It doesn’t surprise me, but it always saddens me, that this album tends to get a bit brushed to the side. The latest round of Pink Floyd remastering has thrown up 3 relatively hefty box sets of Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, and even though this album comes along in that run of albums, it hasn’t been treated with the same love and attention.
Unfortunately for this album, it doesn’t have a hit like Money or Wish You Were Here, or something throwaway like Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 to attract casual listeners to. In fact, casual listeners would also be wary of the album as it only has five tracks (and if you told them two of those tracks were under two minutes in length, they’d throw the album back at you and demand a better rate of songs per dollar.
On hearing the album, it really isn’t the most accessible of their 70s output so you can sort of understand why it isn’t as ingrained in popular culture as its neighbours. Aside from the orchestral suite that opens Atom Heart Mother, Animals really is the most progressive thing they put out in that decade. The songs really shy away from traditional verse and chorus structures, with only a sprinkling of passages repeated here and there. The other major difference between Animals and its predecessors is that Roger Waters is almost exclusively the lead vocalist throughout the album. The harmonic dual vocals between David Gilmour and Rick Wright that emerged on Meddle and was cemented on Dark Side took a back seat on Wish You Were Here, with Gilmour sharing duties with Waters. On Animals, Waters sings on each of the 5 tracks, and appears to be almost exclusively leading the band, paving the way for his complete direction on The Wall and The Final Cut.
Great album cover too – one of Storm Thorgerson’s best.
Hit: Pigs On The Wing 1
Hidden Gem: Sheep