"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" by the Smashing Pumpkins

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Eleven years gone by, and Mellon Collie increasingly seems to stand as a truly unique piece of work for its genre and period. Along with Soundgarden (Down on the Upside) and Radiohead (OK Computer), the Pumpkins ended up being one of the only "alt-rock" bands to really chow down on the "long, ambitious, arty statement album" approach. And they went further than either of those others in terms of ambition and certainly length - though we can argue over how well it compares in quality! In any case, it's probably due for a re-evaluation, since it tends to get the same write-off as most such records: it's flabby, it's pretentious, it's stupid, there's filler... but as it happens, it's actually an incredibly robust collection of outsize rockers, curious metal excursions, sweeping ballads, and goofy one-offs. It's Siamese Dream but moreso - whether that works or not is up for grabs.

I think history will be kinder to it once kids like me who bought it by the millions and never turned their backs on it start being in charge at all your major music mags. Let's start the trend here! This can be C/D, S/D, etc. I intended to take it on as a White Album exercise and try and cram it onto a single disc, but I really can't see a way to do it without cheating somehow, since a couple of the album's key ingredients end up getting expressed as really long songs ("Porcelina" and "XYU", to be specific). Plus, you'd be hard-pressed to leave off any of the five singles. At best I can imagine it being only just slightly trimmed back and released as two separate single albums - both discs have a few things I would let go, but not half the material by any means.

Oh, hell, let's try it anyway.

SIDE A - From Starlight To Oblivion

Tonight, Tonight
Zero
1979
XYU
Lily (My One And Only)
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Cupid De Locke


SIDE B - Porcelina and the Machines of God

Where Boys Fear To Tread
Bodies
Thru The Eyes of Ruby
Galapagos
Thirty-Three
Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
Muzzle

Loses so much of what I love about this album, but, so it goes. And I've spent far too long on this as it is, so, adieu; I leave it up to y'all.

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 00:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Even when I was 15, "Zero," "1979" and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" were the only three tracks I liked. Time has narrowed that down to the "1979" alone.

milo z (mlp), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 00:55 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What was the fifth single? Those three, "Tonight, Tonight" (awful) and what?

milo z (mlp), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 00:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

SIDE A:
Here Is No Why

SIDE B:
Love

and maybe some other songs too

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

What was the fifth single? Those three, "Tonight, Tonight" (awful) and what?

Thirty-Three

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

what's the deal with this band Nirvana I keep hearing about?

timmy tannin (pompous), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Some rock and roll thing.

My 1999 take. I don't feel like updating it.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Anyone else have the Zero cassette?

Jimmy Mod is COMPLETELY MISERABLE SAN DIEGO (The Famous Jimmy Mod), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Was there something specifically on that available nowhere else? I always loved "The Pistachio Medley" on the CD.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

say what you want, think what you want, complain all you want about corgan and his ego, but there's some great songs on this album.

latebloomer: just raw dead fucking, babies! (latebloomer), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 01:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Never was a big Smashing Pumpkins fan, but I think this one is great and still enjoy listening to it. It is one of the few double CDs by a popular act that justifies its length.

I relate to a lot of what Ned says in his review. Having Alan Moulder involved on this probably helped big time!

Matt Olken (Moodles), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 02:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

my 'fave' smashing pumpkins album if such a thing exists, i haven't heard it in probably eight and half years at least and i can't even imagine what kinda nostalgia flood i'd get if i did. if you'd told me at the time they had two albums left in them and that the second one would basically only be heard (or even known about damn near) by their fans, that by the end of the decade they'd be done and it wouldn't even be a big deal i'd never have believed you.

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 03:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"tonight tonight" is my favorite pumpkins song, mostly because i like the ratatat drumming and the galumphing strings. the video was pretty cool too, i think. i wonder if it's on youtube.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 03:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i always thought the video was kinda overrated (LOVED the '1979' vid though), but i was crazy about the song (close enough to the moody blues for me!). winter of 95!

