We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Album: Animal Tracks (1965)
Charted: 2 13


  • This was written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Mann had just signed a record deal and recorded this song himself, but his version was pulled when The Animals released the song. Mann and Weil were very productive in the mid-'60s, as they made the transition from writing fluffy pop songs like "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" to songs with more of a message, which appealed to rock bands like The Animals.
  • The Animals producer Mickie Most heard this song and had the band record it. He was looking for American material as he was trying to break the band in the States, and had a call out to the New York City songwriters in the Brill Building and 1650 Broadway looking for songs.
  • Animals lead singer Eric Burdon came in #57 in a Rolling Stone poll to find the greatest singers of all time. On this song, he delivers an anger and energy that was an influence on later punk bands. In our 2010 interview with Eric Burdon, he said: "I've always viewed myself as a punk. The Animals could have evolved that way. We had the energy and the anger, but we didn't stick together. When the punk scene became commercial, I was all for the politics of the movement, but the music didn't really stand up and ultimately, it was self destructive."
  • There are two entirely different recordings of this song by The Animals. The US single version is an alternate take, shipped to MGM, The Animals' American record label, by mistake. Nevertheless, this is a far superior version of the song. Unfortunately, it's this version that's played by almost all Oldies radio stations today. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Youngstown, OH
  • Adrian Cronauer (the movie Good Morning Vietnam was based on his life) mentioned on a special Independence Day show on Sirius Satellite Radio that this was the most requested song on Armed Forces Radio when he was in Vietnam. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ben - Philly, PA
  • Other artists to record the song include Blue Oyster Cult, Grand Funk Railroad, and Ann Wilson of Heart.
  • TV series to use this song include:

    Supernatural ("A Little Slice of Kevin" - 2012)
    Heroes ("Into Asylum" - 2009)
    Absolutely Fabulous ("The Last Shout: Part 1" - 1996)
    The A-Team ("Beneath the Surface" - 1986)
    Miami Vice ("Glades" - 1984)

    Among the movies to use it:

    Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
    Hamburger Hill (1987)
  • At the 2012 SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, Bruce Springsteen talked about this song when he gave the keynote speech. After reciting the lyrics, he said, "That's every song I've ever written."

    Bruce was referring to his penchant for writing songs about getting away in search for something better in life.
  • Denmark + Winter recorded a dark electronic cover as part of their 2014 Re:Imagined album. Their version was featured on the season 5 episode of Pretty Little Liars "Taking This One to the Grave" to underscore a character's death.

