Animals - A Conceptual Masterpiece
The tenth studio album of Pink Floyd, Animals, was released 44 years ago on the 23rd of January. Animals was a progressive rock album as well as a concept album: it was inspired by George Orwell's novella "Animal Farm," and it expressed mostly enraged emotions against the capitalist system, greed, sexual oppression, and on a smaller scale, the social/political situation of Britain during the mid-1970s. The album categorized humans into three sections: the pigs, the dogs, and the sheep. While the sheep criticized those in power who only added to their wealth, the dogs talked about those who would do anything to be successful in the system, and the sheep represented the people who followed along blindly. It was also a response, in one sense, to the punk rock movement, which had been targeting the band. While the album was being written, the tension between the band members was slowly increasing: Roger Waters had started "to believe he was the sole writer of the band,” as Rick Wright said. So the lyrics were mainly written by Waters, who had been conflicted about his political position during the time. As the son of a strict Labour Party Supporter, Waters couldn't fit the money he made with the band in his internalized socialist principles, saying that he “always thought that having a lot of money, as a child, was wrong. Those feelings of guilt can’t ever be truly exorcised.” In terms of the music, the band experimented with longer songs, and the run time of the album ended up being longer than 40 minutes with only 5 songs. Their music took more of an emotional turn, and the songs consisted of both hard guitar riffs that expressed rage and softer moments such as those in Pigs on the Wing that expressed hope. But one thing that didn't vary throughout the songs was the way they all captured the reality of the world.