Monday, 13 October 2008

Smashing Pumpkins: The Definitive History

The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988.[1] While the group has gone through several lineup changes, The Smashing Pumpkins consisted of Billy Corgan (vocals/guitar), James Iha (guitar/backing vocals), D'arcy Wretzky (bass guitar/backing vocals), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums/percussion) for most of the band's recording career.
Disavowing the punk rock roots shared by many of their alt-rock contemporaries,[2] the Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, electronica. Frontman Billy Corgan is the group's primary songwriter—his grand musical ambitions and cathartic lyrics have shaped the band's albums and songs, which have been described as "anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land".[3]
The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, Siamese Dream (1993). The group built their audience with extensive touring and their follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. With approximately 18.25 million albums sold in the United States alone,[4] The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s.[5] However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing sales hampered the band and led to a 2000 break-up. In April 2006, the band officially announced that it was reuniting and recording a new album. Returning members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were joined by musicians Jeff Schroeder (guitar/vocals), Ginger Reyes (bass/vocals), and Lisa Harriton (keyboard/vocals) in 2007 to tour in support of their new release, Zeitgeist.
Contents[hide]
1 History
1.1 Early years: 1988–1991
1.2 Mainstream success: 1992–1994
1.3 Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: 1995–1997
1.4 Adore, Machina, and breakup: 1998–2000
1.5 Post-breakup: 2001–2004
1.6 Reunion: 2005–present
2 Musical style and influences
3 Music videos
4 Discography
5 See also
6 References
7 Footnotes
8 External links
//

[edit] History

[edit] Early years: 1988–1991

The Smashing Pumpkins in a 1990 promotional photo. Left to right: James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin.
do not take into account what was said in the starting paragraph about several line-up changes the pumpkins have only lost two band members.
At the age of nineteen, singer and guitarist Billy Corgan left his native city of Chicago and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida with his gothic rock band The Marked. The band had limited success and quickly broke up. Corgan returned to Chicago, taking a job in a record store. While working there, he met guitarist James Iha. Adorning themselves with paisley and other psychedelic trappings, the two began writing songs together (with the aid of a drum machine) that were heavily influenced by The Cure and New Order.[6] Corgan met bassist D'arcy Wretzky in 1988 after a show by the Dan Reed Network where they argued the merits of the band. After finding out Wretzky played bass, Corgan stated his band's need for a bassist and gave Wretzky his telephone number. Wretzky soon joined the band, and she and Iha later had a short-lived romance.[7]
The first performance of The Smashing Pumpkins was on July 9, 1988, at the Polish bar Chicago 21. This performance included only Corgan and Iha with a drum machine.[8] On August 10, 1988, the band played for the first time as a trio at the Avalon Nightclub.[9] After this show, Cabaret Metro owner Joe Shanahan agreed to book the band on the condition that they replace the drum machine with a live drummer. Jazz drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was recruited for the band after a recommendation from a friend of Corgan's.[9] Chamberlin was at first an unlikely match, as he knew nothing of alternative rock at the time. As Corgan recalled of the period, "We were completely into the sad-rock, Cure kind of thing. It took about two or three practices before I realized that the power in his playing was something that enabled us to rock harder than we could ever have imagined."[6] On October 5, 1988, the complete band took the stage for the first time at the Cabaret Metro.[9]
Music sample:
"Rhinoceros"
Sample of "Rhinoceros", taken from the band's debut album Gish (1991) and also featured on the Lull EP (1992). An early fan favorite, it has been described by a reviewer as "a bit of a microcosm of the entire Gish album: slow, heavy, dreamy, and psychedelic all at once".[10]Problems listening to the file? See media help.
In 1989, the group had recorded a handful of demo tapes, which appeared later on the bootleg release Early 1989 Demos. The Pumpkins made their first appearance on vinyl that same year on the compilation album Light Into Dark, which featured several Chicago alternative bands. They released their first record, a limited edition single of "I Am One", in 1990 on local Chicago label Limited Potential. The single sold out and they released another single, "Tristessa", on Sub Pop, after which they signed to Caroline Records.[11] The Smashing Pumpkins recorded their 1991 debut album Gish with producer Butch Vig at his Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, for $20,000.[12] In order to gain the consistency he desired, Corgan often played all instruments save drums, which created tension in the band. The music fused heavy metal guitars, psychedelia and dream pop, garnering them comparisons to Jane's Addiction.[13] Gish became a minor success, with the single "Rhinoceros" receiving some airplay on modern rock radio. After releasing the Lull EP in October 1991 on Caroline Records, the band formally signed with Virgin Records, which was affiliated with Caroline.[11] The band supported the album with a tour that included opening for bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, and Guns N' Roses. During the tour, Iha and Wretzky went through a messy breakup, Chamberlin became addicted to narcotics and alcohol, and Corgan entered a deep depression,[14] writing some songs for the upcoming album in the parking garage where he lived at the time.[15]

[edit] Mainstream success: 1992–1994
With the breakthrough of alternative rock into the American mainstream due to the popularity of grunge bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, The Smashing Pumpkins were poised for major commercial success. At this time, and amid their protests, the Pumpkins were routinely lumped in with the grunge movement. In a Halloween night interview on MTV's 120 Minutes in 1993, Corgan remarked, "We've graduated now from [being called] 'the next Jane's Addiction' to 'the next Nirvana,' now we're 'the next Pearl Jam.'[16] The group nevertheless contributed the song "Drown" to the platinum-selling soundtrack of the 1992 movie Singles, a film set in the Seattle grunge music scene.

