Talk:Animals (Pink Floyd album)

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Good article Animals (Pink Floyd album) has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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December 14, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
April 27, 2010 Featured topic candidate Not promoted
Current status: Good article
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Punk rock[edit]

One of the points at issue was the relevance of punk rock to this album. I have provided a link with a citation. Colonel Warden (talk) 18:25, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks but I don't think that the source you used could be considered very high quality, certainly not for this album. The several, more expert sources currently used are equivocal about exactly what factors were important in the creation of Animals. Punk rock was certainly one of those, but the sentence as you worded it implied that it was the only factor. That isn't the case. Parrot of Doom 21:09, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Indeed that was one issue.
Thus far the punk section is simply placed under background, with no apparent link to the production of the album. PoD once remarked that punk in some way influenced the album. If that is so it should be made clear (currently the article doesn't even say that), better still, it should be made clear how.
If however, there is no explainable connection between the new genre and the album, then punk rock would be off topic here. Str1977 (talk) 08:50, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I now looked up the link provided by Colonel Warden, which says:
"Animals was Water's response to the punk rock movement and a commentary on society"
If we don't have anything more specific (and want to keep the punk section), we should at least cite that sentence. Otherwise we have 169 words based on nothing.
I suggest including it in the manner it is now included in the Pink Floyd article. Str1977 (talk) 13:10, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I did that now. Str1977 (talk) 09:09, 14 October 2010 (UTC)


The passage on "Pigs" currently states:

"References to pro-censorship campaigner (and one of the apocryphal pigs) Mary Whitehouse are also evident, in the lyric "house-proud town mouse". [ref]"

  • "Apocryphal" means "veiled, hidden" - while that might be true in reference to the first two "Pigs" that are not clearly mentioned, it is not fitting for the Third one.
  • I think the wording currently underplays that Mary Whitehouse is clearly mentioned (both by her surname as well as her first name). OTOH, citing the lyric "house-proud town mouse" is too much detail.
  • While the first two pigs are not as clearly identified, there is at least a source, Song review at Allmusic, identifying the second sheep as Margaret Thatcher.
  • I still take issue with simply identifying Whitehouse as a pro-censorship campaigner. There should be ways more accurate (encompassing all of her aims) and more neutral to phrase this.

Str1977 (talk) 09:25, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I've delayed replying to this as I wanted to see if anyone else would first, and because I thought it better just to keep away from Str1977 given recent "discussions", but then I remembered a similar dispute I had with another editor on Nick Griffin and how easily that was resolved by doing something like the following:
If we can just stick to discussing the apparent (or perceived) problems with the article, before making any wholesale and unagreed changes, then there shouldn't be a problem. Apocryphal is perhaps overkill for Whitehouse individually as her surname is mentioned, although I should mention that her Christian name is not. IIRC the "bus stop rat bag" relates to Thatcher, but I can't remember where I read that. I don't recall ever reading about who the "big man, pig man" is/was; if that isn't known, then apocryphal may well be the best term to use.
I feel quite strongly that Whitehouse was a pro-censorship campaigner, she might have seen herself as a force for good but in the end she became an object of ridicule who attempted to force her Christian beliefs of morality on all. Parrot of Doom 20:37, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I am not sure "apocryphal" is the right word here in regard to Whitehouse. Not sure how good a source Allmusic is for the Thatcher attribution. --John (talk) 21:36, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay but I am quite busy right now elsewhere. But I can give a short response:
Parrot, I am actually glad that you responded as I did not enjoy the previous, unproductive encounters.
  1. "Apocryphal" isn't the right word for reither the unnamed ones or Whitehouse. Though it orginally meant "hidden, veiled", it today rather evokes the meaning of "uncanonical". I would suggest rephrasing it to something like "three pigs ..., of which the third openly refers to whateverwewilleventuallycall her Mary Whitehouse" or "three pigs. Whereas the identity of the first and second are not revealed - and haven given occasion to speculation - the third openly refers to ... Mary Whitehouse. BTW, the lyrics also addresses her by first name twice later on: "Mary, you're nearly a treat" ([1]).
  2. As for "pro-censorship campaigner", I don't think that describes her activities best, especially given the context of pigs as the political masters in the allegory. In this context, censorship sounds like referring to political opposition, not matters of morality in the media. The text should reflect that better. It is not my intention to portray her in a positive light, though "pro-censorship" is also a bit edgy on the POV side. Maybe something like "clean up TV crusader" or "public morality crusader" - that's more to the point but still not really sympathetic to her.
  3. Is "house-proud town mouse" really something that we must quote?
  4. As for the other "pigs", we do have a source identifying the second as Margaret Thatcher (the allmusic link, see above). However, I am not that bent on including it as a) the identity is not as evident - though, b) the first pigs = businessmen seems wrong to me, as those were already covered in "Dogs". However, we could include it with a disclaimer "the other pigs have been interpreted as ..."
Str1977 (talk) 13:07, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure I even added the word in the first place, but looking at the OED's definition I'd agree that apocryphal isn't suitable. I've re-written it, see what you think. I think speculation on the other two should be taken from more authoritative sources than an anonymous review. Parrot of Doom 11:48, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
I like your change, which takes care of items 1 and 2 (now numbered above). I still think 3. "house proud town mouse" is uneccessary detail - but at the same time it is not important enough to warrant a debate. And especially since I am grateful that you have found an alternative to "pro-censorship campaigner". As for 4. the other two pigs, I agree that they are less well sourced and that we don't need them in this article. In time, I will make an edit to the song's article (where all three are included) to reflect that Whitehouse is clearly identified while the others are speculation. Str1977 (talk) 12:36, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
Be careful editing Floyd song articles, a recent discussion highlighted the point that not all of them have intrinsic notability. Your edits may end up disappearing. Parrot of Doom 12:58, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The article does not have an 'External links' section. Would it be a good idea to add that section, containing e.g. the following external links?

