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Album: The Best Of The AnimalsReleased: 1965Charted:
You'll want your daughter to stay away from the guy in this song. He's a big talker, explaining how he's down on his luck, but about to go from "Rags to Sable," meaning he'll do what it takes to make it. He's looking for some sugar mamas to take care of him so he can "live on their money," and he's proudly pigheaded: "It's my life and I'll do what I want."
Despite all this, he expects the girl he's after to believe him when he says, some day I'll treat you real fine. Let's hope she doesn't fall for it.
This was written by Carl D'Errico (music), and Roger Atkins (lyrics) specifically for The Animals. The duo were at the time working for Screen Gems Music, part of the the New York City music scene that included the Brill Building. "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place" (Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) and "Don't Bring Me Down" (Gerry Goffin and Carole King) were also hits for the Animals, which originated from the Brill Building songwriting scene.
Animals lead singer Eric Burdon
said he "detested" this song and didn't want to sing it (producer Mickie Most pushed it through). Perhaps in protest, Burdon changed some of the lyrics. He sang:Sure, I'll do wrong
Hurt you sometime
But someday I'll treat you so fine
But the lyrics was written as:Show me I'm wrong
Hurt me sometime
But some day I'll treat you real fine
The song's co-writer Carl D'Errico said: "'It's My Life" came about when Mickie Most, the producer of The Animals, said he was looking for songs for the group. The writers got busy writing and then handed in their acetates and there was a tall stack of them waiting for Mickie when he came in from London. Three of the songs in that stack were 'We Gotta Get Out of This Place,' 'Don't Bring Me Down' and 'It's My Life.' Actually, the melody for 'It's My Life' was the second one that I wrote for it. When I played the first one for Emil, he said that it didn't have enough punch and it was the wrong groove, so I rewrote it. After the rewrite everyone knew it was a hit. Some of the writers would play their songs for one another to get feedback - we used these small rooms with pianos in them, so people would hop around and check out what was happening next door." (Courtesy: Spectropop
The Animals recorded this when they were touring America in 1965.
Eric Burdon recorded a new version of the song as a solo artist in 1974.