Pink Floyd
January 1977

Recorded March-December 1976 at Britannia Row Studios in Islington, Longdon, England
Released January 23, 1977
Sleeve Design by Roger Waters and Hipgnosis (Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell)
Graphics by Nick Mason
Chart placing: #2 in the UK; #3 in the US

1977 marked a time for change in the music industry--disco and punk were becoming popular, and established rock bands like Pink Floyd were on the decline. The newer "musicians" like Johnny Rotten targeted progressive rock as being "lame" and "uncool", and Mr. Rotten made this point known by taking Pink Floyd T-Shirts and writing "I hate" over the logo. Even though Pink Floyd's followers didn't stray from the band, the music media had a very negative view of the Floyd. The band, unfortunately, had no strength to do anything about their image because of the massive touring over the past few years, and took most of 1976 in the studios again to record a new album. The band spent 500,000 pounds on the latest in studio equpiment and were eager to put it to use. This was the last recording session in which Waters, Gilmour, Mason, and Wright were all on good terms with each other. Waters was very much in control, but a weary Gilmour was passive about things and let Waters have his way.
Nearing the height of his dominance in the group, Waters had become the only band member who could pen meaningful lyrics, and the band had relied on him soley for lyrics and the majority of the songs. "Animals" found the band relying on him more than ever, with Waters writing all the lyrics and nearly all the music. This marks a time when he moved from the ambiguity of the lyrics of "Dark Side of the Moon", and to an extent, "Wish You Were Here", to much more confrontational lyrics. "Pigs (3 Different Ones)" is a direct attack on specific people, and the other songs reflect the very dark tone of the album, which is part of the theme--based on George Orwell's "Animal Farm". Waters claims he was "trying to push the band into more specific areas of subject matter, trying to be more direct. Visually, I was trying to get away from the blobs...there isn't much left for you to interpret."
Oddly enough, the Floyd's best concept album began with no concept, just three songs accumulated from the past few years. Halfway through the studio session, Waters realized he could use George Orwell's concept of people as being animals, and paralleled them in our social lives. In the eyes of Waters, you are either a dog, pig or a sheep. Dogs are the crafty cutthroats who travel in groups, in a pecking order, each one trying to screw the other over to achieve success. Pigs are the overbearing dictators who have a great fear for what they don't understand, but claim to know what is best for everyone. They impose this on the sheep, who are the meek and obediant subserviants to the world. They realize what has become of them and revolt, but are eventually put back in their place and taken advantage of again. It's human nature in a graphic display of our true inner selves, represented in animal form. Waters' lyrics dominate the album, although the music is brilliant as well. The album cover is one of the best ever, with Gilbert Scott's huge Battersea Power Station as the symbol for mankind's constant laboring, surrounded by industrial train tracks, trash and coal. It has a very ominous and dark Orwellian feel, and evokes a sense of power.
Waters came up with putting a pig over the station, symbolizing greediness, but didn't want it to be artificially created. A giant pig was designed to be inflated and placed over the station, and was so big that the first attempt to send it up had to be halted because it was dark before it was blown up. There were forty photographers and a man with a rifle (should the pig fly away), but he was removed because of cost. The following day, the pig was launched, secured with ropes, but a huge wind blew the pig off the ropes and it flew off into the air. The pig flew off south of London, interloping in the flight paths of airplanes, and Heathrow Airport was called about a flying pig - one pilot who reported it to the control tower was even given a brethalyzer test! Radar contact diminished after 18,000 feet, and it finally crashed to the ground and was recovered and sent back for more photos. Even after all the effort to re-shoot the pig, they ended up superimposing a picture of the original pig shoot onto the picture of the powerstation. Still, it remains one of the greatest album covers of all time.

