The album Animals was inspired by the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. Orwell divided people into three groups - the Pigs, who rule the world, the Dogs, who loyally follow the Pigs' orders, and the Sheep, who represent anonymous masses of ordinary people.
Initially, Waters tried to deny that he had been inspired by Orwell, but the parallel was obvious and he soon admitted that the concept of the album was not solely his work.
It is said that during the works that preceeded the recording, Waters handed out copies of Animal Farm to the members of the band, so that they knew what the album was to be about. Supposedly he himself kept reading the longest, getting to about a half of the book...
Pigs On The Wing (Part 1)
One of the most personal songs Waters has ever written. This is a simple lyrical song dedicated to Waters' wife Carolyne and it is of course sung by Roger. This opening part and the musically identical part 2, which closes the album form a remarkable musical, lyrical and human contrast to the raw material in between. Waters added these tracks later (in order to make it clear that there were not just Pigs, Dogs and Sheep).
On the American singles, the part 1 was linked to part 2 with a guitar solo by Snowy White, which makes the singles rare collectibles.
Because of its acoustic sound, the song could not be used as the opening song of the concerts, and so it was omitted. Waters performed it on his 84/85 tour, where it was accompanied by videos, remarkably by the Battersea Power Station that had been made a tourist landmark because of the Animals coverart. However, the song was never performed live until Waters left Carolyne.
A remade version of the song Gotta Be Crazy, performed live by Pink Floyd before the album was recorded.
Waters' lyrics are targeted against ruthlessnes and greed. The motive of a stone that pulls a victim under water reoccurs, and although only used at the very end, it influences the whole song.
The vocal is shared by Gilmour and Waters.
The recording of the album was marked by nervousness similar to that which occured during the recording of Wish You Were Here. For instance, when Gilmour recorded a guitar solo he was very proud of, Waters rejected it and made him record it again.
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
For Waters, Pigs are people who always know what is best for the others and force people to act the way they want. For him, one of them was Mary Whitehouse, who fought for "purity and morals" in the media and advocated introducing censorship on the TV in the 1970's, and whom he unflatteringly mentions in the lyrics.
The second verse is dedicated to Margaret Thatcher, at the time the leader of opposition to Prime Minister James Callaghan. Evidently, Waters did not like Thatcher Much, calling her an old witch and saying that it would be fun to gun her down.
The song is sung by Waters and his vocal was electronically edited, although mildly in comparison to the vocoder sequence that follows the second verse. Despite what happened during the recording of Dogs, here Gilmour delivered one of his best solos. The song, written especially for the album, was only performed sporadically (apart from the official Animals tour only on Waters' 1987 tour).
In 1974, the song Sheep was better known as Raving And Drooling, sometimes announced as Raving And Drooling I Fell On His Neck With A Scream, which was the first line of the lyrics.
In these lyrics Waters presumes that if we were led by Pigs and Dogs, most of us would be the helpless Sheep, heading towards our own doom without understanding the system that made it possible at all (but in the end, even the dumb Sheep revolt and take over the Dogs).
Although the song features much of Gilmour's guitar, it is largely driven by the bass guitar part. Gilmour's contribution is mainly the backing to 23rd psalm from the Bible, recited by an unknown member of the band's team. Originally, Nick Mason was to recite it.
In 1987, the song was to be included on the Pink Floyd tour, but eventually it was omitted because Gilmour was not willing to sing Waters' lyrics he did not agree with.
Pigs On The Wing (Part 2)
This song was supposedly only writen to give the album a positive ending. Musically and thematically it is based on Pigs On The Wing, Part 1.
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Vít Benešovský, Jan "Johnny" Petrus