Monday, January 23, 2012


Pink Floyd took on the corruption of society with this aggressive Orwellian allegory. 'Animals' was loosely based on George Orwell's 'Animal Farm', using animals from the story to describe different kinds of people: "Dogs"as callous businessmen, "Pigs" as controlling politicians, and "Sheep" as blind followers. The band had bought a a three-story block of church halls, at 35 Britannia Row in Islington and spent much of 1975 and 1976 turning it into a recording studio. Brian Humphries was brought in to engineer the sessions that started in April of 1976. Roger Waters channels his solipsistic contempt into the lyrics of these thinly veiled literary songs about social ills; but the real power struggle was within the band. Richard Wright considers, "'Animals' was a slog. It wasn't a fun record to make, but this was when Roger really started to believe that he was the sole writer for the band. He believed that it was only because of him that the band were still going, and obviously, when he started to develop his ego trips, the person he would have his conflicts with would be me." David Gilmore says, "Roger's thing is to dominate, but I am happy to stand up for myself and argue vociferously as to the merits of different pieces of music, which is what I did on Animals. I didn't feel remotely squeezed out of that album. Ninety percent of the song 'Dogs' was mine. That song was almost the whole of one side, so that's half of 'Animals'." The album has a harder, more guitar-driven sound than their highly successful two previous albums, in part as a response to the punk movement; so much so that the band was being called "punk floyd" in some circles. The album cover features a photo of the declining Battersea Power Station, which Waters drove past on a regular basis. For the shoot, the band also commissioned the production of a porcine balloon which they called Algie. The balloon broke loose and was later recovered by a farmer in Kent who was upset about it scaring his cows. Once 'Animals' was released, Pink Floyd embarked on their 'In The Flesh' tour at some of the largest venues they had ever played. The tour provided the genesis for their next album 'The Wall' when, during a concert in Montreal, Waters spat on an audience member as he attempted to climb up on stage. Waters commented: "We played to enormous numbers of people, most of whom could not see or hear anything. A lot of people were there just because it was the thing to do. They were having their own little shows all over the place, letting off fireworks, beating each other up and things like that. As the tour went on, I felt more and more alienated from the people we were supposed to be entertaining." 'Animals' went to number three in the US, number two in the UK, and hit the top of the album charts in France, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.


"Pigs on the Wing 1"

"Dogs" was derived from an earlier song called 'You Gotta Be Crazy'

"Pigs (Three Different Ones)"

"Sheep" was originally called 'Raving and Drooling'

"Pigs on the Wing 2"


full album

All tracks written by Roger Waters, except where noted. Lead vocalist listed.

Side one
1. "Pigs on the Wing 1"   1:25
2. "Dogs"   (Waters, Gilmour) Gilmour, Waters 17:03
Side two
1. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)"   11:25
2. "Sheep"   10:25
3. "Pigs on the Wing 2"   1:23

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