Pink Floyd - Animals

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tkl7
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Postby tkl7 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 11:19 am

Roger's cynicism is getting old, and regurgitating Orwell isn't too impressive, even in the times we're living in now.


I have never understood why people think that the theme of this record is based on Orwell. Animal Farm was a political satire, whereas Animals is much more of a social statement in that it classifies people into 3 distinct groups. They are both completely independent works with separate archetypes. The only reason people assume that Animals is based on Animal Farm is because they both have pigs in them.

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Postby Rspaight » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:00 pm

And dogs. And sheep.

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tkl7
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Postby tkl7 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:06 pm

Maybe if he used Kangaroos and Koala Bears it would be different, dammit!

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Postby Patrick M » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:46 pm

Rspaight wrote:And dogs. And sheep.


Are you saying Animals is based on Orwell, or just pointing out that both have pigs, dogs, and sheep?
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Postby MK » Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:54 pm

There's an interview somewhere where Roger Waters acknowledges that the original idea for the album was loosely inspired by Orwell, particularly the use of farm animals for representation (it could've been monkeys and sea bass, but the heart of the concept would still be there).

The message has been modified a bit. The sheep in Animal Farm have a hard time understanding what's happening to them and what's going on - they're easily confused and remain at the bottom. Waters is more empowering, they know what's going on and rise up against their aggressors. Outside of that, the representation of pigs are similar in both - they represent individuals in complete control, who wallow in greed and who abuse their power. Dogs are sleazy enforcers in both cases, except in Orwell they're like mindless, violent thugs, still clearly beneath pigs but they don't seem to care (or possibly understand) that. Waters is more cynical, the dogs know their place, but they play along with the game (class-wise - either in business, politics, whatever) 'cause toeing the line still has its benefit.

But that's not a huge departure from Animal Farm (Orwell's allegory may be about the corruption of power or the failure of idealism - however you interpret it - but it's still strongly tied to class structure and how it all feeds off each other), it's not very profound even if Waters thinks it is, and you've seen/heard/read this before and since.
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Postby krabapple » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:10 pm

MK wrote:There's an interview somewhere where Roger Waters acknowledges that the original idea for the album was loosely inspired by Orwell, particularly the use of farm animals for representation (it could've been monkeys and sea bass, but the heart of the concept would still be there).

The message has been modified a bit. The sheep in Animal Farm have a hard time understanding what's happening to them and what's going on - they're easily confused and remain at the bottom. Waters is more empowering, they know what's going on and rise up against their aggressors. Outside of that, the representation of pigs are similar in both - they represent individuals in complete control, who wallow in greed and who abuse their power. Dogs are sleazy enforcers in both cases, except in Orwell they're like mindless, violent thugs, still clearly beneath pigs but they don't seem to care (or possibly understand) that. Waters is more cynical, the dogs know their place, but they play along with the game (class-wise - either in business, politics, whatever) 'cause toeing the line still has its benefit.

But that's not a huge departure from Animal Farm (Orwell's allegory may be about the corruption of power or the failure of idealism - however you interpret it - but it's still strongly tied to class structure and how it all feeds off each other), it's not very profound even if Waters thinks it is, and you've seen/heard/read this before and since.



Starting with the song 'Free Four' off of 'Obscured by Clouds' Waters began addressing aging, death and loss in his songs -- often with a refreshing lack of sentimentality, though some might call it a callous lack of sympathy.

In Free Four we get:

THe memories of a man in old age
are the deeds of a man in his prime
You shuffle in the gloom of a sickroom
And talk to yourself as you die

And by Animals we get the lines that are maybe the apotheosis of that in his work, referring to the businessman 'dogs' --

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder
You know it's going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you get older
And in the end you'll pack, fly down south, hide your head in the sand
Just another sad old man
All alone and dying of cancer.

Those lines struck me with force back then and stll do.
If a punk band has spewed this they'd have been called brilliant and transgressive, whereas IIRC in the press at the time, only Robert CHristgau picked up on that idea.
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Postby lukpac » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:20 pm

Threadcrap...

My problem with PF isn't so much the lyrics, but that I find so much of the music *boring*. I'll fully admit I haven't heard much off the beaten path, so maybe I'm missing out, but...eh. That "produced" sound doesn't help much either, IMO.
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Postby Patrick M » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:26 pm

lukpac wrote:My problem with PF isn't so much the lyrics, but that I find so much of the music *boring*.

I know individuals such as yourself always value the lyrics/sentiment/meaning the songwriter was trying to convey much more than the minutia of music and production.
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Postby Patrick M » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:35 pm

krabapple wrote:Starting with the song 'Free Four' off of 'Obscured by Clouds' Waters began addressing aging, death and loss in his songs -- often with a refreshing lack of sentimentality, though some might call it a callous lack of sympathy.