Comments: 22

  • Coy from Palestine, TexasActually, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil had written this song for the Righteous Brothers as a follow up to "You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling". Bill Medley said in his biography that he stupidly turned it down. Mann then decided to record it for himself, but in between Mickie Most heard the demo and rushed it to the Animals, where they beat Mann to his own song.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 4th 1965, the Animals performed "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'*...
    Earlier in 1965 on Sept. 19th it peaked at #13 {See posts below}...
    At the time of this 'Shindig!' appearance, the Animals’ "It's My Life" was at #36 on the Top 100; twenty-two days later on December 26th it peaked at #23 for one week...
    R.I.P. Jimmy O'Neill {Shindig's host, 1940 - 2013}...
    * The show was taped in England and all the acts were British.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 15th 1965, the Animals performed "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" on the BBC-TV program 'Top of the Pops'...
    Between 1964 and 1968 the quintet had eighteen records on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; three made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "House of the Rising Sun", for 3 weeks on August 30th, 1964...
    After three weeks in the top spot it was replaced at #1 by "Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison...
    Eric Burton celebrated his 73rd birthday two months ago on May 11th, 2014.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 6th, 1966, the Animals performed "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Six months earlier on August 8th, 1965 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on September 19th, 1965 it peaked at #13 (for 2 weeks) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    Springsteen has preformed it in concert four times; the most recent on July 7th, 2013 at a concert in Cardiff, Wales...
    On the same 'Sullivan' show the group sang "Inside - Looking Out"; it reached #34 on the Top 100 in 1966...
    R.I.P. original bassist 'Chas' Chandler (1938 - 1996).
  • Elmer H from Westville, OkThis is still an awesome song by The Animals from '65. Later, when I was in Vietnam (1969-70) with 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, I don't recall hearing it that much on AFVN radio, but then the memory isn't so hot after all this time. Haa! Anyway, it could've been played a lot, I can't recall. It's message sure fit the times & the circumstances of the GIs there. When it was released in '65, the radio stations in my home area had it reach their Top Ten, but I see that Billboard had it to peak at #13. I recall that it was sure getting a heck of a lot of airplay in 1965 so I can't see it not getting into anyone's Top Ten. It connected with a lot of guys since then. This song means a lot to a lot of people who love rock & roll. with a message of substance.
  • Ben from Tucson, AzWe Gotta Get Out of this Place was more that just the anthem of Vietnam. The draft was still alive and well so GIs stationed OCONUS everywhere related. My place was in a tank in Grafenwohr Germany watching the Soviets watch us. Great song.
  • Billy from West Unity, OhI read somewhere that Eric Burdon took each song as if he was acting the part. This song has some of the best emotion ever put into a song of thie era. To this day I marvel at the raw emotion of this song.
  • Ray from Sarasota, FlI was a tank commander for 17 months in RVN and my crew would listen to the top 40 hits on AFRVN from the "world" every night before our nighttime guard duty began. This song closed out the program every night. It was our inspiration for getting out fo the jungle and making it back home alive, which incidentally most of us did!! I still tear up every time I hear this song. Thanks Animals!!!
  • Kevin from Los Angeles, CaI agree with Tom, the US version is a better take and it's a shame you can't get it on CD...if you have a record player you can still find a used copy of The Best of the Animals in many stores that sell used records.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaOone of the best things about the early Animals, besides Eric Burdon, was that darn organ..it sounded so good in many of their songs...
    Thank you Alan Price!(Although he was probably gone by this recording, he still set the tone)
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InThe first note of that oddly tuned bass is all you need to hear to know you are hearing this great song.
    Burdon's vocals are perfect, bluesy, and barely restrained.
    Killer work from the Animals.
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaThis song was about a couple who are trying to escape a depressing working-class city where they have no tolerable future. However, the young people who most identified with the song were those serving in the military (particularly Vietnam) and those living in mundane small towns.
  • Mike from Cincinnati, OhThis was our theme song when I was in Da Nang. I made it out, a lot didn't. This song has special meanings to me and I listen to it on all oocaiosn like paying trubute to my friends.
  • Nunzio from Darwin, AustraliaThe Animals perform this in the film HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI. Australian band The Angels did a killer
    version of this.
  • Colin from New Egypt, NjThis is a great song but If the Who covered it it would be awesome!
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaWhy, Vincent? I always thought this is a mommas and the poppas, what's up with that? I would like to hear the other version (I might be listening to it and not know it.)
  • J.d. from Detroit, MiNot surprised to hear Cronauer said it was the most requested song in Nam. I do not remember hearing it when I was there. I was on a ship that didn't have AFR. We stopped off in Kaoshung Taiwan, which had no copyright laws at the time. I did buy every album by everybody I could think of for 10NT ($0.25US) each.

    I do remember the the melody running through my right brain all night when I worked midnights in E.R., with many people at death's door. Driving home, my left brain became "un-busy" and I remembered the lyrics, and it dawned on my why I heard the tune all night. I can't tell you how many mornings after that I gave thanks that I walked out of the trauma center alive, which is more than I can say for ALL of my patients.
    J.D., Motor City, MI
  • Tom from Washington, DcThe original US mono single features different lyrics and an angrier performance from Eric Burdon ,I've not come across this version on CD yet, worth seeking out.
  • Vincent from St. Davids, EnglandGreat Song, would have sounded better if The Who did it though!
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumWhen you say Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, you think "You've lost that lovin' feeling", one of Phil Spector's superproductions. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil also wrote "Uptown" for the Crystals,
    another masterpiece of Phil Spector.
  • Dave from Oak Park, MiYou gotta hear the way THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY does this! David Cassidy and the background singers he uses sure blow you away! It really should've gone on a single--or at least a Compilation or Anthology.
  • Sally from Shavertown, PaThis song was used in the movie "Fahrenheit 9/11." It was played when Michael Moore was explaining that there is evidence that members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of the country after September 11th.
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