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Pink Floyd: Animals

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: EMI Records
Released: 1977
Category: Pop/Rock
Producer(s): Pink Floyd
Rating: *********. (9/10)
Media type: CD
Web address: www.pinkfloyd.com
Appears with: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright
Purchase date: 1997
Price in €: 16,99

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] Pigs on the Wing, Part 1 (R.Waters) - 1:24
[2] Dogs (Pink Floyd) - 17:03
[3] Pigs [Three Different Ones] (R.Waters) - 11:30
[4] Sheep (R.Waters) - 10:18
[5] Pigs on the Wing, Part 2 (R.Waters) - 1:24

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

ROGER WATERS - Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Design
NICK MASON - Drums, Artwork
RICHARD WRIGHT - Keyboards, Vocals
DAVID GILMOUR - Guitar, Vocals

JAMES GUTHRIE - Remastering Supervisor
DOUG SAX - Digital Remastering
AUBREY POWELL - Photography, Organizer
HIPGNOSIS - Photography
HOWARD BARTROP - Photography
BOB ELLIS - Photography
ROB BRIMSON - Photography

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

1977 LP Columbia AP-1
1990 LP Columbia 34474
1990 CD Columbia 34474
1990 CS Columbia JCT-34474
1994 LP Columbia 34474
1995 CD EMI 7243 8 29748 2
1997 CD Columbia 68521
2000 CD Capitol 29748
2000 CD Columbia CK-34474

Recorded at Britannia Row Studios, London, England.Digitally remastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles, California.

By 1977 England was in the throes of punk, a musical revolution that held hugely successful "dinosaur" rock groups in contempt. So ANIMALS, the album Pink Floyd released that year, found the band as musically stripped down as they'd ever been. The overabundance of soundscapes, ethereal synths and lush textures of the past gave way to a leaner, more guitar-driven Floyd.Yet thematically, Waters and co. still reached for the sky. Inspired in part by George Orwell's classic novel, "Animal Farm," ANIMALS divides humans into three categories--dogs, pigs and sheep--and features each classification in song. The dogs are merciless opportunists, grasping for success at any price; the pigs are pathetic, self-righteous tyrants; and the sheep are the mindless followers, being used by the dogs and pigs. This anthropomorphizing was Waters' view of the dehumanizing side of capitalism. And befitting such a lofty theme was the length of the album's three main pieces--none shorter than ten minutes."Dogs" was co-written by David Gilmour, and it features some of his most inspired playing. The greed driving these dogs towards grander heights of materialism eventually leads to a solitary death from cancer, cloaked in an air of self-importance. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" overflows with biting lyrics that scorn high-minded censors in general, and Mary Whitehouse (a self-appointed guardian of British pop music morality) specifically. The grunting of pigs preceedes Waters' venomous delivery of each word, as Gilmour's scratchy playing and unsettling use of a Vocoder box become effective conduits for the song's malevolence."Sheep" starts out with the herd docilely grazing, blissfully unaware of the dogs lurking nearby. The sheep are led to the slaughter, before staging a revolt and killing off the dogs. The soundtrack of this defiance opens with Richard Wright's effect-free electric piano leading a galloping rhythm, before Waters' bass eases the group into a momentary lull. The pace picks up again, and Gilmour's slashing leads drive the song into a rousing climax, fading out with the peaceful sound of chirping birds.

1994 U.K. release, their top five 1978 album digitally remastered & on a full color picture disc. Five tracks, including 'Pigs On The Wing' and 'Sheep'.

Consisting of heavily reworked songs that had long been a part of Pink Floyd's live repertoire and were now given an Orwellian overview, Animals found Pink Floyd acting as the mouthpiece for Roger Waters' increasingly vitriolic takes on modern life. The result was one of its less successful later efforts.

William Ruhlmann, All-Music Guide

"Consisting of heavily reworked songs that had long been a part of Pink Floyd's live repertoire and were now given an Orwellian overview, 'Animals' found Pink Floyd acting as the mouthpiece for Roger Waters' increasingly vitriolic takes on modern life."

All-Music Guide ***

Although not in the same vein as the deliciously hallucinogenic earlier Floyd works such as Ummagumma and Dark Side of the Moon, Animals is innovative and musically diverse in its own right. Inspired in part by George Orwell's political fable Animal Farm, Roger Waters condemns the avarice and inequalities of capitalism, metaphorically and musically grouping humans as pigs, dogs, and sheep. The pigs are self-righteous hypocrites inflicting their beliefs on everyone else, the dogs greedy money-grabbers, and the sheep witless followers. Dark, cynical, and brilliantly composed, Animals is an ingenious and under-acknowledged album.

