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147 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Mellon collie" album
"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" avoids the pitfalls of many double albums -- too much filler, too few good songs, not enough of the good stuff. Instead, this is in the spirit of the Beatles' "White Album" or Pink Floyd's "The Wall." Billy Corgan's tight writing and the Smashing Pumpkins's brilliant instrumentation make this sweeping...
Published on April 10, 2004 by E. A Solinas

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Major sound issues
I *really* don't like jumping on the grumpy audiophile bandwagon, but unfortunately I have to confirm that there are severe sound issues throughout the MCIS vinyl reissue. As most people have noted, the problem is most noticeable on "Zero", where the vocal seems like it was overcooked to compensate for thinness during the "emptiness is loneliness" part and then left that...
Published on December 5, 2012 by James J.M.


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147 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Mellon collie" album, April 10, 2004
"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" avoids the pitfalls of many double albums -- too much filler, too few good songs, not enough of the good stuff. Instead, this is in the spirit of the Beatles' "White Album" or Pink Floyd's "The Wall." Billy Corgan's tight writing and the Smashing Pumpkins's brilliant instrumentation make this sweeping double album a must-have.
The first disc, "Dawn to Dusk," builds up slowly with a mournful piano song, only to bounce into the sweeping "Tonight Tonight." Forming the rest are sizzling rockers ("Jellybelly," "Zero"), sparkling softer songs ("Cupid De Locke"), and quiet alt-rock ("Galapagos") and a few songs that stray into unknown musical turf (the sweeping ten minute "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans"). "Take Me Down" ends the first disc on the same quiet note that it began on.
Second disc "Twilight To Starlight" starts off on a very different foot. Jerky guitar riffs and drumming start off, sounding like a warm up, before exploding into the solid "Where Boys Fear To Tread." Having gotten that over with, Corgan and Co. switch into a somewhat quieter collection: gentle acoustics ("Thirty-Three," "Stumbleine," the sweet "In the Arms of Sleep"), catchy alt-rock (new-wavey "1979," "Thru The Eyes of Ruby"), blistering hard rock ("Tales of a Scorched Earth," "XYU"). The gentle "Farewell and Goodnight" rounds off the double album on a quiet note.
"Mellon Collie" has just about every kind of music you can hope to find -- ballads, prog, metal, alt-rock, and so on. A handful of songs feel superfluous, but the vast majority of them just feel like a musical quilt. That is, two musical quilts. The tone of each disc is quite different, with "Dawn to Dusk" being a rockier album more in tune with the past Pumpkins releases. "Twilight To Starlight" has a more experimental, sad feel.
Billy Corgan's reedy voice weaves seamlessly into the complex music, singing songs about loneliness, pessimism and longing for love. His songwriting is exceptional here ("breathing under water, and living under glass..."); his style is best described as poetry set to music. James Iha also dips into songwriting with "Take Me Down" and cowritten "Farewell and Goodnight." Guitar riffs both furious and gentle, sweeping strings, piano, Chamberlin's percussion and D'arcy's good bass work move up and down the scale, from soft to scathing.
With its epic music and tight lyrics, "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" is madly brilliant and among the best work that the Smashing Pumpkins did. Dark, sweet, sad, and angry, this is a modern classic.
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105 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next to Godliness., January 3, 2002
For all of their previous accomplishments, nothing could have prepared the world for what the Chicago-based Smashing Pumpkins would bring to the table with their double-album/masterpiece, "Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness." Co-produced by Flood (Nine Inch Nails), the set -- which marks the third effort the band -- is as lush as it is intimate, as ambitious as it is focused and every bit as grand as such an affair should be.

From the opening swells of the hit "Tonight, Tonight," the amount of growth marked between this and the band's previous effort, "Siamese Dream" is evident. A sweeping ballad that is unlike anything the band had poduced before, it's not only indicative of the what was to come, but also merely a sampler of the wide variety of sounds the album has to offer. From there we are treated to the retro-pop of "1979," a nostalgic anthem of sorts that finds the band working with a drum machine for the first time since recruiting drumming powerhouse Jimmy Chamberlin. Bassist D'arcy Wretzky dominates on heavier fare such as "Zero" (a signature song of the band) and the superior "Tales of a Scorched Earth," which threatens to overload and obliterate even the best sound system. It's not all sonic bombast, though, as some of the simpler tracks like "Muzzle" (which carries the trademark vintage Pumpkins sound) and "Thirty-Three" are the stars that burn the brightest.