The band in concert in 1993, as shown in the Greatest Hits Video Collection (2001). They performed "Geek U.S.A." live with fifty professional clowns onstage after they were told they would be presented however they wished on tour.[17]
Corgan said that in the wake of Nirvana's landmark 1991 album Nevermind, "We felt a great pressure that if we didn't come up with a record that was huge, we were done. It was that simple in our minds. We felt like our lives depended on it."[6] Corgan's depression deepened to the point where he contemplated suicide.[18] To counteract his depression, Corgan worked overtime, saying he practically lived in the studio for the 1993 follow-up album, Siamese Dream. The album was recorded at Triclops Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, mostly between December 1992 and March 1993. The band lived in Marietta during the sessions, as Butch Vig reprised his role as producer. The decision to record so far away from their hometown was motivated partly by the band's desire to avoid local friends and distractions during the recording, but largely as a desperate attempt to cut Chamberlin off from his known drug connections.[6] In this respect, the strategy failed, as Chamberlin quickly managed to find new connections and often was absent without any contact for days at a time.[6]
The recording environment was very difficult, and the band fought constantly. The contemporary music press portrayed Corgan as a tyrant during the recording sessions. Corgan admitted there was some truth to the accusations, though he felt the press misunderstood the situation.[19] Rumors circulated that he had recorded all the guitar and bass parts himself. It was never confirmed exactly how much each member participated on the album; Corgan did say he performed a majority of the guitar work, but only because he could record tracks and parts in far fewer takes.[20] In 2007, Corgan would finally clarify the nature of the band's recording habits, stating "ninety-seven percent of what you would hear off of any Smashing Pumpkins record is, pretty much, just Billy and Jimmy."[21] In all, it took over four months to complete the record, with the budget exceeding $250,000.[20] Despite all the problems in its recording, Siamese Dream debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts,[22] and sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone.[23]
While the Pumpkins were successful, they were not universally adored by the alternative rock community. Participants in the indie scene had derided the band as careerists since their early days.[8] Indie rock band Pavement's 1994 song "Range Life" refers to the band with the lines "I don't understand what they mean/And I could really give a fuck", which have been widely interpreted as an insult (although Stephen Malkmus, lead singer of Pavement, has stated "I never dissed their music. I just dissed their status.").[24] Former Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould called them "the grunge Monkees",[6] and fellow Chicago musician/producer Steve Albini wrote a scathing letter in response to an article praising the band. He countered that the Pumpkins were no more alternative than REO Speedwagon and said they were created "by, of and for the mainstream" and "stylistically appropriate for the current college party scene, but ultimately insignificant".[25] Others such as Courtney Love of Hole (who dated Corgan before marrying Nirvana's Kurt Cobain) were vocal supporters of the band.
In 1994, Virgin released the B-sides/rarities compilation Pisces Iscariot which outperformed Siamese Dream by reaching number four on the Billboard charts.[26] Also released was a VHS cassette titled Vieuphoria featuring a mix of live performances and behind-the-scenes footage. Following relentless touring to support the recordings, including headline slots on the 1994 Lollapalooza tour and at Reading Festival in 1995, the band took time off to write the follow-up album.

[edit] Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: 1995–1997
Corgan worked nonstop over the next year and wrote, according to statements in interviews, about fifty-six songs for the next album.[27] Following this spell of concentrated creativity, the Pumpkins went back into the studio with producers Flood and Alan Moulder to work on what Corgan described as "The Wall for Generation X",[28] a comparison with the 1979 Pink Floyd two-LP concept album.
Music samples:
"Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
Sample of "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", the first single from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) and winner of the 1997 Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance.Problems listening to the file? See media help.
"1979"
Sample of "1979", the second single from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995). The band's biggest hit and a precursor to their change in style, featuring a drum machine accompaniment to Chamberlin's drums and sampled vocal effects.Problems listening to the file? See media help.
The result was Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a double album featuring twenty-eight songs and lasting over two hours (the vinyl version of the album contained three records, two extra songs, and an alternate tracklisting). The songs were intended to hang together conceptually as a symbol of the cycle of life and death.[8] Praised by Time as "the group's most ambitious and accomplished work yet",[29] Mellon Collie debuted at number one on the Billboard charts in October 1995.[30] Even more successful than Siamese Dream, it was certified nine times platinum in the United States[31] and became the best-selling double album of the decade to date.[32] It also garnered seven 1997 Grammy Award nominations, including Album of the Year. The band won only the Best Hard Rock Performance award, for the album's lead single "Bullet with Butterfly Wings". The album spawned five singles—"Bullet with Butterfly Wings", "1979", "Zero", "Tonight, Tonight", and "Thirty-Three"—of which the first three were certified gold and all but "Zero" entered the Top 40. Many of the remaining songs that did not make it onto Mellon Collie were released as B-sides to the singles, and were eventually compiled in The Aeroplane Flies High box set. As a testament to the band's popularity, Virgin Records originally intended to limit the set to 200,000 copies, but produced more after the original run sold out due to overwhelming demand.[33]

