

In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refused to shine
People tell me there ain’t no use in tryin’
Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
Oh yes I know it
(Yeah!) He’s been workin’ so hard
(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby
(Yeah!) Every night and day
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
‘cause girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true, yeah
You’ll be dead before your time is due, I know it
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin’
Watched his hair been turnin’ grey, yeah
He’s been workin’ and slavin’ his life away
I know he’s been workin’ so hard
(Yeah!) I’ve been workin’ too, baby
(Yeah!) Every day baby
(Yeah!) Whoa!
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!)
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Somewhere baby, somehow I know it
We gotta get out of this place
If it’s the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Believe me baby
I know it baby
You know it too

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge One way Out.

13 thoughts on “The Last Thing We Ever Do

  1. All those years I’ve heard the song, but never knew the back-story.
    It is strange the things they tried to do in the 1960s with copyright, presumably because they did not anticipate us being one global community. I still see traces of that today. Often if I follow a YouTube link by a US poster, I am told that the video is not available, yet when I search again for the song, there it is under a different YouTube URL. Crazy, especially when that song is sixty years old…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I come across the same thing where videos posted in the UK will not play in the US. YouTube also takes videos down periodically and they may play for a while and then they are removed. Here today and gone tomorrow and I see this when I look at some of my older posts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I assume we just see different search results depending on here we are. I didn’t realise that there was a time element, though. I’ve started using YouTube for hosting some of my own videos, because WordPress won’t allow me to add video files on my plan, so I’ll need to watch out for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m on the Personal plan. £48 per year. The same plan in the US is $48/year. Don’t get me started 🙂). It allows me to post audio and documents, but not video. It allows me to post a .zip file, so I can send a file to somebody if I wish. But that’s no good when I want people to see a video in the post.

        Liked by 1 person

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