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 03:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i think i'm just a sucker for melies. (the video is on youtube, i just checked). listening to it just now it sounded like...the decemberists. but i still like it.

gypsy mothra (gypsy mothra), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 03:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

As much as I've tried to distance myself from this album since middle school, this thread has made me really really want to listen to it again.

I think the exclusion of "Stumbleine" on the original list is a crime (as well as the two songs I mentioned upthread).

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Tuesday, 10 October 2006 03:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Its overlong, its arty, its pretentious - some of the best qualities a rock album should have. At least "Mellon Collie" was a powerful antidote to the macrobiotic rock of too many 90's alternative bands.

Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 06:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Lots of great songs. I like the stylistic variation, I love the cover, and I like the concept too.

But.... It would have worked better as a 70 minute plus single album rather than an overlong double CD.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 08:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

what's macrobiotic rock?

richardk (Richard K), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 09:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It was overrated crap when it came out, and so it remains.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 10:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This is definitely the best thing they ever did. Gish was very good but didn't really stand out as a classic; Siamese Dream? Well a lot of people liked it but I found i a bit boring to be honest; Adore was very good but just not the Pumpkins any more; everythign else was, well I didn't bother with it.

It's a true stunner - just pure indulgence from start to finish and yes, at the time I would listen to it from start to finish. I tried listening again the other day - some bits stuck out and others faded into the background, but that's merely from having heard it so many times that it's been etched upon my eardrums like a hot pie or a pasty. No mainstream rock band is doing something this big at the moment. It seems that after OK Computer and Mellon Collie, people decided to go back to just drums/guitar/bass punk singalongs as they knew they couldn't compete. I even like the jokey tracks at the end. "Beautiful" just sums up mid-teen crushes so well. "We Only Come Out At Night"; "Lily My One And Only" - these are awesome fun tunes like those on the White Album. Then you've got wicked rockers like "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and "Love". It's too too good.

wogan lenin (dog latin), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 10:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

As the original poster says, the reason it gets put down is because of Corgan's unwillingness to make an album for adults. If I had been 25 when this came out I'd probably have hated it - the bawling vocal, the post-grunge/proto-emo "you don't understand me OR MY MUSIC" white middle class ethic; the Queen/Prog-inspired pomp and circumstance. It's enough to make a man sick.

But to a 15 year old kid, this tastes like candy-apples. It is a decade old album, and in the same way that at the time we laughed at the Human League, the Smiths and Big Daddy Kane, so to do we about this in 2006. This is why it'll be critically re-evaluated in another ten years and top many a best-of list.

wogan lenin (dog latin), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 10:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

If I had been 25 when this came out I'd probably have hated it

Hmm. I was 24. Maybe it's an American thing. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 11:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i like it as a concept, and can still stomach most of the songs
some bloody awful vocals on it though

Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 11:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i didn't like this much when it came out but came to like it a lot more a few years ago

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 12:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i like it as a concept, and can still stomach most of the songs
some bloody awful vocals on it though
-- Charlie Howard (charlieflie...), October 10th, 2006.

Cheers to Charlie.

Andi Headphones (Andi Headphones), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 16:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"But.... It would have worked better as a 70 minute plus single album rather than an overlong double CD."

entirely OTM.
i still go back to this one occasionally, but end up only listening to rough 1/2 of it. otherwise, it's a total nostalgia trip and not entirely a worthwhile one.

as far as the singles go- i can really only listen to 1979+33 (odd, both the number name ones!). zero's alright on a drunken night. BWBW's=blech. even as a fan.

Siamese Dream still destroys this album for me. Picese, too.
Adore= dreck of drecktown.
Machina 1= only slightly better.

edde (edde), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 16:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ned Raggett approves of Smashing Pumpkins but not Jack Johnson (shoes that look like feet)? Bah.

the Adversary (but, still, a friend of yours) (Uri Frendimein), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 17:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Plus, you'd be hard-pressed to leave off any of the five singles.

I don't have a particular CD80 version in mind (yet), but I know that I'd cut "Zero" and "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" in a heartbeat. I don't particularly care for either.

And I could take or leave "Tonight, Tonight," but "Thirty-Three" and "1979" would be essential.

Stephen Bush (Stephen B.), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 17:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I have become increasingly tired of whiney bands, but I never did like this one. When the Siva video from Gish came out, I thought for a second, "hey, that's kind of like Sonic Youth," but that was the extent of my appreciation for this band, whom I can't stand, btw. So, it should go without saying that this particular album, the worst of their worst, drives me up the wall.

This gets my award for worst lyrics ever:

"Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
And cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me (dumb)
Intoxicated with the madness, I'm in love with my sadness (peeee-YUKE!)
Bullshit fakers (like Billy?), enchanted kingdoms
The fasion victims (Oh, like Billy?) chew their charcoal teeth" (dumb)

the Adversary (but, still, a friend of yours) (Uri Frendimein), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 17:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They were effectively done for me after Pisces Iscariot.

I'll never forget seeing the debut of the "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" video on Much Music. It would have been October 95.

The lyrics, the riffs, the imagery in the video - all of it made me nauseous. I was extremely disappointed with the album, and I didn't pay attention to them from that moment on.

I think Wogan made a good point. Probably would have sounded great had I been a teenager. I was 23 at the time.

Brooker Buckingham (Brooker B), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 17:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

@ concept of this thread

benrique (Enrique), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 19:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Here is my 13-track version of Mellon Collie that follows the blueprint of Siamese Dream track-for-track (as far as album structure, tone and mood, high and low points, etc.) that I would argue is as good as (or even better than) that album:

------

01 Where Boys Fear to Tread
02 Bodies

An excellent start to disc two of Mellon Collie; my version keeps both tracks intact, mirroring the one-two punch of "Cherub Rock" and "Quiet, rocking out at the start and avoiding the singles so far.

03 Muzzle
This should have been a single from Mellon Collie; it would be the lead single (and prominently placed third track, like "Today") on my version.

04 1979
05 Here Is No Why

A good spot for a couple strong songs (think "Hummer" and "Rocket") which deserve to come sooner than later in the album; "1979" would be the second or third single, along with...

06 Thirty-Three
07 We Only Come Out at Night

The last of the three singles from my version gets the spot of "Disarm" here, with an excellent low-key song (a la "Soma") to follow it and complement its mood perfectly.

08 Jellybelly
Lest the album go soft before its time, "Geek USA" is mirrored by this one.

09 Galapogos
The epic song, like "Mayonaise," that would rightfully be a fan favorite comes at this point; too far back in the track listing for fair-weather fans, just right for those who learn the album front-to-back.

10 Stumbleine
11 Thru the Eyes of Ruby
12 Lily (My One and Only)

Following the path of "Spaceboy"-"Silverfuck"-"Sweet Sweet" comes this trio of songs; the album's ambitious, lengthy, epic song bookended with a couple shorter, prettier ones.

13 Farewell and Goodnight
The closer on Mellon Collie stays where it should be, closing the album (like "Luna") with subtlety and beauty.

------

I don't really miss anything from the original Mellon Collie with my version, either.

> The ridiculous RAWK songs - "Zero," "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," "Fuck You," "Scorched Earth," and "XYU" - would be perfect for '90s alt-rock bands who actually deserve to suck, not the Pumpkins.

> The slower discarded songs - "To Forgive," "Cupid De Locke," "Take Me Down," "In the Arms of Sleep," "Beautiful," and "By Starlight" - are sappy and forgettable to my ears, especially compared to similar songs that made the cut.

> "Mellon Collie," the instrumental intro, was appropriate for an ambitious double album, not for my version.

> A couple songs in particular - "Tonight, Tonight" and "Love" - just didn't fit the overall mood of my version of the album.

> Two epics on my version would be excessive, so "Porcelina" was left behind in favor of "Ruby," which works better in context.

Stephen Bush (Stephen B.), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 19:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think your version is a very strong collection of songs - but somewhere along the way I think this kind of sequencing loses the kitchen-sink approach that gives Mellon Collie its particular flavor. Ned's review I think seems to be picking up on this point - it's not even what the songs are, it's the idea that alt-rockers could make a White Album, could do big, all-over-the-map albums. Granted, Siamese Dream is a great template for big, all-over-the-map-ness! So I dunno.