From front to back, not a moment on "Mellon Collie" is wasted. Not only is the band in top form and firing on all cylinders (arguably for the first and last time in their career) but Corgan's songwriting hits an all-time high as well. Unlike many of their fellow rockers, Smashing Pumpkins weren't afraid to embrace accessibility and reach new heights creatively, and to that end, "Mellon Collie & The Inifinite Sadness" is one of the most competent and most compelling rock releases of the 90's. A true classic that no collection -- alternative or otherwise -- should go without.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Masterpiece, Courtesy Of The Pumpkins..., September 22, 2002
Although a shade less brilliant than Siamese Dream in my book, Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness is a magnificent 28-song opus spanning 2-CDs and a multitude of musical styles. At times, the disparate influences and diversity between tracks cause some sprawling, unfocused tracks, but all in all, it's akeeper. One of the great acheivements of the 1990's, that probably won't(and shouldn't) be ever replicated or attempted.
The first disc, Dawn To Dusk, has more of the radio hits. The sweeping, orchestral "Tonight, Tonight," the heavy grunge of "Zero," and the famous 'rat in a cage' line of "Bullet With Butterfly Wings." Other highlights are the rockers "Jellybelly," and "Ode To No One," and the soft, epic soothing songs "Galapogos," and "Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans."
The second disc, Twilight To Starlight, is harder to digest in that many songs are softer than on Disc 1. "1979" is found here, a 90's new-wave song. Other highlights are: the other Disc 2 hit, "33," the epic rockers "Bodies," "Tales Of A Scorched Earth," "X.Y.U.", and a plethora of other tracks consisting of lifting, grand, and sweeping design--all done in the Smashing Pumpkins' signature style. Billy Corgan's high-pitched whine of a singing voice, James Iha's textured guitar, D'Arcy's supporting bass lines, and Jimmy Chamberlain's intricate, progressive, technical drumming.
Just by reading the song titles and their cryptic lyrics, looking at the front and back of the mammoth CD case, and the pictures inside the two booklets, I get a feeling of magic and wonder. A feeling of surrealism, as if this is more than just a piece of music. It's art. More so to me than any Tool or Pink Floyd album. Each person is entitled to their own interpretation. You can find the music boring, or Corgan's voice annoying, or the whole thing too long. It might be laughable to compare it to Pink Floyd or Tool. Fine. But you'll never know until you try it...
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Major sound issues, December 5, 2012
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This review is from: Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness (Vinyl)
I *really* don't like jumping on the grumpy audiophile bandwagon, but unfortunately I have to confirm that there are severe sound issues throughout the MCIS vinyl reissue. As most people have noted, the problem is most noticeable on "Zero", where the vocal seems like it was overcooked to compensate for thinness during the "emptiness is loneliness" part and then left that way throughout the rest of the song. (Apparently someone thought that those of us willing to spend $75 on a 17-year-old Pumpkins record don't already know that Billy Corgan has a thin voice.)

One theory I've heard is that the problem is actually a pressing error affecting sound closest to the center of the disc. I hear a biiiit of distortion on the drums toward the end of "To Forgive" but nothing as bad as "Zero" so I kind of doubt that this is the case, but I don't know much about vinyl pressing so I wouldn't know what to listen for. At any rate, while "Zero" is the worst of the lot, there is plenty of clipping, fluttering, and stereo weirdness to go around.

Don't get me wrong: I was not expecting perfection. MCIS has always sounded weird to me. It is clearly an album worked on by multiple producers and mixers in different studios under different conditions, leading to a ton of inconsistencies in volume and EQ. However, aside from a lot of the guitar sounds being a bit digital and warbly, I never felt that anything really sounded outright bad. Sadly, this version does.

