Why Billy Corgan Is Greatest Songwriter Of The 90’s

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Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz. Also, to any potential angry commenters, this is an opinion piece!

While Alternative Nation has heavily covered the Smashing Pumpkins 2018 drama with D’arcy Wretzky and more recently Pogo, but make no mistake, we are huge fans of all four members of the original Smashing Pumpkins lineup, and that obviously includes William Patrick Corgan. Corgan is undoubtably a standout songwriter of the last 30 years.

With each decade comes a slew of artists who can name themselves the voice of a generation. Pick any decade since say the sixties and you can run down a gauntlet of musical juggernauts who can hold that title. The greatest aspect- of which there are many- about music is the subjective nature in which a particular song can speak to a hundred-different people and mean a hundred different things. The key though to this though sits in one’s ability to craft wonderfully honest, if not straight up blunt songs that not only stand on their own but seem as if they carry on a piece on the artist who created them in the first place. When it comes to the nineties, honestly, the list for greatest songwriter may be endless. However, one songwriter owns that title. The man’s name, you ask. Billy Corgan. And here is why.

The Smashing Pumpkins- in almost their original form (minus D’arcy of course)- have reunited and are about to embark on the Shiny and Oh So Bright Tour in which they will focus on material from their classic era during the nineties. And what a classic era it is. Throughout the decade that gave us grunge and alternative, Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins produced four wildly successful albums. I could bore you with the stats….well, yeah, let’s look at that. The albums that bookended the decade, Gish  and Adore each reached Platinum status. The cream of the overstuffed oreo, Siamese Dream and the landmark, career-defining double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness racked up Quadruple Platinum and Diamond certifications, respectively. Sixteen million albums sold in one decade. No small feat.

But with any successful band; it comes down to the songs. And Billy Corgan possesses an almost otherworldly ability to craft songs. Perfect songs. Perfect alternative rock songs that hold up to the best work in most any other genre. What pushes Corgan into another realm is a songwriter is how well defined his prowess was right out of the gate. Drawing from his favorite bands and influences of the seventies, Corgan brought an epic feel to straight up rock songs. On the band’s debut, Corgan wrote one song in particular that served as a mission statement of sorts; “Rhinoceros”. The song weaves crisp, dreamy guitars with a pounding underbelly of a rhythm section that keeps the song brooding without overstating its true power.

By combining octave chords and some chorus guitar effects, Corgan creates a lush atmosphere that helps you understand just what sitting in a cloud may feel like. But the genius of it all is when the song takes off- crunching guitars sweep you off your feet while that punishing rhythm section takes flight. The song is built like an experience more so than a song. We’re not even talking lyrics here. The song’s arrangement and instrumentation do all the talking and more, touching you on emotional levels not normally uncovered by alternative rock. A classic if there ever was.

Gish set a foundation that acts more like the basement of a house. Upon that strong foundation came Siamese Dream. If not for the grandiosity of its successor, Siamese Dream would stand as the band’s magnum opus. The opening snare rolls of “Cherub Rock” set the pace and clutch onto you leading into one of the greatest intros of not only a rock song- but any song. Again, Corgan pounds those octave chords- a trademark of his guitar playing and take you on a ride. With the punching bass underneath and crashing drums, you can barely stand still with fuzz-soaked guitar bliss that soon follows. “Cherub Rock” is a hallmark of the era. Not only does it boast one of Corgan’s finest guitar solos but the song swings with such intensity and bite that a true tour de force unfolds before you.

“Today” serves as a phenomenally honest look into the mind of Corgan. The autobiographical lyrics and melancholy (no pun intended) arrangement carry with them a yearning so intimate that you feel the song more than you hear it. Great songs often have basic, instantly relatable premises. “Today” is no exception.  The understated “Disarm” shows Corgan’s range. A sonic left turn, with its acoustic arrangement and use of strings, this beautiful killer of a track showed Corgan’s capabilities knew no limit.