Billy Corgan onstage during the Mellon Collie tour, featuring a shaved head and his iconic "Zero" shirt.
In 1996, the Pumpkins embarked on an extended world tour in support of Mellon Collie. Corgan's look during this period—a shaved head, a longsleeve black shirt with the word "Zero" printed on it, and silver pants—became iconic.[34] That year, the band also made a guest appearance in an episode of The Simpsons, "Homerpalooza". With considerable video rotation on MTV, major industry awards, and "Zero" shirts selling in many malls, the Pumpkins were considered one of the most popular bands of the time.[35][36] But the year was far from entirely positive for the band. In May, the Smashing Pumpkins played a gig at The Point Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. Despite the band's repeated requests for moshing to stop, a seventeen-year-old fan named Bernadette O'Brien was crushed to death. The concert ended early and the following night's performance in Belfast was cancelled out of respect for her.[37] However, while Corgan maintained that moshing’s “time [had] come and gone,” the band would continue to request open-floor concerts throughout the rest of the tour.[38]
The band suffered a personal tragedy on the night of July 11, 1996, when touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and Chamberlin overdosed on heroin in a hotel room in New York City. Melvoin died, and Chamberlin was arrested for drug possession. A few days later, the band announced that Chamberlin had been fired as a result of the incident.[39] The Pumpkins chose to finish the tour, and hired drummer Matt Walker and keyboardist Dennis Flemion. Corgan later said the decision to continue touring was the worst the band had ever made, damaging both their music and their reputation.[6] Meanwhile the band had given interviews since the release of Mellon Collie stating that it would be the last conventional Pumpkins record,[40] and that rock was becoming stale. James Iha said at the end of 1996, "The future is in electronic music. It really seems boring just to play rock music."[41]

[edit] Adore, Machina, and breakup: 1998–2000

The Smashing Pumpkins as a trio in 1998. The band adopted a darker, more subdued look to accompany the release of their fourth album, Adore.
After the release of Mellon Collie, the Pumpkins contributed multiple songs to various compilations. Released in early 1997, the song “Eye” relied almost exclusively on electronic instruments and signaled a drastic shift from the Pumpkins’ previous musical styles. At the time, Corgan stated his "idea [was] to reconfigure the focus and get away from the classic guitars-bass-drum rock format”.[42] Later that year, the group contributed "The End is the Beginning is the End" to the soundtrack for the film Batman & Robin. With Matt Walker on drums, the song featured a heavy sound similar to "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" while still having strong electronic influences. The song later won the 1998 Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance. Though Corgan announced that the song represented the sound people could expect from the band in the future,[43] the band’s next album would feature few guitar driven songs. Recorded following the death of Corgan's mother and his divorce, 1998's Adore represented a significant change of style from the Pumpkins' previous guitar-based rock, veering into electronica. The record, cut with assistance from studio drummers and drum machines, was infused with a darker aesthetic than much of the band's earlier work. The group also modified its public image, shedding its alternative hipster look for a more subdued appearance. Although Adore received favorable reviews and was nominated for Best Alternative Performance at the Grammy Awards, the album had only sold about 830,000 copies in the United States by the end of the year, which led the music industry to consider it a failure.[44] The album nonetheless sold three times as many copies overseas.[6] The band embarked on a seventeen-date, fifteen-city charity North American tour in support of Adore. At each stop on the tour, the band donated 100 percent of tickets sales to a local charity organization. The tour's expenses were entirely funded out of the band's own pockets. All told, the band donated over $2.8 million to charity as a result of the tour.[45]
Music samples:
"Ava Adore"
Sample of "Ava Adore", the first single from Adore (1998), which emphasizes the band's new electronic music-based sound via the use of drum machines and effects.Problems listening to the file? See media help.
"The Everlasting Gaze"
Sample of "The Everlasting Gaze" from Machina/The Machines of God (2000), the first single from the album. A return to the dense, guitar-heavy sound of previous records.Problems listening to the file? See media help.
In 1999, the band surprised fans by reuniting with a rehabilitated Jimmy Chamberlin for a brief tour dubbed "The Arising", which showcased both new and classic material. The lineup was short-lived, however, as upon the completion of the album Machina/The Machines of God, the band announced the departure of Wretzky in September.[46] Former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur was recruited for the "Sacred and Profane" tour in support of the album and appeared in the videos accompanying its release. Released in 2000, Machina was initially promoted as the Pumpkins' return to a more traditional rock sound, after the more gothic, electronic-sounding Adore.[47] The album debuted at number three on the Billboard charts,[48] but quickly disappeared and as of 2007 has only been certified gold.[49][50] Music journalist Jim DeRogatis, who described the album as "one of the strongest of their career", noted that the stalled sales for Machina in comparison to teen pop ascendant at the time "seems like concrete proof that a new wave of young pop fans has turned a deaf ear toward alternative rock."[51]

The band's touring lineup in 2000 with Chamberlin back on drums and Melissa Auf der Maur replacing Wretzky on bass.
On May 23, 2000, in a live radio interview on KROQ-FM (Los Angeles), Billy Corgan announced the band's decision to break up at the end of that year following additional touring and recording.[47] The group's final album before the break-up, Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, was released in September 2000 in a limited pressing on vinyl with permission and instructions for free redistribution on the Internet by fans. Only twenty-five copies were cut, each of which was hand numbered and given to friends of the band along with band members themselves. The album, released under the Constantinople Records label created by Corgan, consisted of one double LP and three ten-inch EPs.[52] Originally, the band asked Virgin to offer Machina II as a free download to anyone who bought Machina. When the record label declined, Corgan opted to release the material independently.[53]
On December 2, 2000, The Smashing Pumpkins played a farewell concert at The Metro, the same Chicago club where their career had effectively started twelve years earlier. The four-hour-long show featured 35 songs spanning the group's career, and attendees were given a recording of the band’s first concert at The Metro, Live at Cabaret Metro 10-5-88.[53] The single "Untitled" was released commercially to coincide with the farewell show.

[edit] Post-breakup: 2001–2004
In 2001, the compilation Rotten Apples was released. The double-disc version of the album, released as a limited edition, included a B-sides/rarities collection called Judas Ø. The Greatest Hits Video Collection DVD was also released at the same time, which compiled all of the Pumpkins promo videos from Gish to Machina along with unreleased material.[54] Vieuphoria was released on DVD in 2002, as was the soundtrack album Earphoria, previously released solely to radio stations in 1994.
Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin reunited in 2001 as members of Corgan's next project, the shortlived supergroup Zwan. Their only album, Mary Star of the Sea, was released to generally positive reviews but, after cancelling a few festival appearances, Corgan announced the demise of the band in 2003 under cloudy circumstances. During 2001, Corgan also toured as part of New Order and provided vocals on their comeback album Get Ready. In October 2004, Corgan released his first book, Blinking with Fists, a collection of poetry. In June 2005, he released a solo album, TheFutureEmbrace, which he described as "(picking) up the thread of the as-of-yet-unfinished work of the Smashing Pumpkins".[55] Despite this, it was greeted with generally mixed reviews and lackluster sales. Only one single, "Walking Shade", was released in support of the album.
In addition to drumming with Zwan, Jimmy Chamberlin also formed an alternative rock/jazz fusion project band called The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex. They released an album in 2005 titled Life Begins Again. Corgan provided guest vocals on the track "Lokicat". James Iha served as a guitarist in A Perfect Circle, appearing on their Thirteenth Step club tour and 2004 album, eMOTIVe. He has also been involved with other acts such as Chino Moreno's Team Sleep and Vanessa and the O's. He continues to work with his own record label as well, Scratchie Records. D'arcy Wretzky has not made any public statements or appearances nor given any interviews since leaving the band in 1999. On January 25, 2000, she was arrested after she allegedly purchased three bags of crack cocaine, but after successfully completing a court-ordered drug education program, the charges were dropped.[56]
Corgan insisted during this period that the band would not reform, although when Zwan broke up he announced, "I think my heart was in Smashing Pumpkins [...] I think it was naive of me to think that I could find something that would mean as much to me."[57] On February 17, 2004, Corgan posted a bitter message on his personal blog calling Wretzky a "mean-spirited drug addict" and blaming Iha for the breakup of The Smashing Pumpkins.[58] On June 3, 2004, he added that "the depth of my hurt [from Iha] is only matched with the depth of my gratitude".[59] Iha responded to Corgan's claims in 2005, saying, "No, I didn't break up the band. The only person who could have done that is Billy."[60]

[edit] Reunion: 2005–present

Billy Corgan's full-page Chicago Tribune ad, announcing his intention to reform The Smashing Pumpkins.
On June 21, 2005, the day of the release of his album TheFutureEmbrace, Corgan took out full-page advertisements in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times to announce that he planned to reunite the band. "For a year now," Corgan wrote, "I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams."[55] While performing at various drum clinics across Europe in September 2005, Jimmy Chamberlin confirmed that a reunion tour was planned to begin the next February, with a new album possibly to follow.[61] In February 2006, MTV.com reported that Corgan and Chamberlin had signed a new management deal with Front Line Management, and Melissa Auf der Maur stated that the pair were currently working on an album of new material.[62]
On April 20, 2006, the band's official website confirmed the reunion stating, "It's official. The Smashing Pumpkins are currently writing songs for their upcoming album, their first since 1999."[63] The website later reported that the new album would be produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who produced many of Queen's albums, including A Night at the Opera.[64] Corgan and Chamberlin were verified as participants in the reunion, but there was question as to whether other former members of the band would participate. In April 2007, Iha and Auf der Maur separately confirmed that they were not taking part in the reunion.[65][66] Chamberlin would later state that Iha and Wretzky "didn't want to be a part of" the reunion.[67] The Smashing Pumpkins performed live for the first time since 2000 on May 22, 2007, in Paris, France. There, the band unveiled new touring members Jeff Schroeder and Ginger Reyes, who took over second guitarist and bassist duties, respectively, as well as Lisa Harriton on keyboards.[68] That same month, "Tarantula" was released as the first single from the band's forthcoming album. On July 7, the band performed at the Live Earth concert in New Jersey.[69] The band's new album, Zeitgeist, was released that same month on Reprise Records, entering the Billboard charts at number two.[70]
The group released the four-song EP American Gothic in January 2008. The EP was released digitally on iTunes in the United States, while internationally, the EP was released as a CD. In a February 2008 radio interview, Corgan said the band will be playing smaller venues, with shows dedicated to particular eras of the band's music.[71] The band is planning on releasing archival material from their entire career.[71] That March the group contributed the song "Superchrist" to a compilation CD released by Guitar Center. Though Corgan and Chamberlin have continued to record as a duo, Jeff Schroeder indicated that he might be contributing to future recordings.[72] No longer signed to a record label, Corgan and Chamberlin purchased a recording studio in Chicago and began recording in May, again as a pair.[73] The band released a new single, "G.L.O.W.", in September 2008. According to Corgan, they plan to commence work on a "new multi-year, multi-release concept album" by the end of the year.[74]

[edit] Musical style and influences
Music sample:
"Cherub Rock"
Sample of "Cherub Rock" from Siamese Dream (1993), which features layers of guitar overdubs influenced by arena rock and shoegaze, as well as repeated use of "the Pumpkin chord".Problems listening to the file? See media help.
The direction of the band is dominated by chief guitarist, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter Billy Corgan. Journalist Greg Kot wrote, "The music [of The Smashing Pumpkins] would not be what it is without his ambition and vision, and his famously fractured relationships with his family, friends, and bandmembers."[6] Melissa Auf der Maur commented upon news of the group's reunion, "Everyone knows Billy doesn't need too many people to make a Pumpkins record, other than Jimmy [Chamberlin]—who he has on board."[75] Many of Corgan's lyrics for the Pumpkins are cathartic expressions of emotion, full of personal musings and strong indictments of himself and those close to him.[6] Music critics were not often fans of Corgan's angst-filled lyrics. Jim DeRogatis wrote in a 1993 Chicago Sun-Times article that Corgan's lyrics "too often sound like sophomoric poetry",[76] although he viewed the lyrics of later albums Adore and Machina as an improvement.[77]
The Smashing Pumpkins' distinctive sound up until Adore involved layering numerous guitar tracks onto a song during the recording process, a tactic that Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness coproducer Flood called the "Pumpkin guitar overdub army".[40] There were a few overdubbed parts on Gish, but Corgan said he really began to explore the possibilities of overdubbing with Siamese Dream; Corgan has stated that "Soma" alone contains up to 40 overdubbed guitar parts.[78] While Corgan knew many of the songs would be difficult or impossible to replicate from their recorded versions in concert (in fact, some songs were drastically altered for live performance), he has explained the use of overdubbing by posing the question "When you are faced with making a permanent recorded representation of a song, why not endow it with the grandest possible vision?"[79] This use of multilayered sounds was inspired by Corgan's love of 1970s arena rock bands Queen, Boston, and Electric Light Orchestra,[78] as well as shoegaze, a British alternative rock style of the late 1980s and early 1990s that relied on swirling layers of guitar noise for effect. Mellon Collie coproducer Alan Moulder was originally hired to mix Siamese Dream because Corgan was a fan of his work producing shoegaze bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Slowdive.[80]
Like many contemporary alternative bands, The Smashing Pumpkins utilized shifts in song dynamics, going from quiet to loud and vice versa. Hüsker Dü's seminal album Zen Arcade demonstrated to the band how they could place gentler material against more aggressive fare,[6] and Corgan made such shifts in dynamics central to the pursuit of his grand musical ambitions.[81] Corgan said he liked the idea of creating his own alternative universe through sound that essentially tells the listener, "Welcome to Pumpkin Land, this is what it sounds like on Planet Pumpkin."[82] This emphasis on atmosphere carried through to Adore (described as "arcane night music" in prerelease promotion)[83] and the Machina albums (concept records that tell the story of a fictional rock band).[6]
The Pumpkins drew inspiration from a variety of other genres, some unfashionable during the 1990s among music critics. Corgan in particular was open about his appreciation of heavy metal, citing Dimebag Darrell of Pantera as his favorite contemporary guitarist.[40][84] When one interviewer commented to Corgan and Iha that "Smashing Pumpkins is one of the groups that relegitimized heavy metal" and that they "were among the first alternative rockers to mention people like Ozzy and Black Sabbath with anything other than contempt", Corgan went on to rave about Black Sabbath's Master of Reality and Judas Priest's Unleashed in the East.[40] The song "Zero", which reminded Iha of Judas Priest, is an example of what the band dubbed "cybermetal".[85] Post-punk and gothic rock bands like Joy Division/New Order, Bauhaus, The Cure, and Depeche Mode were formative influences on the band, which covered such artists in concert and on record. Psychedelic rock was also referenced often in the band's early recordings; according to Corgan, "In typical Pumpkins fashion, no one at that point really liked loud guitars or psychedelic music so, of course, that's exactly what we had to do."[86] Corgan acknowledged that a chord he jokingly claimed as "the Pumpkin chord" (a G# octave chord at the eleventh fret of a guitar with the low E string played over it), used as the basis for "Cherub Rock" and other songs, was in fact previously used by Jimi Hendrix.[78] Other early influences cited by Corgan include Cream, The Stooges, and Blue Cheer.[87]
Regarding the band's influence upon other groups, Greg Kot wrote in 2001, "Whereas Nirvana spawned countless mini-Nirvanas, the Pumpkins remain an island unto themselves."[6] Still, some artists and bands have mentioned the Pumpkins as an influence, such as Nelly Furtado[88] and members of My Chemical Romance. My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way has said that they pattern their career upon the Pumpkins',[89] including the attention they pay to their music videos.[90] The members of fellow Chicago band Kill Hannah are friends with Corgan,[91] and lead singer Mat Devine has compared his group to the Pumpkins.[92] Deftones lead singer Chino Moreno said in an interview that he is a fan of Adore, listening to it extensively while touring, and that "Once Upon a Time" "really moves" him.[93] Critics have found connections with the Pumpkins' sound in various Deftones albums.[94]

[edit] Music videos
For a complete list of the band's music videos, see The Smashing Pumpkins discography.

