Something a little different to finish off the month with, especially as they are not Britpop in anyway shape or form. I have written in length about the Smashing Pumpkins and how I came to find out about them in previous posts, but just to recap. I have been a fan of the original incarnation of the Smashing Pumpkins since I bought their first album ‘Gish’ in 1993. I mentioned the circumstances I became aware of the band back in my October 2020 post about the first album that never was.
‘Gish’ was released in 1991 but I did not get myself a copy until two years later. It is a bit of a difficult album to categorise as Corgan seems to be trying to harness the power of classic rock bands such as Black Sabbath with aspects of sound utilised by bands such as The Cure. The band were given a rather generous budget of $20,000 to record which afforded Corgan and producer Butch Vig the time to get the sounds right but relations within the group were harmed by the production methods. That was due to Corgan rerecording the bass and guitar parts from Darcy Wretzky and James Iha respectively. To add insult to injury, Corgan used their instruments as well. The press for the album were generally favourable and it would eventually sell over 1 million copies in the US alone.
I liked what I heard with ‘Gish’ and bought ‘Siamese Dream’ soon afterwards. I continued buying all of the material that they had released/recorded between the late 80s up until 2001. This continued with the Deluxe Editions of all of those albums, which have been a treasure trove of previously unreleased material, alternative takes and live material. This was one of the best reissue programmes I have seen, especially as main songwriter Billy Corgan had a hand in putting it all together. I have found that for the majority of the time, the last people you want being in charge of a reissue programme are the artists themselves. Anyway, I digress.
As so much material has been released, I wondered if it would be possible to compile a completely alternative version of the studio albums they made before they broke up in 2000, just using the material from the Deluxe Editions. Well, I wasn’t able to do this so I had to have a look into the murky world of the bootleg, including ones that Corgan put on line in the early days of the internet. This also included the short lived Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (which offered up tracks to download from the internet that were not included on any of the Deluxe Edition reissues). What this means is that ‘Pieces Iscariot’ and ‘The Aeroplane Flies High’ will not be included here (look at my entry from October 2022 to see my alternative version of ‘The Aeroplane Flies High).
- I Am One – Limited Potential Version (Single A-Side)
- Siva (Peel Radio Session EP)
- Rhinoceros (Version Two) – Reel Time Sessions (Smashing Pumpkins Record Club)
- Bury Me – Reel Time Demos (Gish Deluxe)
- Hippy Trippy – Crush Demo (Gish Deluxe)
- Seam – Suffer Department Demo (Gish Deluxe)
- Snail – Radio Session (Mashed Potatoes Bootleg)
- Tristessa – Sub Pop Version (Single A-Side)
- Window Paine – Live (Mashed Potatoes Bootleg)
- Daydream – Old House Demo (Gish Deluxe)
What was surpassing was how close I could achieve this aim. Seeing as I bought these records on vinyl, I have followed the order on that release.