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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover

ANIMALS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 3397 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
Prog Reviewer
5 stars So, looking through my reviews, I was shocked to see that I haven't reviewed this album yet. I love pretty much all of Pink Floyd's albums, but I have to say that this is my favorite of all of them. Out of the 5 tracks, 3 of them are epic, progressive pieces. There have already been a lot of reviews for this album, so a lot of what I can say about it has already been said. It is a very strong social/political album, inspired by the book 'Animal Farm' written by George Orwell. In it, there are 3 types of animals, Dogs, Pigs and Sheep. In the songs, businessmen, millionaires, the clergy, politicians, religious organizations and follower, and so on are targeted and compared to these animals. The messages in these songs seem to be more and more timely as the years roll on, and listening to the lyrics will convince you that they apply now more than ever.

Most people on Prog Archives have heard and love this album. But for the layman, the songs are broken down as 3 long, epic songs bookended by two short tracks which are parts 1 and 2 of a mostly acoustic song called 'Pigs on the Wing'. Both parts are relatively short. However, on the 8-track edition, this song was place on the 1st track and was not separated in 2 parts. It also had an electric guitar solo which is not heard on any other format. The solo was performed by Snowy White, who was part of Al Stewart's band. Snowy White apparently had recorded other solos, and the band was considering bringing him in as a regular member. Unfortunately, the tracks that had White's solos were lost and so he recorded this solo which was only used on the 8-track edition.

After Part 1 of 'Pigs on the Wing', 'Dogs' takes up all of the rest of the first side of the album. At over 17 minutes, this is probably the best song, even out of all of Floyd's amazing music, that the group ever made. I find those 17 minutes fly by before you know it. The track is composed of several rhythm changes, different musical themes, many different moods and so on. Yet it holds together so well. Everything on this song, and on this album for that matter, just gels so well together. There is absolutely no feeling of disjointedness on this album. This track is so daring, so innovative and just amazing. So many reviewers have broken it down, so I don't see the point in doing it all again. Most people that are reading this have already heard these songs and know how they are, but if you haven't, then the best way to experience it is to listen for yourself.

Next comes 'Pigs (Three Different Ones'. This track takes up half of the 2nd side and instantly starts with an infectious guitar hook. This one doesn't change as much as 'Dogs' but it has several moods changes and returns to the main theme by the end of the song. I love the vocal processing that is used on this track as it invokes so many different moods and feelings. This one is overall harder than 'Dogs', with some great keyboard and guitar solos. The giant pig balloon on the cover ties into this track. The balloon was actually made by the same company that made the Led Zeppelin balloon. It was used as a publicity stunt to advertise the record, but it broke free of its moorings, scared a few pilots and citizens, and landed in a farmer's field disturbing his livestock. That field later was bought by an orange man who built a hotel on top of it.

Okay so maybe I took some dramatic license for that last statement. But wouldn't that be quite the coincidence?

The next track takes up most of the rest of the 2nd side and is called 'Sheep'. This one specifically targets religion and the sheep are the followers of those organizations. Everyone knows of the processed voice reciting a changed version of the famous 'The Lord is My Shepherd' psalm. Several churches condemned the album because of this and actually told their congregations not to buy it. This has more of an improvised feel to it as far as the instrumental breaks go.

Of course, the last track is the short 2nd part of 'Pigs on the Wing' which is similar to the 1st part with a different verse.

All three songs feature the sound effects of the various animals that the songs are made for. These effects are also processed to sound different and add a lot of atmosphere to the entire album. The sounds are accompanied, when the appear in the songs, by softer, yet eerie breaks to make things sound ominous, threatening and mysterious. The singing, musicianship, production, instrumentals, sound effects, everything about this album is just perfect. Everything fits in its place. The construction of the songs is amazing. I honestly can't say enough about this. But it goes beyond words. The best way to experience this album is to listen to it.

Of course, this is an essential prog masterpiece and deserves every one of the 5 stars. In my own personal rating system, it gets that rare extra star, 6 stars, that denotes a perfect album. Definitely one of my 'deserted island' albums.

TCat | 5/5 |

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