Canadian import of Pink Floyd's 10th studio album
I got into Pink Floyd quite late. In fact, I've only got into them in the last 12 months or so. I'd always been gently encouraged to listen to them in depth by my Dad and Uncle who constantly raved about The Wall. I'd heard the usual stuff that everyone else had heard; 'See Emily Play', 'Arnold Layne', 'Another Brick In The Wall' and so on. My first Pink Floyd album purchase was Animals. It cost a tenner from The Diskery in Birmingham and it was one of those 'let's see what all the fuss is about' purchases. I got home, played it and was gobsmacked. I couldn't believe how good it was. And I couldn't begin to believe that The Wall and Dark Side Of The Moon were going to better it. (For the record, I don't think they do, although I'm in a minority.)
Although there's only 5 tracks, the first and last being 2 parts of the same song, 'Dogs' (which takes up almost all of side 1), 'Pigs' and 'Sheep' are three of the finest songs ever written. At the time I bought the album, I was going through a rough patch and instantly identified with the lyrics in 'Dogs'. It's my favourite track off the record and my favourite track by the band. The despair of daily monotony in the song was something I recognised instantly and the quality of David Gilmour's guitar work struck another chord (no pun intended). The album is about the social-political conditions on the UK during the 1970's and is loosely based on Orwell's Animal Farm, with classes in society reflecting different animals but the sheep overthrow the dogs.
The copy of the album featured here is a Canadian import I picked up for less than the UK copy. The famous pig-above-Battersea image featured on the cover is printed darker on the Canadian copy and the credits on the reverse are the same size as the tracklisting, whereas the credits on the UK pressing are noticeably smaller. Obviously, there's catalogue number differences; SHVL 815 (Harvest) for the UK issue and JC34474 (Columbia Records) for the import. Copyright notices and manufacture and distribution details are on the rear of the Canadian copy: A7/Manufactured and Distributed by Fabriqué et Distibué par/CBS Records Canada, Ltd. 1121 Leslie Street, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada M3C 2J9
Inside the gatefold sleeve, there's just one difference. The pictures are the same but the Harvest/EMI Records logos and credits appear on the UK copy. The lyric inners are also subtly different. The UK copy has rounded corners and isn't textured; the Canadian copy has square corners and has a slight textured feel to it.
The labels have the expected differences; Harvest logo, catalogue number, EMI credits and 'Made in Great Britian' text as well as the usual 'broadcasting and copying of this record prohibited' feature on the UK copy; catalogue number, 'Manufactured by CBS Records Canada Ltd "Columbia" MARCAS REG and 1977 copyright notice on the Canadian one. There seems to be more 'green' in the colour of the fish-eye aspect of the playing field part of the outer label image.
And of course the matrixes are different.
Regardless of the country this was pressed in, it's an absolutely amazing album. People automatically go for 'The Wall' or 'DSOTM' or even 'Wish You Were Here' when asked what the best Pink Floyd album is. Only 'The Wall' comes close for me but you have to be in the mood for the epic that it is. Animals can be played anytime, anywhere, regardless of the mood you're in'. It's quite easily one of my top 10 favourite albums I own.
- Pigs On The Wing (Part 1)
- Pigs (Three Different Ones)
- Pigs On The Wing (Part 2)
Side 1 – AL-34474-1A-2G:
Side 2 – BL-34474-1A-2G: