Siamese Dream is the second album by the American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, released on July 27, 1993 on Virgin Records. The album fused diverse influences such as shoegazing, dream pop, grunge, classic rock, heavy metal, and progressive rock.
Despite recording sessions fraught with difficulties and tensions, Siamese Dream debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts, sold over four million copies in the U.S. and over six million worldwide, cementing The Smashing Pumpkins as a major force in the alternative rock movement. Four hit singles were released in support of Siamese Dream, "Cherub Rock", "Today", "Disarm", and "Rocket". In the November 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine issue of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time," Siamese Dream was ranked number 360..
The Smashing Pumpkins formed in Chicago in 1988. Their debut album, Gish, was released on Caroline Records in 1991 to unexpected success and acclaim. After the release of Nevermind later that year, The Smashing Pumpkins were hyped as "the next Nirvana".Thompson, Dave. "Local Geek Makes Good". Creem. January/February 1994. The band was signed to Caroline Records parent Virgin Records and began recording a follow-up album. Frontman Billy Corgan felt "this great pressure to make the next album set the world on fire."Top 90 Albums of the 90s. Spin Magazine. September 1999. The immense pressure to succeed intensified an already problematic situation: drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was undergoing an increasingly severe addiction to heroin, guitarist James Iha and bassist D'arcy Wretzky had recently ended their romantic relationship, and Corgan, aside from battles with weight gain and suicidal depression, was suffering from his worst-ever bout of writer's block.
Recording and production
Siamese Dream was recorded mainly between December 1992 and March 1993. The band relocated to Triclops Studios in Marietta, Georgia for the album sessions, so they could avoid local friends and distractions,Kot, Greg. "Pumpkin Seeds," Guitar World. January 2002. and to cut Chamberlin off from his known drug connections.Azzerrad, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact". Rolling Stone. October 1993. Butch Vig reprised his role as producer after working on their debut album Gish.
After he suffered a nervous breakdown, Corgan began visiting a therapist. Consequently his lyrics became more explicit about his troubled past and his insecurities. "Today" was the first song written by Corgan for Siamese Dream. He played the self-recorded demo to Vig, and received a positive reaction. Soon afterward, executives from Virgin Records came to observe the band after hearing about their problems, but were pleased with the demo and did not soon return to the studio. The reaction from the executives only served to put more stress on Corgan. Corgan worked overtime, practically living in the studio for the recording of Siamese Dream—he and Vig would sometimes work on a 45-second section of music for two days, working 16-hour days for weeks at a time to achieve the sound Corgan wanted.
Corgan's desire for musical perfection put further strain on the already-frayed relationships between the band members. Vig later recalled, "D'arcy would lock herself in the bathroom, James wouldn't say anything, or Billy would lock himself in the control room." Corgan often overdubbed Iha's and Wretzky's parts with his own playing. Wretzky stated that Corgan only performed most of the guitar and bass parts because he could lay them down in recording easier and with far fewer takes. While Chamberlin performed all drum parts on the album, he would disappear for days on drug benders that caused everyone to fear for his life. After one incident where the drummer had disappeared for two or three days, Corgan "put the hammer down", according to Vig, and had Chamberlin perform the drum part for "Cherub Rock" until his hands bled. Due to Corgan's urging, Chamberlin checked into a rehab clinic. Corgan told Spin later that year, "You know, I gave them a year and a half to prepare for this record... I'm surrounded by these people who I care about very much, yet they continue to keep failing me." Corgan explained that he began to take the actions of others personally; he said, "If you really think about it, of course, someone doesn't do the job because they're lazy, or they don't think it's important. But I took it as, 'You're not worth going home and working on the song.'"Greer, Jim. "Billy, Don't Be a Hero". Spin. November 1993.
