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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Despite (or perhaps because of) a musical landscape utterly blown open by the sheer violence and life-by-the-throat nature of Punk – good old misery guts Roger Waters of Rock Dinosaurs PINK FLOYD didn't seem to notice nor give a rat’s ass.

Recorded in 1976 and then released into a poisonous British landscape in January 1977 on Harvest SHVL 815 – even its dower Battersea Power Station 'industrial monolith' artwork seemed as grime-grubby as the portentous contents within where our cheery chappies blathered on about Orwellian things like Pigs and Sheep and the occasional Dog to the backdrop of an immaculately recorded guitar. It's coming from the sky – we're all going to die – nice. But none of that stops me from admiring the 2011 James Guthrie and Joel Plante Remaster on this more acidic of Floyd albums – relaunched January 2016 on Pink Floyd Records – the lads now just as corporate as the machine they so raged against nearly 40 years ago.

"Animals" remastered on CD is a huge improvement over the LP original – an album that sported a hard card inner sleeve itself inside a gatefold cover and has for years been notoriously difficult to get a good vinyl pressing of. This CD is 'massive' – and for all the right reasons – beautiful clarity that's made me reassess my loathing of both it and the 'the system is killing the kids' knob that followed – 1979's double "The Wall". Here are the newly floated Piggies...

UK re-released 8 January 2016 – "Animals" by PINK FLOYD on Pink Floyd Records PFR10 (Barcode 5099902895123) is a straightforward 5-track reissue CD using the Remaster from 2011. It's once again housed in a gatefold card digipak, has a stickered sleeve (on the outer shrinkwrap) and 12-page colour booklet (41:44 minutes).

The original version of this Remaster was released 26 September 2011 as a 'Discovery Edition' single CD on EMI/Harvest 50999 028951 2 3 (Barcode 5099902895123) – this 2016 version on Pink Floyd Records uses that 2011 remaster and the same artwork. The 'Discovery Edition' sticker is gone as is the horrible 'green Ds' reinvented CD artwork that came with the 2011 issue – that's thankfully been replaced on the CD with the Side 1 'Dog' label artwork of the original LP. The 'Sheep and Pig' label of Side 2 is nowhere to be seen.

1. Pigs On The Wing 1 (1:26 minutes)
2. Dogs (17:05 minutes)
3. Pigs (Three Different Ones) (11:26 minutes) – Side 2
4. Sheep (10:20 minutes)
5. Pigs On The Wing 2 (1:29 minutes)

ROGER WATERS – Bass, Guitar and Lead Vocals
DAVID GILMOUR – Lead Guitar and Vocals

Mastered by JAMES GUTHRIE and JOEL PLANTE at Das Boot Recording Studios in Tahoe in California in 2011 - the original 1st generation master tapes have been given a thorough going over (Guthrie is a Sound Engineer associated with the band since 1978). In fact - each song feels like these experts have spent a staggering amount of time worrying over every single nuance - because the audio result is truly impressive. That remaster has been reused for the January 2016 reissues.

Essentially three long pieces of music (17, 11 and 10 minutes) bookended by the short one-and-half minute acoustic strums of "Pigs On The Wing" Part 1 and 2 – the Audio improvement is immediate on hearing the opening. This is a beautiful remaster and when we enter the Waters/Gilmour written "Dogs" and its various Guitar-Solo parts – you're clobbered with the Production values Floyd and Engineer BRIAN HUMPHRIES brought to the original 1976 recordings (done at Britannia Row Studios in London). When Waters sings the verse beginning with "...and after a while you can work on points for style..." – the band kicks in, as does Gilmour's fabulous axework that makes the whole seventeen minutes so edgy. You can hear this version. The lyrics are incredibly bleak – old men dying of cancer – people born in a house full of pain – souls trying to shake of the creeping malaise. And when those dogs do start barking and Richard Wright gets a chance to make his keyboard presence felt – the effect is brilliant – ably supporting Gilmour as he rips into his Strat for the first of many solos.

