Mötley Crüe: ‘Generation Swine’
Released on June 24, 1997 (Elektra/Mötley Records)
Review by Deke:
So 1997 rolls around. Mötley Corabi is no more after they booted John‘s ass into never never land and lookie, Vince Neil slides back in at the mic position and all is forgiven and being reunited, doesn’t it feel so good??
Umm in this case kinda, mostly…. this is a hodge pot of Crüe wanting to be current and hello, Mr. Sixx lets all jump on the what’s current and popular at the time and make a Mötley Crüe record that sounds more in common with the Smashing Pumpkins than Too Fast For Love.
There are some good things about this record such as the cover, which I love (with them wearing pig masks), so it isn’t all that bad but considering eight years had lapsed between Dr. Feelgood (Vince‘s final album at the time), what would the public think? In goes the knife, out goes his life…. Ummm those Crüe days are gone!
Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Vince Neil make a late night techno metal album! You buying?
“Find Myself” — It’s 1997 and the Crüe wanna be bad ass ’80s in the late ’90s so they drop a ton of “f” bombs on the opening number and it’s a mish mash of vocalists on this track until the prechorus and there’s Vinny‘s vocals and the music, once it gets to the chorus, reminds me of Cheap Trick! Cheap Trick cranked thru a ton of heavy synths and what nots. Give Sixx credit,if you came here looking for Dr. Feelgood, he coded and is DOA. Gone are the daze of “Sticky Sweet” and “She Goes Down.” This is techno metal Sixx shoving in our faces a new Crüe! Not a bad start, different sounding but not bad!
“Afraid” — Holy heck, Sixx‘s second song in delivers an absolute scorcher of a gem! Who saw that one coming? This has all the trimmings of a great rock song! Love the opening bass line that drives the tune forward and Lee‘s synthy drums smashing forward along with Mars who does not solo on this record to much but this song with no solo just hooks galore! “It’s only life” blurts Neil ‘She’s so afraid to…..” I really dig how the Crüe mashes up this song and stays current but doesn’t over do it. Unfortunately, some songs do not measure up to “Afraid” on this album! OK, I’ll say it… This is the best track on the album.
“Flush” — I dunno. The jury is still out on this one Judge Judy! Kinda OK…. Kinda lagging at times… kinda decent… kinda don’t wanna talk about it. Crüe is covering some new ground and this one tries to be a rocker but today as I write this (June 10th), meh!
“Generation Swine” — Now, we’re back on track. Great driving track especially with Tommy‘s drums leading the charge! Also of note, Count Chocola… Er, I mean Mick Mars steps up and plays a pretty mean tune on his six string! I like the fact that the Crüe reached deep into their bag of tricks and knocked one out of the park! Extra bonus points must be awarded for the studio feedback of the guitars in this tune! Sixx actually has a real deadly bass tone on this album. It’s friggin heavy sounding and mixed well…. Crank the video posted!
“Confessions” — Big ploddy kinda dragging and holy shit, Mars‘ guitar sounds out of tune at the beginning of this song. It limps along at a pace of a liquored up turtle trying to cross the road. Dunno about this track. It’s Crüe wanting to be U2! Mission fail Sixxer!
“Beauty” — Next to “Afraid”, this is another great track! “Beauty” is unlike the Crüe. It features a real heavy bass synth mashed with electronic gadgets during the verses with I believe Sixx handling the lead vocals in which he has a good voice for this track! Vinny takes over in the pre-chorus and the song dips into a psychedelic territory before the song hits the cool groove of the chorus with Sixx and Neil doing a techno metal duet! The bass during the chorus is drop dead sick! Actually Mars‘ guitar playing on this album is like if The Edge from U2 got concussed and turned his amp to ten, and got rid of that jingle, jangle friggin’ guitar tone. Love this tune.
“Glitter” — Hmmm, this song shoulda been on a Bryan Adams album as Adams co-wrote it with Sixx! It’s different Crüe here. It’s a ballad (yuck). I mean I always found Crüe were lousy at ballads except for “Home Sweet Home” I guess. This song is a skipper! I mean that ballad “You’re All I Need” from the Girls album was brutal as Neil‘s voice was so high like he sucked a huge hit of helium out of his Crüe bong. Blah! Next….
