I have no idea how this got past me in my years of music research and collecting, especially considering the amount of time that I spend on the Interweb! What am I talking about? Read on...
Back when albums were released on eight-track tape format, many adjustments needed to be made to ensure each of the tape's programs averaged approximately the same length. This often required artists to artificially fade tracks and sometimes led to songs being completely cut from the release. Well, I recently discovered that Pink Floyd, when preparing Animals for eight-track formatting, actually added a segment of music in order to properly balance the time of each program. This segment was not available on the LP or cassette versions of Animals. And although the additional music hardly adds up to a minute of extra time, it occurs at a point that dramatically changes the album's aesthetic.
Animals, as most of us know it, begins with "Pigs on the Wing (Part One)" and concludes with "Pigs on the Wing (Part Two)." What the eight-track version offers is an opening track that combines both parts into one continuous song joined by a guitar solo. What is interesting is the fact that the solo is not played by David Gilmour or any other official member of Pink Floyd but by Snowy White, a guitarist that had been hired by Floyd to accompany the band on tour.
White, who later would end up playing guitar with Thin Lizzy, reportedly was even provided the opportunity to play the solo during live performances, with Gilmour supposedly stepping aside and playing bass. To my knowledge, Floyd has never offered this version on any of their CD collections or reissues of Animals. However, it does appear on Snowy White's Goldtop: Groups & Sessions. I uploaded the song and put it into the radio player that appears on the right side of this blog. Just follow the directions above the player, and you should be able to find it with ease. It's definitely worth a listen if you're a Floyd fan.
By the way, Snowy White's relationship with Floyd did not end with Animals. He played on The Wall tour before joining Thin Lizzy for two albums and has toured regularly with Roger Waters. I like White best on Michael Moorcock's The New World's Fair. Check that out if you get the chance.