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Eric Burdon Teams With the Greenhornes on 'Black Dog' – Premiere

Track was inspired by back pain and Winston Churchill

October 16, 2012 9:00 AM ET
Eric Burdon and the Greenhornes
Eric Burdon and the Greenhornes

Click to listen to Eric Burdon and the Greenhornes' 'Black Dog'

An icy tumble, of all things, is at the root of "Black Dog," the first song on a new self-titled EP that veteran blues-rocker Eric Burdon recorded with Cincinnati garage band the Greenhornes. Brendan Benson produced the four-song collection, Eric Burdon and the Greenhornes, which is due November 23rd as part of Record Store Day's "Black Friday."

The singer, 71, who led the Animals in the Sixties and War in the Seventies, had been plagued with back pain for the past few years after slipping on a patch of ice and falling. "The only time I wasn't in pain was when I was onstage," he tells Rolling Stone. "It started affecting me mentally, and that's why I got into 'Black Dog.'" 

Burdon borrowed the term from Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during World War II, who referred to the "black dog of depression" to describe his periods of deep despair. "I thought, 'That's a really interesting concept,' and that gave birth to the song," Burdon says. "Now I'm finding black dogs in the neighborhood that are kind to me, and I'm finding that I have no fear. I'm putting my hands through fences and stroking these dogs. It's amazing how music can make things happen like that."

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