Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: AnimalsReleased: 1977
The "Dogs" are businessmen who use their power to make themselves richer and more powerful at the expense of others. At the end of the song, they get old and fat before dying of cancer.
Around 15:30 into the song, Roger Waters says: "Who was trained not to spit - in a fan." Although it is probably a coincidence, Waters once spit at a fan. Pink Floyd performed at a concert in Montreal, and when a fan tried to climb onto stage, Waters hocked a loogy into the guy's face. This gave Roger the idea for the movie and album The Wall
-in an interview he said that the event created a barrier or a "wall" between them and the fans.
This was the only song on the album not written solely by Roger Waters. David Gilmour wrote all the chords - the main music part of it. And the two together wrote some other bits at the end.
Originally this was titled "You Gotta Be Crazy." The lyrics were then changed a little to suit the "Animals" concept.
Gilmour told Guitar World February 1993 about the harmony leads on this song: "Three-part, in some cases; it's two-part in the melody sections. But the last line of the first solo, I believe, is a three-part descending augmented chord. Which is quite nice, and I was very proud of it; I thought it was very clever. Then Roger went and (accidentally) wiped it out and I had to re-create it."
Gilmour played on "Dogs" a custom Telecaster guitar coming through some Hiwatt amps and a couple of Tamaha rotating speaker cabinets.
Asked in a 2017 Uncut interview what his view on Animals is now, Walters replied:
"It's a sketch, a sort of cartoon sketch of how I saw the way society was organized. And obviously it leans heavily on Orwell and Animal Farm and the idea of anthropomorphizing animals to represent aspects of human behavior.
That round at the end of 'Dogs' is, I think, very powerful and quite chilling. 'Dragged down by the stone' is the last line of it. 'He was told what to do by the man...' It's a bitter reclamation against authoritarianism and against what I perceived when I was growing up."