IjonTichyIjonTichy (talk) 06:19, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

No, because they're copyright violations. Parrot of Doom 20:29, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you PD for the feedback. I mistakenly believed these were official Pink-F sites. I was particularly fooled by the appearance of the lyrics site, as it looks authentic, does not display any advertisements and does not solicit any donations. But after I read your comment I looked deeper and indeed you were right, it seems like some sort of a fan site. Thanks for helping me learn something new. IjonTichyIjonTichy (talk) 02:56, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Have a Cigar[edit]

Some debate in the edit history of the main article about whether Gilmour played guitar or bass, and vice versa with Waters, on "Have a Cigar." The page for "Have a Cigar" suggests the normal roles for these two, but perhaps someone can provide a citation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:38, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

I don't know why we'd be talking about that here, but I have a copy of Guitar World, December 2002, that transcribes "Have A Cigar", guitar and bass. It looked to me like it could have been either Gilmour or Waters on bass for that one. Whereas "Pigs", if you look at the transcription (GW issue #22), you know it's highly likely to be Gilmour on bass, before you read the Fitch encyclopedia and confirm it. I would assume it's Gilmour on "Cigar" only because the rest of Wish You Were Here sounds like it would be Roger on the bass, and Gilmour said "about half" the bass on PF records was him. Although I personally think David Gilmour was lying. I don't think he played much bass at all until after Dark Side of the Moon, when PF records suddenly got a lot less funky.
--Ben Culture (talk) 06:29, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

It's SO 1988! Really going out of the way to attack Roger Waters personally, aren't we?[edit]

Has anyone else noticed? We've got two quotes in special pink boxes, and both quotes feature nice, juicy personal attacks on Roger Waters.

I'm starting to notice how much Gilmour and Wright really went after the man's personality, whereas Waters tended to make strong and specific statements about each member's level of interest in, understanding of, and contribution to the work.

Can we find a way to balance this out? 'Cause this article's a little nauseating. Of all things said by all people about Animals, why are THESE two things in pink boxes?

The one guy in Pink Floyd who wrote a book, said he enjoyed working on this album. That gets a single sentence, somewhere, in our article. The guy who didn't contribute anything, and has now left us with only complaints about not contributing (as if Roger Waters somehow prevented Rick Wright from HAVING IDEAS), that gets a special box?

I think Nick Mason's good experience is just as relevant as Rick's bad one, if not more so.

And why no quotes, boxed or otherwise, from the man who wrote most of the album: Waters himself?

People who like this album tend to complain that documentaries and the like overlook it. It's true. Since 1986, lazy entertainment journalists have been writing off Animals as "a Roger Waters ego trip" (as Rick Wright would have had us do), instead of sitting the fuck down and listening to it. They read the raw interviews with Gilmour or Wright, and think, "Hmm, sounds like a dry run for The Wall."

I hate to see Wikipedia reflecting that.

I would suggest (a) adding boxed quotes from Mason (he wrote a book!) and Waters (he wrote most of the album!); (b) changing to other, more relevant quotes about the WORK from Gilmour and Wright; or (c) de-boxing the two quotes if (a) or (b) can't be achieved. Anyone else?

--Ben Culture (talk) 04:37, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

AllMusic sucks; let's stop using it.[edit]

This song review at AllMusic is a good example of why AllMusic sucks and we should stop using it. I would argue that it is not a reliable source for Wikipedia, period. This is not the first place I've said so, or the only examples I've cited, so I don't have a lot of examples here.