Virgin began to grow impatient with the album's recording as it went over budget and became behind schedule. The band, however, would not let the company cut corners if it meant compromising the sound. By the time recording was completed, Corgan and Vig felt too emotionally exhausted to mix the record. Corgan suggested that engineer Alan Moulder mix the album, due to his work on Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.DeRogatis, Jim. Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2003. ISBN 0-306-81271-1, p. 78 Moulder booked two weeks in a studio to mix the album; the mix ended up taking 36 days to complete.Thomas, Richard. "Signal to Noise: The Sonic Diary of the Smashing Pumpkins". EQ Magazine. October 2008. Eventually, the album was finished after four months and $250,000 over budget.
Rolling Stone noted that the album emphasized "both the virtuosic interplay of Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin and Corgan's confessional lyrics" and was "closer to progressive rock than to punk or grunge.""". Rolling Stone. Retrieved on March 29, 2009.
The album boasts relatively high production values and ornate arrangements compared to other early-1990s alternative albums. Vig said, "Billy wanted to make a record that people would put on and say, 'What the fuck was that?'... We wanted to have things going on in the left ear and right ear all the time". One of Corgan's main goals was to create a sense of sonic depth, but, as Corgan said, "without necessarily using delays or reverbs — to use tonalities instead."di Perna, Alan. "The Great Pumpkin". Guitar World. September 1993. For the album, the guitars were layered multiple times. Corgan has stated that "Soma" alone contains up to 40 overdubbed guitar parts.Aledort, Andrew. "Introduction," in Siamese Dream Songbook. Miami: Warner Bros. Publications, 1994. Vig stated that as many as 100 guitar parts were compressed into a single song.
The subjects of Corgan's lyrics on Siamese Dream varied. Corgan noted that most of his lyrics for the album were about his girlfriend and future wife Chris Fabian, with whom he had briefly broken up at the time he wrote the songs. Corgan occasionally wrote about other subjects. In "Cherub Rock", the album's opening track, Corgan attacked the American independent music scene. "Spaceboy" was written as a tribute to his half-brother, Jesse.
Release and reception
Siamese Dream was released on July 27, 1993. The following week it debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts. Stories of the album's recording had circulated in the music press. Corgan admitted there was some truth to accusations of tyrannical behavior, though he felt the press misunderstood the situation.Mundy, Chris. "Strange Fruit: Success Has Come at a High Price for this Chicago Band," Rolling Stone. April 21, 1994.
Entertainment Weekly gave the album a "B" rating; reviewer David Browne praised the band for living up to industry expectations of being the "next Nirvana" and compared Siamese Dream favorably to Nirvana's Nevermind. Browne concluded, "In aiming for more than just another alternative guitar record, Smashing Pumpkins may have stumbled upon a whole new stance: slackers with a vision." Critic Simon Reynolds disagreed; he wrote in his review for The New York Times that "fuzzed-up riffs and angst-wracked vocals are quite the norm these days, and Smashing Pumpkins lacks the zeitgeist-defining edge that made Nirvana's breakthrough so thrilling and resonant." Robert Christgau of the Village Voice gave the album a three star honorable mention, selecting "Geek U.S.A." and "Today" as highlights.
Siamese Dream earned The Smashing Pumpkins their first Grammy Award nominations. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, and the group was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal at the Grammy Awards of 1994. The album is frequently included in lists of the best albums of the 1990s — the Alternative Press ranked it fourth,The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s. Alternative Press. December 1998. Pitchfork Media ranked it 18th, and Spin ranked it 23rd. In 2003, the album was ranked number 360 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
The artwork for the album was initially going to be created by an outsider artist, but after a series of disagreements with the label, Corgan was forced to step in at the last minute.Corgan, Billy. "." The Confessions of Billy Corgan. 2005/05/30. The album booklet, composed of old photographs of both strangers and Corgan's family members with lyrics handwritten on top, was assembled by Corgan and his wife the day after their wedding. Corgan was not satisfied with the results. The first pressing of the CD contained a 20-page booklet, with a separate page devoted to each song's lyrics and accompanying photograph; later pressings contained a four-panel fold-out liner with thumbnails of each picture. In 1999, Virgin records reissued the album with the original 20-page booklet.http
Shortly after the Pumpkins reformed in 2007, Corgan posted a message to the band's blog saying that they were "ooking for girls from Siamese Dream album cover... As you all know, they were quite young when the photo was taken. They are not conjoined anymore, as far as we know." The band's intentions for the search were never made clear. In February, 2011 Billy Corgan announced via Twitter that not only had one of the girls been found, she the current bassist for the Pumpkins, Nicole Fiorentino. According to Corgan, "Just found out the weirdest news: our bass player Nicole just admitted she is one of the girls on the cover of Siamese Dream." However, according to the assistant photographer for Siamese Dream, the cover photo was probably shot specifically for the album. Given Fiorentino's age at the time of the album, this would make her too old to be on the cover of the album.
