Possibly more famous for the cover and overshadowed, in my view, by the album that preceded it, Wish You Were Here, and the album that followed it, The Wall, Animals remains an excellent album. Released in 1977 at the height of punk, when Johnny Rotten was wearing a t-shirt with the words "I hate Pink Floyd" scrawled across the front, the album is full of anger aimed at the same capitalist system that the punks were determined to destroy. Pink Floyd just did it more eloquently and with much longer songs.
Animals is where Roger Waters (bass, vocals) began his campaign to gain control of the band and he dominates the writing credits. David Gilmour (guitar, vocals) co-writes the excellent "Dogs", containing one of his greatest guitar solos which because of the overexposure of "Comfortably Numb" from The Wall is probably my favourite. Richard Wright (keyboards) has no writing credits at all for the very first time on the band's tenth release. At this point Waters was matching his superb lyrics with memorable tunes, a skill which he completely lost by the time of The Final Cut. The band is in transition between the dreamy keyboard sounds of Wish You Were Here and the more hard edged rhythms of aspects of The Wall. Nick Mason (drums) sounds much better than I usually give him credit for and plays tastefully and contributes much more than the slow roll around the kit to add suspense to an atmospheric instrumental. The album rewards the listener with thought provoking lyrics, stunning musicianship and imaginative soundscapes. A classic album to be appreciated and enjoyed as a successful musical and artistic statement.