Naomi Gesinger, Amazon.com essential recording

Seven months after the release of 1975's Wish You Were Here, considered by many hardcore fans to be Pink Floyd's all-time masterpiece, the group returned to the recording studio. Still reeling from the phenomenal success of Dark Side of the Moon, the veteran bandmates wondered what aural galaxies remained for them to explore.

For the first time at any length, instead of shifting into interstellar overdrive or reveling in a psychedelic idyll, they came back to earth, and they were appalled by what they saw (symbolized by the famous Hipgnosis cover shot of a giant pig floating over Battersea Power Station).

When the album was released in early 1977, two songs that had been tour staples for several years had been resurrected and re-envisioned: "Raving and Drooling" had become "Sheep," and "You Gotta Be Crazy" had become "Dogs," two of only four tunes on the group's most concise and hard-hitting album. There was still the matter of Floydian tempos and epic song lengths, but the album was full of jagged edges, harsh instrumental textures, and vicious sentiments as bassist and lyricist Roger Waters took dead aim at the mind-numbing constraints of modern industrialist society.

Often minimized by critics who seemed anxious to show they knew the name "George Orwell," Animals was actually a very different (and much more Marxist) allegory than Animal Farm. In Waters' barnyard, the pigs included the "bus-stop rat bag" lumpen proletariat, the "house-proud town mouse" bourgeoisie, and the "well-heeled big wheel" wealthy; the sheep unthinkingly accept religion as panacea; and the ruthless yuppie dogs prey upon them. This cynical vision was actually very much in line with punk -- even as Johnny Rotten was making headlines for sporting a Pink Floyd T-shirt with the words "I Hate" scrawled on it.

Musically, Floyd was never tighter and never more in synch as a unit -- listen to the way the band sets up Gilmour's plaintive solos on "Dogs," the way Nick Mason grooves on "Pigs," or the way keyboardist Rick Wright colors the final elegiac melody on "Sheep." Unfortunately, Animals signaled the beginning of Waters' artistic co-option of Pink Floyd; Wright and Mason would be largely absent from sessions for the next album, The Wall.

Despite his pleas for interpersonal communications on Animals, it seems that Waters didn't really want to hear from his musical partners anymore, even though the band's best moments had always been the result of four individuals working together. Here, that particular crazy diamond shines bright for the last time.

(Collectors note: In July of this year, Les Claypool's Frog Brigade plans to release a live album on which they cover Animals in its entirety. But it's such a faithful reproduction, that it's hard to see the point -- by all means, buy, know, and love the original before you consider this odd imitation.)

Jim DeRogatis - June 4, 2001
CDNOW Contributing Writer
Copyright © 1994-2001 CDnow Online, Inc. All rights reserved.

Of all of the classic-era Pink Floyd albums, Animals is the strangest and darkest, a record that's hard to initially embrace yet winds up yielding as many rewards as its equally nihilistic successor, The Wall. It isn't that Roger Waters dismisses the human race as either pigs, dogs, or sheep, it's that he's constructed an album who's music is as bleak and bitter as that worldview. Arriving after the warm-spirited (albeit melancholy) Wish You Were Here, the shift in tone comes as a bit of a surprise, and there are even less proper songs here than on either Wish or Dark Side. Animals is all extended pieces, yet it never drifts — it slowly, ominously works its way toward its destination. For an album that so clearly is Waters', David Gilmour's guitar dominates thoroughly, with Richard Wright's keyboards rarely rising above a mood-setting background (such as on the intro to "Sheep"). This gives the music, on occasion, immediacy and actually heightens the dark mood by giving it muscle. It also makes Animals as accessible as it possibly could be, since it surges with bold blues-rock guitar lines and hypnotic space rock textures. Through it all, though, the utter blackness of Waters' spirit holds true and since there are no vocal hooks or melodies, everything rests on the mood, the near-nihilistic lyrics, and Gilmour's guitar. These are the kind of things that satisfy cultists, and it will reward their attention — there's just no way in for casual listeners.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine - All Music Guide
© 1992 - 2001 AEC One Stop Group, Inc.

Although "Animals" only contained three very long tracks bookended by the brief acoustic love songs "Pigs On The Wing" Parts 1 and 2, it didn't sound altogether out of place in 1977, the year of punk.

