The Dogs of War (Pink Floyd song)

The Dogs of War (Pink Floyd song)
"The Dogs of War"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Released September 7, 1987 (UK)
September 8, 1987 (US)
Recorded October 1986–May 1987
Genre Progressive rock
Length 6:05
Writer David Gilmour, Anthony Moore
A Momentary Lapse of Reason track listing
"Learning to Fly"
"The Dogs of War"
"One Slip"

"The Dogs of War" is a song by Pink Floyd from their 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason.[1][2] It was the third US single from the album. Live versions have an extended intro, an extended middle solo for the saxophone, a guitar and sax duel and a longer outro as compared to the album version. The track was a minor rock radio hit in the US and reached #16 on MTV's Video Countdown in May 1988.

"The Dogs of War" describes politicians orchestrating wars, suggesting the major influence behind war is money.



Musically, the song follows a twelve-bar blues structure in C minor, only with significantly different chord changes. A standard blues song in C minor would progress as C minor, F minor, C minor, G (major or minor), F minor, and back to C minor. "The Dogs of War", instead, progresses in this way: C minor, E flat minor, C minor, A flat seventh, F minor, and back to C minor. All minor chords include the seventh.

Singer David Gilmour often approaches the C minor chord by singing on the diminished fifth, G flat, before descending to the fourth, minor third, and root. This melody is also compatible with the next chord, E flat minor, in which G flat is the minor third. It also appears in the A flat seventh chord, as the dominant seventh.

The majority of the song is in a slow 12/8 time. After a bluesy guitar solo, the song switches to a fast 4/4 tempo for the saxophone solo. This is not unlike what happens in "Money", a minor-key blues-based song from The Dark Side of the Moon, in which a saxophone solos over the song's predominant 7/4 tempo before switching to a faster 4/4 tempo for the guitar solo. "The Dogs of War" also imitates "Money" in its ending sequence, with a "call and response" between Gilmour's voice and his guitar.


The video for the track composed of the backdrop film directed by Storm Thorgerson which depicted German Shepherds with yellow eyes running through a war zone plus a live recording and concert footage filmed during the band's three night run at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia in November 1987 directed by Lawrence Jordan (who has directed concert films for Rush, Mariah Carey and Billy Joel). Videos for "On the Turning Away" and "One Slip" were also filmed from this concert where the video for The Dogs of War was filmed.

Personnel on studio version


Personnel on live versions

  • David Gilmour – lead guitar, vocals and vocalisations
  • Nick Mason – drums and percussion
  • Rick Wright – organ and synthesizer


Cover version

Slovenian industrial group Laibach covered the song on their album, NATO (1994).


  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5. 
  2. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 

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