In 1993 the world was ready for the unique blend the Smashing Pumpkins presented. The rock underground had already gone mainstream as so-called “alternative” rock stations began taking over youth culture once Nirvana and “Nevermind” broke through. And the “Today” video played constantly by MTV certainly helped kick the door down to mainstream success.
For the Pumpkins they had released their debut record “Gish” to some fanfare and notice on independent label Caroline Records in 1991. But that was just a humble foreshadowing of what the band would go on to accomplish. Still expectations rose as the writing and recording of their sophomore LP, and major label debut, “Siamese Dream” took hold.
Corgan creates one of the best records of the ’90’s
Billy Corgan, the vocalist, lead guitarist and mastermind of the group overcame crippling depression, writers block and the burden of expectations to write a magnum opus of 70’s arena rock-meets-dream-pop-meets-prog-rock with a psychedelic sheen.
He could write epic-length, engaging rock jams and soul-stirring white-boy ballads in equal measure and sound just as authentic doing either. His drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was an explosive force on the skins and the perfect foil for Corgan’s huge soundscapes of ambition. Also around were bassist D’Arcy Wretsky and rhythm guitarist James Iha who, if legend is to be believed may, or more probably, may not, have played on the actual album.
Despite being way over budget and past his due date, Corgan with the help of Butch Vig producing, delivered one of the defining records of not only the grunge era, but of the entire 1990’s. Going quadruple-platinum every expectation was met, if not exceeded.
Listen to Dan express how as a musician and guitarist himself this album chewed him up and spit him out (in a good way). For Randy, who got the album the week it came out, it helped him realize the Pumpkins and metal had a few similarities. And for both of them it’s still amazing how many top-notch songs there are on one disc and what a miracle that can seem like, even 22 years later. So join us as we discuss and gush over one of our favorite LP’s ever!