|Studio album by|
|Released||June 24, 1997|
|Studio||Can-Am Recorders, Tarzana,|
Music Grinder Studios and Conway Studios, Hollywood,
The Enterprise, Burbank,
The Chop Shop and Butt Cheese West Studio, Los Angeles, California
64:06 (Special Edition)
|Mötley Crüe chronology|
|Singles from Generation Swine|
Generation Swine is the seventh studio album by the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe, released on June 24, 1997. The album marks the return of lead singer Vince Neil following his last appearance on 1989's Dr. Feelgood and the last to feature drummer Tommy Lee until the 2008 album Saints of Los Angeles. It is also the band's last album to be released on Elektra Records.
Following the commercial failure of the band's self-titled album, Mötley Crüe was under pressure by executives at Elektra Records to return Mötley Crüe to the level of commercial success that the band enjoyed in the 1980s.
The band, then officially consisting of vocalist/guitarist John Corabi, bassist Nikki Sixx, drummer Tommy Lee and guitarist Mick Mars, were so frustrated with the failure of the previous album and tour sales that they fired numerous people around the group, including their accountant, manager Doug Thaler, and their producer Bob Rock. The band then hired Allen Kovac as their new manager and started looking for another producer to work with for their next record which was originally titled Personality #9.
After the mass firing, the band was called to a meeting with Warner Bros. CEO Doug Morris to discuss the current state of the band. At the meeting, Morris tried to convince Sixx and Lee to get rid of Corabi, as he wasn't a "star," and reunite with original singer Vince Neil. Sixx and Lee were not interested in the idea of working with Neil again, and insisted on keeping Corabi in the group. With some additional convincing from Elektra CEO Sylvia Rhone, Morris agreed and the band continued with their work.
Mötley returned to the studio intending to record a straight rock record that was more aggressive than the Mötley Crüe album. With Rock producing, they recorded material such as "The Year I Lived In a Day" and "La Dolce Vita." The band was so excited that, according to Corabi, "At the end of each day we'd walk around the studio carrying our huge cocks in our hands because the music rocked so hard."
After Rock was fired for being "too expensive and overproduc[ing] the music", the band eventually chose Scott Humphrey, with Sixx and Lee serving as coproducers. But the process became disorganized, as Humphrey and Sixx regularly argued over ideas. Mars' role was greatly reduced due to an ongoing feud between him and Humphrey, and Corabi grew increasingly frustrated, as he would learn and write material only to find it completely changed by the time he returned to the studio.
As the recording continued, the band was being pressured to reunite with Neil. Corabi decided he had had enough of the frustration of working under the pressure that the band and Humphrey put on him. With Corabi out, the door was open for Neil to return.
Neil had been busy with his solo career and the untimely death of his daughter Skylar, when Kovac had approached him with the idea of reuniting with Mötley that Morris had presented to Sixx and Lee earlier. Neil, like Sixx and Lee, was against the idea, but Kovac planted the idea of a reunion in Neil's head that eventually changed his mind. After meeting with Sixx and Lee, Neil agreed to rejoin and finish the album, whose title had been changed to Generation Swine.
Musically, the album shows Mötley trying to update their image and sound, experimenting with trends such as electronica and alternative rock. The songs draw heavy influence from Cheap Trick in the first half of the record. Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander did backing vocals in some songs. Most of the album was written while Corabi was with the band, and as such Neil had difficulty adjusting his voice to the material and sound. "There's a lot on that album that I'd have changed had I been there from the start," he remarked. "I didn't think the producer really knew what he was doing, because he wouldn't let me sing in the style I was accustomed to. He wouldn't let Mick play his usual way either. It was a nightmare."
Even with Neil back in the band, the album proved a departure from traditional Mötley albums. Besides the aforementioned experimentation, the album featured Sixx and Lee on lead vocals for the first time: Sixx on "Rocketship" (a love song tofor his new romance with model Donna D'Errico) and parts of "Find Myself"; Lee on "Brandon" (a namesake song for his first-born son, and his then-current wife, model Pamela Anderson) and "Beauty".
Lyrically, Generation Swine ranges from songs about drugs and prostitution such as "Find Myself" and "Beauty," to the anti-suicide stance on "Flush" and familial love on "Rocketship" and "Brandon."
Release and promotion
"Afraid" was released as the first single from the album. The video featured Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, who also put the band on the cover of an issue of Hustler that year. "Afraid" reached #10 on the US mainstream rock charts, but that too did little to generate interest in the album. The second single released was "Beauty" which reached number 37 on the mainstream rock charts. "Find Myself" and "Glitter" were released as a promo singles. The band felt that the album's sluggish sales were due to Elektra not promoting the album properly, claiming that the label was only interested in promoting R & B acts. Rhone denied this claim though, stating that Mötley Crüe was a major priority for Elektra and that the label had spent a large sum of money in order to get the band to perform "Shout at the Devil '97" on the American Music Awards in January 1997.
To promote the album, Skeleteens Beverages in Pasadena, California created a soft drink for the band called, "Motley Brue." The drink came in bottles which featured the new, "Pig logo" and consisted of large amounts of blue #1 which turned everything blue. The intentions were to have people that drank the soft drink urinate green fluid. Mötley Crüe helped design the bottles that featured lyrics from Generation Swine songs on the reverse of each label.