A scene from the "Tonight, Tonight" music video, winner of the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in 1996. Drawing heavy influence from Georges Méliès's A Trip to the Moon, the video was filmed in the style of a turn-of-the-century silent film using theater-style backdrops and primitive special effects.[95]
The Smashing Pumpkins have been praised for being "responsible for some of the '90s' most striking and memorable video clips" and for having "approached videos from a completely artistic standpoint rather than mere commercials to sell albums".[96] MTV's 2001 anniversary special Testimony: 20 Years of Rock on MTV credited the Pumpkins, along with Nine Inch Nails, with treating music videos as an art form during the 1990s. Corgan has said, "We generally resisted the idea of what I call the classic MTV rock video, which is like lots of people jumping around and stuff."[97] The band worked with video directors including Kevin Kerslake ("Cherub Rock"), Samuel Bayer ("Bullet with Butterfly Wings"), and, most frequently, the team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris ("Rocket", "1979", "Tonight, Tonight", "The End is the Beginning is the End", and "Perfect"). Corgan, who was frequently heavily involved in the conception of the videos, said of Dayton and Faris, "I know my [initial] versions are always darker, and they're always talking me into something a little kinder and gentler."[98] Videos like "Today", "Rocket", and "1979" dealt with images taken from middle American culture, albeit exaggerated. The group's videos so often avoid the literal interpretation of the song lyrics that the video for "Thirty-Three", with images closely related to the words of the song, was created as an intentional stylistic departure.[99]
The band was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards during the 1990s. In 1996, the group won seven VMAs total for the "1979" and "Tonight, Tonight" videos, including the top award, Video of the Year, for "Tonight, Tonight". The video was also nominated for a Grammy at the 1997 ceremony. Fans reacted with equal fervor. Of the "Tonight, Tonight" video, Corgan remarked, "I don't think we've ever had people react [like this]... it just seemed to touch a nerve."[100]

[edit] Discography
Main article: The Smashing Pumpkins discography
Date of release
Title
Record label
May 28, 1991
Gish
Caroline Records
July 27, 1993
Siamese Dream
Virgin Records
October 24, 1995
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Virgin Records
June 2, 1998
Adore
Virgin Records
February 29, 2000
Machina/The Machines of God
Virgin Records
September 5, 2000
Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music
Constantinople Records
July 10, 2007
Zeitgeist
Reprise Records

[edit] See also
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List of alternative rock artists
Timeline of alternative rock

[edit] References
Azerrad, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact". Rolling Stone. October 1, 1993.
DeRogatis, Jim. Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. ISBN 0-306-81271-1
Erlewine, Stephen Thomas, and Greg Prato. "The Smashing Pumpkins", in Allmusic (AllMusic.com).
Kot, Greg. "Pumpkin Seeds". Guitar World. January 2002.
Thompson, Dave. "Smashing Pumpkins", in Alternative Rock. San Francisco: Miller Freeman, 2000. ISBN 0-87930-607-6

