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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover

ANIMALS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 2620 ratings

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201101454
5 stars Is Pink Floyd the best band ever to walk the Earth? In my opinion, yes. Of course, that is just opinion and what do I know? It is impossible to pick a favourite album of theirs. For ages, I said it was this, their tenth studio release. However, listening again for the purpose of a small review, one does notice a few flaws here and there. So, that designation of 'Best Pink Floyd Album' is once again under debate. Don't get me wrong, this is still a masterful album. After the Floyd's previous release ('Wish You Were Here') told everyone that the music industry was full of money grabbing arse holes, they decided (or rather, Roger Waters decided) to tell everyone that they were no better. Taking George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' as a starting point, the band divide us up into Dogs, Pigs and Sheep. Each animal filling its place in society, the Dogs running the business, the Pigs believing they are in control and the Sheep blindly towing the line before eventually over-throwing the dogs. The album came out at the height of the Punk-Rock movement that Pink Floyd had been one of the main targets. The band themselves had all stated their support for the movement (Nick Mason even produced The Damned's second album at the Floyd's Britannia Row studios). The album has often been described as more punk than punk, mainly due to it's pretty scathing review of society, and went on to be another in a series of huge successes for the band. So, how do the tracks measure up now with the passage of time. Surely, the message has been lost to pits of dated nonsense that so much rock from the time now occupies. No, no it has not. If anything, the message could be seen as even more relevant now than it was then. With the revelations that our governments have more of an eye on us than a lot of us would like and no one really doing anything about it, 'Sheep' certainly has a lot to say. Relationships between our government and everyone else (namely the press and various business tycoons), both 'Dogs' and 'Pigs' are still pretty relevant. However, this is not a politics essay so I'll talk about the music. The album opens and closes with the small Waters penned love (?) song 'Pigs on the Wing'. It was written for his (then) new romantic interest Carolyne Anne Christie who was married to Rock Scully (manager of the Grateful Dead) at the time. This is a pretty if somewhat forgettable song. The second track is where the album really begins. Both 'Dogs' and 'Sheep' had originally been written for the previous album but were dropped. Both were then re-worked and included on this album instead. 'Dogs' is easily one the Floyd's best extended pieces of music. It is here that Gilmour provides his only lead vocal and his best guitar work on the album. It is also, in my opinion, Rick Wright's last really great contribution to a Floyd album with the middle solo being one of absolute best. Unfortunately, this is also the first album where he does not receive a single writing credit. The second half opens with 'Pigs (three different ones)'. This track is a much simpler piece than the other two longer pieces on the album. It is also the only one with a name-check of someone they are talking about, that being Mary Whitehouse. She had made a name for herself by protesting against the moral violation of the nation's children through TV and music; Pink Floyd had been one of her main targets. The band's response, whilst hardly being diplomatic, is certainly fair. 'Sheep' follows and is return to a kind of sound not heard since the band's 1971 release 'Meddle'. A very strong track with a nice show the band's sense of humour (the reworking of the Lord is My Sheppard prayer). The album, as I said before, ends on the second half of 'Pigs on The Wing'. This is definitely one of Pink Floyd's best albums, with another in a series of fantastic album covers. It was released in the middle of a string of extremely good records, starting with 'Meddle' and ending with 'The Wall'. As I said, there are flaws. These mostly extend from a slight lack of togetherness in the music. This may come from the entire band recording their parts separately due to internal conflicts in the band. There is also no getting away from the fact that David Gilmour is the only member of the band to receive a writing credit aside from Roger Waters. This is due partly to the members other commitments outside of music and also partly due to Waters' increasing grip on the band's creative direction and output. This would continue onto the next two albums with 'The Wall' seeing the departure of Rick Wright and 'The Final Cut' being pretty much a Waters' solo album in all but name. If you do not already own any Pink Floyd, I would recommend getting this album third (after 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'Wish You Were Here'). If you already know a little about Pink Floyd but want to know more, then by this album. Recommended for people into either classic Rock or newer Rock seen as many bands today sight Pink Floyd as an influence. It's easy to see why.
201101454 | 5/5 |

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