Filth Pig is the sixth studio album by industrial metal band Ministry, released in 1996 on Warner Bros. Records. The title was allegedly derived from a statement made in the British Houses of Parliament, in which the band's leader Al Jourgensen was described as a filthy pig by MP Teddy Taylor. Initially criticized on release, the album is now considered one of Ministry's most underrated works. Notably the sound of the record closely resembles sludge metal, similar to Melvins.
The album cover depicts a young man holding an American flag with raw meat dripping on his head and a badge on his chest that reads, "Don't blame me."
Roughly a year after releasing and touring behind the successful Psalm 69 album, Ministry would start work on their sixth album. Some recording for the album dates back as far as 1989, mainly some portions of "The Fall". Initial recording was done at Jourgenson's home studios in Texas with the rest of recording done at Chicago Trax Studios in 1995.
Upon release in 1996, the album peaked at 19 on the Billboard 200, their highest charting release. Despite being the band's highest-charting album in the US, it was negatively received by reviewers, sharply divided the band's fanbase and was a commercial failure. This would be the last Ministry album to be recorded with Mike Scaccia on guitar until the 2004 release of Houses of the Molé. He did not tour to support Filth Pig. The tour supporting the album, entitled the Sphinctour, lasted from March - July 1996.
|“||"Everyone hated [Filth Pig]. They all wanted Psalm 70, and I gave them an electronic-free record full of gun-in-mouth dirges of nothing but pain. Aside from the cover art, the humour was gone. All that left was misery. And I still had to tour the fucking thing - which went down in history as the interminable, intolerable, absolutely depraved Sphinctour."||”|
— Al Jourgenson, The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgenson
Four singles were released in relation to the album. "The Fall" was released in January 1996 with "Reload" and "TV III" as b-sides. "Lay Lady Lay" was released in February 1996 with "Paisley" and a live version of "Scarecrow" as b-sides. "Reload" was released in July 1996 with a "Safe Consumption Edit" as the b-side. Lastly, "Brick Windows" was a single released in 1997. "The Fall" and "Lay Lady Lay" both charted individually in the UK, the former also charting on US Dance charts.
A CD/DVD of Sphinctour was released on 2002 via Sanctuary, originally intended to be released through Ipecac.
- 1. Reload (2:25) (Jourgenson, Barker)
- 2. Filth Pig (6:19) (Jourgenson, Barker)
- 3. Lava (6:30) (Jourgenson, Barker)
- 4. Crumbs (4:15) (Jourgenson, Barker, Scaccia, Svitek, Washam)
- 5. Useless (5:55) (Jourgenson, Barker, Rieflin, Scaccia)
- 6. Dead Guy (5:14) (Jourgenson, Barker, Washam)
- 7. Game Show (7:45) (Jourgenson, Barker, Scaccia, Svitek, Washam)
- 8. The Fall (4:54) (Jourgenson, Balch)
- 9. Lay Lady Lay (5:44) (Bob Dylan)
- 10. Brick Windows (5:23) (Jourgenson, Barker)
- Al Jourgensen – vocals (1-4, 6-10), keyboards, mandolin (1), harmonica (2), pedal steel (9), piano (8), production
- Paul Barker – bass, vocals (5), programming, production
- Rey Washam – drums (4, 6, 7, 9)
- Louis Svitek – guitars
- Mike Scaccia – guitars
- William Rieflin – drums (1-3, 5)
- Esther Nevarez – backing vocals (5)
- Stella Katsoudas – backing vocals (5)
- Duane Buford – programming (uncredited)
- Michael Balch – programming (8, uncredited)
- Zlatko Hukic – engineer
- Brad Kopplin – engineer
- Bill Garcelon – assistant engineer
- Jamie Duffy – assistant engineer
- Matt Gibson – assistant engineer
- Ed Tinley – assistant engineer
- Whitney O'Keefe – assistant engineer
- Paul Elledge – art & design