The Smashing Pumpkins

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  • MAY 5, 2023
  • 33 Songs

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About The Smashing Pumpkins

If, as Sonic Youth famously proclaimed, 1991 was the year punk broke, then 1993 was the year prog struck back—thanks to Smashing Pumpkins’ sophomore blockbuster, Siamese Dream. Though the Chicago group had formed in 1988 in a thick cloud of grunge grime and shoegaze haze, their second album cleared the path for them to become the next Nirvana—just a little more enamored with Queen and ELO than the Pixies and Melvins. But as much as Siamese Dream consolidated the Pumpkins’ strengths—the swirling twin-guitar attack of Billy Corgan and James Iha; the cyclonic rhythms of bassist D’arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin—it also offered the first real glimpse of Corgan’s auteurist ambitions via “Disarm,” a dramatic orchestral ballad offering a nakedly emotional antidote to the ironic alt-rock of the day. That vision was blown up to widescreen proportions with 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a wildly ambitious double album that spanned symphonic lullabies, metal ragers, and New Wave reveries, yielding a bounty of teen-angst anthems that elevated Corgan into a hero for zeros around the world. However, Chamberlin’s departure prior to 1998’s synth-pop curveball Adore presaged a long series of shake ups and breakups: If the Pumpkins were seen as Corgan’s baby before their initial 2000 disbandment, then post-hiatus releases like 2012’s Oceania (featuring no other founding members) all but confirmed it. But with Iha and Chamberlin back in the fold, 2018’s taut and effervescent SHINY AND OH SO BRIGHT VOL. 1 / LP: NO PAST. NO FUTURE. NO SUN soundly re-established the telepathic connection and arena-sized ambitions that still exist among Corgan and his original accomplices. “We’re still playing guitars,” Corgan enthused to Apple Music, “and we’re still little kids chasing the riff.”

Chicago, IL, United States
Hard Rock
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