‘Animals’, Pink Floyd’s most aggressive album, turns 47

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The tenth studio album by the English progressive rock group did not have the same commercial success as their previous ones, but It is considered one of his most brilliant works. The moment they sat down to prepare animalsthe band was at the peak of its career and the expectations placed on pink floyd were as high as the sales they had achieved with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and Wish You Were Here (1975), his two previous albums. The seventies were his: They had managed, since their debut in 1967, to create their own sound, risky and everlasting.: a formula enviable by anyone who wanted to be a rock star.

However, as if it were that balloon that flies on the cover of animalsthe good streak was about to explode towards its inevitable end. The ego of Roger Watersin the clouds, far from that factory, it was beginning to be a problem that was impossible to overcome. Rick Wright, who would end up being the first victim of the situation, explained it like this: “With animals we had to sweat it out. It was not a fun recording, and at that time Roger began to think that he was the only writer in the band. He was believed to be solely responsible for the group moving forward.”

Fierce criticism without solutions

Let’s put ourselves in context: England in 1976 was a time dominated by industrythe very high unemployment and extreme racist violence. It was during this period that punk began to emerge as a protest movement. that sought to be the competition to the rock that prevailed in society and that protested political and social conditions.

animals is directly related to the political fable of George Orwell, Rebelion on the farmin which the different social strata are identified with animalization. Roger Waterswho had taken creative control of the group for this album, composing most of the songs, classifies all human beings into three different classes: dogsrepresentatives of the law and businessmen; the pigs, leaders and moralists; and the sheep, brainless pawns blindly follow the other two types of animals. The novel focuses on communism, while the album is a direct criticism of consumer society. Something that has been criticized for many decades is that pink floyd openly attacks the system, but does not offer constructive ideas as possible alternatives.

The tone of the album is dark, and can even be considered depressing. The songs sound oppressive and somewhat disturbing, with sound effects reminiscent of the animal protagonists that are heard from time to time among the music. animalsmore than an evolution of the sound of pink floyd It is a definitive establishment of their progressive rock, a consolidation of what they had already done in The Dark Side of the Moon and that they would finish finishing later in The Wall.

Roger Waters tests the microphone to sing with the group Pink Floyd in 1980. / (Evening Standard/Getty Images)

A cover for history

To create the album cover, the group began working with the company that had already handled their previous works, Hipgnosis. However, despite the projects they offered, the final concept was an idea of Waterswhich often passed by the Battersea Power Station in London and He saw in this factory everything he wanted to convey with the image.

The German company Ballon Fabrik was in charge of the construction of a thirty-foot pig-shaped helium balloon called Algie. An expert marksman was hired, ready to shoot if it escaped, but the animal ended up breaking free from its ties and escaped, landing coincidentally on a farm. A passenger plane reported seeing it, causing all flights from London Heathrow Airport to be delayed. A legend says that, once the plane landed, the pilot was tested to see if he was drunk..

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The album went on to sell more than four million copies in the US alone.. Algie also became part of the band’s iconography on their tours, which they announced on the same day they released the album, and would appear in various forms floating above the public. When Waters He left the band in 1985 and began using a similar pig in his solo shows, the rest of the band members decided to use a pig with genitals in response.


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Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.