Box of Rain

Pink Floyd – Animals (1977) (2018 Remix) (2022 Reissue) [24-192]

By 1977 England was in the throes of punk, a musical revolution that held hugely successful “dinosaur” rock groups in contempt. So Animals, the album Pink Floyd released that year, found the band as musically stripped down as they’d ever been. The overabundance of soundscapes, ethereal synths and lush textures of the past gave way to a leaner, more guitar-driven Floyd. Yet thematically, Waters and co. still reached for the sky. Inspired in part by George Orwell’s classic novel, “Animal Farm,” Animals divides humans into three categories – dogs, pigs and sheep – and features each classification in song. The dogs are merciless opportunists, grasping for success at any price; the pigs are pathetic, self-righteous tyrants; and the sheep are the mindless followers, being used by the dogs and pigs.

This anthropomorphizing was Waters’ view of the dehumanizing side of capitalism. And befitting such a lofty theme was the length of the album’s three main pieces – none shorter than ten minutes.

“Dogs” was co-written by David Gilmour, and it features some of his most inspired playing. The greed driving these dogs towards grander heights of materialism eventually leads to a solitary death from cancer, cloaked in an air of self-importance.

“Pigs (Three Different Ones)” overflows with biting lyrics that scorn high-minded censors in general, and Mary Whitehouse (a self-appointed guardian of British morality) specifically. The grunting of pigs precedes Waters’ venomous delivery of each word, as Gilmour’s scratchy playing and unsettling use of a Vocoder box become effective conduits for the song’s malevolence.

“Sheep” starts out with the herd grazing peacefully, blissfully unaware of the dogs lurking nearby. The sheep are led to the slaughter, before staging a revolt and killing off the dogs. The soundtrack of this defiance opens with Richard Wright’s effect-free electric piano leading a galloping rhythm, before Waters’ bass eases the group into a momentary lull. The pace picks up again, and Gilmour’s slashing leads drive the song into a rousing climax, fading out with the peaceful sound of chirping birds.

While this reissue doesn’t feature any bonus tracks, it does include a polished-up mix overseen by engineer James Guthrie of the original five-song album.

Original Release Date: January 23, 1977
Reissue Release Date: September 16, 2022
Label: Rhino / Parlophone

Track Listing:

  1. Pigs On The Wing 1 1:25
  2. Dogs 17:07
  3. Pigs (Three Different Ones) 11:27
  4. Sheep 10:17
  5. Pigs On The Wing 2 1:33

YOU BETTER WATCH OUT, THERE MAY BE DOGS ABOUT

Hi Res Audio [24-192]

David Gilmour – lead vocals (2), lead guitar (2–4), bass guitar (3, 4), acoustic guitar (2), talk box (3)
Roger Waters – lead vocals (all tracks), harmony vocals (2, 3), acoustic guitar (1, 5), rhythm guitar (3, 4), bass guitar (2), tape effects (3, 4), vocoder (2–4), sleeve concept
Nick Mason – drums, percussion (2–4), tape effects (4), graphics
Richard Wright – Hammond organ (2–4), ARP string synthesizer (2–4), Fender Rhodes (2, 4), Minimoog (2, 4), Farfisa organ (2), piano (3), clavinet (3), EMS VCS 3 (4), harmony vocals (2)

Additional musicians:
Snowy White – guitar solo (on 8-track version of “Pigs on the Wing”)

7 thoughts on “Pink Floyd – Animals (1977) (2018 Remix) (2022 Reissue) [24-192]

  1. Nameless

    Wonderful! My first PF show was on the Animals Tour at MSG in ’77. They had the Pig flying around the inside of the Garden at the end of the First Set. Total theater.

    Second set was Wish You Were Here. Also amazing!

    Encore: Money, Us & Them

      1. room204

        > And thanks for the Bowie.

        You’re welcome. We are going to see it in a theater on Sept. 23; hard not to listen to the soundtrack until then!

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