I don’t usually read these “Every X Rated” articles, but when it’s Bill Wyman writing about Pink Floyd – all of Pink Floyd’s songs – well, that’s worth a scan. And I quickly got drawn into the narrative that he weaves throughout this short-bood-length piece.
Just one example. His dislike of Roger Waters in visible from the very first entries, but this one is especially telling:
“151. ‘Pigs on the Wing, Part 2,’ Animals (1977): This is the closing track on Animals, a reprise of the first song: just 90 seconds of strummed acoustic guitar and a few short lines. More on Animals later, but I want to say this: Waters is a smart guy and I don’t want to be glib criticizing his conceptions. But I don’t understand the narrator’s voice here. He’s happy he has a place to ‘bury [his] bone,’ so he has to be a dog. Is he a dog? I didn’t get that from part one. In that one, the characters don’t care for each other, and in this case they do, which I guess is a sign of resignation as they watch the pigs fly above. What this song is really about, however, is songwriting royalties. The two little ‘Pigs on the Wing’ snippets on Animals — basically the same song with different words, 90 seconds each, nothing more than Waters playing a casual acoustic guitar and singing — are credited to Waters alone as songwriter. Accordingly, they represented two separate tracks on the album when it came to songwriting (or ‘publishing’ or ‘mechanical’ royalties) separate from the royalties the band as a whole made from the record. Waters probably took home 3 cents per album sold for each track he wrote, so he would have made a total of 6 cents per album just for these two basically identical little ditties. Now let’s look at Animals’ ‘Dogs,’ which is credited to Waters/Gilmour, and lasts for 16 minutes. That would have given Gilmour about a penny and a half per album sold. Animals sold 12 million copies worldwide, meaning Waters the songwriter might have taken away three-quarters of a million dollars just from the two little ‘Pigs on the Wing’ snippets, compared to about $90,000 for Gilmour for his work on the epic ‘Dogs.’ Drummer Nick Mason, in his highly honest, highly enjoyable autobiography, says that inequities like these contributed to the resentment the band felt toward Waters. (Waters, of course, might have argued and no doubt did that it was his songs that drove the record sales that kept the rest of the band in English manor houses.)”
And I agree with his pick for their number 1 song…