At $75 a pop, there is really no excuse. I'm hoping it is a pressing plant issue, and that these are not the final masters Corgan signed off on. In any case, I'm returning my box tomorrow. It's a real shame because I've wanted this on vinyl for years.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Positively Smashing, December 14, 2003
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know, Billy Corgan's an arrogant jerk who can't sing...insert your favorite nit-pick here. The juggernaut that is MCIS will roll right over them and never even notice. We're talking about 28 songs, nearly two-and-a- half hours of music here. Even back in '95 it was a gutsy move; double-albums do for most bands' album sales what the Jonestown Kool-Aid did for kid's soft drinks. But the ever-dysfunctional Pumpkins pulled it off in grand style, even dethroning the so-called King of Pop in sales.
Musically, this album is all over the map, covering basically every impulse the Pumpkins have ever even hinted at in their previous two albums. Want alt-rock? MCIS offers up the moody, blistering "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and the surging, groovy "1979". Metal? Try the menacing "XYU" or the defiant "An Ode to No One" or the blitzkrieg "Bodies". Glam rock? The gorgeous "Thru The Eyes of Ruby" or the arena rock anthem "Muzzle" sparkle like sequins on Ziggy Stardust's stiletto heels. Prog rock? "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans" has the kind of weird time signatures and start-stop dynamics that would make Rush green with envy. Tripped out, psychedelic ballads? The swooning "Beautiful" and the playful "Cupid de Locke" should satisfy your sweet tooth. Oh and there's James Iha's shimmering, lovely twin contributions of "Take Me Down" and "Farewell and Goodnight". And let's not forget "Where Boys Fear to Tread", which sounds like the soundtrack to some sort of weird vampire motorcycle gang movie as directed by Joel Shumacher during his Batman tenure. And the industrial bite and scratch of "Love" and the subtle "In The Arms of Sleep" And...Well, you get the point.
Nirvana may have been the most talked-about and critically celebrated, Pearl Jam the most earnest, and Soundgarden the hardest but for sheer substance, for my money, even their best works can't hold a candle to what the Pumpkins achieved on MCIS. It's a feast for the ears and easily one of rock's true masterpieces.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My one and only, November 24, 2006
By 
S. O'Halloran (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Mellon Collie is an album very dear to me...the cover art and the imagery on the booklet, i found this very stunning when i was 14, ten years ago now. I remember vividly sneaking into brothers room to listen to his mellon collie cassette. I was captivated by the track stumbeline, and i began a 5 year infatuation with the band. How couldn't I?

I think this album was the point when the Smashing Pumpkins captured their image most brilliantly, and to a 14 year old they were mysterious, interesting, fascinating, brilliant, and so so so different and better than everything else at the time. Indeed the world realised this, this was a very popular album at the time.

The band seemed to have an understanding of what it was to be the Smashing Pumpkins. To this day i am captivated by the video clips accompanying the singles. This wasn't a shallow garage band, i believe that everything they touched at this moment was magic.

I would disagree with the people saying that too much was crammed on Mellon Collie, and filler, FILLER? Maybe you just want to justify a negative respone. No there isnt any filler, each track is alive with melody, a subject matter, dynamic, beauty. To me each song has it's own life which means no two songs are alike.

