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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 3360 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Very few bands in the music history could produce three masterpieces in a row (Genesis being one those with "Nursery", "Foxtrot" and "Selling"). So, will the Floyd achieve this challenge ? Let's see ... or hear.

This album is quite dark. Roger wrote all the lyrics and most of the music. We are already on our way to schizophrenia which will be even more explored in their next effort. David only co-wrote the music for "Dogs". For Roger, the human race is made of pigs, dogs and sheeps. "What" is he ? A pig ? A Dog ? A Sheep ?

The "animal" theme starts with "Pigs On A Wing" : just over one minute track : the acoustic guitar recalls the title track "Wish You Were Here" but since it is so short (I don't really like those ones) I can hardly be enthusiastic about this. Maybe the lead to a major diasapointment ?

Fortunately "Dogs" is a true Floyd song. A seventeen minutes great piece of music : good bass, great guitar riff and incredible melodies. The level of their earlier masterpieces, really. This song was already played during their live sets as soon as 1974 during the "Wish You Were" tour. At that time it was called "You've Got To Be Crazy".

Some sections are really reminiscent of "Shine On You". For once, the barking dog that you can notice around minute five does not annoy me like it was the case in "Seamus". Vocal parts are really brilliant. This is a very good one.

Lyrics being weird at times : "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" or

"And in the end you'll pack up and fly down south, Hide your head in the sand, Just another old man, All alone and dying of cancer". Sounds as desperate as in "My Room" from Van Der Graaf. Brrrrrr.

"Pigs" is another good song. During their live sets, a gigantic pig will virtually "fly" over the audience. Catchy melody, the rythm reminds me the one of "Money". It is rocking quite well, I must say. A bit monotonous, maybe. Great guitar again. So typical now since "Echoes". You're great David. The finale is really good : powerful and strong.

After a two minutes intro, "Sheep" really starts and is the other highlight of the album. Rythm is great. Lenght is fine. Nick is fabulous.This one is on par with "Dogs". I like it a bunch. Wright is very good (specially during the closing part). This song (as "Dogs") was already featured in their 1974 concerts. The title for it at the time was : ""Raving and Drooling" and was more extended (around sixteen minutes or so).

The album closes as it started with "Pigs On A Wing" part two. Same comment as for the intro.

Most of the songs are strongly rock oriented. Great (not the greatest) Floyd experience. I listen quite frequently to this album, and as a whole it is a quite remarkable piece of music.

During the supporting tour the Floyd will play the whole of "Animals" in a first part and the whole of WYWH in the second. Following the tracklist of the studio albums throughout the tour (no improv any longer). As far as encores are concerned, they will play "Money" (almost all the time) and "Us & Them" (as a second encore). Once they will play "Careful" (on May 9, 1977 in Oakland California). For the their last show of their second leg in North America (already called "In The Flesh") they will play a blues jam as a third encore (probably to say goodbye to America).

Two or three anecdotes from the "Animals" story :

1. The cover : Roger conceived the pig. He suggested to have it inflated and flying over Battersea Power Station. No retouching : a real one ! The day of the shoot was fantastic with a dramatic sky. The fourty feet pig long was inflated, but this took so long that it was not actually launched that day. The manager had hired a marksman with telescopic rifle to shoot down the pig if it escaped into the sky. On the second day, the manager, had decided not to hire him for the day, for economic reasons.

The inflated pig was launched into the air. Everybody was very excited... But then a violent gust of wind suddenly came out of nowhere, the pig lurched one way and then the other and then tore free of its moorings. It disappeared into the sky quickly. There was no marksman to shoot it down, there was no time to even get a photo !

The pig ascended into the flight paths of incoming jets landing at Heathrow. The Aviation Authorities took over and sent a general alert to all pilots that a forty feet long pink flying pig was on the loose in the airspace ! The pig, floated along and descended upon a rural farmers property.

The roadies rescued the pig from the farmer that night, returned it to London, did some repair so that it could be photographed the next day. It was cloudless, with a bright blue sky, but it was not very threatening...therefore the pig was layered into the final artwork from day three into the sky of day one !

A different technique could have been employed to save time, money and anxiety, but it also would have prevented a great story and good laughs.

2.The spitting incident : On July 6, in Montreal, the famous spitting incident occurred. In interviews, Waters had reported his frustration at the "meaningless ritual" of live performances, where his intensely personal songs were treated with a lack of respect by "whistling, shouting, and screaming" audiences. Finally he took an innocent fan in the front row and start spitting in his face. After Roger spat on the young man, Dave left the stage, unnoticed, slipped through the audience and made his way to the mixer, disgusted. This highlights how nice a person Roger was at the time...

It was during this tour that Roger conceived the idea of bulding a wall between himself and the audience (sounds familiar, right) ?

But let's be honest : to follow DSOTM and WYWH is a bloody complicated task. I would say that what is lacking to this album to be a masterpiece resides maybe in the fact that David was almost set aside for this effort (the best track being the one in which he is involved in the music - "Dogs").

To confirm this feeling, let's hear what Nick will say : "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 keeping Dave down, and frustrating him deliberately."

Rick will also feel that his time is (almost over) : "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."

The album will climb to Nr. 2 in the UK and Nr. 3 in the US. Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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