The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Used to ‘Blow People Away With’ The Animals’ ‘The House of the Rising Sun’

During an interview, The Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz discussed the kind of songs he listened to before joining the Prefab Four. He said he liked to cover The Animals’ “The House of the Rising Sun.” Dolenz explained what he thought of that song when he first heard it.

The Monkees' Micky Dolenz with a guitar
The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz | Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz revealed his inspirations didn’t sound much like the Prefab Four

During a 2012 interview with HuffPost, Dolenz discussed his pre-Monkees music “The early influences I had were rock ‘n’ rollers,” Dolenz said. “That was what I was doing before The Monkees — those were my influences.”

Subsequently, Dolenz named some of his influences. “I was into Eric Burdon, I was into Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, I was into much harder rock,” he recalled. For context, Burdon was a member of The Animals.

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Why The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz performed a version of The Animals’ ‘The House of the Rising Sun’

In a 2014 interview with Music Radar, Dolenz said The Animals’ cover of “The House of the Rising Sun” changed his life. “Pre-Monkees, I had other bands and was playing rock ‘n’ roll, doing a bunch of covers,” he recalled. “One of my big party pieces was a song that I would sing live — ‘House of the Rising Sun’ by Eric Burdon and The Animals.”

Dolenz explained why he would perform his own rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun.” “It really struck a chord with me the first time I’d heard it, so as a vocalist I would use it in the set to kind of blow people away with,” he said. “This is the kind of singing and music that I was learning toward pre-Monkees, so it gives you an idea of where I might have gone as a solo artist had I never been cast in the show.”

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The way the world reacted to ‘The House of the Rising Sun’

“The House of the Rising Sun” became a huge hit. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. It stayed on the chart for seven total weeks. 

“The House of the Rising Sun” was popular in the United Kingdom as well. According to The Official Charts Company, the song hit No. 1 in the U.K. for one week. That song lasted on the chart for 12 weeks. “The House of the Rising Sun” appeared on The Animals’ self-titled album. The Animals hit No. 6 in the U.K. and remained on the chart for 20 weeks.

“The House of the Rising Sun” appeared in a scene from Suicide Squad. Dolly Parton also put her spin on the song. “The House of the Rising Sun” is a classic hit and it changed Dolenz’s life.

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