The album was also released as a shaped wooden box set (aka Siamese Dream Collectors Edition) with metal hinges limited to only 1,000 copies which contains the UK HUT CD album housed in a recess with individually-numbered silver metal embossed plate at the side and a 20-page booklet housed in a similar recess in the lid. Though the CD itself and the booklet are official and genuine, the wooden box is not an official Virgin (US) or HUT (UK) release.
*Billy Corgan – vocals, guitar, bass guitar, Mellotron on "Spaceboy", string arrangements, producer, mixer
*Jimmy Chamberlin – drums
*James Iha – guitar, vocals
*D'arcy Wretzky – bass guitar, vocals
*Mike Mills – piano on "Soma"
*Eric Remschneider – string arrangements and cello on "Disarm" and "Luna"
*David Ragsdale – string arrangements and violin on "Disarm" and "Luna"
*Butch Vig – producer, engineer, mixer, string arrangements
*Jeff Tomei – engineer
*Tim Holbrook – special technical engineering
*Alan Moulder – mixer
*Howie Weinberg – mastering
*Len Peltier – art direction
*Steve J. Gerdes – design
*Melodie McDaniel – photography
Sales chart positions
ReferencesThis text has been derived from Siamese Dream on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The Smashing Pumpkins is an American band that formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1988.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). Formed by Billy Corgan (vocals, guitar) and James Iha (guitar, backing vocals), the band has included Jimmy Chamberlin (drums, percussion), D'arcy Wretzky (bass guitar, backing vocals), Melissa Auf der Maur (bass guitar), and currently includes Jeff Schroeder (guitar), Mike Byrne (drums, backing vocals), and Nicole Fiorentino (bass guitar, backing vocals) amongst its membership.
Less overtly sharing the punk rock roots of many of their alt-rock contemporaries,Rogers, Ray. "Smashing Pumpkins ", Interview. February 1996 (available ). Retrieved on 2007-03-11 the Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, shoegazing, grunge, new wave, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, 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".Shaw, William. "Appetite for Destruction". Details. December 1993.
The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, Siamese Dream (1993). The group built its 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 200 album chart. With 18.75 million albums sold in the United States alone,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; The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing record sales led to a 2000 break-up.
In 2006, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin reconvened to record a new Smashing Pumpkins album, Zeitgeist. The band toured with a lineup of between five and nine musicians through much of 2007 and 2008. Chamberlin left the band in 2009 and was replaced by Mike Byrne. Corgan, Byrne, returning guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and newest addition Nicole Fiorentino are currently recording the 44-song Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, which has been released, one song at a time, since late 2009.
Early years: 1988–1991
Smashing pumpkins 1990 promo cropped.jpgthumbleftalt=The Smashing Pumpkins pictured in a black-and-white promotional picture from 1990. All of them are in their mid-20s and face the camera. From left to right: James Iha is a Japanese man wearing a button-up floral print shirt, D'Arcy Wretzky is a Caucasian woman with blond hair wearing a jacket and necklace, Billy Corgan is a Caucasian male with long black hair and arms folded over his button-up shirt and necklace, and Jimmy Chamberlin is a Caucasian male with short black hair parted to the side wearing a black shirt.The Smashing Pumpkins in a 1990 promotional photo. Left to right: James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin.
