July 19, 2013

Pink Floyd - Pigs on the Wing (8-Track Version) (1977)

Pink Floyd’s tenth studio album, Animals, was recorded in London, 1976 at the band’s newly constructed recording studio, Britannia Row Studios. Akin to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the album was a collection of songs named after animals satirizing different social classes in 1970s England. The categories people were lumped into included pigs, dogs, and sheep; or, those in power, those who do the bidding, and those who sit idly by, respectively. The album was also meant to steer in a slightly new direction for the band, as they had recently become the victim of many jokes in the newly thriving punk rock movement. Considered “dinosaur rock” by younger people, Pink Floyd wanted to create an album a little harsher sounding than their previous works. Having been certified four times platinum, the album was a huge success on both sides of the Atlantic.

Besides the animal-related songs which made up the majority of the album, Animals also began and ended with the front and back halves of a love song written by Roger Waters about his new wife, Carolyne Christie, the ex-wife of Grateful Dead manager Rock Scully. Christie had gained Waters affections by being one of the few, if not only, people who could win an argument with Waters. As it was arranged, royalties for the album were given to the songwriters based on the total number of songs written and not their total length. Since this “song” was split apart on the album as two completely separate tracks, it created a bigger piece of the royalty pie for their author, Roger Waters. This didn’t sit well with the band’s David Gilmour, who had contributed a seventeen minute song, “Dogs.” This, among other frictions during the recording of Animals, proved to be the starting point for the strife that would eventually split the band apart.

At one point during the recording of the album, Roger Waters and Nick Mason accidentally erased a guitar solo by David Gilmour, recorded as the link between “Pigs on the Wing (Part I)” and “Pigs on the Wing (Part II),” which was still being treated as one song. Thinking they needed to replace it, the band asked non-Pink Floyd-member Snowy White to record a replacement guitar solo. Ultimately, it was decided that the song would be split apart for the beginning and ending of the album, as it’s now known. Because of this separation, the guitar solo became superfluous, omitted, and never appeared on the final version of the vinyl release. However, for unknown reasons, the album’s 8-track release not only kept the songs together, appearing as the opening track, but also kept the guitar solo by Snowy White. Below, you will hear the alternate 8-track version of the songs, back to back as one, with the inclusion of Snowy White’s rare guitar solo.

album art

Pink Floyd - Pigs on the Wing (8-Track Version) (1977)

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If you didn't care
What happened to me
And I didn't care
For you
We would zig zag our way
Through the boredom and pain
Occasionally glancing up through the rain
Wondering which of the buggers to blame
And watching for pigs on the wing

You know that I care
What happens to you
And I know that you care
For me, too
So, I don't feel alone
Or the weight of the stone
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone
And any fool knows a dog needs a home
A shelter from pigs on the wing

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