[edit] Footnotes
^ Although frequently referred to as simply "Smashing Pumpkins", and credited as such on the covers of Gish, Siamese Dream, and Zeitgeist (and related singles), the band's name has more often been presented as "The Smashing Pumpkins", dating back to their first demo tape, and exclusively so between Mellon Collie (1995) and Earphoria (2002).
^ Rogers, Ray. "Smashing Pumpkins [interview]", Interview. February 1996 (available online). Retrieved on 2007-03-11
^ Shaw, William. "Appetite for Destruction". Details. December 1993.
^ "Top Selling Artists". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.com). Retrieved on 2008-02-05.
^ There are differing reports on the Pumpkins's worldwide sales at the time of their breakup: Jim DeRogatis, in December 2000, reported a total of "twenty-two million copies sold". David Fricke, that same month, wrote of the band's "more than twenty-five million records sold worldwide". See DeRogatis, Jim. Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003; p. 89; Fricke, David (2000-12-22). "Smashing Pumpkins Look Back in Wonder". RollingStone.com. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kot, Greg. "Pumpkin Seeds", Guitar World. January 2002.
^ "From Fighting to Smashing", Washington Post. November 19, 1993.
^ a b c Kelly, Christina. "Smashing Pumpkins: The Multi-Platinum Band Is Over the Infighting But Can the Harmony Last?", US Weekly. December 1, 1995
^ a b c "Jimmy Chamberlin [interview]", Modern Drummer. January 1994.
^ True, Chris. "Rhinoceros (review)". Allmusic (AllMusic.com). Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
^ a b Keedle, Jayne. "Patchin' It Back Together", Hartford Advocate. October 1, 1996.
^ Kot, Greg. "Out of the Patch for Smashing Pumpkins, New Album Is Another Sign of Liftoff", Chicago Tribune. June 21, 1991.
^ Rotondi, James. "Orange Crunch", Guitar Player. January 1996.
^ Hilburn, Robert. "Smashing Pumpkins Endures When (and What) Other '90s Bands Couldn't", Los Angeles Times. August 3, 1998 (available online) Retrieved on 2007-03-11.
^ Davis, Darran (2000-08-08). "Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan Leaving Hometown of Chicago". Yahoo! Music (Yahoo.com). Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
^ Corgan, Billy. Interview. 120 Minutes. MTV. October 1993.
^ Commentary for "Geek U.S.A." live video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
^ Shepherd, Julianne (2005-06-13). "Billy Corgan (interview)". PitchforkMedia.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-03. Corgan has said on various occasions—most notably during the band's 2000 performance on VH1 Storytellers—that "Today" was written as an ironic statement about this period of suicidial thoughts. See also Beck, Johnny (December 2001/January 2002). "The Greatest Songs Ever! "Today"". Blender.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-03.
^ Mundy, Chris. "Strange Fruit: Success Has Come at a High Price for this Chicago Band", Rolling Stone. April 21, 1994.
^ a b Azerrad, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact", Rolling Stone. October 1, 1993.
^ Chamberlin, Jimmy; Corgan, Billy (interview subjects). Inside the Zeitgeist (Reprise Records, 2007).
^ "UB40? No, UB7!". EW.com (1993-08-13). Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
^ Rosen, Craig (1999-11-02). "Pumpkins' "Dream"". Yahoo! Music (Yahoo.com). Retrieved on 2006-11-04.
^ Gabriella (June 1999). "Interview with Stephen Malkmus of Pavement". NYRock.com. Retrieved on 2006-07-12.
^ Albini, Steve. "Three Pandering Sluts and Their Music-Press Stooge", Chicago Reader. January 28, 1994.
^ "Smashing Pumpkins Artist Chart History: Albums". Billboard.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
^ Corgan, Billy, James Iha & D'arcy Wretzky. Interview. Hora Prima. MTV Latin America. 1996-12-19.
^ DeRogatis, pp. 46, 80.
^ Farley, Christopher John. "A Journey, Not a Joyride". Time. November 13, 1995.
^ "'Mellon Collie' Baby". EW.com (1995-11-10). Retrieved on 2007-11-05.
^ "Top 100 Albums". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.com). Retrieved on 2007-08-04. Sales for double albums are counted for each disc, thus 4.5 million copies of the double album package have been certified.
^ "Germ Warfare", Newsweek. October 14, 1996.
^ "Pumpkins' "Collectors" Set Has Mass Appeal". MTV.com (1996-12-16). Retrieved on 2006-08-30.
^ Corgan, Billy. Interview. Breakfast with Billy. KROQ Los Angeles. 1996-02-02.
^ Marks, Craig. "Zero Worship", Spin. June 1996.
^ Violanti, Anthony. "Cool in Control Smashing Pumpkins Weathers the Storms of Celebrity", Buffalo News. June 30, 1996.
^ "Fan Crushed at Smashing Pumpkin's Show". MTV.com (1996). Retrieved on 2006-06-23.
^ Durando, Stu. "Wary of Injuries and Litigation, Concert Venues Take Extra Precautions to Deal with Moshing", St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 17, 1996.
^ Errico, Marcus (1996-07-17). "Smashing Pumpkins Drum Out Jimmy Chamberlin". Eonline.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-21.
^ a b c d Di Perna, Alan. "Zero Worship", Guitar World. December 1995.
^ Graff, Gary. "Smashing Pumpkins—Rave of the Future", Guitar World. December 1996.
^ Gundersen, Edna. "Smashing that Pumpkins stereotype Band shuns 'tragic' label', USA Today. February 26, 1997.
^ Chris Connelly. MTV's Week in Rock [TV-Series]. MTV.
^ Fricke, David (1998-12-29). "When Billy Corgan Speaks...". RollingStone.com. Retrieved on 2006-05-05.
^ "Smashing Pumpkins Raise Over $2.8 Million on Charity Tour". MTV.com (1998-09-22). Retrieved on 2006-08-30.
^ "D'Arcy Exits Smashing Pumpkins". Billboard.com (1999-09-10). Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
^ a b Newman, Melinda, and Jonathan Cohen (2000-05-24). "Corgan: Smashing Pumpkins To Break Up". Billboard.com. Retrieved on 2006-05-04.
^ "Santana Still No. 1 Despite Strong Debuts". Billboard.com (2000-03-09). Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
^ Tarlach, Gemma (2000-04-11). "Once-Sizzling Bands Grapple with Fading Fame", Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2006-09-27.
^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA.com). Retrieved on 2006-09-27.
^ DeRogatis, pp. 84–85.
^ "Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music". The Smashing Pumpkins Fan Collaborative Discography (SPFC.org). Retrieved on 2007-01-12.
^ a b Fricke, David (2000-12-22). "Smashing Pumpkins Look Back in Wonder". RollingStone.com. Retrieved on 2006-10-25.
^ There is one notable omission, "The End Is the Beginning Is the End". This was excluded because the rights are owned by Warner Bros., who loaned out the band from their regular label, Virgin Records.
^ a b Corgan, Billy. "A Message to Chicago from Billy Corgan", Chicago Tribune, June 21, 2005.
^ Rosen, Craig (2000-05-22). "Ex-Pumpkin D'Arcy Wretzky Has Crack Case Wiped Clean". Yahoo.com. Retrieved on 2006-05-08.
^ Dansby, Andrew (2003-09-15). "Zwan Call It Quits". RollingStone.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-02.
^ Corgan, Billy (2004-02-17). "Smashing Pumpkins (weblog)". LiveJournal.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-14.
^ Corgan, Billy (2004-06-03). "Smashing Pumpkins (weblog)". LiveJournal.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-14.
^ Spitz, Marc. "Head On", Spin. August 2005.
^ Kiener, Dan (2005). "Pumpkins Reborn". DrownedInSound.com. Retrieved on 2006-05-02.
^ Harris, Chris (2006-02-02). "Smashing Pumpkins Reunion Is Under Way, According to Sources". MTV.com. Retrieved on 2006-02-02.
^ Kaufman, Gil (2006-04-21). "Smashing Pumpkins Site Says "It's Official"—Band Has Reunited". MTV.com. Retrieved on 2006-06-28.
^ "For The Record: Quick News On Smashing Pumpkins, Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, Madonna, Guns N' Roses & More". MTV.com (2006-08-16). Retrieved on 2006-08-23.
^ Goodman, Elizabeth (2007-04-06). "Exclusive: James Iha Speaks Out Regarding His Involvement in Pumpkins Reunion". RollingStone.com. Retrieved on 2007-04-06.
^ "Movers and Shakers in Canadian Arts". TheGlobeAndMail.com (2007-04-23). Retrieved on 2007-04-23.
^ Micallef, Ken. "The Evolution of Jimmy Chamberlin: Still Smashing!" Modern Drummer. November 2007.
^ Cohen, Jonathan (2007-04-22). "Smashing Pumpkins Return To The Stage In Paris". Billboard.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-22.
^ "The Police and Smashing Pumpkins for US Live Earth". NME.com (2007-04-10). Retrieved on 2007-04-11.
^ Hasty, Katie (2007-07-18). "T.I. Holds Off Pumpkins, Interpol To Remain No. 1". Billboard.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-10.
^ a b "Smashing Pumpkins Interview with Lane Zowe on Radio 1". smashingpumpkins.com (2008-02-13). Retrieved on 2008-02-19.
^ Becker, Alex (2008-03-03). "Exclusive Interview with Jeff Schroeder - The Smashing Pumpkins". Gibson.com. Retrieved on 2008-04-03.
^ Luerssen, John D. (2008-03-19). "Smashing Pumpkins Entering the Studio to Plot Their Next Move". Spinner.com. Retrieved on 2008-02-19.
^ Amter, Charlie (2008-07-29). "Billy Corgan discusses Pumpkins song in 'Watchmen' trailer". LATimes.com. Retrieved on 2005-08-02.
^ "Smashing Pumpkins Reunion Is On". NME.com (2006). Retrieved on 2007-01-11.
^ DeRogatis, p. 80.
^ DeRogatis, p. 88.
^ a b c Aledort, Andrew. "Introduction", in Siamese Dream Songbook. Miami: Warner Bros. Publications, 1994.
^ Corgan, Billy. "Guitar Geek USA" [column], Guitar World. January 1996.
^ DeRogatis, p. 78.
^ Corgan, Billy. "Guitar Geek USA [column]", Guitar World. September 1995.
^ DeRogatis, p. 76.
^ Kaufman, Gil (1998-01-14). "Pumpkins Recording Album of "Arcane Night Music"". Addicted to Noise/JamesIha.org. Retrieved on 2006-09-07.
^ Corgan, Billy. "Guitar Geek USA [column]", Guitar World. August 1995.
^ "Killer B's", Guitar World. January 1997.
^ Commentary for "Siva" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
^ "Smashing Pumpkins", Chicago Tribune. July 9, 1990.
^ Parker, Lyndsey (October 25, 2000). "Exclusive LAUNCH Artist Chat". Nelly Furtado. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2007-04-09.
^ Tyme, Gwyn (2005-05-05). "My Chemical Romance—Interview with Gerard Way". MusicPix.net. Retrieved on 2006-11-05.
^ Montgomery, James (2005-01-13). "My Chemical Romance Aim for Smashing Pumpkins Status". MTV.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-05.
^ Hudson, Marc (2006-09-18). "Future Imperfect: Mat Devine of Kill Hannah". PopSyndicate.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-12.
^ Bondowski, Karen (2006-12-21). "Interview with Kill Hannah's Matt Devine". Livewire (ConcertLivewire.com). Retrieved on 2007-02-17.
^ Interview with Chino Moreno, Kerrang!. April 1999.
^ Dailey, Bryan (2000). "Review of Deftones White Pony". AudioRevolution.com. Retrieved on 2007-12-17. Rolls, Chris (2005-09-25). "Great Albums: Alternative Metal/Deftones—Deftones (2003)". mp3.com. Retrieved on 2007-12-17. Begrand, Adrien (2006-11-06). "Deftones: Saturday Night Wrist". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2007-12-17.
^ Commentary for "Tonight, Tonight" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
^ Prato, Greg. "Greatest Hits Video Collection (review)". Allmusic (AllMusic.com). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
^ Commentary for "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
^ Commentary for "Rocket" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
^ Commentary for "Thirty-Three" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
^ Corgan, Billy. Interview. Smashing Pumpkins Videography. MTV. 1996.