Generation Swine debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, selling over 80,500 copies in its first week and was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 27, 1997. Despite the strong charting debut, the album failed to return the band to the level of critical and commercial success that had been hoped for with the reunion, and according to Nielsen SoundScan the album has sold about 306,000 copies in the U.S. to date. In 2008, singer Vince Neil stated that the album was "terrible" due to "too much experimenting".
Generation Swine would be the group's final release on Elektra Records, as the label and Mötley Crüe would break their relationship off in early 1998. Future releases from the group would come from their own Mötley Records.
|Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal||9/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Generation Swine received mixed reviews. "Somehow," Sixx observed in 2000, "the spin had got out there that Mötley was going to flirt with an alternative sound – that we'd sold out. Sure, it was experimental, but it wasn't alternative, techno or dance. So I was a little disappointed at the way it was received."
Sputnikmusic highlights the experimental nature of the production which "is devoted to hard rock tracks structurally very similar to their so-called 'classic era' but sonically re-wired and approached from a direction entirely alien to the band" and praises "the vast improvement, or at the very least development, in Nikki Sixx's songwriting", finally declaring Generation Swine "a worthwhile experiment for the band that produced some of their most enduring music." David Grad of Entertainment Weekly praises Neil's voice, which lost "none of its hormonal urgency" and describes the music as a display "of highly burnished metal trumpeting the pleasures of drugs and nasty sex." Martin Popoff calls it "the summer record of '97."
In contrast, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic calls the album "nothing short of an embarrassment" and blames the band for "simply recycling old ideas and sounds", not coming up "with any catchy riffs" and making the return of Neil "just a coincidence." Dean Golemis of the Chicago Tribune agrees, writing that despite "nose-bleeding punk runs", what transpires is the sound of a "Hollywood metal band from the '80s." Jon Wiederhorn of Rolling Stone remarks how the band tried to fuse "cornball glam-metal techniques" with "cutting-edge production and grinding industrial effects", but – instead of a "new direction that would defy expectations" – produced an album "more schizophrenic than Wesley Willis", unwelcome to Mötley fans who "crave consistency". J. D. Considine, another Rolling Stone reviewer, finds the album "as limp as overcooked spaghetti." Neil Arnold of Metal Forces calls Generation Swine "the black sheep of the Crüe family, making even the 1994 self-titled opus look brilliant" and ascribes its failure to the fusion of "industrial-fueled grooves and clanking rhythms" with the "distinctive Vince Neil whine", concluding that "'electronica' and 'alternative' are not words [he]’d associate with Mötley Crüe."
On July 7, 1997, Corabi filed a $4-million lawsuit against the band for alleged breach of contract, fraud, and slander. Corabi's claim was that he had not received royalties or credit for his work and contributions while he was in the band.
Corabi was only officially credited for two songs on the original pressing of Generation Swine, "Flush" and "Let Us Prey," but claimed that he was responsible for at least 80% of the material on the album.
All tracks are written by Nikki Sixx, except where noted.
|1.||"Find Myself"||Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, Tommy Lee||2:51|
|3.||"Flush"||Sixx, Lee, John Corabi||5:03|
|4.||"Generation Swine"||Sixx, Lee||4:39|
|6.||"Beauty"||Sixx, Scott Humphrey||Sixx, Lee||3:47|
|7.||"Glitter"||Sixx, Bryan Adams||Sixx, Humphrey, Adams||5:00|
|8.||"Anybody Out There?"||Lee, Sixx||1:50|
|9.||"Let Us Prey"||Sixx, Corabi||4:22|
|11.||"A Rat Like Me"||4:13|
|12.||"Shout at the Devil '97"||3:43|
|Japanese bonus track|
|14.||"Song to Slit Your Wrist By"||3:33|
|2003 remaster bonus tracks|
|14.||"Afraid" (Swine/Jimbo Mix)||3:58|
|15.||"Wreck Me" (previously unreleased)||Lee, Neil, Mars, Sixx||Lee, Neil, Mars, Sixx||4:19|
|16.||"Kiss the Sky" (previously unreleased)||Lee, Neil, Mars, Sixx, Corabi||Lee, Neil, Mars, Sixx, Corabi||4:47|
|17.||"Rocketship" (early demo)||1:37|
|18.||"Confessions" (demo, Lee on vocals)||Lee||Lee, Mars||3:35|
- The back cover of the CD was printed upside down. This was the band's intention.
- Nikki's son Gunner can be heard on "Find Myself."
- Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick provide backing vocals on "Glitter."
Recording and producing
- Produced by Scott Humphrey
- Co-produced by Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee
- Recorded by Lenny DeRose, Brian Dobbs, Dave Ogilvie, Steve MacMillan, Marty Ogden
- Assistants: Brian VanPortfleet, Barry Moore, Mike Geiser, Patrick Thrasher, Patrick Shevelin, David Bryant, Brandon Harris, Bill Kinsley, Gary Winger, John Nelson, Dave Hancock
- Head Programmer: Paul DeCarli
- Mastered by Tom Baker at Future Disk
- Photography: John Eder, William Hames, John Harrell, Dean Groover
- Creative and Art Direction: Duke Woolsoncroft, Duke Design Co.
|USA||RIAA||1997||Gold (+ 500,000)|
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- Crücial Crüe Remaster liner notes
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