Johnny Rotten sometimes wore a Pink Floyd t-shirt with the words “I hate” scrawled in ink above the band’s name. Apparently, he was not a huge fan of progressive rock music. In that respect, Pink Floyd had become the objects of publicity stunts and campaigns by the brash young punk music crowd. The artists and fans of the new offshoot of music were growing, and soon it became a turning point in the timeline of rock. It was new and arrogant and outlandish, and in the mid-seventies, it began an explosive growth spurt that began in London. In hopes of gaining a mainstream foothold, some in the British side of the movement rallied loudly against artists of longevity. Pink Floyd was a frequent “high value” target of such schemes.
From January of 1977 comes the popular Pink Floyd concept album Animals, their tenth studio effort. It dealt with social issues of the day in England and was a departure from previous efforts. It came on the heels of two immense releases, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here. Based loosely on George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the project was mostly the brainchild of Roger Waters. Not only was the project a critique of British society, it also was a response to the punk rock phenomenon of the day.
If there’s one ironclad rule of rock & roll, it’s that songs about pigs are always lame.
Rolling Stone – Pink Floyd Album Guide
The album cover by the famous design group Hipgnosis was a major exercise in patience. He selected the Battersea Power Station as the backdrop for the cover. A German company designed and manufactured a 30-foot ‘pig’ balloon which was inflated with helium and launched for the photography session. A marksman stood ready in case the balloon escaped. Bad weather on the first day of shooting canceled the session; on the second day the marksman failed to show up and of course, the balloon got away, landing in the pasture of a nearby rural farmer who stated that the pig “scared his cows”. The balloon was recovered and on the third day, more photos were taken however their quality was unimpressive so Hipgnosis used the earlier photos with the pig superimposed for the final album cover.
Shortly after the release of Animals, the band hit the road for their biggest tour to date, the “In the Flesh” tour. This tour was Pink Floyd’s first time performing in stadiums and other large venues, and soon they found themselves disliking the new settings and the imminent internal squabbling eventually came to the forefront. The entire situation eventually inspired the development of The Wall.