I've never had any use at all for "Stumbleine." You're probably right about opening with "Where Boys Fear To Tread" - I thought about doing it that way too, I mean that opening bass slide is such a fabulous stage-setter! Something appeals to me about cutting straight in on the out-front riffing trudge of "Zero" though - it sets up an idea of what the album is that will then be immediately blown to pieces by what follows.

Glad to see "Thru The Eyes of Ruby" and "Galapogos" getting their due in any case. And my local alt-rock station actually played "Muzzle" so much I thought it was the final single!

No mainstream rock band is doing something this big at the moment. It seems that after OK Computer and Mellon Collie, people decided to go back to just drums/guitar/bass punk singalongs as they knew they couldn't compete.

This is interesting! I was satisfied thinking of these albums as unique for the period, but has mainstream rock really not produced anything in this vein since? I'm racking my brain and I'm sure we're missing something really obvious. Granted, there have been "ambitious" mainstream rock albums - I guess American Idiot is being viewed this way - but not with this much sonic variety and sheer quantity of different ideas and hooks in play. Who'll be the next to try? For some reason I think Modest Mouse could have it in them - they've certainly done huge widescreen albums before, and have shown at least some willingness to bend on the guitar-band format. Dunno, though.

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 20:29 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think the best recent example is Nick Cave's Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus, which works fantastically - only 17 songs and not quite mainstream, but a great double album nonetheless.

I don't really like the kitchen sink approach, though - Cave's album is more sonically cohesive than Mellon Collie could ever claim to be, and a lot stronger for it. I much prefer Mellon Collie in its truncated form; I would skip around anyway listening to the whole thing.

What would you suggest to take the place of "Stumbleine" as a slower transitional track to "Ruby" anyway?

Stephen Bush (Stephen B.), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 20:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Saw them on this tour. Awesome it was and the album still sounds great.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 20:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i always liked "they only come out at night"

second the praise of abbatoir blues/lyre of orpheus.

M@tt He1geson: Real Name, No Gimmicks (Matt Helgeson), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 20:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

06 Thirty-Three
07 We Only Come Out at Night
The last of the three singles from my version gets the spot of "Disarm" here, with an excellent low-key song (a la "Soma") to follow it and complement its mood perfectly.

Interesting that you draw a comparison between "Soma" and "We Only Come Out at Night," b/c "Soma" = EPIC GUITAR FREAKOUT. "Porcelina" would seem like a more obvious choice, but I think I understand yr choice.

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Tuesday, 10 October 2006 21:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

YO BILLY COGAN... U KNO DAT SONG, IT GO "N SHE KNOW, SHE KNOW, SHE KNOW"... U GET DAT FROM MY BOI, KING STANS ALBUM "SLANGUAGE?"

HOLLA BACK STAN I GOT U COVERED!!!!!!!!

pumkin (pumkin), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 02:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

huge, sprawling and thin.

They supposedly had 45 songs going into the studio.

Just a totally played out venture, Darcy and Johnny Aha were nowhere to be heard from.

Brandon Welch (Brandon Welch), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 04:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Interesting that you draw a comparison between "Soma" and "We Only Come Out at Night," b/c "Soma" = EPIC GUITAR FREAKOUT. "Porcelina" would seem like a more obvious choice, but I think I understand yr choice.

I think "We Only Come Out at Night" relates more to the first 3:00 and last :45 of "Soma" than to the guitar parts in the middle - I was really trying to capture the overall mood of the song, and I remember "Soma" as a come-down in the wake of the bombastic high of "Disarm" more so than a guitar song, believe it or not.

Stephen Bush (Stephen B.), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 13:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They supposedly had 45 songs going into the studio.

No, they had a lot more. I've heard 'em.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 13:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I guess it bears repeating that if Corgan ever put out a 5xCD set of extended versions of the songs on “Pistachio Medley,” I’d buy that sumbitch in a heartbeat

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 14:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

They supposedly had 45 songs going into the studio.

28 songs on Mellon Collie, plus 21 Corgan or Iha songs that ended up being b-sides . Damn, that's enough songs for four full length albums!

