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Rock - Released July 27, 1993 | Virgin Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While Gish had placed the Smashing Pumpkins on the "most promising artist" list for many, troubles were threatening to break the band apart. Singer/guitarist/leader Billy Corgan was battling a severe case of writer's block and was in a deep state of depression brought on by a relationship in turmoil; drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was addicted to hard drugs; and bassist D'Arcy and guitarist James Iha severed their romantic relationship. The sessions for their sophomore effort, Siamese Dream, were wrought with friction -- Corgan eventually played almost all the instruments himself (except for percussion). Some say strife and tension produces the best music, and it certainly helped make Siamese Dream one of the finest alt-rock albums of all time. Instead of following Nirvana's punk rock route, Siamese Dream went in the opposite direction -- guitar solos galore, layered walls of sound courtesy of the album's producers (Butch Vig and Corgan), extended compositions that bordered on prog rock, plus often reflective and heartfelt lyrics. The four tracks that were selected as singles became alternative radio standards -- the anthems "Cherub Rock," "Today," and "Rocket," plus the symphonic ballad "Disarm" -- but as a whole, Siamese Dream proved to be an incredibly consistent album. Such compositions as the red-hot rockers "Quiet" and "Geek U.S.A." were standouts, as were the epics "Hummer," "Soma," and "Silverfuck," plus the soothing sounds of "Mayonaise," "Spaceboy," and "Luna." After the difficult recording sessions, Corgan stated publicly that if Siamese Dream didn't achieve breakthrough success, he would end the band. He didn't have to worry for long -- the album debuted in the Billboard Top Ten and sold more than four million copies in three years. Siamese Dream stands alongside Nevermind and Superunknown as one of the decade's finest (and most influential) rock albums. © Greg Prato /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Smashing Pumpkins didn't shy away from making the follow-up to the grand, intricate Siamese Dream. With Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the band turns in one of the most ambitious and indulgent albums in rock history. Lasting over two hours and featuring 28 songs, the album is certainly a challenging listen. To Billy Corgan's credit, it's a rewarding and compelling one as well. Although the artistic scope of the album is immense, the Smashing Pumpkins flourish in such an overblown setting. Corgan's songwriting has never been limited by conventional notions of what a rock band can do, even if it is clear that he draws inspiration from scores of '70s heavy metal and art rock bands. Instead of copying the sounds of his favorite records, he expands on their ideas, making the gentle piano of the title track and the sighing "1979" sit comfortably against the volcanic rush of "Jellybelly" and "Zero." In between those two extremes lies an array of musical styles, drawing from rock, pop, folk, and classical. Some of the songs don't work as well as others, but Mellon Collie never seems to drag. Occasionally they fall flat on their face, but over the entire album, the Smashing Pumpkins prove that they are one of the more creative and consistent bands of the '90s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet
The Smashing Pumpkins didn't shy away from making the follow-up to the grand, intricate Siamese Dream. With Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the band turns in one of the most ambitious and indulgent albums in rock history. Lasting over two hours and featuring 28 songs, the album is certainly a challenging listen. To Billy Corgan's credit, it's a rewarding and compelling one as well. Although the artistic scope of the album is immense, the Smashing Pumpkins flourish in such an overblown setting. Corgan's songwriting has never been limited by conventional notions of what a rock band can do, even if it is clear that he draws inspiration from scores of '70s heavy metal and art rock bands. Instead of copying the sounds of his favorite records, he expands on their ideas, making the gentle piano of the title track and the sighing "1979" sit comfortably against the volcanic rush of "Jellybelly" and "Zero." In between those two extremes lies an array of musical styles, drawing from rock, pop, folk, and classical. Some of the songs don't work as well as others, but Mellon Collie never seems to drag. Occasionally they fall flat on their face, but over the entire album, the Smashing Pumpkins prove that they are one of the more creative and consistent bands of the '90s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2001 | Virgin Records

