PINK FLOYD – Animals (2018 Remix)  HQ
At long last, PINK FLOYD’s reissue of 1977’s ”Animals” has become a reality. The long-in-the-works ”Animals 2018 Remix” is out on CD & LP after a four-year delay. While the reissue doesn’t contain any bonus tracks or new material, it’s been remastered / remixed by sound engineer James Guthrie, who finished the project, as the title suggests, back in 2018.
However, since then, the album has been stuck in pre-release purgatory over, of all things, its liner notes after Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour couldn’t settle a feud over the issue. Waters singlehandedly wrote the bulk of the five-song studio set, with the exception of “Dogs” — which was co-written with Gilmour.
“These mixes have languished unreleased because of a dispute over some sleeve notes that [journalist] Mark Blake has written for this new release,” Waters said back in June 2021. “Gilmour has vetoed the release of the album unless these liner notes are removed. He does not dispute the veracity of the history described in Mark’s notes, but he wants that history to remain secret.”
Of course, ”Animals” is a concept album at heart that examines the socio-political conditions of mid-1970s Britain and takes inspiration from author George Orwell’s famous book Animal Farm. It deals with the visible social and moral decay of society and compares humans to animals.
Pink Floyd depicts the different social classes of people as animals with pigs being at the top of the system, sheep as the mindless herd following whatever they are told to do, and dogs as the business bosses fattening themselves on the money and power they hold over the others.
It’s a chilling vision and one that remains relevant today, as our current global condition isn’t that much different than it was in 1977.
Musically, ”Animals” will always be considered one of Floyd’s finest moments. The new mix is thrilling. Even though we’ve all heard this album so many times, the new mix brings a fresh perspective to the piece of work, one that deserves to be experienced.
One other cool aspect of the ”Animals 2018 Remix” package is the rethought treatment of the record’s famous cover art that was designed by long-time Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis Studios.
The original image shows an inflatable pig, now known as Algie, floating between two chimneys of the Battersea Power Station.
This time out, the artwork was redone by Storm’s Hipgnosis partner Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, who took new shots of the building as it appeared during recent conversion work and experimented until the cover spoke to the modern world without losing its original message.
It’s also a bit of extra dessert to hear music that is unapologetically long-form and album-oriented in nature. These songs were meant to be listened to, not treated as background noise the way so much music is looked at today.
Tracks like the 17-minute “Dogs” and the ten-minute “Sheep” require attention and mental processing to comprehend and appreciate. The genius of Waters and Gilmour is the exact opposite of today’s internet mentality and taking the time to slow down, get small, and bask in the intelligent sound of these cuts that represent a better, vanished time is a gift all by itself.
01 – Pigs On The Wing 1
02 – Dogs
03 – Pigs (Three Different Ones)
04 – Sheep
05 – Pigs On The Wing 2
David Gilmour – vocals, guitars, bass guitar, talk box
Roger Waters – vocals, acoustic guitar, bass
Nick Mason – drums, percussion
Richard Wright – keyboards, harmony vocals