I hear Pink Floyd have now become a V&A retrospective in their old age. The V&A is absolutely fine, no doubt; but these high-brow retrospectives of former free spirits just depress me; maybe even more so in this case, when Waters and Mason seem so frail (and…tamed) on the promo video, fully overtaken by the curators who go on about… what, exactly? (sample: “The wall, and… inflatables, and… stuff like that”)
So I propose an “Animals” boot instead: I’ll stick with the audience-recorded youthful bile, thank you very much.
“Animals” is an interesting beast in the PF catalogue. Their early innocence long gone, “Dark Side” a landmark, they were now on the peak of stardom, and out comes this angry record that is as much about socio-political metaphor as it is about the band coming to terms with the evidence that PF is a spent creative force, about to disintegrate and become a brand. So they do bow out with a bang; this is their last album I enjoy, a loud, urgent, visceral statement, as opposed to the previous, (IMHO) overblown, (IMHO) overrated, (IMHO) tedious “Wish You Were Here”, basically the sound of millionaires moaning about being millionaires.
There is a reason why “Animals” was skipped on the “deluxe box set” treatment of their catalogue, and why none of its tracks made it to the (IMHO) PF karaoke tours of the 1990s; and this is a very good thing – it probably means it’s still too good for a cash-in exercise in nostalgia. Enjoy!