Original Song: The Animals "House Of The Rising Sun" (1964)


Leroy Gomez and his crew of machismo-flaunting flamenco-disco Spaniards charted in the U.S.A. twice—both with Animals covers. “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood” from 1977 was the first and bigger of the two hits (maybe the better, too, thanks to Don Ray's brass and string arrangements), but both were fairly awesome.

And this was probably the stranger of the two, given that “House Of The Rising Sun” is not just an Animals song (even though they did the best-known version), but also a traditional folk song about a New Orleans brothel that had been interpreted earlier by Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, and maybe a few of your own ancestors.

Some people have theorized the song actually dates back four centuries before that, to England, where the whorehouse was in Soho. This wasn't even the first disco version—the Don Ray/Cerrone-connected Eurodisco act Revelacion had done it in 1977. But Santa Esmeralda (also fond of covering '60s punkers like “Gloria” and “Hey Joe”) gave it just the right amount of chest hair.