Pink Floyd's Animals arrived in January 1977, after 1975's Wish You Were Here and before 1979's The Wall. Coming between those two epochal works, Animals was initially dismissed by some critics. Consisting of just five tracks (two short bookends and three lengthy compositions), no singles were released and Animals became somewhat of a hidden gem - despite having peaked at No. 2 in the United Kingdom and No. 3 in the United States. This fall, fans will have a chance to rediscover Animals as its long-awaited 5.1 surround sound mix is released as part of a campaign revisiting the album on CD, LP, Blu-ray Audio, and SACD.
Pink Floyd's tenth album, Animals was produced by the band - Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright - with its songs penned primarily by Waters. (Gilmour contributed to the music of "Dogs" as well as joining Waters for its lead vocals.) With inspiration from George Orwell's novel Animal Farm, the LP was powerfully political, critiquing capitalism and using animal imagery to point out man's inhumanity to man. The response was as visceral as the music; Rolling Stone called the band "bitter and morose" and their message "pointless and tedious" while NME pronounced Animals "one of the most extreme, relentless, harrowing, and downright iconoclastic hunks of music to have been made available this side of the sun." Robert Christgau felt it was "a piece of well-constructed political program music." Nick Mason and Richard Wright later recalled the unpleasantness in the studio while crafting the album. Mason felt a "workmanlike mood" might have stirred up unconsciously as a result of the punk movement's ongoing assault on progressive bands such as Pink Floyd's perceived pomposity and grandiosity. Wright described Animals as "the start of the whole ego thing in the band."
The album's famous original cover, featuring the inflatable pig Algie floating between two chimneys of the Battersea Power Station, was designed by the late Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis. For the upcoming reissues, the artwork has been redesigned by Thorgerson's Hipgnosis partner Aubrey "Po" Powell, with new photographs taken during the building's recent conversion work.
James Guthrie's stereo and 5.1 surround remixes of Animals have been promised for a number of years; in 2020, Roger Waters claimed that Gilmour and Mason had rejected the new mixes. A year later, Waters publicly called out Gilmour for allegedly rejecting a set of liner notes written by Mark Blake for the release; he published the notes on his website. Now, the 5.1 Animals can finally be heard with the consent of the living band members. Animals 2018 Remix will be released on stereo CD, gatefold LP, Blu-ray, hybrid SACD, and Deluxe Gatefold formats; the latter includes the LP, CD, Blu-ray, an audio DVD, and a 32-page book containing photos and memorabilia. The Blu-ray and DVD include the 2018 stereo and surround mixes in high resolution as well as the 1977 original stereo mix in its 2011 remaster.
Animals: 2018 Remix is due on September 16 in all individual formats; the Deluxe Gatefold set follows on October 7. You'll find pre-order links below.
Pink Floyd, Animals: 2018 Remix (Harvest LP SHVL 815, 1977 - reissued Pink Floyd/Warner (U.K.)/Sony (U.S.), 2022)
1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
1LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Blu-ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. Link TBD / Amazon Canada
SACD: Acoustic Sounds
CD/LP/BD/DVD Gatefold Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
- Pigs on the Wing 1
- Pigs (Three Different Ones)
- Pigs on the Wing 2