For as powerful a songwriter as he had proven himself to this point, Corgan was just as prolific. The argument here may be that Corgan was the songwriter of the nineties, it’s fitting then that this musical mad genius would also be responsible for the album of the decade. With the band’s third album, Corgan puled out all the stops. An insane twenty-eight songs. Three singles that would go on to rival any other classics from the era, the album become as synonymous with this era of music as albums from the Beatles had in the sixties and Led Zeppelin in the seventies.

Corgan didn’t completely abandon the dream pop influence of Siamese Dream. Instead, he molded that with classic rock influences from years past. “1979” and “Tonight,Tonight” fall further outside his comfort zone than “Disarm” had previously. But with this expansion of his expected craft, Corgan continued to build upon this reputation. Mellon Collie kept the hard rocking alternative swagger rolling though. “Zero” proved a massive hit that inspired a generation of rockers and honestly one of the most symbolic tee shirt designs of the generation.

What stands most striking of this era of Corgan’s songwriting is the risk. A lot of bands try to evolve. And most of the times- these bands find varied results. See Metallica, Aerosmith and Weezer just to name a few. Fans and critics don’t always view change as a positive. And too often, a band- or more specifically a songwriter chooses to change it up over trivial reasons like being bored or worse- trying to prove people wrong. Not Corgan. “1979” seemed a natural evolution. The honest lyrics. The vulnerability previously established allowed for an easy transition where not only was the change of pace welcome, it was celebrated.

Corgan kept the change train a rollin’ with Adore. Say what you will about the band’s fourth album, but it is without doubt the underrated gem of the band’s entire discography. Despite inner turmoil, personnel changes and even tragedy, Corgan continued his effortless evolution. An industrial-tinged album, Adore  threw caution to the wind and sits as a true artists expression- and time stamp of a particular time in life. When you look back at the history of Corgan and the band, this is the album people look back at with fresh eyes and fall in love with. All the credit in the world is owed to Corgan for his fearless attack and determination to avoid complacency.

With Corgan’s unique vocal style and non-traditional voice, he certainly rose to the occasion time and time again in his ability to craft a strong melody. Better yet, he possesses as innate ability to write lyrics that imbed themselves into the subconscious. I dare you to go up to someone and say, “Despite all my rage…”. I’d be willing to bet the lucky participant of this social experiment would respond with, “….I am still just a rat in a cage.” That is power, man. That is a gift. So many songwriters would literally give their left hand to write a lyric that carries so much life. The thing with Billy Corgan though, he doesn’t even need to try. Like great songwriters John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Geddy Lee, Corgan was able to tap into the social subconscious and speak the words for an entire generation.

With what the current state of rock would be during the band’s heyday, the Pumpkins struck a chord that resonated far past a lot of the here today gone tomorrow cookie cutter carbon copies of the grunge movement. His songs have stood the test of time and will continue to long from now. A true testament to unmatched ability. Even when compared to his most famed contemporaries, there’s something about Corgan’s earnest approach that is so damn respectable and so god damn pure that when you look at it, you can’t help but see it as so shiny…and oh so bright.

  • Think Like Ya Enemy

    Dope

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    Truth. Not the best one maybe however he made so many songs with cool melodies.

  • Go Hiomlán Mandelbrotmenge Imi

    Finally a good article here again, has been a long time…

    • Kathleen

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    • Atrosion Band

      Was thinking the same thing. Just a matter of time before the comments section fills with hate. Hate sells better.

  • John Scott

    I wish they’d stop saying they’ve reunited. They’re not going to be truly reunited until they make things right with D’arcy. It’s great that James Iha is back – because he’s incredibly talented, but it’s wrong of JC to exclude D’arcy from the reunion.

    • Evan Jones II

      So true, D’Arcy made the SP what they are today

      • Shibusa 🇬🇧

        In an aesthetic sense you’re correct, but she didn’t bring anything irreplaceable to the table.