This is because it contained the group's most strident music to date and expressed a worldview that was both self-laceratingly ironic and (superficially, at least) nihilistic. Despite containing music that was very much harder than that found on any previous Floyd record, "Animals" notched up impressive sales.

The concept belonged to Waters, but two of the four beasts here had been heard before under different names: Sheep was a re-working of Raving And Drooling. Dogs was a makeover of You Gotta Be Crazy. Waters and Gilmour were beginning to tussle for control, sharing production credits and engaging in a lengthy wrangle over the album's publishing royalties which wasn't settled for 10 years.

Nick Mason: "This was a bit of a return to the group feel, quite a cheerful session as I remember. We did it in our own studio, which we'd just built. By now Roger was in full flow with the ideas, but he was also really kepping Dave down, and frustrating him deliberately."

Roger Waters: "I didn't like a lot of the writing on Animals, but unfortunately I didn't have anything to offer. I think I played well but I remember feeling not very happy or creative, partly because of problems with my marriage. This was the beginning of my writer's block."

David Gilmour: "On Animals I was the prime musical force. Roger was the motivator and lyric writer."

The cover of "Animals" is a combination of two photographs -- the dismal power station from one day, and the floating pig from the day it flew away -- one day it simply wouldn't float; the next day it floated too well, broking away from its morring and reached a height of nearly 10,000 feet before headind back down to Earth, scaring quite a few pilots in the process.


Bob Eichler:
With this album, Roger Waters really started taking control of the band, coming up with the concept for the album and writing all the lyrics and most of the music. Gilmour and Wright still add a lot of their own personal touches on guitar and keys though, so the disc still has the "feel" of a Pink Floyd album, rather than a Waters solo album. The band had been playing two of the three major songs on this album for quite a while in concert: "You've Gotta Be Crazy" and "Raving and Drooling" became "Dogs" and "Sheep" respectively, although the lyrics were modified for the studio versions. The reviews that already exist on Ground and Sky as I write this have covered the album pretty thoroughly, so I'll just mention that this disc contains what have to be Water's most pessimistic lyrics ever: "You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to, so that when they turn their backs on you you'll get the chance to put the knife in". I bet Roger's lots of fun at parties. Overall, this is a great disc, easily as good as Dark Side and Wish You Were Here. I'm not sure why it doesn't seem to have the "classic" reputation that those albums do - possibly just because of its ultra-dark lyrics.

Joe McGlinchey:
Like so many other prog and prog-related bands, 1977 found Pink Floyd beginning, metaphorically speaking, their descent from the peak of the mountain. Still, the band managed to pull off another reasonably strong album in Animals. Roger Waters, wielding an increasingly tighter control over the band, presents yet another bleak vision, this time an Orwellian meditation that people can at their core be categorized into three animals, each with their own despicable qualities: dogs, pigs, and sheep. Although there are some goofy, over-the-top moments anticipating The Wall (e.g. the vocoder recitation on "Sheep"), there is also a modicum of musically-evocative Floyd here, like Wright's unforgettably dark organ riffs and Gilmour's squealing pig-guitar on "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," or the very crafty vocal-to-moog disintegrations on "Sheep." Book-ending these black clouds is Waters' fragile "Pigs on the Wing," simultaneously both a warning and a prayer.

Eric Porter:
There is not much wrong that Pink Floyd could do in my book. "Animals" is anti-establishment all the way, and Waters is as angry as you can find him anywhere else in the Floyd catalogue. The music, although spacey at times, is also very heavy for what Floyd usually produced up to that time. The songs really are driving, with the bass and the drums just pounding away aggressively. Gilmour rhythm playing slices through the mix, and his lead work is tasteful as usual. Wright uses organ, piano, and synth here to make statements and lay low before the band attacks you with force. "Pigs on the Wing 1" opens with acoustic guitar and vocal, not preparing you for the onslaught coming. "Dogs" has a serene feel, featuring great guitar work from Gilmour and long instrumental passages; very spacy. "Pigs" opens with pig noises and keys, again with an excellent guitar solo in here. "Sheep" opens with spacy electric piano, and features an excellent effect where the vocal fades and the synthesizer picks up the note and carries it. The ending is driven by an excellent rythymn guitar section, and album ends with the acoustic "Pigs on the Wing 2" that reprises the music from the first with a few different lyrics. There is no sense in analyzing the meaning here; just listen for yourself, this is a teriffic CD. This is the heaviest and harshest Floyd record in my opinion and I love it.