Side 2 opens with treated piggy grunts and very clear Bass and Keyboard parts before Gilmour flicks that guitar on "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". I can never work out if Roger Waters blatantly vicious attack of England's Mary Whitehouse and her moral-crusading is either smart thinking or a petulant child with too much money. And when he sings "...ha ha charade you are..." or "...Mary you're nearly a treat...but you're really a cry..." - he sounds like a wordsmith who can't get his words out. But there's absolutely no doubting the clarity of the Remaster and when it breaks down into more Pig noises and that slow Guitar strum - the rhythm instruments are better than ever – and that wild soloing towards the end is great. Many have commented on the similarity between Meddle’s "One Of These Days" and Animal’s "Sheep" - that same backbeat driving the song on. And it ends on the second variant of "Pigs On The Wing" – essentially a slightly different re-run of Part 1.

Even now I can understand why Punk Rockers (also enjoying a 40th Anniversary or two) despised Pink Floyd and "Animals" – it still reeks of establishment supposedly ribbing itself. But that aside – the CD Remaster is a thing of wonder after all these years of less than great originals and half-assed reissues on newer formats.

Fan – or just curious - "Animals" on CD by Pink Floyd is a must buy. Apple (who are finally going to corporate the Battersea Power Station into a multi-media selling powerhouse with a huge and costly re-fit) will be pleased...
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on 15 May 2017
Pink Floyd Animals what else can you say great buy it you wont be disappointed
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on 6 March 2001
Enter Battersea Power Station and the infamous Flying Pig. Animals is a bleak yet refreshing departure from the Floyd's higher selling albums of the 73-79 period. Haunting acoustic guitars, drums that echo like distant World War II guns, eerie keyboards, rolling bass (a la "early Floyd") and seething guitars paint a desolate landscape. But amazingly this album has a refreshing quality that somehow puts it in a class of its own. Roger Water's Orwellian view of Britain captures the bands eccentric and very English sense of humour, but at the same time asks serious questions about the greater scheme of things. Sheep, downtrodden and aimless. Dogs, predatory and menacing (surely not the products of the Thatcher generation!) and the bellicose, bullying and elitist "Pigs" all contribute to the albums considerable weightiness. So how is it refreshing ? Well simply put and forgive the pun - its got a real bite. Simple as that - Pink Floyd with a real edge.

Dogs is the most ambitious piece. It is a genuine spine tingler. The band build real tension on this track and the rest of the album - you can almost reach out and touch it. Pigs has an almost funky feel and Sheep has the Floyd's trademark throbbing base line. Give a thought though to the keyboards which are beautifully subtle throughout - Richard Wright proving yet again that he really was a vital part of the band's chemistry and what a truly superb album on headphones - revealing both a subtle and sometimes very punchy interplay between the various band members.

I never did quite work out what Pig's on the Wing was all about and the ending to Dogs seems misplaced musically if not lyrically, but I have listened to this album thousands of times and still find it stands the test of time -sometimes I think it's their best. I saw them perform it on their 77 UK tour - so it has a special place for me, but of no doubt it completes a wonderful run of three albums starting with Dark Side of the Moon, then Wish You Were Here and then Animals itself. Oh I hate to go on about it, but the art work is just wonderful.
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on 27 October 2011
What is one of my favourite albums now sounds the best it ever has. I was worried the original recording was going to be spoiled with the remastered version, but it still sounds original and well balanced, however there does seem to be an improvement on clarity. If listened to on a quality hifi system everything is audible and you can hear every detail within the recording. Only downside was it comes in a cardboard sleeve and not a jewel case. I will be buying more of the remastered recordings in the future.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 December 2012
Took a while but i finally got around to purchasing this 2012 remaster(specifically because there was no extra's),for me the 4 albums released from DARK SIDE.... thru to the '....WALL' are the high point in Floyd's history,4 incredible releases,arguably this is the best and yet the least talked about.

As with the others,this is a digipak release,with tight fitting CD and glossy booklet which is murder to put back in the sleeve,so annoying that EMI can be so shoddy and cheap.

But the sound quality is fantastic,didnt hear too much difference on the Dark Side release,but this one,well its there for all to hear,the clarity breathtaking,acoustic guitars to the fore more than previous releases,the drums,to my ears more prominent and if its possible,Roger's vocals even more chilling,listening with the headphones,this new release is quite spectacular.

The music was never in doubt,Floyd perfection to the fore,Roger ranting at the world,the way Punk wanted to but wasnt quite able to ,the irony that bands like Floyd were wanted dead and here they were agreeing with some if not all of punk's sentiments(although still have a 'punk' mate who spews forth venom at the mere mention of Floyd).

