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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 3378 ratings

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3 stars This is the Pink Floyd album that pretty much slid right by me back in the day. 1977 was not really a great year for some British psych proggers past their prime to be putting out a new record, and surely not a record where they hadn’t exactly gone to a whole lot of trouble to come up with something new and wild to attract folk’s attention like ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ had done. To be fair this album didn’t sound a whole lot either of those albums, but the difference was primarily that it wasn’t as distinctive and original and vibrant as either of them either. The competition was stiff in 1977 with punk capturing a lot of young kid’s imagination and angst, disco giving the vapid airheads something shiny to stare at, and New Wave blurring the lines between the two by giving punkers something to do after rehab.

Pink Floyd had anger and anti-establishment themes as well, but theirs were more cerebral than Blondie and more philosophical than Johnny Rotten. The combination didn’t work for all of the band’s hard- core fans. While a lot of people demonize Roger Waters’ growing influence on the band, I kind of wonder what would have happened to them if ‘The Wall’ hadn’t followed this album and been such a logical progression both musically and lyrically. That combined with the massive promotional campaigns for the album and movie really forestalled Pink Floyd’s slide off the top of the mountain by probably a good ten years. If ‘The Wall’ hadn’t happened then ‘The Final Cut’ wouldn’t have happened, and if that hadn’t then it’s unlikely the remnants of the once-dominant band wouldn’t have sucked out one more sip at the well with ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’. And that would have meant the demise of Pink Floyd on the heels of ‘Wish You Were Here’, with ‘Animals’ being a whimper instead of a bang, especially knowing that ‘Animals’ was the band’s lowest-selling album in six years until ‘The Wall’ pulled it through by generating over half the album’s sales after it had already left the charts.

Anyway, my opinion only. I like the album and the music is known to just about every proghead so in some respects it’s essential since if you don’t know this album then the last decade of Floyd’s existence is lost on you. But you don’t rate an album based on its historical significance, or at least you shouldn’t. So musically I have to say that this is a three star record, one that combines some of the social misanthropy toward certain subsets of society that ‘Wish You Were Here’ had, with the philosophical detachment of ‘The Wall’ and just a touch of the musical consistency of ‘Meddle’. A little of all those things but nothing much on its own. I rarely listen to this album any more, and truth be told listened to it very little back then. Spring was coming when this hit the stores in 1977, Frampton was on the radio, disco hot pants were tighter than the year before, and there were just too many things going on out in the sunshine to get caught up in the institutional angst of one Mr. Roger Waters. There would be time for that as the decade drew to a close, but that’s a different album and a different story.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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