Following the acclaimed Still Wish You Were Here project , a collection of prog and art rock virtuosos have collaborated to recreate and reimagine the under-appreciated yet highly original 1977 Pink Floyd concept album, Animals.
Release date: 19th November 2021
Label: Cleopatra Records
Format: deluxe digipak CD / digital / vinyl versiondue in 2022.
It would be fair to ask why should such eminent musicians still full of their faculties are not composing and playing their own music? Martin Barre who is still interpreting Tull music with his own band for instance, could be playing his unique riffs with Tull ( except JT doesn’t exist anymore – or does it?). Rick Wakeman is still releasing epic orchestral keyboard pieces like The Red Planet and could be even reimagining his Yes material.
I suppose in their ultimate respect to prog giants Floyd and their inspirational music they feel fit to have a bash at our cosmic heroes’ material themselves. With Nick Mason focussing on everything pre-Dark Side and any likelihood now of the remaining three Floyds recording together being less likely than setting the controls to the heart of the sun, we should be thankful their peers have released this stunning epic. And what a brilliant job they do too .
Mr Barre’s acoustic classical touch is instantly recognisable in the intro Pigs On The Wing. Graham Bonnet, vocalist on Pigs , replicates the angst and bitterness of troubled Roger Waters and hidden away in Sheep are the early Floyd interstellar keyboard swirls.The percussionist Carmine Appice on Sheep has clearly studied Nick Mason’s unique drumming style too as his intimate beats and fills are familiar of those prominent in Echoes or thelater Momentary Lapse Of Reason tracks. Jan Ackerman’s guitar work sheds his distinctive Focus style playing for an exquisite performance, still full of individuality. These are just a few of the treats and surprises in store for listeners to this awesome interpretation.
The conglomeration of artists who reimagined Dogs have created a piece nothing short of outstanding. At the end of it I wanted to stand and applaud, which wouldn’t have been a wise move as I was driving at the time.
Roger Waters recently displayed his love for the Animals album, featuring Dogs and Pigs on the Us And Them tour setlist and who will ever forget the stadium sized Battersea power station on that tour.
Many Floyd fans who entered the Floyd fray with the release of Dark Side Of The Moon would, if they attended the premier tour back in ’74 , have already been introduced to embryonic versions of Dogs and Sheep amongst the first half setlist titled as Gotta Be Crazy and Raving And Drooling. Remastered versions can be heard on the Wish You Were Here Experience Edition album released in 2011, yet it would be several years later before they appeared in their final state on the 1977 release of the Animals LP.
Tribute bands normally include an avid group of enthusiasts but just look at this line up: Nick van Eede (Cutting Crew), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Graham Bonnet (Rainbow), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Kasim Sulton (Utopia), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) , Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson) James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Al Di Meola, Joe Bouchard (Blue Öyster Cult), Patrick Moraz (The Moody Blues) , Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra), Arthur Brown, Rick Wakeman (Yes), Jan Akkerman (Focus), David J. (Bauhaus), Carmine Appice (Cactus/Vanilla Fudge), Jon Davison (lead vocalist for Yes), Albert Lee & Billy Sherwood (Yes).
Even the artwork is created by the most successful digital artist working today, Mike ‘Beeple’ Winkelmann, with cover art designed by James McCarthy.Modern production techniques and appropriate musical adaptations show respect to the 1977 album’s provocative and creative compositions even the most discerning Floyd fan will be converted to this splendid updated version.