After the breakup of his gothic rock band The Marked, singer and guitarist Billy Corgan left St. Petersburg, Florida, to return to his native city of Chicago, where he took 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.Kot, Greg. "Pumpkin Seeds", Guitar World. January 2002. 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."From Fighting to Smashing", Washington Post. November 19, 1993. Even before the band began Corgan used to say to people he had a band named "Smashing Pumpkins." He later decided to keep the name Addicted to Noise article: "". December 1995.
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.Kelly, Christina. "Smashing Pumpkins: The Multi-Platinum Band Is Over the Infighting But Can the Harmony Last?", US Weekly. December 1, 1995 On August 10, 1988, the band played for the first time as a trio at the Avalon Nightclub."Jimmy Chamberlin ", Modern Drummer. January 1994. 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. 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." On October 5, 1988, the complete band took the stage for the first time at the Cabaret Metro.
In 1989, The Smashing Pumpkins made their first appearance on record with the compilation album Light Into Dark, which featured several Chicago alternative bands. The group released its 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.Keedle, Jayne. "Patchin' It Back Together", Hartford Advocate. October 1, 1996. The Smashing Pumpkins recorded their 1991 debut album Gish with producer Butch Vig at his Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, for $20,000.Kot, Greg. "Out of the Patch for Smashing Pumpkins, New Album Is Another Sign of Liftoff", Chicago Tribune. June 21, 1991. 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.Rotondi, James. "Orange Crunch", Guitar Player. January 1996. 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. 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,Hilburn, Robert. "Smashing Pumpkins Endures When (and What) Other '90s Bands Couldn't", Los Angeles Times. August 3, 1998 (available ) Retrieved on 2007-03-11. writing some songs for the upcoming album in the parking garage where he lived at the time.
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 'the next Jane's Addiction' to 'the next Nirvana,' now we're 'the next Pearl Jam.'" 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.
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." Corgan's depression deepened to the point where he contemplated suicide. 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 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. In this respect, the strategy failed, as Chamberlin quickly managed to find new connections and was often absent without any contact for days at a time. In addition, the band contributed to the AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization with their song "Glynis".
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.Mundy, Chris. "Strange Fruit: Success Has Come at a High Price for this Chicago Band", Rolling Stone. April 21, 1994. 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.Azerrad, Michael. "Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact", Rolling Stone. October 1, 1993. 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."Chamberlin, Jimmy; Corgan, Billy (interview subjects). Inside the Zeitgeist (Reprise Records, 2007). In all, it took over four months to complete the record, with the budget exceeding $250,000. Despite all the problems in its recording, Siamese Dream debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200 chart, and sold over four million copies in the U.S. alone.
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. 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."). Former Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould called them "the grunge Monkees", 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".Albini, Steve. "Three Pandering Sluts and Their Music-Press Stooge", Chicago Reader. January 28, 1994. 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 charted higher than Siamese Dream by reaching number four on the Billboard 200. 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.
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. 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",DeRogatis, pp. 46, 80. a comparison with the 1979 Pink Floyd two-LP concept album.
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. Praised by Time as "the group's most ambitious and accomplished work yet",Farley, Christopher John. "A Journey, Not a Joyride". Time. November 13, 1995. Mellon Collie debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in October 1995. Even more successful than Siamese Dream, it was certified nine times platinum in the United States Sales for double albums are counted for each disc, thus 4.5 million copies of the double album package have been certified. and became the best-selling double album of the decade to date."Germ Warfare", Newsweek. October 14, 1996. 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.
