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Re: The Smashing Pumpkins Past & Present:: The Return


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Initial post: Jun 13, 2012, 9:00:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2012, 9:02:25 PM PDT
I wanted to know if there were any fans of 90's / Early 2000's
Alt-Rock Band "The Smashing Pumpkins" on here?
I listened to a few sample tracks from their new upcoming
project; entitled "Oceania" via Facebook/I-Tunes last night
and I liked some of what I heard from first scan.
I really liked their "Gish" / "Siamese Dream"/ "Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness" period the best...
but I liked a few others after that. Is there anybody here who's excited about their new album?

Posted on Jun 13, 2012, 9:40:10 PM PDT
alysha25 says:
I loved Smashing Pumpkins back when, "Siamese Dream" especially. I have "Gish" but it doesn't do much for me, haven't listened to it in ages. "Mellon Collie" has some excellent songs, but I find others to be "filler" , and the 2 CD set too long (don't own it anymore but it's on my list).

I wasn't even sure they are still together, but apparently they are? "Alt-rock" huh, I call it Grunge!

I was looking at that newer (3 disc) special edition "Siamese Dream", wondering if it was worth it and feeling really tempted to get it. I will have to look into "Oceana" .

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012, 9:58:36 PM PDT
Alysha25, if you're really a fan of that period and that CD "Siamese Dream" in particular,
there are a lot alternative versions of many of the songs on that project, a digital book, etc.
It was worth it to me, but you may feel differently.

Posted on Jun 13, 2012, 10:03:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 13, 2012, 10:08:33 PM PDT
alysha25 says:
I made a mistake, I don't have "Gish" , I have "Pisces Iscariot", CD. The deluxe version of Siamese Dream looks really nice. I wonder if "Adore" is any good? I see the new album on here as a pre-order, yeah you can't hear any of the samples yet. I was REALLY into Grunge back in the 90's. As I've said before, I think Grunge now exists in the nether land , not quite classic rock Yet. I once had "Mellon Collie" , in fact it was one of the first CD's I ever bought, but I sold it back to a used CD store one day when I was really poor! I think Topper is a Pumpkins fan, maybe he will chime in here.

Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 2:02:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 14, 2012, 2:13:25 AM PDT
@alysha25: I'm always happy to oblige with a few thousand words. :) I'm a HUGE fan of the original 1990-2000 Smashing Pumpkins. An extraordinarily strong and consistent band and probably the best of that decade IMO (well, it's a tossup between them and Blur for me). I wouldn't catagorize them as grunge, although some of the early work has some similarities to that movement. But they were really so much more diverse than that. This is how I grade the albums of the original band:

Gish: B+. A solid debut, only eclipsed by what was to come. Favorite tracks: Rhinoceros, Crush, Daydream
Siamese Dream: A-. I think the album is slightly overrated but still a total cornerstone of alt-rock. The song sequencing is perfect. Favorite tracks: Hummer, Rocket, Luna
Pisces Iscariot: A-. This is not really an actual album so much as a b-sides/outtakes compilation...and yet it's got some of my very favorite Pumpkins songs on it. Favorites: Plume, Obscured, Starla
Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness: A. I have to disagree with your assessment; I think one of the greatest things about this record is that it's a 120-minute, 2-disc, triple vinyl album with not a single filler track on it. This ranks at #60 on my all-time 100 rock albums list. It still stands up as a total mammoth epic, 16 years later. Favorite tracks: Zero, Porcelina, Where Boys Fear To Tread, 33
Adore: A. Although Chamberlin is missing and it was ignored by the public, I think this album represented a leap in songwriting maturity by Corgan. My favorite Pumpkins album and as high as #30 on my all-time favorite rock albums list. The group just kept getting better and better. Favorite tracks: To Sheila, Shame, For Martha
Machina I: The Machines Of God: B+. This one drags a little in the second half but still has more than enough classics, plus an awesome storyline that is continued on the internet-only sequel, Machina II. Favorite tracks: Stand Inside Your Love, I Of The Mourning, Glass And The Ghost Children
Machina II: The Friends And Enemies Of Modern Music: A-. An internet-only release, which is a shame as the original lineup went out on a hugely fantastic note on this one. This continues the incredible story of Machina I and has even better songs, although the production is slightly muddy in spots. Favorite songs: Glass' Theme, Cash Car Star, Speed Kills.

