My favourite 'Pink Floyd' album.
Oddly enough, the Floyd's best concept album began with no concept, just three songs accumulated from the past few years. Halfway through the studio session, Waters realized he could use George Orwell's concept of people as being animals, and paralleled them in our social lives. In the eyes of Waters, you are either a dog, pig or a sheep.
Pigs On The Wing (part one)
The opening and closing tracks are almost identical, and are actually love songs, which is very uncharacteristic of Waters. He wrote the songs for his new wife, Carolyne Christie. The song was one of the last to be recorded, and was written by Waters in a demo session a few months earlier. The song's meaning is that Waters had finally found someone who can help him escape the madness of life. This especially rang true for Waters following the huge success of "Wish You Were Here" and "Dark Side Of The Moon", and his new wife made him much happier and stopped him from transforming into a "pig".
My favourite Floyd song. Not one boring moment within the 17 minutes plus. One of (David) Gilmour's finest solos.
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
The middle part of the song is Gilmour's talk box imitating a squealing pig, which uses voice to shape the notes, which makes the guitar talk. This song contains some of Waters' most bitter and ingenius lyrics, most notably "you radiate cold shafts of broken glass", which is a gem in the Floyd lyric archives. There is a rich imagery of words here, "pig stain on your fat chin", "tight lips and cold feet", all evoke images of greedy, power-hungry...well, pigs.
Waters wrote "Sheep" specifically for the road, and it was played under its original title of "Raving and Drooling" at the same time that "Dogs" appeared in the Floyd's set list. Written about a man who was clearly insane, Waters thought the band should include some new material in the set list, and even changed the title (temporarily) to "I Fell On His Neck With A Scream", a very old Floydian style of song title.
Pigs On The Wing (part two)
This coda, to what may be the most downbeat album Pink Floyd ever recorded, is an upbeat way to bring the album down gently and not end on a sour note. It also functions to preserve the continuity of the album, which in many ways is a negative way of saying the cycle is never-ending. The positive overtone, however, is that if you find someone you can share your life with, you can avoid the harmful effects of the Dogs, Pigs and Sheep. Waters says the first verse means "where would I be without you?" and the second verse says "in the face of all this other s*** -- you care, and that makes it possible to survive."
I highly recommend.