But yeah, they needed an editor for this album. I always thought the second disc was much stronger than the first. I would take...

Cupid de Locke, Galpagos, and Porcelina off the first disc.

Thirty-Three, In the Arms of Sleep, 1979, Stumbeline, X.Y.U. (maybe), We Only Come Out at Night, Lily, By Starlight off of the second.

That comes out to about 52 minutes, and a much less rocking album. But to my ears at least, the more rocking Pumpkins songs are the ones that have dated the worst. The guitar histrionics don't really blow me away like they used to, and that's when Corgan tends to bust out his most embarassing lyrics. My version would come out closer to the mood of Adore, which is fine with me because I always liked Adore better than Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie or Gish.

Zachary Scott (Zach S), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 16:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I have the CD-single box set w/ a bunch of those Corgan or Iha songs (Aeroplane Over the Sea or something like that), some of their best songs ("Pennies" in particular, one of the most beautiful of all their songs).

I haven't listened to either disc of this album in forever, however, I do often listen to a mix CD I made a few years back containing a short list of their longest, most overblown songs (which are invariably my favs) - "Porcelina..." and "Through The Eyes Of A Ruby" are included (as is my other favorite ginormous Punkins jam "Starla").

got yourself a fish biscuit! (nickalicious), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 17:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

In fact, this was the entire tracklist:

Thru The Eyes of a Ruby
Soma
Silverfuck
Starla
Porcelina of the Vast Oceans

got yourself a fish biscuit! (nickalicious), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 17:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The high point of my high school band playing in years was unfortunately not related to any of the many songs we put our blood sweat tears etc into writing, but was actually covering "Muzzle" in the basement of our friend "punk rock Sandra"'s ginormous house on her birthday.

got yourself a fish biscuit! (nickalicious), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 17:07 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Nothing endears me to a touring band faster than a cover of a song on Mellon Collie. I saw this band called A Roman Holiday one time a few years ago - nice guys, good little show, but ultimately what really stuck with me was their minute-and-a-half of playing "Bodies."

"(Aeroplane Over the Sea or something like that)"

Even better!

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 23:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"I always liked Adore better than Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie or Gish."

this is, obviously, crazy talk.

if you do not concede that Siamese Dream's roar+bluster demolishes Adores faux-goth leanings and electronic feel, you, sir, are missing out on the whole sheebang.

"No, they had a lot more. I've heard 'em."
happily, after all these years, i think i've heard a good amount of em, and have em in high quality (thank you Gravity Demos!!!! that thing slays me in many ways, but none as better {or as telling as where MCIS would go} as the indominateable 'Jackboot') which, ya know,i got that goin for me...

edde (edde), Wednesday, 11 October 2006 23:49 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Adore is awesome for the first 12 tracks. If there were ever an album that needed trimming more than those off Mellon Collie, it's fucking Adore for those four yawnfest songs at the end. I don't want to hear Billy going all Elton John about his dead mom and shit (heartless bastard, I know). (OK "17" can stay but that's only because it's not a real song.)

But Adore can never be the bad Smashing Pumpkins album because "Appels + Oranjes" PWNS PWNS PWNS

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Thursday, 12 October 2006 00:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

There's many songs on which Jimmy's playing blows me away - he's a huge reason I took to this band in the first place. It's hard to pick just one. 'Galapagos' or 'Porcelina...' wouldn't be the first to spring to mind, though.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 23 November 2017 22:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Jellybelly, too. that's the one that consistently blows me away, really everyone's playing on it, the most 'pumpkins as paramilitary assault group' of all the heavy songs on MCIS. can't find the interview, can't remember if it was 90s or recent, but Jimmy said that he only got the drum part right once on Jellybelly, and that's the take that's on the record.

flappy bird, Thursday, 23 November 2017 22:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

the choruses in porcelina are crazy drum-wise. i guess a favorite of mine that’s a more obvious exhibit of jimmy’s abilities is “geek usa”

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 November 2017 22:56 (three weeks ago) Permalink

'Jellybelly' absolutely cooks! It's easy to paint Jimmy as a particular type of drummer, but really he uses a wide range of approaches throughout the record.

