On this day in music history: January 23, 1977 - “Animals”, the tenth studio album by Pink Floyd is released. Produced by Pink Floyd, it is recorded at Brittania Row Studios in London from April - December 1976. Following the success of their previous album “Wish You Were Here” and tour, Pink Floyd return to the studio in the Spring of 1976. The band record in their newly acquired recording facility Brittania Row Studios, a group of old church halls converted into a studio and named after the street in Islington, London where it is located. Based in part on George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, “Animals” is a concept album making pointed commentary on Britain’s class system at the time of its recording. The animals mentioned in the lyrics represent various classes in society, with the “dogs” and “pigs” representing the ruthless, ruling and business classes, and the “sheep” representing mindless followers. Consisting of only five tracks, three are extended pieces, bookended by short reprises of the song “Pigs On The Wing” at the beginning and end. The songs are nearly all written and sung by Roger Waters, with David Gilmour co-writing and sharing vocals with Waters on “Dogs”. Gilmour’s minimal contribution to the writing is due to him being preoccupied with the birth of he and his wife’s first child, and also because of mounting creative tensions and squabbles over money within the band. Things are particularly tense between Roger Waters and keyboardist Richard Wright, whose relationship has continued to deteriorate during this period, and carries over into the “In The Flesh Tour” mounted in support of “Animals”. It is also during a show in Montreal that Waters becomes agitated and spits on a fan in the front row, in which that incident becomes the catalyst for the next release, the landmark album “The Wall” in late 1979. The now iconic cover artwork for “Animals” is conceived by Roger Waters and designed by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. The cover features the famed Battersea Power Station located on the south bank of the River Thames, with a giant floating pig hovering between two of the plants’ smokestacks. The initial cover shoot for the album cover becomes part of rock & roll legend when the giant inflatable pig breaks loose from its mooring above the power plant and floats away, flying into the airspace of Heathrow Airport, then landing in a cow pasture some thirty five miles away in Kent. The final cover image features the pig superimposed above the power plant. Reissued numerous times on CD since its initial release in that format in 1985, it is most recently remastered and reissued in 2011. It is also remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in November of 2016. “Animals” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.