The Smashing Pumpkins and their two best songs

April 10, 2010

In October of 1995, the ambitious double disc Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness hit store shelves, and soon found as-yet unheard of success for The Smashing Pumpkins due in no small part to singles (and later classics) like, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings, ” and, “1979.  ”  However, it was the multi-layered rock epic, “Tonight, Tonight, “ that would end up converting many a non-fan and expanding their appeal to a much wider audience.  Opening with an orchestral, string-heavy intro, the song soon scales back to a minimum of guitars, drums and bass, with frontman Billy Corgan’s voice leading the way.  The strings are never far away, though, and soon return for the choruses, along with an unconventional drum groove courtesy of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.  Although the song does calm down once more following that first chorus, it never is quite as quiet as before, and only continues to expand and contract as Corgan sees fit.  It’s this unbelievable songwriting that has resulted in something magical-to this day, I haven’t heard a song quite like it, and I doubt I ever will.

Band With The Best Cover Version: The Felix Culpa (internet-only release)

Following the release of 1991’s Gish, The Smashing Pumpkins reunited one again with producer Butch Vig for 1993’s Siamese Dream, an album which would see the band truly enter the mainstream with songs like the crowd-pleaser, “Today.  “  For an opening track, we have, “Cherub Rock, “ a song Billy Corgan insisted be released as the official first single over, “Today, “ a decision executives as his record label strongly advised against.  One can instantly hear why Corgan made this choice-it’s gritty and grungy, but also incredibly exciting.  A series of rolls on the snare drum kick off the song, almost making the audience wonder what they’re in for, before a repeated guitar riff and drum/cymbal accents materialize, seemingly out of nowhere.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, the band breaks through that wall, and an explosion of sound follows that, thanks to an excellent drum fill on behalf of Jimmy Chamberlin.  There’s no turning back now, and as the band surges ahead, we’re pelted with great moments like the fine guitar solo-every piece of the puzzle that is this song come together and compliment each other extremely well.

Band With The Best Cover Version: Roses Are Red (The Killer in You: A Tribute to Smashing Pumpkins, Reignition, 2005)


3 Responses to “The Smashing Pumpkins and their two best songs”

  1. sharyn Says:

    Oh how I love tonight, tonight. Used to play Mellon Collie… on repeat over and over!

  2. Nick Says:

    The above post did not include “Zero” and therefore your argument is invalid.

  3. favabean1982 Says:

    Hey, don’t get me wrong, “Zero, ” is a fine song, probably in my top ten of SP songs

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