I can't read the whole thing or it will make me too angry. Here are some ding marks, though:

1. Water's for Waters. It's just a poorly thrown-together website. If they aren't paying attention to the basics like that, they aren't paying attention to the larger issues. Even stupid people can tell it's a typo, because he then goes on to get it right for the rest of the article. (I never can read AllMusic for long without wanting to EDIT it!)

2. States as fact ("Although unclear at the time ..." and then doesn't cite a source, because he doesn't have to; does this douche get a paycheck?) that the second verse is about Margaret Thatcher. If this was known to be fact -- and when Waters is writing about a specific person, he will tell you if you ask him -- it would be in our article about the song, and it's not, which leads me to strongly suspect that this has never been established as fact.

3. JUST. MUSICALLY. WRONG! "Pigs" is a tight, uptempo tune, with a snappy, wriggling bass, an insistent cowbell and/or high-hat, and a busy, aggressive rhythm guitar, overall a very "sixteenths"-oriented arrangement. (See? I can write review-talk too, asshole.) Yet look at what he writes about the actual music. He starts with " ... the music ... becomes trumped by its lyrical content", because people who write reviews are generally musically ignorant. They don't have the capacity to talk about the E minor and the C major seventh chords; you're lucky if they can identify falsetto as the term to describe how Waters hits the high notes at the end of each verse (much less that Roger Waters doesn't usually hit his high notes via falsetto), or fretless as the kind of bass guitar Gilmour uses to introduce the song!

But it's the rest of this paragraph that offends most: "Uneven, irregular, and phlegmatic, the slow-moving pace and dense tempo is supposed to represent a pig's listless wallow through the mire. [Oh, is it?] Various Hammond organ riffs flow and then recede, and the muddy guitar and bass lines aid in the song's imagery as they latch on to Nick Mason's rather routine drum work. [Wrong, wrong, and WRONG.] But the music throughout "Pigs" and the rest of Animals is justifiably secondary in this case [...because I have an education in journalism, not musicology.]"

I realize I sound like an angry fan, and I am, but I'm a good editor and a good musician, and this guy just gets it ALL wrong.

Anyone else?

--Ben Culture (talk) 05:23, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Cover photo shoot[edit]

I was expanding the section on the cover and I've come upon some conflicting info. According to an interview with Hipgnosis designer Aubrey Powell who shot the album cover, the pig broke free on the first day and wandered into air traffic (eventually landing in a farm) and Powell was arrested. The second attempt at the shoot was only allowed after a marksman was hired in case the pig broke free.

Currently, the article states that a marksman was hired the first day and that O'Rourke failed to hired one for the second day, which is when the pig broke free. This based on the book Comfortably Numb which I don't have access to (Google Books only lets me view page 245, not 246) so I can't verify exactly what the source says. I'd like to incorporate info from Powell's interview, but the current info there needs to be fixed up first. If any editors can provide insight or help out, it would be appreciated. –Dream out loud (talk) 23:32, 13 November 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure there's a conflict, rather, Powell's interview doesn't include enough information to suggest there is. He makes no mention of the number of days shooting or which day the balloon flew off, and his comments about the sharpshooter may, or may not, support what the article currently says. Parrot of Doom 13:00, 14 November 2013 (UTC)

Hard rock?[edit]

The 3 main songs all have hard rock in them, should hard rock be added after progressive? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

No. One genre is sufficient. Parrot of Doom 07:33, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

The erased solo and Snowy's solo: Not the same solo.[edit]

The article currently reads, When Waters and Mason inadvertently erased one of Gilmour's completed guitar solos, White was asked to record a solo on "Pigs on the Wing". I'm sure whoever wrote that thought they were condensing the article effectively, and had no bad intentions, but the sentence is now factually misleading.

The solo that was accidentally erased was the fourth solo in "Dogs" which follows "And you believe at heart everyone's a killer". I'm not sure the whole solo was erased, but the conclusion of it was -- and it used overdubs to harmonize in descending augmented triads in eighth-note triplets, all the way down the guitar, from the 19th fret to a 1st-position D minor triad. It was quite a bit of work!

The solo Snowy White recorded linked parts one and two of "Pigs on the Wing" for the eight-track cartridge release.

The phrasing of "When ..." followed by "White was asked ..." implies a cause and effect, which did not occur. I'm not even sure the first thing happened on the same day as the second -- that is, was White even present when the solo was erased? I think the stories have just been conflated. The two things belong in different parts of the article. In fact, maybe the bit about the "Dogs" solo only belongs in the "Dogs" article, whereas Snowy's eight-track solo remains appropriate for this article.

--Ben Culture (talk) 19:26, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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