Pink Floyd Animals Vs Dark Side Of The Moon

I wonder how many people out there have heard tracks from “Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon” (yes an absolute classic in sales and studio tricks and radio friendly songs) but who have NEVER in their life heard a single track from “Pink Floyd – Animals”

When I was in High School it was all about “The Wall” and “Dark Side Of The Moon” and I was of course influenced by the Floyd-heads and the jukebox that constantly played the singles from “The Wall” but I had never heard a track from “Pink Floyd – Animals” until I brought it home from the library intrigued by the cover and gave it a listen.

Yes, yes… “Dark Side Of The Moon” is a classic. That is undeniable. For me though, when I heard “Animals” it blew my mind. Nestled between 2 short soft almost sweet songs were 3 songs that altered me forever.

I like to listen to “Dark Side Of The Moon” on occasion, but for me, when I am in the place for some Pink Floyd… it’s “Animals” all the way.

I learned a lot about the album and cover when I was in my Hipgnosis cover collecting phase. The Wiki article is certainly worth a read.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_(Pink_Floyd_album)

and the track list is essential when discussing this album.

Track listing

All tracks written and all lead vocals performed by Roger Waters, except “Dogs”, written and sung by both Waters and David Gilmour.

No.TitleLength
1.Pigs on the Wing (Part One)1:24
2.Dogs17:04
Total length:18:28
No.TitleLength
1.Pigs (Three Different Ones)11:28
2.Sheep10:20
3.Pigs on the Wing (Part Two)1:24
Total length:23:12

Essentially “Dogs” is all of side 1. Not exactly radio friendly.

I remember listening to this album as I went to bed night after night when I lived in Roselle. “Dogs” was my favorite. The first part of the song is great, but I have to say that the when the dog barks start and the music changes I still get shivers. It was really really different from anything I had been listening to up to that point.

The Gilmour soloing in this song is so smooth and fitting and perfect it is what I compare all other Pink Floyd albums against.

Then, when “dragged down by the stone” is sung and STONE repeats over and over and over and the keyboards rule it is amazing. Plus the slightly audio treatment tinged dog barks again. My little high school mind absorbed it fully.

This was groundbreaking stuff for me at the time.

When you get to side 2 “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” greets you with great hooks and killer solos again. This song is as close as it gets to a radio song from this album. I always wonder if the order on side 2 was switched to be “Sheep” first if it would have been better.

Another thought I had, though it would have killed the whole theme of “Animals”, but what if the shorter songs from “Wish You Were Here” were added to “Animals” to create a double album? I bet that would have killed!

Not saying I made a mix tape exactly as I just described… but I probably did.

How many budding Pink Floyd fans have stood in front of the Pink Floyd bin and held “Animals” in their hand but passed on it having never heard any of the songs on the radio and opted for “Dark Side Of The Moon” because they knew the songs.

Well… enjoy it, but come back for “Animals”. You will not be disappointed.

The Gilmour talk box stuff on “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” was cool too. Like a sinister and dark Peter Frampton.

When side 2 finally gets to “Sheep” and the keyboards and sheep bleating starts, and the bass slowly comes in it sounds like rock and roll Pink Floyd. Note the repeating of STONE for a bit before the big build-up. It could have been cut down to just the first half of the song and I’m sure that fans would have eaten it up, it might even have gotten to the radio. However, with some menacing keys and bass line and a demented barely audible “Sheep Lord’s Prayer” spoken I’m sure it deftly avoided any sort of radio airtime.

Then as the song closes with a up-tempo build up and slowly fades out with some more bleating and bird sounds, you are ready for the tiny reprise of the opener “Pigs On The Wing (Part Two)” to bring you back to earth . It sounds sweet and offers a bit of hope. Perfect ending.

This album is meant to be taken as a whole. Give it a full close listen. It may change you as well.

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1 Comment

  1. Glad I am not the only one who enjoys Animals more that DSotM. I also love the proto “Sheep” and “Dogs” – “Raving and Drooling” and “You’ve Got To Be Crazy”. They sound raw and a bit chaotic, pre-DSotM in many ways.

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