He would have been great on Adore, I think.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 23 November 2017 22:59 (three weeks ago) Permalink

but adore would’ve been a totally different record

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:04 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I'm not so sure, since portions of Mellon Collie were near enough pointing the way to Adore - songs like 'Stumbleine' pointed the way to 'To Sheila', 'In the Arms of Sleep' to 'Once Upon a Time', '1979' to the more metronomic stuff such as 'Ava Adore' and 'Pug'... Jimmy could be very light and jazzy, which would have suited the tracks. In the case of 'To Sheila', he wouldn't have needed to play at all.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ok but... most of the reason that record was written the way it was is bc of what happened with jimmy and also billy’s mom dying. it would’ve been different had either of those things not happened. also i think the end of mellon collie might be more tranquil than the rest of the record but it doesn’t really sound like adore at all

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i also don’t think 1979 -> ava adore is a straight line

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

enjoy your ideas though

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Doesn't make sense to think about 'Adore' with Jimmy, precisely for the reasons Brad mentions.

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 23 November 2017 23:38 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i'm listening to Galapogos for the first time in years now and you're right. It sounds as good as ever. Better, even

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Friday, 24 November 2017 00:44 (three weeks ago) Permalink

before Jimmy was fired they had already planned to make a drastic change for the fourth record. this interview is from December 1995, at 14:50 Billy talks about how they've considered "just making records," doing very minimal touring, press, etc. Around this time he also said that songs like "1979" (and later on, "Eye") pointed the way to the future of the band. Of course that wasn't the case because as Brad said, you can't imagine Adore without Jimmy OD'ing, or Billy's mom dying, or him getting a divorce, or the increasingly fractured and acrimonious relationship between Billy & James/D'arcy.

I think one of the more overlooked and immensely sad aspects of Billy's personality is that he's pathologically incapable of living in the present. again, this interview was recorded two months after Mellon Collie was released, they're one of the biggest bands in the world, they've won, they climbed whatever mountain they thought might be insurmountable before Siamese Dream. The record debuted at #1, and as Billy said in that Joe Rogan interview, when his manager gave him the news, Billy replied earnestly, "Is there a position higher?" All of the press leading up to the release of Mellon Collie is not triumphant at all: it's dour and sad and pessimistic and full of doom. Besides the whole "Rock is Dead" thing he'd been going on about since 1990, he recognized how precarious and volatile the band's relationship was and how it could all explode at any moment, which it did. I honestly find that really relatable unfortunately, being unable to enjoy the present because of some guaranteed miserable future. as unpleasant it is to be around and to sit through if you're not in the mood, it rings true for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NhTBjk58mw

flappy bird, Friday, 24 November 2017 01:35 (three weeks ago) Permalink

^^^ thanks for clarifying flappy, i didn’t know all of those details

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 02:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think the death of Billy's mother was a big driving force behind the record - but yes, they were planning on making a different record prior to the Jimmy situation and that's precisely what they did except without him. They were going to further explore some of the "newer" ideas that cropped up on Mellon Collie anyway, and Jimmy wouldn't have sounded out of place on that material.

Adore really isn't the drastic U-turn you lot are making it out to be - you can hear it coming a mile away if you're remotely familiar with what came before it.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, 24 November 2017 07:02 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i agree sonically, but emotionally Adore is on another planet than 1979, Eye, TEITBITE, We Only Come Out At Night, and Lily. death and loss and grief inform every second of that record. it's not the drum machines and acoustic songs and electronics that separate Adore, it's the really dour vibe of the whole thing. it's a sustained sadness, which is stranger considering how diverse the record actually is musically. yet for me it's as monochromatic as Siamese Dream. as far as the the public & critical reception is concerned in '98, the drastic u-turn of Adore is that there are no rock songs on it. to many people (millions probably), the smashing pumpkins = RAWK, therefore Adore = bomb.

also more trivia- most of the record was written & recorded after all that stuff happened, "Tear" was written for Lost Highway (Lynch didn't like it so Billy gave him "Eye" instead) in the summer of '96), and the guitar break in "For Martha" was demoed during MCIS writing sessions in the fall of '94. they teased a lot of the songs and i think played Ava Adore and

flappy bird, Friday, 24 November 2017 07:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Adore really isn't the drastic U-turn you lot are making it out to be - you can hear it coming a mile away if you're remotely familiar with what came before it.

― Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, November 24, 2017 12:02 AM (nine hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

who are you talking to, your friends who didn’t like it

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 16:53 (three weeks ago) Permalink

jimmy missing as a rhythmic engine in the songs means i think the songwriting is distinctly different than it would’ve been had he been there imo

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 16:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

they were going to make a different record anyway but that was billy’s plan for literally every sp album

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 16:55 (three weeks ago) Permalink

it's pretty common to run into people who argue with imaginary people in their head and then map the arguments of those imaginary people onto people they meet in real life. i can't count the number of times i've been in what started as an actual conversation, but gradually morphed into the other person yelling at an imaginary person but actually just staring and yelling at me in real life, as if i held the opinions of the imaginary person.

Karl Malone, Friday, 24 November 2017 17:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Opening lines to Billy’s new autobiography there. (Title: “Why Am I So Hated?”)

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 November 2017 17:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

who are you talking to

It's pretty damn clear.

jimmy missing as a rhythmic engine in the songs means i think the songwriting is distinctly different than it would’ve been had he been there imo

― ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, November 24, 2017 4:54 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I disagree, I think the real difference was Billy losing his mother, which - it goes without saying - is the prime reason why Adore has this vibe which, as flappy bird has said, revolves around loss and death. These songs more or less would have been written whether or not Jimmy was in the band, really. If Jimmy had remained in the band then he would have handled the material sensitively - he was, after all, capable of more than the 'Geek USA' or 'Silverfuck' style of drumming.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, 24 November 2017 18:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

idk, this is obviously projection (as is thinking that the songs would’ve been the same had jimmy been there) but i think billy writing with the expectation he’ll be playing off of jimmy is probably different from billy writing to the total absence of that expectation

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 18:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

September 1998:

THIS IS YOUR FIRST RECORD WITHOUT DRUMMER JIMMY CHAMBERLIN. HOW DID THAT INFLUENCE THE SOUND?
BILLY: We made the decision to change the approach on this record before we put out *Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.* We saw "1979" as a real jumping-off point for what the next record might sound like. But would the shift had been so radical if Jimmy had stayed in the band? I don't think so.

http://www.starla.org/articles/request.htm

flappy bird, Friday, 24 November 2017 18:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

oh cool i’m not projecting

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 18:25 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, he's implying that Jimmy getting kicked out enabled them to broaden their range, but I'm not convinced that that's the case, and I'm not convinced it was that radical a shift. This is all before we get to the fact that it's Billy Corgan talking, and he's full of shit pretty much most of the time.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, 24 November 2017 18:31 (three weeks ago) Permalink

oh ok

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 18:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ok if you don't believe the guy that made Adore idk what to tell you

flappy bird, Friday, 24 November 2017 18:33 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I generally take anything Billy Corgan says with a pinch of salt, as does any sensible person.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, 24 November 2017 18:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

April 1998:

Addicted To Noise: Basically, you pretty much reinvented the Pumpkins sound with your new album, Adore. Tell me about that.

Billy Corgan: (laughs) Well.

D'Arcy Wretzky: Take a deep breath.

James Iha: Take out one drummer. Take out the guitars.

Wretzky: Get another drummer.

Corgan: That's it. Add some keyboards. Play some lame- ass tunes.

Wretzky: (laughs)

ATN: What are some of the things that you went through between the completion of Mellon Collie and recording this album that you feel had a strong impact on the songs and the sound of the album?

Corgan: Well, Jimmy's departure is the biggest, #1 thing. And then I would say just the general decision to let go of the rock sound, even before Jimmy Chamberlin left the band. So I would say those are the two major things. As far as things that went on in our lives, I think James summed it up a little bit. There's a certain kind of mental pounding that goes on when you're playing arena rock and loud music. There's kind of an almost innate desire to want to move to the other end of the spectrum just to achieve a new feeling. I think we naturally gravitated toward something a little quieter and something a little more textured. Now that we've done that, we're ready to rock again.

