For the progressive rock group Pink Floyd's tenth studio album, the band decided to release a concept album critiquing the politics of 1970s Britain, simply calling the album Animals. Recorded during the previous eight months, Animals was released on January 23, 1977 (in the UK) and peaked at #2 in the UK and #3 in the US. On January 31, 1995 the record was certified 4x platinum by the RIAA, despite only being on the US charts for six months. Let's take a closer look at this classic album.
The record starts with the first part of "Pigs on the Wing," the only lightly-themed tracks on the entire album. The track was performed just by Roger Waters on acoustic guitar, and he said if the track wasn't there, the album "would have just been a kind of scream of rage." It is a love song directed towards Waters' new wife, Carolynne. Originally titled, "You've Got To Be Crazy," the only song on the record to be sung and co-written by David Gilmour is "Dogs," the second track that runs over 17 minutes long. Even for Pink Floyd, the main theme uses four unusual chords: D minor 9, Ebmaj9/Bb, A9/4, and Ab2(#11). Gilmour and Waters actually lowered the key before recording the song, to help with the high notes.
Side Two opens with "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," which each verse representing a different 'pig.' This song is the first time Pink Floyd used a talk box in a recording. Although the studio recording clocks in at 11:28, live versions of the song usually run 17 minutes, sometimes even topping out at 20 minutes. Originally titled "Raving and Drooling," Gilmour and Waters actually switch instruments on "Sheep" as Waters plays rhythm guitar and Gilmour plays bass guitar. The song has also been compared to the theme from Doctor Who, due to the bassline and sound effects. The album ends with the second part to "Pigs on the Wing," the one where Waters refers to himself as a 'dog.' It's an excellent way to finish the album, leaving the audience on a high note.