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Pink Floyd 'Animals' album turns 40 - Jill Furmanovsky

© Jill Furmanovsky (to buy this limited edition photo see below)

'Animals' was Pink Floyd's tenth album which was released on 23 January 1977. It was an iconic a concept album with lyrics that provided a scathing critique of the social-political conditions of late-70s Britain, and presented a marked change in musical style from their earlier work. 'Animals' was recorded at the band's studio, Britannia Row. The album's cover image, a pig floating between two chimneys of the Battersea Power Station was conceived by the band's bassist and lead songwriter Roger Waters, and was designed by long-time collaborator Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis.

Photographed as a homage in 2006 to the Pink Floyd album cover 'Animals' for the BBC series 'Britain In Pictures', photographer Jill Furmanovsky recalls of this image (above) "I had always been intrigued by the place and jumped at the opportunity to see the building properly. My idea was to reproduce the cover by legendary designer Storm Thorgerson. This was a challenging test for the Panasonic camera I was given by the BBC. To catch a flying pig (thrown in the air rather than flown as the real one had been) required split second timing and the camera was not up to it. However, I was able to strip the image together using Photoshop. "I am happy with the final result. It is still recognizable as a homage to 'Animals' but the decay adds an extra layer of melancholy." 

As for the original photoshoot Website Brain Damage reported "On December 3rd, a second attempt to photograph the pig balloon over Battersea Power Station was cut short when the porcine dirigible broke loose and headed for friendlier skies, winding up over Southeast England after being refused permission to land at Heathrow Airport! Hipgnosis had designed the first cover only to have it rejected by Pink Floyd; after three shooting sessions they had enough material to construct the now famous cover. Pink Floyd have shared a long history with Hipgnosis beginning with A Saucerful Of Secrets. Now, with the Animals cover finished, they went on to design the songbook and tour programme both mirroring the desolation and savage graphics of the LP. A three minute video of the pig sessions exists, but this would not be the last time the balloon would fly." 

Alternative Nation says of the album "After releasing their two most successful albums up until this point, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You We’re Here, and being at a high point of their popularity, Pink Floyd released their most non-commercial and risky album of their career forty years ago, January 23, 1977. Many music critics didn’t give a positive review for Animals, in fact, one Rolling Stone writer called the album just a laser show looking for a soundtrack." The go on to say "However, many Pink Floyd fans see Animals as their buried treasure which was over shadowed by the success of their more commercial classics and a masterpiece that exemplifies the progressive rock genre."

There's no doubt that both the imagery and sounds of the album 'Animals' holds a special feeling in every Pink Floyd fans heart.

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