The Animals were from England, but were welcomed in America along with other British Invasion groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. They wrote this song themselves, which takes a stand against the Vietnam War. Looking back on the song in our 2010 interview, Animals lead singer Eric Burdon said: "The 'Love Generation' helped the anti-war stance in the states. It certainly turned a lot of soldiers' heads around, making them wonder why they had to be out fighting a war when back home their girlfriends were frolicking around and it caused a lot of anguish on that level. Maybe it helped politically with the so-called enemy. I'm not sure."
The song starts with a spoken intro urging European listeners to fly to San Francisco so they could understand the song. Asked by the NME in 1967 about The Animals losing traction in England, Burdon said: "Britain is not as aware of what we are trying to communicate as the Americans. The whole world still needs a kick up the pants - the Americans are one move ahead. The record company was afraid I would offend England if I released 'San Franciscan Nights'. They thought I had offered enough insults to England."