By Mike O’Cull
Prog rock innovators Pink Floyd go all-in on the release of the new Animals 2018 Remix set that features the group’s 1977 classic in 5.1 Surround Sound for the first time.
The newly reimagined Animals package comes out on September 16th, 2022 with a deluxe version available on October 7th, 2022, both on Sony Music. It will be released on CD, LP (with gatefold artwork), Blu-ray, SACD, and Deluxe Gatefold formats. The Deluxe Gatefold version includes LP, CD, audio Blu-ray, audio DVD, and a 32-page book. The Blu-ray and DVD audio include the 2018 remix in Stereo, 5.1 Surround (both done by James Guthrie) and the original 1977 stereo mix.
The 32-page booklet features rarely-seen behind-the-scenes photographs of the album sleeve shoot along with live images and Floyd memorabilia. The album artwork has also been reimagined for the project. The entire thing is done quite well and will become an instant “must-have” item for serious fans.
Animals was originally released in January of 1977 and was the tenth studio effort of the mighty Floyd’s career. It was produced by the group themselves and tracked at their Britannia Row Studios in London. It was a smashing success, peaking at number two in the UK and number three in the USA and is thought to be one of Pink Floyd’s all-time best records.
Band members David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright had long since hit their artistic stride together and, by 1977, all one needed to do to get greatness out of them was to stand back and let it happen.
Of course, Animals is a concept album at heart that examines the socio-political conditions of mid-1970s Britain and takes inspiration from author George Orwell’s famous book Animal Farm. It deals with the visible social and moral decay of society and compares humans to animals. Pink Floyd depicts the different social classes of people as animals with pigs being at the top of the system, sheep as the mindless herd following whatever they are told to do, and dogs as the business bosses fattening themselves on the money and power they hold over the others.
It’s a chilling vision and one that remains relevant today, as our current global condition isn’t that much different than it was in 1977.
Musically, Animals will always be considered one of Floyd’s finest moments. The 5.1 Surround Sound mix is thrilling and will amaze listeners with the hardware to get the most out of it. Even though we’ve all heard this so many times, the new mix brings a fresh perspective to the album, one that deserves to be experienced.
One other cool aspect of the Animals 2018 Remix package is the rethought treatment of the record’s famous cover art that was designed by long-time Floyd collaborator Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis Studios. The original image shows an inflatable pig, now known as Algie, floating between two chimneys of the Battersea Power Station. This time out, the artwork was redone by Storm’s Hipgnosis partner Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, who took new shots of the building as it appeared during recent conversion work and experimented until the cover spoke to the modern world without losing its original message.
It’s also a bit of extra dessert to hear music that is unapologetically long-form and album-oriented in nature. These songs were meant to be listened to, not treated as background noise the way so much music is looked at today. Tracks like the 17-minute “Dogs” and the ten-minute “Sheep” require attention and mental processing to comprehend and appreciate. The genius of Waters and Gilmour is the exact opposite of today’s internet mentality and taking the time to slow down, get small, and bask in the intelligent sound of these cuts that represent a better, vanished time is a gift all by itself.
Pre-order link for Pink Floyd Animals 2018 Remix Here
Pink Floyd Animals 2018 Remix YouTube Page Here