1. Pigs on the Wing (Part I) [Waters]

Recorded : November 1976 at Britannia Row Studios
Roger Waters : acoustic guitar and double tracked vocals

The opening and closing tracks are almost identical, and are actually love songs, which is very uncharacteristic of Waters. He wrote the songs for his new wife, Carolyne Christie, who is the niece of the Marquis of Zetland and a one time secretary to Pink Floyd producer Bob Ezrin. At first listen, it is an obtrusive, meaningless piece in the way of the meat of the album. Upon closer inspection, it is the only thing that keeps the album from being a 45 minute, as Waters puts it, "scream of rage". Apparantly, Carolyne was exactly what Waters needed, someone to match wits with his argumentative and pessemistic mind. "Roger was very good with words, and you had to be good at semantics to beat him in an argument." says Peter Jenner. "Poor Syd didn't have that skill, and neither did any of the others for that matter. I think he was looking for someone to stand up to him all along." The song was one of the last to be recorded, and was written by Waters in a demo session a few months earlier. The song's meaning is that Waters had finally found someone who can help him escape the madness of life. This especially rang true for Waters following the huge success of "Wish You Were Here" and "Dark Side Of The Moon", and his new wife made him much happier and stopped him from transforming into a "pig". Even the band said he was much easier to work with.The third line comes from the original version of "Sheep", called "Raving and Drooling", and stems from the phrase "and pigs might fly", meaning achieving the impossible. The Floyd certainly did just that with this incredible album.

If you didn't care what happened to me,
And I didn't care for you,
We would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain,
Occasionally glancing up through the rain,
Wondering which of the buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing.

2. Dogs [Waters, Gilmour]

Recorded : March-December 1976 at Britannia Row Studios
Roger Waters : bass, vocals, vocoder, tape effects
Dave Gilmour : guitar, vocals, double tracked vocals
Rick Wright : Hammond organ, Fender-Rhodes and Yamaha pianos, ARP String Machine synthesizer, backing vocals
Nick Mason : drums, percussion, tape effects

Interview with David Gilmour about "Dogs":
Guitar World : On the next Pink Floyd album, Animals, "Dogs" is the only song not written soley by Roger. What was your part in co-writing "Dogs" with him?
Gilmour : I basically wrote all the chords--the main music part of it. And we wrote some other bits together at the end.
GW : What did you play on that?
Gilmour : A custom Telecaster. I was coming through some Hiwatt amps and a couple of Yamaha rotating speaker cabinets--Leslie style cabinets that they used to make. I used to use two of those on stage along with the regular amps. That slight Leslie effect made a big difference in the sound.

This is the song. It began years before, when the band would play it during the summer of 1974, when it was known as "You Gotta Be Crazy". The fact that they "road tested" a lot of their material on audiences to find out what worked and what didn't is one of the things that made the Floyd so great in the 70's. The song was so good that little changed over the 3 years, making it the strongest track on the album. "Dogs" are overachieving back-stabbers who climb the success ladder any way they can, only to die at an old age of cancer, or to be dragged down by the very weight they used to need to throw around. This track features some of Waters' most brilliant lyrics, such as "you just keep on pretending that everyone's expendable and no one has a real friend"--showing that the dogs think everyone is as shifty and cutthroat as they are, but no one admits it. This is also prominent in the line "you believe at heart everyone's a killer"--the dogs are paranoid and always looking over their shoulders for another dog to attack them. The best line, however, is "just another sad old man, all alone and dying of cancer". This is sung to the dog, in an almost frustrating last resort to try and tell the dog off. He's saying that no matter how successful and powerful the dog may become, he will end up like all the rest. "Another" in the line says that there are many others like him, and "dying of cancer" is one of those lines that makes you think, whether you're a dog or not, about your own mortality. The most striking part is that he wishes the dog would die. "The stone" is the symbol for negativity and pessemism, and probably Waters used this as a way of dealing with his own personality traits, realizing how negative and pessemistic he had become. The stone prevents you from enjoying life and leaves you stuck to wallow in your own bitterness, which Waters seemed to thrive on in other works such as "The Wall" and "The Final Cut". The song itself began with Gilmour's opening guitar chords, and it was given to Waters during the "Wish You Were Here" sessions for approval, but tossed aside because it didn't fit in with the album. Ultimately it became some of Gilmour's best guitar solo work, and Gilmour himself finds it one of his best pieces. Unfortunately, the best version never reached the public's ears because of an inadvertant error by Waters. Not accustomed to the new studio equipment, he accidentally erased Gilmour's best take of the solo, and the second version, although incredible, was not as good as the original. Gilmour attempted to mimic the growling and barking of a dog, and it is evident in the song. The actual dog noises were created by a tape of dog barks put through a Vocoder, which creates the sound into synthesizer chords, and then ran through a Leslie (rotating) speaker.

