Billy, Baltimore, 2007. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images for Virgin Mobile USA)

Here are a dozen Smashing Pumpkins cover songs to get you pumped for their Garden show or for whenever you need ’em.


And please: don’t think I just lifted this list from some random source online. I’m better than that. For the better part of the ’90s, the Smashing Pumpkins were my favorite band in the world. I had posters of both the “Cherub Rock” single and the cover of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on my bedroom walls. Yeah, I know that’s weird. Especially the first one. What can I say? I loved the Pumpkin’s old-timey aesthetic of that era. Still do.


I went long on Siamese Dream on its anniversary. I did the same for Mellon Collie… when it turned 25. I dove deep into the reissues of both Siamese Dream and Gish for its 30th anniversary. And I went back to the Tsongas Arena for their MACHINA Tour. And somewhere, in at least one of those pieces, I drop the humble brag of owning every single song the Pumpkins released commercially from their inception through 2000. All the singles with all the b-sides, all the MACHINA II digital tracks, all of it. So now that I’ve established my credentials, let’s get on with it.


12 Smashing Pumpkins Cover Songs

I decided to go the cover songs route instead of something along the lines of “My Top 12 Smashing Pumpkins Tracks” because the latter of those two would’ve taken too damn long. Narrowing the catalog of one of my all-time favorite bands down to a dozen songs? A fool’s errand. So instead, it’s cover songs. Because, again, I have all the singles with all the b-sides and all the rarities compilations, so I know all these already. There are some gems in here, too. Billy’s musical influences shine through in his cover selections. Listen.

  • "Girl Named Sandoz"

    The Pumpkins recorded a Peel Session with legendary UK DJ John Peel in 1991, then released it as an EP in 1992. This is an Eric Burdon cover.

  • "Terrapin"

    The b-side of the the UK vinyl edition of the “I Am One”single is where you’ll find this Syd Barrett cover.

  • "Dancing In The Moonlight"

    Smashing Pumpkins take on Thin Lizzy. This one first appeared on the UK “Disarm” single.

  • "Landslide"

    Forget The (Dixie) Chicks cover. Billy’s version of the Fleetwood Mac classic is superior.

  • "Never Let Me Down Again"

    This one would end up on the Depeche Mode Music for the Masses tribute, but it first surfaced as the b-side on the “Rocket” single.

  • "My Blue Heaven"

    If you have The Aeroplane Flies High box set (like I do), you have this one.

  • "You're All I've Got Tonight"

    The Pumpkins backed the “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” single with a handful of cover songs, and they’re all great. Here’s their take on the Cars classic.

  • "Clones (We're All)"

    Solo Alice Cooper, done up by Billy Corgan and Co.

  • "A Night Like This"

    James Iha takes the lead on this beloved cut from The Cure.

  • "Destination Unknown"

    Billy channeling Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons is something else.

  • "Dreaming"

    It’s Blondie, naturally.

  • "Rock On"

    A live staple, the David Essex cover was finally shared in recorded form on the Judas O release.

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