Billy Corgan pic.jpgthumbleftuprightalt=Billy Corgan is depicted from a worm's eye view as he sings into a microphone. He is wearing one of his black "ZERO" t-shirts with lettering and a five-pointed star in reflective silver.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. 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.Marks, Craig. "Zero Worship", Spin. June 1996.Violanti, Anthony. "Cool in Control Smashing Pumpkins Weathers the Storms of Celebrity", Buffalo News. June 30, 1996. 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. However, while Corgan maintained that moshing’s “time come and gone,” the band would continue to request open-floor concerts throughout the rest of the tour.Durando, Stu. "Wary of Injuries and Litigation, Concert Venues Take Extra Precautions to Deal with Moshing", St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 17, 1996.
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. 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. Meanwhile the band had given interviews since the release of Mellon Collie stating that it would be the last conventional Pumpkins record,Di Perna, Alan. "Zero Worship", Guitar World. December 1995. 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."Graff, Gary. "Smashing Pumpkins—Rave of the Future", Guitar World. December 1996.
Adore, Machina, and breakup: 1998–2000
Smashing pumpkins 1998 promo.jpgrightthumbalt=The Smashing Pumpkins in a black-and-white promotional photo from 1998, seated and looking at the camera. From left to right: James Iha is a Japanese man with shoulder-length black hair wearing a black suit, D'Arcy Wretzky is a Caucasian woman with blond hair pulled back wearing a black dress with thin straps and butterfly adornment on her left strap, and Billy Corgan is a Caucasian man with a shaved head wearing a black three-piece suit while gripping the table.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 to reconfigure the focus and get away from the classic guitars-bass-drum rock format."Gundersen, Edna. "Smashing that Pumpkins stereotype Band shuns 'tragic' label', USA Today. February 26, 1997. 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, 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. The album nonetheless sold three times as many copies overseas. 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.
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. 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. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard charts, but quickly disappeared and as of 2007 had only been certified gold. 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."DeRogatis, pp. 84–85.
Smashing pumpkins 2000 promo.jpgleftthumbalt=The Smashing Pumpkins pose and face the camera for a promotional photo in 2000 wearing leather shirts with long black skirts. In front is Billy Corgan—a Caucasian male with a shaved head who is holding his hips and is wearing black leather pants rather than the skirts that the other musicians are wearing. Behind him is James Iha—a Japanese man with black hair parted to cover the left half of his face. Standing behind him is Melissa Auf der Maur—a Caucasian female with curly hair who is gripping her right shoulder. Finally, Jimmy Chambelin—a Cacuasian male—stands in the back. At the bottom of the photo are logos reading "The Smashing Pumpkins" and "Virgin". 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. 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. 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.
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. The single "Untitled" was released commercially to coincide with the farewell show.
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 O. 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.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. 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 short-lived supergroup Zwan. The group's only album, Mary Star of the Sea, was released in 2002. After cancelling a few festival appearances, Corgan announced the demise of the band in 2003. 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".Corgan, Billy. "A Message to Chicago from Billy Corgan", Chicago Tribune, June 21, 2005. 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. The group 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, aside from one radio interview in 2009, 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.
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." Corgan said in 2005, "I never wanted to leave the Smashing Pumpkins. That was never the plan." On February 17, 2004, Corgan posted a message on his personal blog calling Wretzky a "mean-spirited drug addict" and blaming Iha for the breakup of The Smashing Pumpkins. On June 3, 2004, he added that "the depth of my hurt is only matched with the depth of my gratitude". 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."Spitz, Marc. "Head On", Spin. August 2005.
Smashing Pumpkins den Atelier,Luxembourg.JPGalt=The Smashing Pumpkins perform on a back-lit stage dressed in white. From left to right: Ginger Pooley—a brunette Hispanic woman in her 20s wearing a sequined dress—looks at her bass guitar, Billy Corgan—a bald, middle-aged Caucasian man with a white jumpsuit and a black-and-white striped t-shirt—plays guitar, Jimmy Chamberlin plays a silver drum kit obscured behind Corgan, and Jeff Schroeder—a Korean male in his 30s with mid-length brunette hair—looks at his guitar while playing.This text has been derived from The Smashing Pumpkins on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0