3hree Things: On Bad Religion's 'Generator,' 20 Years Later

We all have records in our collections that are game changers; records that changed the way we listened to, thought about, and (in some cases) wrote/played music. In the days since Thrice announced its "indefinite hiatus," I've spent a fair amount of time reminiscing, not only about my career with the band, but about the records and bands that inspired me to pursue that career.

One of those bands is Bad Religion. And one of those records is their sixth full-length, Generator. It came out on this day (March 13) 20 years ago and it was an absolute game changer for me. We've been over my questionable taste in music during my junior high years in a previous 3hree Things, and Generator played a huge part in helping filter out a lot of the crap I was listening to, inspiring me to play drums and guitar, and opening my eyes (and ears) to the world of punk rock. They were a gateway band, if you will.

Generator helped me learn how to play drums by playing along to it, helped me learn chords trying to figure its songs on guitar, helped me learn how to sing harmonies by singing along to it in my car, and improved my vocabulary by having to break out a dictionary every once in a while to figure out what the hell Greg Graffin was singing about. That learning, exploration and inspiration proved to be invaluable and I can honestly say that the 14-year career I've had with Thrice wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for this record.

Twenty years after its release, Generator still moves me just as much as it ever did, continues to inspire me, and holds a special place in my heart.

If (for some reason) you don't own this record, please think about celebrating its 20th birthday (and thanking an iconic punk rock band for their contribution to the genre) by picking up a copy.

Here are my top three songs from that album:

1) "Generator"

2) "Too Much To Ask"

3) "Atomic Garden"

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Shawn Adams
Shawn Adams

No way, as an album Generator was a dud.  Fertile Crescent, Heaven is Falling, maybe Atomic Garden are worth something, but shouldn't have been included on this album (maybe Against the Grain or Grey Race) . How Could Hell Be Any Worse is the best album hands down.


woot bad religion <3

Caroline Moore
Caroline Moore

I've often credited this band for my verbal SAT score.

For me, it was Recipe for Hate - I was 10 when it came out, so that was the first one I heard.

Victor Infante
Victor Infante

Really? I mean, no disrespect to "Generator." It's a great album, but usually I'd expect someone's Bad Religion watershed moment to have come with "No Control" or "Suffer," especially if they're from Southern California (and not just learning about the band over the radio.) Did you miss the band's earlier work, or was there just something more in this album that resonated with you? Or am I just showing my age?

Jim Beam
Jim Beam

You're showing your age.  As he stated he was in junior high when Generator was released twenty years ago.  I'm sure if he were in junior high when How Can Hell Be Any Worse was released then perhaps that would have been his game changer Bad Religion album.  We're only gonna die from our own arrogance! 

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