You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you're on the street,
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
You know it's going to get harder, and harder and harder as you get older.
And in the end you'll pack up and fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man,
All alone and dying of cancer.

And when you loose control, you'll reap the harvest you have sown.
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
And it's too late to loose the weight you used to need to throw around.
So have a good drown, as you go down, alone,
Dragged down by the stone.

I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused.
Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used.
Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.
If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my (own) way out of this maze?

Deaf, dumb and blind, you just keep on pretending
That everyone's expendable and no-one has a real friend.
And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner.
And everything's done under the sun,
And you believe at heart, everyone's a killer.

Who was born in a house full of pain.
Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
Who was told what to do by the man.
Who was broken by trained personnel.
Who was fitted with collar and chain.
Who was given a seat in the stand.
Who was breaking away from the pack.
Who was only a stranger at home.
Who was ground down in the end.
Who was found dead on the phone.
Who was dragged down by the ston

3. Pigs (Three Different Ones) [Waters]

Recorded : April-May 1976 at Britannia Row Studios
Roger Waters : bass, double tracked vocal
David Gilmour : guitar
Rick Wright : Hammond organ, ARP synthesizer
Nick Mason : drums

"Pigs" are those who think they know what is right for everyone, regardless of what they think. These people are simply charades, and their overbearing nature and tendancy to act like they are better than everyone else is really a product of their own fears in life. The song has three verses and one pig in each verse. The first pig is a corporate pig, who does everything he can to get success, almost like a dog. The second pig is a bitter woman Waters says represents Margaret Thatcher, whose conservative political views clash harshly with Waters' strong socialist politics. The third pig is Mary Whitehouse, leader of the National Viewers and Listeners Association at the time, and strong campaigner for censorship in Britain, which Waters was very much opposed to. Waters tinkered with the lyrics for six months, and feared using her name because of retaliation, but after seeing her in the papers week after week decided to put it in. She made nasty comments about Pink Floyd in the 60's, claiming they glorified drugs, sex and hedonism. "Why does she make such a fuss about everything if she isn't motivated by fear?" asked Waters. "She's frightened that we're all being perverted." The middle part of the song is Gilmour's talk box imitating a squealing pig, which uses voice to shape the notes, which makes the guitar talk. This song contains some of Waters' most bitter and ingenius lyrics, most notably "you radiate cold shafts of broken glass", which is a gem in the Floyd lyric archives. There is a rich imagery of words here, "pig stain on your fat chin", "tight lips and cold feet", all evoke images of greedy, power-hungry...well, pigs.

Big man, pig man, ha ha charade you are.
You well heeled bigwheel, ha ha charade you are.
And when your hand is on your heart,
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost a joker,
With your head down in the pig bin,
Saying, "Keep on digging."
Pig stain on your fat chin.
What do you hope to find?
(When you're) down in the pig mine.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh,
But you're really a cry.

Bus stop rat bag, ha ha charade you are.
You fucked up old hag, ha ha charade you are.
You radiate cold shafts of broken glass.
You're nearly a good laugh,
Almost worth a quick grin
You like the feel of steel,
You're hot stuff with a hatpin,
And good fun with a hand gun.
You're nearly a laugh,
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry.

