Generation Swine is the seventh studio album by 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 2005 album Red, White & Crüe.
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.
After Rock was fired for being "too expensive and overproduc[ing] the music", the band eventually chose Scott Humphrey to take Rock's place, with both Sixx and Lee agreeing to serve as co-producers on the album. After Humphrey, Sixx and Lee took over as producers, the recording process became very disorganized, as Humphrey and Sixx regularly argued over ideas for the album. Mars' role in the band was greatly reduced due to an ongoing feud between him and Humphrey, and Corabi grew increasingly frustrated with the sessions as well, as he would learn and write material only to find it completely changed by the time he returned to the studio.
As the recording of the album continued, the band was still being pressured to reunite with Neil, and Corabi decided that he had had enough of the frustration of working under the pressure that the band and Humphrey were putting on him. With Corabi out of the band, the door was now open for Neil to return.
Neil, meanwhile, had been busy with his own solo career and the untimely death of his daughter Skylar, when Kovac had approached him with the same idea of reuniting with Mötley Crüe as Morris had presented to Sixx and Lee earlier. Neil, like Sixx and Lee, was against the idea of working with the band again, but Kovac had 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 the band and finish the album whose title had now been changed to Generation Swine.
Musically, the album shows Mötley Crüe trying to update their image and sound, experimenting with current 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 (whose voice is higher and cleaner than Corabi's) had difficulty adjusting his voice to the new material and sound.
Even with Neil back in the band, the album proved to be a departure from traditional Mötley Crüe albums. Besides the aforementioned experimentation with various types of music, the album featured Sixx and Lee on lead vocals for the first time. Sixx was featured on lead on the song "Rocketship", which was written as a love song to his new romance with model Donna D'Errico, and sang lead on parts of "Find Myself". Lee was featured on lead vocals on the song "Brandon", which was a namesake song to his first-born son, and his then-current wife, model Pamela Anderson, as well as the song "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."
The first time I listened the album was a "not good" experience. I found it "empty of ideas".
After three or four times the feeling was the same, but... I kept myself playing the album and that feeling was changing. The songs are really good and different from the classics Crue albums. Some songs sounds like Iggy Pop, others like Smashing pumpkins, but in general is a great album.
Now I think that the big problem with this album in the production, the sound and mix is... is... strange. The drum sound, it’s so condensed and really sounds computerized.