"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is a song written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus for the singer/pianist Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" has been recorded or performed by many artists, and is widely known by the 1965 blues rock hit recording from The Animals. A 1977 disco/Latin rendition by Santa Esmeralda was also a hit. The Animals' lead singer Eric Burdon would later say of the song, "It was never considered pop material, but it somehow got passed on to us and we fell in love with it immediately." The Animals gave it one of their trademark R&B-unto-rock workups, speeding up the tempo and starting off with a memorable electric guitar-and-organ doubled riff from Hilton Valentine and Alan Price, that was picked out and expanded from an element that originally appeared in the Simone recording's outro. This riff immediately led into Burdon's trademark deep, impassioned vocal line.