(laughter)

Corgan: Which of course can be amazing, because if this album does really well, then everyone will question our return to rock. (laughs)

Iha: I love it! 'Why are you rocking when you made such a nice last record?'

Wretzky: 'But you said rock is dead!' Iha: Yeah. 'Why are you going back to rock?'

Corgan: Ooh la la.

Iha: Why don't we do the interview for the next album? Right now!.

http://www.starla.org/articles/growup.htm

flappy bird, Friday, 24 November 2017 19:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

bless D'Arcy and James

Simon H., Friday, 24 November 2017 19:16 (three weeks ago) Permalink

i can't count the number of times i've been in what started as an actual conversation, but gradually morphed into the other person yelling at an imaginary person but actually just staring and yelling at me in real life, as if i held the opinions of the imaginary person.

― Karl Malone, Friday, November 24, 2017 9:34 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

my dad does this to me all the time, it's funny because he always punctuates it with this bug eyed stare at the end like "REALLY, I'M NOT KIDDING", as if he's not totally preaching to the choir

brimstead, Friday, 24 November 2017 19:19 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I love Tonight Tonight but that bald chap who appears to be a complete crank (in a bad way) has the worst 'singing' voice this side of Kelly Jones.

Custard Cream, Friday, 24 November 2017 19:22 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"Well, Jimmy's departure is the biggest, #1 thing. And then I would say just the general decision to let go of the rock sound, even before Jimmy Chamberlin left the band."

So Jimmy's departure wasn't the #1 thing, then - they already had a direction in mind.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Friday, 24 November 2017 19:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

:/

Simon H., Friday, 24 November 2017 19:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

my all time favorite james interview moment, from this july 99 web chat:

<g60girl> what kind of cars do you guys drive?
<James> I have a Volvo.
<lunatriste> Whats the new album going to be called?
<James> I have a Volvo.

gimme the beet poison, free my soul (Doctor Casino), Friday, 24 November 2017 19:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

lmao love james and d’arcy

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 20:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

jimmy is also pretty hilarious in the zwan doc

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Friday, 24 November 2017 20:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Have any of you ever seen Vieuphoria?

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 25 November 2017 01:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

vieuphoria rules

Karl Malone, Saturday, 25 November 2017 01:51 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Honestly, the Frogs interlude is my favorite part

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 25 November 2017 01:52 (two weeks ago) Permalink

pulseczar rules
french movie theme rules

brimstead, Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:02 (two weeks ago) Permalink

vieuphoria kicked off a series of events that ended with me singing "Grandma in the corner with a penis in her hand going no no no no no" in my head on a fairly regular basis for several years

Karl Malone, Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i love vieuphoria though parts of it are ponderous

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:13 (two weeks ago) Permalink

though when i was a kid the dvd release of vieuphoria was like a major event in my life, a real holy grail moment lol

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:14 (two weeks ago) Permalink

1994 amirite

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink

(this vhs tape was part of my Christmas present that year, I think?)

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:21 (two weeks ago) Permalink

i never owned it but my friend had the VHS in high school and we'd watch it all the time after school

Karl Malone, Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the thing i remember watching that really got me hooked was a "videography" show on MTV where billy/james/d'arcy ran through and talked about all the videos up through melon collie.

brimstead, Saturday, 25 November 2017 02:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

this Apathy Video channel keeps delivering. after a 2 week break, they're back with some more gold. afaik the full tape of this show has never circulated, and the quality is much better than the only clip of it I've ever seen (Fuck You).

this show has always confounded me. they get a 40 minute set at a benefit show, play 3 singles in a row, then Fuck You... then a 20 minute Silverfuck. the swagger and gall of the Pumpkins at their peak right before the OD in New York is just stunning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u589RhkuJN0

flappy bird, Tuesday, 5 December 2017 22:46 (one week ago) Permalink


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