Two days before the end of a long Animals Tour, the tension was rising between Roger Waters and the audience. At this show on the Fourth of July in Madison Square Garden, you cannot mistake Waters contempt for the followers who only wanted to hear Dark Side Of The Moon…
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Sheep Independence Day [no label, 2CD]
Live at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, July 4, 1977. A stereo audience recording that is quite good.
You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.
ROGER WATERS: “It just became more and more oppressive. Those places weren’t built for music, they were built for sporting events, and it’s not unnatural to experience a ritualisation of war, because that’s all sport is. What was going through my mind - my whole body - was an enormous sense of frustration, a feeling of what are we all doing here, what’s the point? And the answer that kept clanging back monotonously was: cash and ego. That’s all it’s about.”
You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you
And in the end you’ll pack up and fly down south,
Hide your head in the sand,
Just another sad old man,
All alone and dying of cancer.
NICK MASON: “Well, Roger is not exactly a man known for peace and love - but we were sympathetic, even if we didn’t feel as passionately as he did - those stadium shows are very strange. When we’re playing, we’re watching the audience, the same way the audience is watching us, and all you can really see is those front rows and - I’m not saying they’re all nutters, but what you tend to get, particularly if it’s what’s euphemistically called “festival-seating” - ie no seats - is the people who are mad enough to be able to push their way to the front, the air-guitar players, the people who know all the words and rather sad ones who have been waiting all day and collapse just as the band comes on-stage.”
And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.
And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around.
DAVID GILMOUR: “Roger never liked touring anyway very much, he was always rather tense and irritable. He was disgusted with the business in many ways, as we all were. The big change came with the huge success of “Dark Side Of The Moon” - the audiences liked to “interact,” shout a lot. Previous to then, even though we played large places, 10,000-seaters, you could hear a pin drop at appropriate moments. So it had been a shock - but four years on I was getting used to the idea that that’s the way it had to be.”
This was the circus surrounding former cult band Pink Floyd who had been ushered into the “big time” with Dark Side Of The Moon and the warm guitar and organ drenched Wish You Were Here. Success meant new fans unfamiliar with Pink Floyd’s earlier experimental works. For Animals, Roger Waters commandeered the band, writing all the lyrics to explore George Orwell’s Animal Farm about the deep flaws of capitalism. What better place to expound his views than Madison Square Garden, in the vicinity of Wall Street.
Animals is not an album for the casual fan. It is a wordy, lyrically strong album placing text above texture and relegating guitars, organ and drums to the basement. As the concert opens with Sheep, the fans are already restless for the “tunes”. By Dogs, the third long number, you have to be a devotee to find the music entertaining. It isn’t until Pigs [Three Different Ones] when Gilmour gets his chance to shine that the audience connects back with the band. Gilmour is a magnet with some amazing solos.
Animals is a concept album, based on the flaws of capitalism. Ranks in society are represented as different types of animals (Dogs as the businessmen, sheep as the powerless pawns, and pigs as the ruthless leaders).
This show is marked by the firing of crackers from the presumably bored audience. The Animals part of the show is on disc one and the sound is not as smooth, possibly because the taper had to jostle with a restless audience. By disc two, things have settled as the band play the entire Wish You Were Here album and two of the more popular tracks off Dark Side, Money and Us And Them.
Pink Floyd have seldomed played Animals on tour after 1977. Both Sheep and Dogs were written during the recording for Wish You Were Here. Then, both carried different titles. Raving And Drooling finally became Sheep while You Gotta Be Crazy settled for Dogs. Both songs were left off Wish You Were Here.
“A very nice recording. The sound quality is excellent and it’s a stereo recording. I’d give it an Ex- since there are some clap happy folks near the taper, but not to the point of distraction. The taper also bumps the mics a few times, ” notes mTownshend who shared this show at Hunger City.
If you need convincing on the sound quality and performance, try Disc 2 Track 6 for a “far out” version of Money.
The title for this ROIO seems to be a reference to the audience. The fourth of July is Independence Day in America.
- The Savage Hippo
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UPDATED: October 9, 2015
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