Hey you, Whitehouse,
Ha ha charade you are.
You house proud town mouse,
Ha ha charade you are
You're trying to keep our feelings off the street.
You're nearly a real treat,
All tight lips and cold feet
And do you feel abused?
.....! .....! .....! .....!
You gotta stem the evil tide,
And keep it all on the inside.
Mary you're nearly a treat,
Mary you're nearly a treat
But you're really a cr

4. Sheep [Waters]

Recorded: April, May and July 1976
Roger Waters : bass, vocals
David Gilmour : guitar
Rick Wright : Fender-Rhodes piano, Hammond organ
Nick Mason : drums

Waters wrote "Sheep" specifically for the road, and it was played under its original title of "Raving and Drooling" at the same time that "Dogs" appeared in the Floyd's set list. Written about a man who was clearly insane, Waters thought the band should include some new material in the set list, and even changed the title (temporarily) to "I Fell On His Neck With A Scream", a very old Floydian style of song title. Waters re-wrote the lyrics for the album, creating a vision of ignorant, peaceful beings being led to the slaughterhouse, suddenly realizing what is wrong, then rebelling against their oppressors. Disturbingly, there is a parody of the 23rd psalm, performed by Nick Mason live, but on the album it is an unknown Floyd roadie blaspheming through a vocoder. The verse does contain a very intersting use of words "with bright knives"--very discriptive indeed. The song's literal meaning is that of what could happen if the conditions in England did not get better, that the people might revolt against the "too conservative" government. Waters' own socialist beliefs are very prominent here, and was seen as a prophetic view of Britain in the 80's. Roger puts it this way: "Sheep was my sense of what was to come down in England, and it did last summer with the riots in England, in Brixton and Toxeth, and it will happen again. It will always happen. There are too many of us in the world and we treat each other badly. We get obsessed with things, and there aren't enough of things, products, to go round. If we're persuaded it's important to have them, that we're nothing without them, and there aren't enough of them to go round, the people without them are going to get angry. Content and discontent follow very closely the rise and fall on the graph of world recession and expansion." Although Gilmour was very pleased with his solo at the end (it is one of the finest Floyd riffs ever), he didn't include it on the '87 or '94 tours. He claimed he couldn't achieve the bitter vocals well enough, though he has hinted at it popping up on the next tour.

Harmlessly passing your time in the grassland away;
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.
You better watch out,
There may be dogs about
I've looked over Jordan, and I have seen
Things are not what they seem.

What do you get for pretending the danger's not real.
Meek and obedient you follow the leader
Down well trodden corridors, into the valley of steel.
What a surprise!
A look of terminal shock in your eyes.
Now things are really what they seem.
No, this is no bad dream.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me down to lie
Through pastures green He leadeth me the silent waters by.
With bright knives He releaseth my soul.
He maketh me to hang on hooks in high places.
He converteth me to lamb cutlets,
For lo, He hath great power, and great hunger.
When cometh the day we lowly ones,
Through quiet reflection, and great dedication
Master the art of karate,
Lo, we shall rise up,
And then we'll make the bugger's eyes water.

Bleating and babbling I fell on his neck with a scream.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead!
You better stay home
And do as you're told.
Get out of the road if you want to grow old

5. Pigs on the Wing (Part Two) [Waters]

Recorded : December 1976 at Britania Row Studios
Roger Waters : Ovation acoustic guitar, double tracked vocals

This coda, to what may be the most downbeat album Pink Floyd ever recorded, is an upbeat way to bring the album down gently and not end on a sour note. It also functions to preserve the continuity of the album, which in many ways is a negative way of saying the cycle is never-ending. The positive overtone, however, is that if you find someone you can share your life with, you can avoid the harmful effects of the Dogs, Pigs and Sheep. Waters says the first verse means "where would I be without you?" and the second verse says "in the face of all this other shit--you care, and that makes it possible to survive."

You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me [too].
So I don't feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.

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