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"Pigs (Three Different Ones)" is a song from Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals. In the album's three parts, "Dogs", "Pigs" and "Sheep", pigs represent the people whom Roger Watersconsiders to be at the top of the social ladder, the ones with wealth and power; they also manipulate the rest of society and encourage them to be viciously competitive and cutthroat, so the pigs can remain powerful. Although it was not made available for commercial purchase, promotional copies were released in Brazil, albeit in an edited form of only four minutes and five seconds in length.[1]

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Summary[edit]Edit

The song's three verses each presents a different "pig", the identity of whom remains a matter of speculation[nb 1] as only the third verse clearly identifies its subject as morality campaignerMary Whitehouse, whom he describes as a "house proud town mouse" who has to "keep it all on the inside."[3]

Halfway through the song, David Gilmour uses a Heil talk box on the guitar solo to mimic the sound of pigs. This is the first use of a talk box by Pink Floyd.[4] Gilmour also plays a fretless bass guitar, with a pick, doing two short, syncopated bass solos—one before the first verse, another before the third. When the final verse ends and a guitar solo emerges, the bass line moves into a driving sixteenth note rhythm, sliding up and down the E minor scale in octaves, beneath the chords of E minor and C major seventh.[5] Roger Waters, usually the band's bassist, played a rhythm guitar track on the song instead.

In some cassette tape versions of the album, this song was divided into two parts after the first verse, fading out on side one and fading back in on side two, in order to minimise the total length of tape.

Live versions[edit]Edit

The normal length of the song performed live is roughly 17 minutes (some would top out at 20 minutes), compared with the album length of 11 minutes and 28 seconds. Live renditions basically followed the album version with a few notable differences: an extra guitar solo was played after the second verse, the talk-box solo on guitar was substituted for a Minimoog solo and to the coda were added a quiet Hammond-led section and a crescendo reprise of the guitar solo with aggressive drumming. Waters, who sang on both the studio and live versions of Pigs (Three Different Ones), also added his signature screams throughout live performances of this song during the 1977 tour.

When played on the 1977 tour, Waters shouted a different number for each concert. This purportedly has the purpose of identifying bootleg recordings.[6]

When this song was performed in Montreal on 6 July 1977, a historic moment happened to the band. A disruptive fan near the stage made Waters angry during the performance near the end of the song. Apparently the fan had thrown a beer bottle onto the stage. While the band played toward the climax of the song's jam section, Waters went to his microphone and began to call the fan back to the stage. It was at this point that Waters spit in the fan's face, inspiring the concept for Pink Floyd's next album, The Wall.[7] This moment can be heard on bootleg recordings of this concert.

In 1987, on tour to promote his solo album Radio K.A.O.S., Waters performed a shortened version of the song, featuring only the first two verses and shorter guitar solos between them as part of an extended Pink Floyd medley.

Personnel[edit]Edit

Recording dates: April and May 1976 at the band's own Britannia Row StudiosIslingtonLondon.

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