        • Evan Jones II

          I disagree with you and your position. I doubt they would have been a stand out band without her services. She is a classical Musician and brought a lot to the creative nurturing of their songs. Just ask Billy Wonka Virgie🐩

          • Shibusa 🇬🇧

            Thats a bit like saying Oasis wouldn’t have made it big if it weren’t for Paul McGuigan – a patently absurd statement

          • Evan Jones II

            Not really, comparing apples and oranges, does not hold water.
            Oasis!? LOL…Boy, you must STILL be into ABBA….Dancing Queen…

          • Shibusa 🇬🇧

            Incorrect.

            – Both bands sold lots of records due to the songwriting efforts of one of their members.
            – D’Arcy played what she was told to play just like McGuigan.
            – D’Arcy is an unremarkable musician just like McGuigan
            – Both bands songwriters deteriorated after 3/4 albums

            I dont see the relevance of Abba – if you’re possibly implying it is because Oasis are old you are oblivious to the fact that both bands had their heyday in the same period.

          • Evan Jones II

            Blah, blah, blah…what are YOUR credentials? I demand to see them.
            RS states otherwise and has praised her talents….case closed…see YA🎃

          • Shibusa 🇬🇧

            Logical fallacy number 2 – the “appeal to authority”

            You dont need to be a chef to know when you’re eating bad food.

          • Evan Jones II

            In another words, You don’t have any…..🎭

          • Shibusa 🇬🇧

            “In another words”

            Its actually “in other words”.

            I dont need any credentials

          • Evan Jones II

            No peckerhead in another words you know nothing, LOL

          • Olga Stewart

            Actually, I like ABBA.

          • Evan Jones II

            So do I, but to compare them to Smashing Pumpkins?
            I think not
            D’arcy Wretzky
            In 1995, for a certain part of the female population, there was no cooler aesthetic icon than Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’Arcy Wretsky. Sure, Billy Corgan had the freshly shaved head, silver pants and a snarl, but D’Arcy had the latter plus blue hair, raccoon eyes and immaculate space-age goth clothing, as witnessed in the “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” video. With her thin frame, slickly modern bobbed hair and inky beestung lips, she looked like an updated version of a sullen silent film star, an apocalyptic Brooksian figure. It wasn’t an image for gleaming, healthy youths to mimic, but the most interesting expressions usually aren’t. When she added a devil-horned headband to her look, the spell was fully complete. Alongside Shirley Manson, D’Arcy was the most glamorous outsider in the game.

          • Olga Stewart

            I was more of a Sheryl Crow fan at that time.

            Actually, I still am.

            By the way, you do write very well

          • Evan Jones II

            Yes, she’s cool and a big Steve McQueen fan. I liove cheaters like Lance Armstrong and the NE Patriots Tom Brady. Didn’t she almost marry them?
            Sheryl overcome a lot and glad to hear is OK.
            The one I’m really concerned about is Val Kilmar, the actor.

            HOLLYWOOD star Val Kilmer will not be making a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s Comic Con organisers have confirmed.

            The event, held at Wrexham’s Glyndwr University, is one of the most popular on the Comic Con calendar in the UK and across Europe, and will see thousands of fantasy fans descend on the town centre.

            Kilmer, 58, famous for portraying Batman and his roles as Ice Man in Top Gun, Jim Morrisson in The Doors and Madmartigan in Willow, was one of the biggest names on the bill, but organisers confirmed he would not be coming in a tweet posted on Thursday morning.
            Val Kilmer has been spotted wearing a neck brace following a two-year battle with throat cancer. The 58-year-old seemed to be attempting to go incognito as he attended a screening of Pacific Rim Rising in a cinema in Los Angeles. Val wore a cap low on his face, while wearing dark sunglasses inside the theatre. The Batman Forever actor was dressed in a black puffer jacket, while a large white foam brace was strapped around his neck

            Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2018/04/06/val-kilmer-pictured-wearing-neck-brace-two-year-throat-cancer-battle-7445849/?ito=cbshare
            Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

            Pray for him, poor Guy, life is so unfair

          • Evan Jones II

            Hello, thank you for the up votes and glad to see another one here that shares the same view of the group, as well as, D’Arcy Wretzky. It is a struggle to be an artist, especially as one not only in collaboration, but as a single, sole woman asserting her role as a member. Billy Wonka tried to be a single act, out on his own, and always came back as a Smashing Pumpkin. Too bad his oversized ego couldn’t share the rightful place with her at this late stage in their careers.
            What a wasted opportunity. Sad….Ready Player One!

