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Old 08-27-2010, 09:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Realm Of Soft Delusions - The Smashing Pumpkins' Discography Reviewed


The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most popular and well known bands of the 90s, and for good reason. Their sound was constantly changing and evolving. One moment, they'll sound like a Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath hybrid and the next moment they'll sound like Cheap Trick. Their lead singer, Billy Corgan, was the lead contributor to the band.

Around 1988 Billy Corgan broke up with his band, The Marked and returned from Florida to his hometown of Chicago. While working at a record store he met guitarist James Iha, and the two began writing songs together with the aid of a drum machine. After Corgan went to see a concert, he met bassist D'arcy Wretzky and had an argument with her about the band that played. After D'arcy mentioned that she played bass guitar, Corgan told her he needed a bassist for his band and gave her his telephone number. D'arcy soon joined the band. Later, Corgan recruited drummer Jimmy Chamberlin due to a recommendation from a friend, and so The Smashing Pumpkins were born.

I plan to do these reviews chronologically starting with 'Gish.'
STUDIO ALBUMS REVIEWED
Gish - 8.2
Siamese Dream - 9.3
Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness: Dawn To Dusk
B-SIDES ALBUMS REVIEWED
Pisces Iscariot - 7.0


Last edited by SoundgardenRocks; 02-10-2011 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SoundgardenRocks View Post

The Smashing Pumpkins are one of the most popular and well known bands of the 90s, and for good reason. Their sound was constantly changing and evolving. One moment, they'll sound like a Led Zeppelin/Black Sabbath hybrid and the next moment they'll sound like Cheap Trick. Their lead singer, Billy Corgan, was the lead contributor to the band.

Around 1988 Billy Corgan broke up with his band, The Marked and returned from Florida to his hometown of Chicago. While working at a record store he met guitarist James Iha, and the two began writing songs together with the aid of a drum machine. After Corgan went to see a concert, he met bassist D'arcy Wretzky and had an argument with her about the band that played. After D'arcy mentioned that she played bass guitar, Corgan told her he needed one for his band and gave her his telephone number. D'arcy soon joined the band. Later, Corgan recruited drummer Jimmy Chamberlin due to a recommendation from a friend, and so The Smashing Pumpkins were born.

I plan to do these reviews chronologically starting with 'Gish.' I'm not sure if I'm going to review 'Pisces Iscariot' and 'The Aeroplane Flies High' though as I planned to originally just review the studio albums from 'Gish' to 'Zeitgeist'. I probably will, but I'm not sure.

Looking forward to reading these reviews and never ever thought the Smashing Pumpkins ever sounded like Cheap Trick!!!
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll be looking forward to this. I credit the Smashing Pumpkins with turning a decent enthusiasm for music into a full blown obsession. For that reason I will always count the Pumpkins as my favorite band even if I don't listen to them as much these days.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Nice one, i'm really looking forward to this thread. You should definitely review more than the studio albums though, the likes of Pisces Iscariot really deserve a review. Go forth and do them justice son!
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Post 'Gish' Review

Five classic alternative rock albums were released in 1991. Those albums are 'Nevermind' by Nirvana, 'Ten' by Pearl Jam, 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' by Red Hot Chili Peppers, 'Badmotorfinger' by Soundgarden and 'Gish' by The Smashing Pumpkins.('Sailing Through The Seas Of Cheese' and Temple Of The Dogs' s/t album were great too though.) Out of those five albums, the one that was released first was 'Gish.' Although the other albums garnered more critical attention, 'Gish' really was in a league of its own. Psychadelic, hard-hitting, soft and melodic all at the same time, 'Gish' still managed to get grouped with the grungers. Despite the varied traits of this album, it is still the most traditional rock album by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Though it was recorded quickly when compared to other Pumpkins albums, (due to inexperience) the sessions were still tough for the band. D'arcy still wonders how the band survived the recording. Billy actually had a nervous breakdown during these sessions. But through the bands difficulty, 'Gish' was born.

GISH

The album starts with the hard hitting song, I Am One. The first thing you hear is a really nice drum beat laid down by Jimmy Chamberlin. Then a mezmerizing bass line kicks in. Then a few guitar chords, and then the song explodes as Billy sings "I am one as you are three, try to find messiah in your trinity." The song seems to have a spiritual vibe to it. The greatest part of the song though is 3 minutes 18 seconds into it, the whole band stops except for D'arcy and then at 3:26 the whole band kicks back in and then we get to hear a tasty guitar solo. This would be the greatest album opener the Pumpkins ever did if it wasn't for "Cherub Rock."

The next song is called Siva. I believe this was the first song to be released as a single to promote 'Gish.' "I Am One" and "Tristessa" both had releases before 'Gish.' The song starts off with a nice guitar riff before both the drums and the bass kick in. The song seems to be about letting out repressed anger. My favorite part of this song is when the band gets really quiet for the second time in the song as Billy sings "All this pain smothers me
Like a bomb that you can't see, tell me, tell me what you're after, I just want to get there faster." And then all hell breaks loose, as the band gives it everything it's got. "Siva" has some really nice guitar solos as well. This song is even better than "I Am One" even though it doesn't have that really nice build in the beginning.