Then came the downfall. I have been hugely disappointed in Corgan's work since the "Machina" project; first there was Zwan's "Mary Star Of The Sea", which had a few good songs on it but was overall a big step down from The Pumpkins even though the sound was pretty similar. Then the solo album "Future Embrace", which had this weird retro-80s sound and only two listenable tracks. Then the Smashing Pumpkins "reunion" album "Zeitgeist" with only Corgan and Chamberlin, but even worse than "Future Embrace"--I really thought he'd totally lost it on that one. Then came the dozen or so songs he trickled over the internet for the "Teargarden By Kaleidyscope" project, of which only a few really grabbed me, although there were hopeful signs of life. Still, nothing he's done in the past decade has grabbed me...until now.

Only two days ago I heard three songs from the upcoming new album "Oceania" in their entirety, and was blown away. The quality of these songs was right up there with the classic material from "Siamese" and "Mellon Collie", it really feels to me like Corgan has got his mojo back on this one. Additionally, the new lineup has finally gelled and for once he's not making music in the shadow of his former bandmates, who I thought had been so much of what made the original band so special. Apparently "Oceania" is an "album within an album", in that it is still considered a part of the "Teargarden By Kaleidyscope" project. However, this material is much, much stronger than any of the earlier songs released from "Teargarden". I eagerly await its release on the 19th...the music world has missed Corgan's singular genius for quite some time, it's good to see him come back so strong.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012, 2:19:39 AM PDT
Wow Michael Topher!
You turned me on to a lot of things I never knew about the band.
You will no doubt have me doing my homework and going back to re-assess
tracks and albums that I ignored by them.
I await to hear Oceania in full. I will be downloading some MP3's as well.
Thanks

Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 3:01:55 AM PDT
@He Who Funks Behind The Rows!!: there's non-album tracks and b-sides from the 90s era that are also excellent, such as "Apathy's Last Kiss", "Set The Ray To Jerry", "Glynis", "God", etc. etc. There was a limited-edition box set of "Mellon Collie" singles (which included all the b-sides) called "The Aeroplane Flies High" which is now OOP and highly sought after, plus a limited edition second disc to their "Greatest Hits" album called "Judas O" which featured more outtakes and b-sides which was also excellent. The quantity and quality of their output during that time was tremendous.

Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 6:08:32 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
I haven't liked any Billy Corgan song after Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. To me, the Greatest Hits collection was enough for the Adore period. I loved the guitar sounds on Machina: The Machines of God, but the songwriting, lyrics and singing were miserable, and Corgan didn't make any use of Melissa Auf der Maur, who I consider much more interesting than Corgan.

The later Zwan record is well worth it, though. Paz Lenchantin is an original, and Jimmy Chamberlin always makes any record sound better.

Posted on Jun 14, 2012, 12:58:37 PM PDT
@D.Mok: I have to wildly disagree. The two songs included on "Greatest Hits" are very good, but don't come close to representing the full majesty of "Adore". Melissa Auf der Maur did not join the group until after the recording of "Machina"; D'arcy still appears on that one (although the extent of her *actual* participation in any Pumpkins album is a bit suspect since Corgan usually erased her parts and overdubbed his own bass most of the time. But Auf der Maur was not around to use when "Machina" was recorded, she was hired purely as a touring bassist to support the album). By contrast, Zwan was real letdown. I liked the long 14-min track toward the end (I forget the name) but the rest had *way* less interesting songwriting, lyrics and singing than "Adore" or "Machina". "Adore" for me remains the peak of Corgan's songwriting and singing, although I realize it turned off Joe Q public at the time because sonically it was too radical a departure from "Mellon Collie".

Posted on Jun 15, 2012, 4:14:17 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
> Melissa Auf der Maur did not join the group until after the recording of "Machina"; D'arcy still appears on that one

That's why I said Corgan didn't make any use of her. Melissa Auf der Maur was keen on working with both Courtney Love (and played on Celebrity Skin) and Billy Corgan, but it seems like Corgan played everything himself on Machina, a problem that wasn't present on the Zwan record, where the musicians were forceful enough to make Corgan crawl out of his Stephen Stills-sized ego trip. As far as I remember, by 2000 James Iha and D'Arcy Wretzky hated Billy Corgan, and vice versa. Instead of moving on with other musicians, Corgan included them nominally and may have erased a lot of their parts. That's just bizarre to me.

Zwan and Auf der Maur's first records made much more interesting listening than anything by Smashing Pumpkins after the Mellon Collie peak.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  4
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Jun 13, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 15, 2012

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