July 27, 1993. Chicago alt-rockers The Smashing Pumpkins release their sophomore album Siamese Dream, and my paper route is never the same again.
Last year, Siamese Dream turned 25 and Pumpkinheads the world over wrote thousands and thousands of words about how important the album is. Hell, I even took an ill-advised swing at resequencing the album for my old radio station. This, however, isn’t a think piece or an analysis. It’s a love letter.
Not long after Siamese Dream dropped, I picked up a copy on cassette. I remembered hearing songs from Gish a few years before and had seen the music video for “Cherub Rock” on MTV, so I was primed for more Pumpkins. The album went into my Sony Walkman that summer and didn’t come out until the fall. Siamese Dream soundtracked my paper route every afternoon. It was my seatmate on the school bus: “Cherub Rock” and “Quiet” on the way to school, “Today” cued up and ready to go for the bus ride home.
I’d fallen in love with plenty of albums before Siamese Dream, but I’d never loved an album this way before. Every time I played through a side, I’d pick up something new. A guitar line. A lyric. Some new byproduct of Billy Corgan’s studio magic. It was the “getting-to-know-you” part of a relationship, played out over weeks and weeks, with each discovery further cementing my love for the album and the Smashing Pumpkins.
Years later, I still go back to Siamese Dream every August and September. It’s become one of my all-time favorite albums, and I’d have to say it’s my favorite-ever rock album. Freak out, give in, and revisit it below.