Like many alt-rock bands, the Smashing Pumpkins sound better than expected as a singles band -- probably because their high points were singles, no matter how carefully created their albums were. The Smashing Pumpkins fit this bill particularly well for two reasons. For one, they rose up through the ranks in indie rock circles, where limited-edition singles on Sub Pop meant as much as a full-lengths on Caroline. Then, after they made it through the indie jungle, they had to fight their way onto MTV airwaves with songs and videos that sold their intricate albums. This was a good, even prosperous, situation when the Pumpkins (OK, when their leader, Billy Corgan) could balance their knack for great singles with their desire to make sweeping neo-concept albums like Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. They did for a few years, conquering the alt-rock pack after Nirvana imploded, but the group itself eventually turned in on itself -- either because of Corgan's own hubris or the group's complacency. They had more than enough great material for a good compilation, and Greatest Hits almost fits the bill. Its main problem is that, like most even-handed compilations, it gives too much credence to the music made after the group's peak, at the expense of some of the group's better material. Essentially, anything that most listeners will want to hear wraps up 11 tracks into the 18-track album, when the collection dives into material from Adore and MACHINA -- two albums that aren't embarrassments, but really only of interest to the hardcore, particularly in how they desperately attempt to embrace the fleeting electronica fad of the '90s (something almost all alt-rock bands did, almost always to no avail). So, this collection bogs down more than it should, and because its final eight tracks are taken from the Pumpkins past their peak; consequently, it's hard to recommend this to anyone who just wants an album with all the hits. Yes, it does have many of the cuts that they'll want on one disc, including the non-LP "Drown" and "Landslide," but the desire to justify two albums nobody bought -- especially at the expense of "I Am One," "Rocket," "Geek USA," and "Here Is No Why," among others -- hurts a collection that should have showcased the Pumpkins at their peak. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 29, 2000 | Virgin Records

Any record called MACHINA/The Machines of God couldn't be a pure rock album. The title suggests this is a concept album, which are at least a little progressive. As it happens, MACHINA is a lot progressive. Though it's damn near impossible to figure out the story line, the album plays like a concept album, with each track floating into the next, winding up with an album artier than Adore. That's not a liability, since the Smashing Pumpkins were always arty, yet Billy Corgan was very clever in camouflaging his artiness. "The Everlasting Gaze" rocks more overtly than anything on Adore, and the storybook-styled artwork deliberately evokes memories of Mellon Collie. Enthusiasts will find moments to admire throughout MACHINA, but ultimately, they might be disappointed with a record that crosses Mellon Collie with Adore without relying on the strengths of either. MACHINA appears to be ornately straightforward, yet as it progresses, it becomes increasingly insular. By the time it gets to "Heavy Metal Machine," designed as the record's crushing centerpiece, its weaknesses become apparent. "Heavy Metal Machine" should be a brutal, bruising experience, yet it's toothless, processed within an inch of its life. It becomes clear that the chief strength of the album is production. Not once does MACHINA ever feel like the work of a band; it feels as if it was painstakingly assembled by Corgan and Flood. The Smashing Pumpkins have always been Corgan's band, but they've never sounded like a solo vehicle the way that they do here. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Virgin Records

Booklet
Arriving several months before Nirvana's Nevermind, the Smashing Pumpkins' debut album, Gish, which was also produced by Butch Vig, was the first shot of the alternative revolution that transformed the rock & roll landscape of the '90s. While Nirvana was a punk band, the Smashing Pumpkins and guitarist/vocalist Billy Corgan are arena rockers, co-opting their metallic riffs and epic art rock song structures with self-absorbed lyrical confessions. Though Corgan's lyrics fall apart upon close analysis, there's no denying his gift for arrangements. Like Brian May and Jimmy Page, he knows how to layer guitars for maximum effect, whether it's on the pounding, sub-Sabbath rush of "I Am One" or the shimmering, psychedelic dream pop surfaces of "Rhinoceros." Such musical moments like these, as well as the rushing "Siva" and the folky "Daydream," which features D'Arcy on lead vocals, demonstrate the Smashing Pumpkins' potential, but the rest of Gish falls prey to undistinguished songwriting and showy instrumentation. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet
Although the Smashing Pumpkins had only released two studio albums by 1994 (1991's Gish and 1993's Siamese Dream), they had an overflow of songs that were either relegated to B-sides on European singles or remained unreleased. Billy Corgan proved to be one of rock's most prolific songwriters of the 1990s alt rock movement -- as the quality of these early leftovers were often just as strong as the songs that were officially released. Since nearly all of these songs were never issued domestically, the B-side/rarity collection Pisces Iscariot was issued alongside their first long-form home video, Vieuphoria. The collection proved to be a feast for fans -- it's inexplicable why such exceptional rockers ("Plume," "Hello Kitty Kat," "Frail and Bedazzled," "Blue") and ballads ("Obscured," "La Dolly Vita") weren't featured on albums. Also included is the long and winding, 11-minute epic jam fest "Starla," which proves that Corgan was one of the finest (and most underrated) rock guitarists of the '90s, as well as a pair of unlikely covers -- Fleetwood Mac's gentle "Landslide" and the Animals' psychedelic "Girl Named Sandoz." Also included are insightful liner notes (strewn with typos) from Corgan. While it's not the definitive B-sides collection of pre-Mellon Collie Pumpkins (such tracks as "Bullet Train to Osaka," "Purr Snickety," "Apathy's Last Kiss," "My Dahlia," "Jackie Blue," "Glynis," and others are nowhere to be found), Pisces Iscariot contains some of Corgan and company's finest moments. © Greg Prato /TiVo
From
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin Records