Maybe I'm a bit sentimental but this CD captured a time. I would love to be 14 again and soak in all the imagery and sounds all over again for the first time. Mellon Collie was responsible for me beginning a life long interest and obsession with music. I think music is the best friend you can have, Mellon Collie is my oldest friend.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy may well be genius., December 8, 2001
By 
I am, to date, a pretty solid pumpkinhead. I do not have all the albums, but am eager to deepen my obssession with this fantastic band. That said, I will talk about Mellon Collie. This was my first Smashing Pumpkins album. I shamefully admit to listening to the singles first, but as time has gone by, I have grown to love nearly every track on the album. Brilliant lyrics, compelling melodies, complex and textured arrangments, and (of course) a healthy dose of angst, can be found in nearly every song. This is pretty near to definitive Smashing Pumpkins. The only Smashing Pumpkins album that surpasses it is Siamese Dream.
Some of my favorite tracks include: The beautiful, hopeful "Tonight,tonight," the bleak headbanger "Zero," the majestic "Here is no Why," the overplayed but great "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," the soothing "Galapagos," the grungy, angsty masterpiece "Muzzle," the epic "Porcelina," the brilliantly dark "Where Boys fear to Tread," and "x.y.u.," the wistful classic "1979," and others. I've talked for too long. Purchase this album and join the pumpkinheads.
--Jack
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness Vinyl reissue, January 9, 2013
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This review is from: Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness (Vinyl)
I waited long for this masterpiece and was very happy to get it via Amazon USA for half the price I would have to pay here in Germany. All in all, these were pretty much the good points. I have the same problem as all the other bad reviews, distortion and sound artifacts (best noticeable on "Zero"). I think that Amazon makes it even worse by mixing the reviews for the CD reissue with the Vinyl reissue as the problem seems to occur just on the Vinyl version. If you combine the Vinyl reviews, this reissue wont even get near a 2-Star rating. I am thinking of returning my 2 copys of this wonderfull album / s***ty reissue.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Best Album of all time, September 27, 2002
Let's be perfectly clear about this for the last time-
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS ARE NOT GRUNGE!!!
People expecting such may be disapointed as a result.
Let's take a trip back in time. 1995. Soundgarden were still together, Alec John Such was still in Bon Jovi and The Smashing Pumkins recorded Melon Collie and The Infinate Sadness. It was a good year.
This album was created on a crazy concept - to create a two CD album, which had an artsy idea to the way the tracks were set out and PULLED AWAY from the stylings of their previous material. And to top it all off, they used a new producer. This was doomed to be something new.
One note on listening to this album - don't expect to take it all in the first time you listen to it. It's not only two hours long, it also changes musical ideas every other heartbeat. It's alot to take in all at once, but after listening to it a few times you start to see the true genuis that lies beneith the amazing music.
The first disc (Dawn to Dusk) is admittedly better than the second (Twilight to Starlight), as every single track on the album is amazing, and the quality drops not even once. A particular highlight is Porcelina of the Vast Oceans, an amazing track that goes from a melodic balad to a heavier, upbeat alt-rock monster and back again repeatedly without warning. Also, one might wonder why singles were never made of JellyBelly, Muzzle and To Forgive, which have amazingly catchy choruses, brilliant melodies and sit beautifully with established favorites like Zero, Tonight Tonight and Bullit With Butterfly Wings.
Twilight to Starlight doesn't quite live up to the brilliance of it's counterpart, but is still an amazing CD none the less. Much heavier and down beat, it is balanced beautifully with the oh-so-tender Stumbleine and closer Farewell and Goodnight. Round of aplause to XYU, which is my particular favorite on the album and just goes to show that the hurt whinings of bands like Stain'd and Puddle Of Mudd can't even come close to the raw passion that Billy Corgan can exude.
The pure genius comes when you look at the albums comparitively. Both albums are set out to musically represent the cycle of a day (hence the disc names), with the first looking at life from a happier perspective, and the second looking from a more negative one. Ultimately, it's strength lies in it's amazing diversity that no other band before or since has tried to display.
An album you can't possibly live without, it's a real masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Mellon Collie (remaster box set edition), November 7, 2013
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This is for the deluxe reissue/remaster and the album overall. Keep in mind, the Pumpkins are one of my 2-3 favorite bands of all time, one I grew up with.

The album? It's still great after 18+ years (man, I feel old typing that). No, not every track is a home run, but a ton of them are, and there are enough great songs that it's the rare double album that you can't just dump filler and fit all the great songs on one disc. Billy's voice has been, is, and always will be one of those that you love or hate. No one can deny his great writing and guitar work though (if you do, well, you're probably not looking at it from an unbiased POV). Unless you absolutely can't stand Billy's voice, everyone should hear this at least once. I still love Siamese Dream more, but that's just me; as it is, this is a fantastic album that sometimes doesn't get its due.

Now, the remaster: like the others Corgan's done thus far (Gish, Siamese Dream), THIS is how remasters should be done. No sign of loudness war BS (good lord just listen to Nevermind's "remaster" to hear how they should NOT be), just going back and carefully adjusting some levels here and there to really make the music sound like it was always intended to. The bass sounds cleaner and not as distorted (a problem Siamese Dream had at louder volume - again, opinion), the guitars crisper, etc. Most would have to hear the original immediately before the remaster to notice, but when you do, it's subtle but clear: this is the definitive version. I must also mention the packaging is gorgeous. A solid box that includes a booklet with Billy's thoughts on each song and the album in general, full lyrics for the main album, and some nice Mellon Collie art on sturdy (but not thick) cardboard. While I wish some of the extra tracks weren't reused (ie the songs that appear later on on The Aeroplane Flies High), when taken with what else is included, it's hard to nitpick about. A few of these even hardcore SP fans (the ones that have every version of the old demos back to 1988/etc, like me) never had clean copies of, and it's great to finally have them. In summary: if you love this album and/or are a big SP fan, it's WELL worth buying this new version for the remastered core album alone. The rest is added icing to a great cake.
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Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness
Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins (Vinyl - 2012)
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