“Anybody Out There” — Iggy And The Stooges with special guest Nikki Sixx! This song kicks out the jam and it rips fast and furious and it’s a ass kicker especially after the let down of “Glitter”! Sixx punches us in the faces with a straight ahead rocker! Thank you sir for this ….
“Let Us Prey” — I have to say Tommy‘s drums and his playing on this song are soooooo friggin good! He’s locked and the drums sound and are mixed heavy! Techno metal Sixx hits paydirt with this track! It rocks even in 2017. I’m cool with it! Keep in mind, it’s sound is not happy days Crüe. It’s pissed off grumpy Crüe looking for hook and blow on Hollywood and Vine and a chick named Beauty… Ha!
“Rocket Ship” — Nikki grabs an acoustic and plays a decent tune that is more in line with David Bowie than Crüe and well, since they’re dabbling with different sonics and gadgets, Sixx as well pulls off a decent lead vocal.
“A Rat Like Me” — Not a bad tune actually. Dark sounding, gadgets and tweaks setting off and I dig the title. This song is good and it rocks in a post Crüe glam kinda way…. Solid playing from the fellas. I’m sure a bunch of you read the Crüe‘s official biography The Dirt. As I recall, this album was a mess to make according to Corabi and the record company hated it….
“Shout At The Devil ’97” — I prefer “Shout At The Devil” 1983, thank you very much! I never understood this move by the Crüe. Fill up more space as some of this album is filler oriented. I recall the hype in the press about the Crüe playing the American Music Awards in ’97 before Generation Swine’s release. Of course I tuned in and watched Vince‘s much talked about arrival and the Crüe saunter out and play this version. I think at the time, it looked like a lip synch job-a-roo! Two thoughts popped up in my noggin’ right away that night watching the reunion on TV…. (1) Why this? Is their new stuff weak? And (2) Corabi was heaved out the door as there was talk he was gonna stick around as a second guitar player… Nope! Sixx punted him….
“Brandon” — Tommy loves his kid and I get all that but on a Crüe album? I listened to this once so I have no recollection of this song… Feel free to chirp in with comments….
In conclusion, at times yeah, the material is bizarro (“Flush”) and out of place (“Glitter”) but there are some moments of brilliance (“Afraid,” “Beauty” and “Let Us Prey”). Sixx and Lee go all techy metal on our asses while Mars, I think, is along for the ride and Vince is hanging out with mud wrestling strippers so out of all of this Swine, this appears.
8/13 tracks are good…. Mötley Sixx should have cut this album off at ten tracks….
Review by Tyson Briden:
It is hard to believe that twenty years have passed so quickly. As I think back to 1997, I remember my initial purchase of Mötley Crüe‘s Generation Swine album like it was yesterday. It was the Friday before the actual release date. There was a local record store that I knew would sell me product before the actual day of release. So in I went. I asked for the album and low and behold. Of course the store owner said “make sure you don’t tell anyone because I’m not supposed to be selling this to you.” I can tell the story now because (a) the store is long gone and (b) unfortunately, so is the store owner.
So being that is was 1997, I quickly popped the CD into my car’s CD player. And what I heard was met with some excitement. Sure it was apparent that this wasn’t Girls, Girls, Girls or Dr. Feelgood, but at that time in my life, I had been listening to a lot more alternative music, so I was open to this very eclectic and different sound from Mötley Crüe. The first song “Find Myself” starts with a Nikki Sixx vocal. Hey, this is different and really cool. Then singer Vince Neil is heard in the chorus. As I actually listen to this song today, I love the vibe of it and the total punk groove. The drums of Tommy Lee are very free and open. The guitars are not what we’re used to from Mick Mars, but still add a nice element to this killer lead off track. A young child is heard at the end of the track, I can’t recall but I believe it was one of the Sixx children.
“Afraid” — well, what can I say about this track? To this day, this is still a favourite Mötley Crüe tune of mine. There is something about the aura and the feel of the song. I believe at the time I could really relate to this song. I was having some relationship issues, so I could really dig deep into the lyrics and feel as though they were directed at the situation I was dealing with at the time. Later on I would come to find, from reading the Mötley autobiography The Dirt, that these lyrics were directed towards Sixx’s love interest at the time, Donna D’errico, and how he was feeling towards her odd behaviour towards him. This song has such a great chorus. If people had been able to accept Mötley Crüe‘s new direction, I think this song could have been a hit.