Booklet
Although the Smashing Pumpkins had only released two studio albums by 1994 (1991's Gish and 1993's Siamese Dream), they had an overflow of songs that were either relegated to B-sides on European singles or remained unreleased. Billy Corgan proved to be one of rock's most prolific songwriters of the 1990s alt rock movement -- as the quality of these early leftovers were often just as strong as the songs that were officially released. Since nearly all of these songs were never issued domestically, the B-side/rarity collection Pisces Iscariot was issued alongside their first long-form home video, Vieuphoria. The collection proved to be a feast for fans -- it's inexplicable why such exceptional rockers ("Plume," "Hello Kitty Kat," "Frail and Bedazzled," "Blue") and ballads ("Obscured," "La Dolly Vita") weren't featured on albums. Also included is the long and winding, 11-minute epic jam fest "Starla," which proves that Corgan was one of the finest (and most underrated) rock guitarists of the '90s, as well as a pair of unlikely covers -- Fleetwood Mac's gentle "Landslide" and the Animals' psychedelic "Girl Named Sandoz." Also included are insightful liner notes (strewn with typos) from Corgan. While it's not the definitive B-sides collection of pre-Mellon Collie Pumpkins (such tracks as "Bullet Train to Osaka," "Purr Snickety," "Apathy's Last Kiss," "My Dahlia," "Jackie Blue," "Glynis," and others are nowhere to be found), Pisces Iscariot contains some of Corgan and company's finest moments. © Greg Prato /TiVo
From
CD£14.99

Rock - Released July 27, 1993 | Virgin Records

While Gish had placed the Smashing Pumpkins on the "most promising artist" list for many, troubles were threatening to break the band apart. Singer/guitarist/leader Billy Corgan was battling a severe case of writer's block and was in a deep state of depression brought on by a relationship in turmoil; drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was addicted to hard drugs; and bassist D'Arcy and guitarist James Iha severed their romantic relationship. The sessions for their sophomore effort, Siamese Dream, were wrought with friction -- Corgan eventually played almost all the instruments himself (except for percussion). Some say strife and tension produces the best music, and it certainly helped make Siamese Dream one of the finest alt-rock albums of all time. Instead of following Nirvana's punk rock route, Siamese Dream went in the opposite direction -- guitar solos galore, layered walls of sound courtesy of the album's producers (Butch Vig and Corgan), extended compositions that bordered on prog rock, plus often reflective and heartfelt lyrics. The four tracks that were selected as singles became alternative radio standards -- the anthems "Cherub Rock," "Today," and "Rocket," plus the symphonic ballad "Disarm" -- but as a whole, Siamese Dream proved to be an incredibly consistent album. Such compositions as the red-hot rockers "Quiet" and "Geek U.S.A." were standouts, as were the epics "Hummer," "Soma," and "Silverfuck," plus the soothing sounds of "Mayonaise," "Spaceboy," and "Luna." After the difficult recording sessions, Corgan stated publicly that if Siamese Dream didn't achieve breakthrough success, he would end the band. He didn't have to worry for long -- the album debuted in the Billboard Top Ten and sold more than four million copies in three years. Siamese Dream stands alongside Nevermind and Superunknown as one of the decade's finest (and most influential) rock albums. © Greg Prato /TiVo

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