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
The Smashing Pumpkins
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Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan's LiveJournal blog posts about the revival of The Smashing Pumpkins
Starla.org portal to several Smashing Pumpkins fan sites.
[hide]
vdeThe Smashing Pumpkins
Billy CorganJimmy ChamberlinLisa HarritonGinger ReyesJeff SchroederJames IhaMelissa Auf der MaurD'arcy Wretzky
Studio albums
GishSiamese DreamMellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessAdoreMachina/The Machines of GodMachina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern MusicZeitgeist
Compilations and EPs
LullPeel SessionsPisces IscariotRotten Apples & Judas ØEarphoriaRarities and B-SidesAmerican Gothic
Box sets
Siamese SinglesThe Aeroplane Flies High
Singles
"I Am One" • "Tristessa" • "Siva" • "Rhinoceros" • "Drown" • "Cherub Rock" • "Today" • "Disarm" • "Rocket" • "Landslide" • "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" • "1979" • "Zero" • "Tonight, Tonight" • "Muzzle" • "Thirty-Three" • "Eye" • "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" • "Ava Adore" • "Perfect" • "The Everlasting Gaze" • "Stand Inside Your Love" • "Try, Try, Try" • "Untitled" • "Tarantula" • "Doomsday Clock" • "That's the Way (My Love Is)" • "Superchrist" • "G.L.O.W."
Rare and specialty
Demo albumsLight into Dark • "Daughter" • The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–1998Untitled Machina PromoStill Becoming ApartThe Friends & Enemies of Modern MusicLive at Cabaret Metro 10-5-88
Videos
VieuphoriaGreatest Hits Video CollectionIf All Goes Wrong
Related articles
Bands
The MarkedStarchildrenZwanJimmy Chamberlin ComplexA Perfect Circle
Other
DiscographyAlbumsSongsConstantinople Records • "Homerpalooza" • Mashed PotatoesTheFutureEmbrace
Categories
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