The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen's 25 Biggest Heroes

The artists, activists and friends that have shaped Springsteen's world

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The Animals
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The Animals

"For some, the Animals were just another one the really good beat groups that came of the Sixties," Bruce Springsteen said at his 2012 keynote speech at South By Southwest. "But to me, the Animals were a revelation. The first records with full blown class consciousness that I had ever heard." The passionate vocals and organ-heavy sound of the Animals was a huge influence on Springsteen as a young songwriter and he fully admits he stole the chords of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" for "Badlands." Bizarrely, Animals frontman Eric Burdon never met Springsteen until he joined the E Street Band at a gig a couple of years ago. For you bootleg nuts, check out Springsteen's cover of "It's My Life" from his 1976 tour. It's one of the great live moments of his career.