Highlights,well all of it really although if pushed the epic 'Dogs' with stun guitar from Dave Gilmour whilst 'Sheep' and 'Pigs' are quite sinsiter with Rick's keyboards enhancing the malevolant mood,yeh like i said ,all of it ,really.

Ignoring the poor packaging and no extra's,(the Snowy white track found on the american 8 tracks would have been fantastic) but it would still be churlish to award anything less than 5 stars.
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on 18 November 2016
Having owned my original copy since I was 17 ( I am now 56) I was very excited about this 180 gram remaster. As soon as I saw it was being released I pre-ordered it. When, after many weeks, it finally arrived i couldn't wait to get it onto the platter of my Avid turntable. WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT...the pressing quality is truly awful with my worn 40 year old copy having less pops, clicks and pressing faults on it. I do not know where this record was pressed but the pressing plant should truly be ashamed of themselves!

Do yourself a favour, if you value quality pressings of your vinyl DO NOT buy this as you will be as disappointed as I am.
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‘Animals’ released in 1977 followed on from the seminal recordings DSotM and WYWH, and is where Roger Waters most obviously took over as Pink Floyd’s dominant writer/band leader until his acrimonious split from the band in 1985. Pink Floyd’s collegiate, co-operative partnership gradually gave way to Waters’ political vitriol, which here takes centre-stage: his Orwellian view of Britain bursts with anger and energy, but the result is nevertheless very ambitious with some memorable high-points.

The album is anchored around four long musical pieces themed on different segments of capitalist society: dogs as financiers/industrialists, pigs as politicians and sheep as ‘the masses’ who are essentially controlled and exploited by the other two groups. David Gilmour is credited as composer of only ‘Dogs’, the musical high-point, with the lyrical content penned by Waters. The music for ‘Sheep’ was worked out during the sessions for WYWH and performed during the previous couple of years as ‘Rolling and Drooling’ (you can hear ‘Sheep’ performed onstage and titled as ‘Rolling & Drooling’ as an extra on the extended WYWH remaster).

The 2011 remaster is a great improvement over all previous releases of ‘Animals’. Vocal harmonies are crisp and bright, guitars beautifully balanced and Richard Wright’s virtuoso keyboards anchor these epics to create a very professional sound. Released at the high-point of the British New-Wave movement in 1977, ‘Animals’ makes few concessions to the new sound (i.e. it’s not imitative or ‘sheep-like’) but goes its own confident way. Musically it’s survived the years well, even if its lyrical content now sounds simplistic and dated.
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on 9 December 2015
A very underrated album but this might actually be my favourite PF album. Yes I know WYWH, DSTM & The Wall are awesome - but I mean as a whole album from beginning to end - I just love this. It's like one single song with different sections. I love it's dark feel. It has such lovely bass lines running through it and the occasional magical guitar solos that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It just has a great "feel" and "atmosphere" to it. I bought it back in 1979 as a teenager and finally have a copy again. (My old album disappeared with the wind a long time ago.)
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on 26 April 2017
Animals is probably the most underated Pink Floyd album which is a pity because it's very good, and should be in the collection of not just Floyd fans but any lover of good/great music.
While this Discovery Edition is not a massive improvement on the original it does help you to discover subtle details you might otherwise miss although you do have to actually listen to the album not just play it in the background. So this Discovery Edition is worth getting particularly if your hi-fi is good enough to bring out the fine details.
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on 26 May 2017
If you're a fan of Pink Floyd then there's really not much else to add with regards to the content of this album.
If not, then it's a very good starting point. The songs don't out stay their welcome, the concept itself works well, and the production on this manages to sound both pristine and grubby at the same time. The drums and bass in particular come through in the mix extremely well. Nice and punchy.
More focused than The Wall, no technical meanderings such as On the Run or Ummagumma... just four very well written songs with some very nice soloing by Gilmour.

Many reviews have mentioned issues with the record itself. My copy arrived in perfect condition with zero pops or crackle. Playing on a Pro-Ject Audio primary III through an Onkyo Amp and Dali speakers I found that the record sounded excellent. Lots of mid, but with the bass and treble cutting through nicely when required.
No sibilance toward the end of the sides and no manufacturing errors. It's possible this was a later pressing, however it sounds as though any problems at the plant are now sorted.
This would be five stars but, come on, it's not a perfect album.
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