“Flush” starts off very organically with Sixx’s bass, as Lee follows along building into the verse. For those who own the remastered version of this album, this is the revamped version of the song “Kiss The Sky.” I myself prefer the original slighty better. Funny how former vocailist John Corabi is credited as a writer on “Kiss The Sky” but not on “Flush.” Still a very good song regardless. The title track “Generation Swine” shows a very punk side of Mötley Crüe. I guess it kind of follows suit with “Anarchy In The UK” that the band recorded on the Decade Of Decadence album. Lee’s drums are predominantly driving this song. Neil’s vocals are snarly and full of attitude. “Confessions” at the time of release was a favourite track on this album. I really dig the background vocals of Lee. For those who have heard the demo of this song on YouTube, it indeed features a full Lee vocal. The vocal melody that Neil sings is pretty close to that of Lee’s. “Beauty” starts out with a Lee vocal with Neil coming in on the bridge. At the chorus, Lee and Neil sing back and forth adding a cool effect. I remember reading the basis of this song back in ’97. From what I recollect, this song is about the infamous Hugh Grant scandal with lady of the night Devine Brown. For those who recall, this infidelity cost Grant his long standing relationship with the ever so beautiful Elizabeth Hurley.
“Glitter” has a very ’70s/David Bowie type vibe to it. I think it adds a nice flavour to the album. “Anybody Out There?”… sometimes it is better to say nothing at all. I’ll leave it at that. Not a favourite by any means. “Let Us Prey” is another one that I have mixed feelings about. To me, this song sounds more geared to John Corabi’s voice. Of course this is probably a song that was meant to be on the Personality #9 album that was shelved and redone when Neil rejoined the band. With different production, this song could have been on the ’94 self- titled album. The thing that I am finding most bothersome about this album as I listen to it today is the Scott Humphrey production. I agree with a band branching out slightly, but I think this sound for Mötley Crüe is just too hard to buy into.
On a positive note, I do like the prodominent sound of Sixx’s bass. It is in the mix very nicely and sounds precise. I can’t say the same for the drum sound though. To me, it’s so condensed and really sounds computerized. “Rocketship” is another track that I really don’t get. To me it’s just too far in left field. This track once again features the vocals of Sixx. “A Rat Like Me” is a song that I really liked back then and still do today. I think out of all the songs on this album, this was the one that was closest to the band’s earlier material. “Shout At The Devil 97” at the time of release, I really dug, but listening to it now I would much rather hear the original. The power of the original song is in the intro. Without that, it’s not as powerful of a song. Sometimes it is better to not mess with a good thing, but from a marketing standpoint this song made sense in 1997. “Brandon” — honestly, not a favourite of mine. With that said, I understand the dedication to Lee’s first born child. I think this song would have been better suited on a Lee solo release.
After extensively listening to this album for this review I have very mixed feelings on it. At the time of this release, the band was under a lot of pressure from Elektra Records. The label had forced John Corabi out in order to bring back Vince Neil. That was something the band was very apprehensive about. There were suggestions at the time that Corabi would stay on as a second guitarist. In some ways, that may have been cool. The band may have been able to appease the fan base of both singers. Realistically though, would the egos involved allow that to happen? I think the bottom line is this… In terms of success, I think commercially this album still would have not lived up to expectations of the Crüe‘s fan base no matter who sang on it. This album was too misguided. When you have vocals by Neil, Sixx and Lee, it just leads me to believe that the egos of certain band members were directing this album. I find that the first six or seven songs are very well done, but from there it is a mismatch of lackluster material. It seems the band was just recording songs for the sake of having enough material to complete an album. I even find the packaging to make little sense. The album cover is upside down with the inner sleeve lyrics starting from back to front.
From my point of view, as a fan I would love to hear the songs from Personality #9, just to make the comparison of which vocalist did a better job. In speaking with John Corabi many years back he did make mention of having all the material. Possibly, one day it will see the light of day.
01. Find Myself
04. Generartion Swine
08. Anybody Out There?
09. Let Us Prey
11. A Rat Like Me
12. Shout At The Devil ’97
Vince Neil – Lead Vocals
Nikki Sixx – Bass & Vocals
Tommy Lee – Drums & Vocals
Mick Mars – Guitar
Produced by Scott Humphrey
Co-Produced by Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee
Reviewed by Tyson Briden and Deke for Sleaze Roxx, June 2017
Mötley Crüe‘s “Afraid” video:
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