Brandon Wu:
Animals sees the Floyd in a much more aggressive mode than we have seen them before. Of particular note are the bass lines, which are generally much more interesting than in previous albums (witness the ending to "Pigs") - rumor has it Gilmour played a lot of them rather than Waters. Although by this time the band was increasingly controlled by Waters, keyboardist Wright makes some great, if subtle, contributions to the record, especially in "Sheep", and naturally Gilmour's guitar soloing is great, particularly in "Dogs". Criticism of this album is generally aimed at its concept, which is overly obvious (especially when compared to other Floyd works) and isn't developed particularly well, resulting in a somewhat disjointed album as a whole. Also, the three songs in the middle might drag on a bit too long for some - particularly the "stone" section in "Dogs" or the guitar/vocoder section in the middle of "Pigs". Neither criticism is a big deal in my book: the concept isn't overbearing enough to ruin the music, and the songs themselves have plenty of good stuff offsetting what fluff there may be. While not considered one of the "classic" Pink Floyd albums, Animals remains one of my favorites by them, and its somewhat unconventional sound makes me think that prog fans in general will also find it to be one of Waters and company's more enjoyable efforts.


 L y r i c s

Pigs on the Wing (Part 1)

If you didn't care what happened to me,
And I didn't care for you
We would zig zag our way
through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain
Wondering which of the buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.


You gotta be crazy,
You gotta have a real need
You gotta sleep on your toes,
When you're on the street
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat
With your eyes closed
And then moving in silently,
Down wind and out of sight
You gotta strike when the moment is right
Without thinking.

And after a while,
You can work on points for style
Like the club tie,
And the firm handshake
A certain look in the eye,
And an easy smile
You have to be trusted
By the people that you lie to
So that when they turn their backs on you
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.

You gotta keep one eye
Looking over your shoulder
You know it's going to get harder,
And harder, and harder
As you get older
And in the end you'll pack up,
Fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand
Just another sad old man
All alone, dying of cancer.

And when you lose control,
You'll reap the harvest
You have sown.
And as the fear grows,
The bad blood slows and turns to stone
And it's too late to lose
The weight you used to need to throw around
So have a good drown,
As you go down, all alone,
Dragged down by the stone.

I gotta admit
That I'm a little bit confused
Sometimes it seems to me
As if I'm just being used.
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off
This creeping malaise
If I don't stand my own ground,
How can I find my way out of this maze?

Deaf, dumb, and blind,
You just keep on pretending
That everyone's expendable,
And no one has a real friend.
It seems to you the thing to do
Would be to isolate the winner
Everything's done under the sun
And you believe at heart, everyone's a killer.

Who was born in a house full of pain
Who was trained not to spit in the fan
Who was told what to do by the man
Who was broken by trained personnel
Who was fitted with collar and chain
Who was given a pat on the back
Who was breaking away from the pack
Who was only a stranger at home
Who was ground down in the end
Who was found dead on the phone
Who was dragged down by the stone.

Pigs (Three different ones)

Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel, ha ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying "keep on digging"
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find?
When you're down in the pig mine
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Bus stop rat bag, ha ha, charade you are
You fucked up old hag, ha ha, charade you are
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel
You're hot stuff with a hat pin
And good fun with a hand gun
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Hey you Whitehouse, ha ha, charade you are
You house proud town mouse, ha ha, charade you are
You're trying to keep your feelings off the street
You're nearly a real treat
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?
You gotta stem the evil tide
And keep it all on the inside
Mary you're nearly a treat
Mary you're nearly a treat
But you're really a cry.


Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out
There may be dogs about
I've looked over Jordan and I have seen
Things are not what they seem.

What do you get for pretending the danger's not real
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors into the valley of steel
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem
No, this is no bad dream.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green he leadeth me the silent waters by
With bright knives he releaseth my soul
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places
He converteth me to lamb cutlets
For lo,m he hath great power and great hunger
When cometh the day we lowly ones
Through quiet reflection and great dedication
Master the art of karate
Lo, we shall rise up
And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water.

Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead!
You better stay home
And do as you're told
Get out of the road if you want to grow old.

Pigs on the Wing (Part 2)

You know that I care what happens to you
And I know that you care for me
So I don't feel alone
Of the weight of the stone
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone
And any fool knows a dog needs a home
A shelter from pigs on the wing.

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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