In anticipation of Sunday night’s show at the Garden, I listened through to the entire Smashing Pumpkins discography. I have some thoughts.
Actually, I shouldn’t have said “entire.” The Pumpkins catalog is massive. I started listening on October first and, in two weeks, I was only able to get though the 2007 release Zeitgeist. That being said, I did put ears to almost everything, including b-sides and rarities, from Gish to that point in the catalog. One more disclaimer: once I realized I was running out of time days before the show date, I skipped over Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music. Remember that one? Double album, three additional EPs, over an hour and a half of music? The sequel of sorts to Machina/The Machines of God? Released on the internet in 2000? Yeah, I’m gonna have to circle back to that one later.
The big takeaway: Billy Corgan, pound for pound, might be the biggest talent of the ’90s alternative rock era. His songwriting ability is second-to-none, he’s a studio savant, and he’s a top-notch guitar player as well. A true triple-threat. My only knock on Billy musically is when he puts concept ahead of songwriting. And he’s said so himself: when he tries to hard to “create art,” he can sometimes lose the plot. When he focuses on writing great songs, he’s the best of the best.
Revisiting The Smashing Pumpkins Discography
Below, I’ll take you album-by-album through all that I listened to. Then, I’ll share a list of b-sides that all happen to be cover songs. Because that’s how much of a Pumpkinhead I am. Oh, and if you missed my 14-year-old’s review of the show at the Garden on Sunday night, you can check that out here. They did a “smashing” job of writing it up. Har!