What about 'Corporal Clegg'?

I've always really liked Animals. In part, because it's the one album between DSOTM and the Wall that hasn't been beaten to death.
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Postby tkl7 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:58 pm

I've always really liked Animals. In part, because it's the one album between DSOTM and the Wall that hasn't been beaten to death.


I completely agree.

I also think that being inspired by Animal Farm to use animals to represent personality types does not make it "regurgitating Orwell." In Animal Farm, not only do the Animals represent classes of people, many of the actual characters correspond to actual political figures in the Soviet Union.

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Postby Rspaight » Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:58 pm

Patrick M wrote:
Rspaight wrote:And dogs. And sheep.


Are you saying Animals is based on Orwell, or just pointing out that both have pigs, dogs, and sheep?


As MK notes, Waters did bring some of his own ideas to bear (ha!) on the concepts, but the concepts certainly bear (double ha!) a striking resemblance to the territory worked by Orwell. It's clear that Animals owes a lot to Animal Farm. Saying that the only resemblance is that they both have pigs does a disservice to Orwell, and saying that it's nothing but a straight ripoff of Animal Farm is a disservice to Waters.

Starting with the song 'Free Four' off of 'Obscured by Clouds' Waters began addressing aging, death and loss in his songs -- often with a refreshing lack of sentimentality, though some might call it a callous lack of sympathy.


I think I've said elsewhere on this forum that nearly everything Waters has done since "Free Four" is just a longer version of the themes in that song. It truly is the Rosetta Stone of Roger Waters.

My problem with PF isn't so much the lyrics, but that I find so much of the music *boring*. I'll fully admit I haven't heard much off the beaten path, so maybe I'm missing out, but...eh. That "produced" sound doesn't help much either, IMO.


In that case, I would advise avoiding Waters' solo catalog at all costs.

I've always really liked Animals. In part, because it's the one album between DSOTM and the Wall that hasn't been beaten to death.


Same here.

I quite love parts of The Final Cut as well. It's by far my favorite Waters solo album.

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Postby britre » Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:43 pm

Starting with the song 'Free Four' off of 'Obscured by Clouds' Waters began addressing aging, death and loss in his songs -- often with a refreshing lack of sentimentality, though some might call it a callous lack of sympathy.


I think I've said elsewhere on this forum that nearly everything Waters has done since "Free Four" is just a longer version of the themes in that song. It truly is the Rosetta Stone of Roger Waters.
Ryan[/quote]

I have to tottally agree with this statement and also reiterate a fact that perhaps the reason some forum members find Waters work boring is simply that everything since Meddle has been the same music and tune rehashed in different configurations. Go figure that...

However, in that vien doesn't that put Waters work on par with The Beatles or The Who two other bands that took their best work and kept rehashing it till it got old and tired?

And I find Orwell much more the writer than Roger Waters. There is no discussion there....

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Postby krabapple » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:36 pm

lukpac wrote:Threadcrap...

My problem with PF isn't so much the lyrics, but that I find so much of the music *boring*. I'll fully admit I haven't heard much off the beaten path, so maybe I'm missing out, but...eh. That "produced" sound doesn't help much either, IMO.


I found them boring, too, the first few years I was aware of them (this owul dbe the early 70s). I loved Wish You were HEre and Animals, but Dark Side of the Moon bored me for decades. Now, somehow I find I like it for what it is -- and I love 'Us and Them', the song that used to interest me the least.

The first album is almost another band entirely, quite different music. PF were always interested in good production, though.

Agreed that given your impression of PF so far you should definitely steer clear of Roger Waters' solo stuff...it's almost unremittingly
in the most boring and well-mined vein of PF music, though I like some of it. He never topped 'The Final Cut' in that particular vein. (Do check out Eric Clapton's turn on the track 'Sexual Revolution' of 'Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking, though.)

Which PF albums have you heard?


.
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Postby krabapple » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:42 pm

britre wrote:
I have to tottally agree with this statement and also reiterate a fact that perhaps the reason some forum members find Waters work boring is simply that everything since Meddle has been the same music and tune rehashed in different configurations. Go figure that...


Hmm, no, I think not. That's a gross overstatement. Now, if you said
everything Waters has done since The Wall....
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Postby lukpac » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:49 pm

krabapple wrote:I found them boring, too, the first few years I was aware of them (this owul dbe the early 70s). I loved Wish You were HEre and Animals, but Dark Side of the Moon bored me for decades. Now, somehow I find I like it for what it is -- and I love 'Us and Them', the song that used to interest me the least.


DSOTM and The Wall were some of the first CDs I ever purchased. I listened to both a fair amount back in the day. These days I just don't have much interest in listening.

PF were always interested in good production, though.


Good in a technical sense, perhaps, but IMO boring. You can still get an organic feel (clearly not what they were/are going for) while sounding good in a technical sense.
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