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Pink Floyd – Animals 8-Track Cartridge Master (PEC-001)

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Animals 8-Track Cartridge Master (PEC-001)

2008 Remastered Edition

Pigs On The Wing (Inc Snowy White guitar solo) (3:22), Dogs (Part 1) + Dogs (Conclusion) (17:01), Pigs (Three Different Ones) (10:19), Sheep (10:21)

The debut release of the PEC label  Animals 8-Track Cartridge Master is exactly what one would expect it to be: a high quality digital transfer of the 8-track version of Animals, which is primarily notable for the inclusion Snowy White’s guitar solo that bridges “Pigs On The Wing 1″ with “Pigs On The Wing 2″ and is exclusive to the 8-track pressing. The original idea was to create a continuous loop of the album, and of course this cyclical arrangement has been utilized on more than one Floyd album to a great effect that, in itself, poses a number of philosophical questions.

PEC have done a fine job in presenting this material here, although having both parts of “Pigs On The Wing” at the beginning of the disc certainly loses the bookending effect of the original 8-Track and also a bit strange thematically in that ending with “Sheep” deprives the listener of the respite “Pigs On The Wing 2″ provided on the LP and CD.  

That aside, the only issues sonically here would be a very mild amount of tape hiss during the quietest passages, a couple instances of distortion when Roger Waters REALLY digs in on the acoustic guitar during “Pigs On The Wing,” and a noticeable change in aural perspective starting with the phased guitar at 6:35 in “Dogs.”

Otherwise, what we have here is a fine digital transfer that retains much of the warmth of the analog format from which it came, with the clarity of a 2008 remastering. Mind you, it doesn’t have the “oomph” of the Columbia Records CD remaster, but it’s by no means thin – just doesn’t have that extreme low-end the major labels tend to roll onto their own remasters.

When all is said and done, Animals 8-Track Cartridge Master is an interesting release, certainly superior in audio quality compared to last year’s Animals Test Acetate, and worth picking up if you’re a fan of this era or curious about Snowy’s contribution. At this time, it’s unclear if this is the dawn of a new label or simply a one-off, but new purveyors of silver are certainly welcome and if this is an indication of PEC’s intentions, we could have another Sigma at hand!

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Pink Floyd - Animals 8-Track Cartridge Master (PEC-001), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

4 Comments

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  1. Profile photo of Plomerus
    Plomerus says
    October 21, 2008, 8:35 pm

    DLee…thanks for the fantastic, detailed comparitive research – I was going to get back to it myself, but this flurry of new releases kept me pretty busy. In the end, this is pretty interesting stuff and I’m glad I picked up this 8-Track Cartridge Master on a whim, despite owning numerous versions of “Animals.”

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    DLee says
    October 20, 2008, 7:48 pm

    OK – I finally got around to finding the track lengths (playing times) of each track of the original official “Animals” release; “Animals Test Acetate”, which is the “early mix” that I reviewed on this site shortly after its release less than 12 months ago (http://www.collectorsmusicreviews.com/pink-floyd/pink-floyd-animals-test-acetate/); and of course, this new “Animals 8-Track Cartridge Master” recently reviewed here by Plomerus. Some versions differ by up to several seconds, such as the lengthy “Dogs” being as long as 17:08 on the original official version but only 16:58 on the “early mix / test acetate”; however, the only major or very significant difference that I found was in the track “Pigs (3 Different Ones)”, which is 11:28 long on both the original official release and the “early mix / test acetate”, but only 10:19 on the 8-track cartridge master – a full 69 seconds (1:09) less. Unfortunately I never seemed to notice anything missing or any speed issues on any of the 3 different versions after repeated listenings, but maybe I should listen to “Pigs (3 Different Ones)” again to make sure. My bet is that the “shortage” is probably at the very start or very end of the song – maybe perhaps the segue into “Sheep” (so I suppose I should probably check the beginning of “Sheep” as well).

    In case anyone might want to check & review all the individual track times for comparisons, here are the numbers, with the 1st column being those of the official official album, the 2nd one being the “early mix” / “test acetate”, and the 3rd being the 8-track cartridge master –

    1:25; 3:13; 3:22
    17:08; 16:58; 17:01
    11:28; 11:28; 10:19
    10:20; 10:16; 10:21
    1:25

    Anyway, I also found it quite interesting that Plomerus found “a noticeable change in aural perspective” approx. 6:35 into “Dogs”. I noticed the same thing, which is more easily noticeable when listening with headphones (earphones). If anyone who might be interested checks my older review of the “early mix” / “test acetate”, it might be recalled that I reported the following –

    “There’s also unfortunately some considerable instability, as at some points in the lengthier tracks, especially “Dogs” and “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, the mix of instruments/vocals and/or the sound quality seems to change noticeably. Just a couple examples of such can be found at approx. 10:40 into “Pigs” and approx. 14:50 into “Dogs”.”

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    Plomerus says
    October 15, 2008, 9:36 am

    Perhaps it’s worth comparing the times of each track on the original & acetate to this one to determine where the 43 seconds disappeared. My inkling is that it has something to do with “Pigs On The Wing” and “Dogs (Part 1)” + “Dogs (Conclusion),” along with perhaps reduced time between tracks? I’ve got quite a few new items on my plate at the moment, but when I catch a breather, I’ll investigate, but should someone else determine the cause of this time disparity, then by all means, post your findings here!

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    DLee says
    October 15, 2008, 4:53 am

    Although I had ordered it a little before this interesting review, I finally received mine yesterday. I couldn’t help but notice that it’s total playing time is only approx. 41:03, while the original official studio CD of “Animals” runs approx. 41:46 and “Animals Test Acetate” is as long as approx. 41:55.

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