After "Siva" we get the longest song of the album Rhinoceros. This is one of the best songs on the album, and also one of the more subdued. But man, that psychadelic melody is great! This was the second single from 'Gish.' I think the song is about lies and that anxiety you get when you think someone has seen through it. One of my favorite lyrics on the whole album are on this song in "Open your eyes, to these must I lie?" Another great song though.

The Pumpkins speed things back up with Bury Me, the fourth track on the album. The song starts off with arguably the greatest bass line on 'Gish.' I much like the guitar riff that comes after and the little solo before Billy starts singing. James sings a little bit in this song.("chain unchain, hide hide, and why why" part) This definitely one of the best songs on 'Gish.' I've heard that the song is about LSD, but who knows.

The Pumpkins quickly slow things down with a nice love song entitled Crush. This song really revolves around a simple bass line and a simple guitar riff. I've always envisioned a rainy day when I hear this song. I really love the spacey sounding guitar going on in the background. What sounds like a tambourine adds a really nice touch to the chorus. This song also contains another one of my favorite lines from the album in "you're sleeping in your bed, just rest your weary head, maybe you shouldn't care, throw away those dreams and dare." This is a nice song, but ultimately, it is the weakest of the first five songs.

Side 2 of the album starts with Suffer. This song is different from all the other songs on this album. It is really slow and really quiet and never really elevates above that point. I'm not quite certain what this song is about. Some of it sounds like it is about addiction, but I'm not sure about some of the rest. It took me awhile to gain a liking to this song. It's one those growers for sure, but it's definitely a solid tune. Not the best on 'Gish' but certainly not the worst.

After "Suffer" we get Snail. This is a really great song, and a sort of foreshadowing on what 'Siamese Dream' will sound like. Alot of great lyrics in this one. I think it's about pursuing your dreams and never giving up. I really like this one and think it is one of the highlights of the album. One of my favorite guitar riffs of the album is in this song too.

The last all out rocker on 'Gish' is the eight track, Tristessa. I like this song, but I also think it is the weakest rocker on the album, but maybe that comes from my lack of understanding it. I know that "Tristessa" means sadness in spanish, but the way he uses doesn't translate well with the meaning. Either way, good song, but weaker than alot of others on here.

Window Paine is the ninth track. I think this is a really great song, and it really sticks out for some reason. It starts off very quiet and subdued, but gets louder as the song progresses. I really like at 3:30 where the song keeps getting faster and faster leading into an acapella part where Billy sings without any instruments playing. The drums are really great on this track too. I have always interpreted this song as being about someone who needs to find and pursue his dreams and do whatever he has to do to get there.

The last song on the album is Daydream. It is sung by D'arcy who actually has a really nice voice. It is an accoustic song and it even has violins in it. It's a really short song, but it's nice. I believe it is about hope and trying to look on the bright side. It is one of the weakest songs on the album though. The song has a hidden track, I'm Going Crazy. It is about a minute long and isn't very exciting. It pretty much signifies how Billy felt during the sessions for the album.

This is a great album, especially when you consider the fact that it was a debut album and the band members were rather inexperienced at this point. This is a good album to start with if you've don't know much by The Smashing Pumpkins and want to hear something by them. No song is overly weak, other than "Daydream." But from here on out (for the most part) The Smashing Pumpkins' albums only get better.

SCORE
8.2/10

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Old 08-30-2010, 12:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You're doing a great job so far, I'm really looking forward to Siamese Dream and MCATIS.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Good review. I wouldn't say Gish is the best starting point, however. I would go with either Siamese Dream or MCIS...those two are considered their classics. Gish is still pretty good, though. Random fact: Snail is Billy's favorite song off this album.
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You're doing a great job so far, I'm really looking forward to Siamese Dream and MCATIS.
Thank you.

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Good review. I wouldn't say Gish is the best starting point, however. I would go with either Siamese Dream or MCIS...those two are considered their classics. Gish is still pretty good, though. Random fact: Snail is Billy's favorite song off this album.
Nah, I don't think Gish is the best starting point either, but it is certainly a better starting point than 'Adore' or 'Machina.'

Unlike some Pumpkins fans I don't despise Adore or Machina at all. There are definitely some songs on them though I don't care much for.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Nah, I don't think Gish is the best starting point either, but it is certainly a better starting point than 'Adore' or 'Machina.'

Unlike some Pumpkins fans I don't despise Adore or Machina at all. There are definitely some songs on them though I don't care much for.
Siamese Dream is my favorite, but in all honesty I think Adore shows Billy at his peak as far as songwriting goes. I think we may have even gotten into this before. I know I got into an argument with someone about it. Machina is horribly underrated and Machina II should get more recognition than it does (though it's understandable since he released it for free).
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Siamese Dream is my favorite, but in all honesty I think Adore shows Billy at his peak as far as songwriting goes. I think we may have even gotten into this before. I know I got into an argument with someone about it. Machina is horribly underrated and Machina II should get more recognition than it does (though it's understandable since he released it for free).
Actually yes, we did get into an argument about that. I said that 'Adore' was the peak of Billy's songwriting ability, and you thought 'Machina II' was even better, or something like that, and then we posted song lyrics from each of them.

Yeah, Machina is underrated, songs like "I Of The Mourning" and "Stand Inside Your Love" are up there with The Pumpkins bests, and Machina II has possibly my favorite Iha song, "Go."

To this day, I still wonder what the tracklisting for Machina would be if Billy got his way and it was a double album.
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