. . .
Obviously, things worked out in the end, but in the same universe where “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” took up a whole album side, the other side consisted of the other two songs they initially wrote at the same time in early 1974, “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy” and “Raving and Drooling.”
But, of course, it wasn’t to be, so instead those songs fueled the two concept albums that followed The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals. (In case you forgot.)
And so, at some point after Wish You Were Here, Roger Waters came up with the idea for an album that was kinda sorta based upon George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and so “You’ve Gotta Be Crazy” was reworked into “Dogs” and “Raving and Drooling” was reworked into “Sheep.” And Waters wrote a couple of songs about pigs — an acoustic throwaway that bookends the album, and a funky electric one that was the album’s only single.
Meanwhile, the highlight of Animals was the truly unhinged “Sheep,” a speedy (by Pink Floyd standards, I mean) blues shuffle that recycled the bassline from “One of These Days” and featured David Gilmour turning his guitar into a war machine and Richard Wright using his synth to literally snatch the words Waters was singing right out of your speakers.
Hopelessly passing your time in the grassland away
Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air
You better watch out
There may be dogs about
I’ve looked over Jordan, and I have seen
Things are not what they seem
It’s weirdly ironic that at the same time that Johnny Rotten was famously wearing and “I Hate Pink Floyd” t-shirt, Floyd released this utterly fucked up song that while not punk rock at all, was as fucked-up and disturbing and politically on fire as “Anarchy in the U.K.” or “God Save The Queen.” (Of course, the major difference was that Rotten was singing about himself and Roger Waters was singing about everybody else.)
And in fact, after a long breakdown which includes a reprise of the 8 zillion repetitions of “stone” from “Dogs” — cos it’s a concept album, of course — as well as an, um, rewrite of the 23 Psalm, at the end the song, the titular sheep rise up against their canine oppressors in a noisy, bloody way.
Bleating and babbling we fell on his neck with a scream
Wave upon wave of demented avengers
March cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream
Have you heard the news?
The dogs are dead
You better stay home
And do as you’re told
Get out of the road if you want to grow old
It’s all incredibly disturbing imagery, but luckily David Gilmour rides in at the very end with a swirling, swooping guitar riff — no need for a solo here — that is heavy, massive and just jabs directly into your head. It’s totally and utterly thrilling; one of his best moments on any Pink Floyd album ever.
And while I don’t really connect with the concept of Animals all that much — certainly not as much as I did Wish You Were Here — I loved the three main songs a lot, and so when it was announced that their first album released after I became a fan would be a double album, I was well and truly excited for it.
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page