Album Review: Animals-Pink Floyd (1977)

Floyd’s Finest Effort

Album Review: Animals-Pink Floyd (1977)

By Wyatt McElroy

 

Released in 1977, Pink Floyd’s ‘Animals’ exudes the anti-establishment aggression prevalent in the 70’s punk scene while staying true to Floyd’s progressive rock roots. The album opens with an aesthetically gentle, acoustic ballad, ‘Pigs On The Wing, Pt. 1.’ The narrator reflects on a relationship with a loved one, without whom he would be completely exposed to the cruelties of society. 

Taking up most of the album’s run time, ‘Dogs,’  Pigs (Three Different Ones),’ and ‘Sheep,’ all top the 10-minute mark. Each animal represents a different group in society. The pigs are greedy corporation heads and corrupt politicians, exploiting those below them to further their wealth and personal interests. The dogs are the enforcers, following the command of the pigs to protect capital and maintain the status quo. The sheep are the working class and are constantly manipulated by the pigs and scared into complacency by the dogs. 

The band conveys the frustration of this perpetual hierarchical cruelty through cynical lyrics written by Richard Wright and vicious guitar riffs played by David Gilmour. The concept of classifying society into animals originates from George Orwell’s 1945 novel ‘Animal Farm.’ The book has characters and plot based on the brutal corruption of the USSR and contains similar themes and descriptions as ‘Animals.’ Floyd, however, twists this concept to critique the harsh capitalist society existing in Britain at the time, suggesting that no matter the political ideology, corruption, and oppression will always prevail.

The album comes to an end with ‘Pigs On The Wing, Pt. 2,’ in which our narrator finds closure in his relationship mentioned previously on part 1. He realizes that their shared love is the only shelter from society’s perversions, as each partner protects one another, looking out for pigs on the wing.

 

Rating: 10/10.