Released October 24, 1995.

Revisiting the Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on the occasion of its anniversary. Or any occasion, really.


October 24, 1995. The Pumpkins release the follow up to their breakthrough 1993 album Siamese Dream with a dramatic gambit: a double-album. To put things in context, after the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, the Pumpkins’ label Virgin Records impressed upon head pumpkinhead Billy Corgan that he was to be the next Cobain, and the Smashing Pumpkins would be the next Nirvana.


The pressure put Corgan in his worst mental state to date, but he did not break down. Instead, he rose to the challenge, and the product of his effort was the sweeping, epic double-album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The stats are impressive: two hours of music spread out over 28 tracks–six of which were singles–a quarter-million-plus copies sold in the first week, over 5 million sold to date. That’s certified Diamond status. In other words, if you were a Pumpkins fan, Mellon Collie was a dream come true.


Revisiting Smashing Pumpkins ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’


I was a Pumpkins fan; I still am. On the Tuesday that Mellon Collie hit record stores, I didn’t have my first class at Northeastern until 1:30 in the afternoon, so I stopped at Newbury Comics on Newbury Street just as the store opened that morning and nabbed my copy on double CD. I spent the next two hours on the grass outside of Kariotis Hall, taking in the album track-by-track on my Sony Discman. I was in heaven: my favorite band released a double album. When does that happen?


Over the coming year, I’d track down and purchase every import single (thanks again, Newbury Comics) released from the album so I could absorb all the bonus tracks. Hell, I even bought the cover art as a giant poster to hang over my bed. The music had a magic to it that few other bands of that era were able to capture. Let’s revisit some of the songs 25 years on and see if we can’t recapture some of that magic.

  • "Bullet With Butterfly Wings"

    The song that would launch a thousand “the world is a vampire” memes, starting about a decade after it dropped.

  • "1979"

    I remember hearing this one on Top 40 radio back when it was out as a single and being blown away that my favorite band had crossed over.

  • "Zero"

    Always loved the aesthetic of the music video for this one. They’d bring that look back in 2000’s “Stand Inside Your Love.”

  • "Tonight, Tonight"

    Love this song, primarily for Jimmy Chamberlain’s incredibly tight drum work. The man puts on a clinic, even in a classically-tinged song like this.

  • "Thirty-Three"

    And these are just the singles. I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ll leave it to you to go back to the double album and rediscover it yourself.

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