          • Olga Stewart

            You are welcome.

          • Evan Jones II

            Hope we cross paths again Olga. Bye for now.

          • Olga Stewart

            :).

          • C.

            It sounds like you are a huge fanboy that has no clue what you are talking about. This is Billy’s band. He does the vast majority of lyrics, songs, and guitar parts. You need to deal with it.

          • Evan Jones II

            Sounds to me you’re a self proclaimed Billy Wonka know it all fan boy that has his nose up his a$$.

        • C.

          Correct and not even close to the other way around at that. This was Billy and Jimmy to begin with. She made some QA type of decisions with things that obviously was good for the band as a whole.

          I would not call here totally replaceable, but for a tour she is definitely replaceable. Sorry to say, she was never that great on bass or anything.

      • C.

        Oh now that is complete bullshit lol. Darcy did a few QA things while in the band. She was never a great bassist. Ever. And every other member contributed more output than here by a landslide.

        Aesthetically just looking at them physically of course she contributed a lot, but you are insane to say any such BS.

        • Evan Jones II

          Where do these backseat aholes crawl out from? Billy Wonkas troll brigade wishes to diminish other band members legacy to prop up the “genius”!
          For what material she had to work with, her contributions were exceptional!
          Even RS recognized such and that’s nothing to overlook.
          So much for BS….🚮👚

          • Olga Stewart

            I’m beginning to think these trolls are either cloned or factory produced.

            Man, oh man!

          • C.

            Or it’s the fact she mostly plays random bass, and has not for well over a decade, and she mostly contributed a few quality assurance things to tracks and nothing more?

          • C.

            Yeah, I mean how dare we insinuate the facts here that Billy wrote and played most of the stuff for most of the songs. OH DEAR LORD.

          • Olga Stewart

            Thanks for sharing.

  • Zweet Juzt 1212

    EWWWWWW——NOT EVEN… < – – – – Clueless

    same words just mixed up
    same lines just moved around
    same content – hasn't changed in years
    It's the same malarkey.

    All he does is copy others music then rearranges it to cover up the plagiarism.

    He even tells everyone what he's doing, how he's doing it and ya still think he's good.

    Frigging idiot consumers.

    I gotta tell ya….

    I can't even enjoy their music as Corgan – King Whiny Assness has ruined it for everyone.

    And now excluding a lady rocker when women are finally being recognized as the power beings they are and he goes and makes sure everyone knows he doesn't support women of rock n roll unless they can help him pay his never ending bills, loans, and over extended credit.

    Big Old Cradle Robbing Lozer

    • Atrosion Band

      So Oceania is Gish. Monuments is Mellon Collie. Teargarden is Adore. Machina is Siamese Dream. Pisces is Zeitgeist. Ogilala is Future Embrace. And women are superior. Got it.

    • SteveWilmos

      Son, are you okay? You don’t look well.

  • Stone Gossardish

    I like a lot of Bitter’s stuff but good god, it’s an argument that he’s somewhere in the 5 to 10 range. I don’t believe he’d be considered for the top slots.

    Again, I love a lot of what he did with his band. A lot of it. But come on.

    • Atrosion Band

      So which 5 bands have more radio-worthy singles? Which band has played more of their songs live? Which band has more albums worthy of listening top to bottom. SP has 42 singles, and songs like ‘Mayonaise’, ‘Geek USA’ that weren’t singles are fan favorites. The amount of quality B-Sides is literally insane (Check out the track count of The Aeroplane Flies High reissue!) I am actually curious (not being a dick) to your response, as just a few weeks ago I was trying to do the math objectively and was left with U2, Metallica, REM and Green Day coming close. Surprising to me Nirvana, Sound Garden, Pearl Jam, Alice n Chains, Guns n Roses and Tool just didn’t have the songs. So who do you think this article should be about?
      Love and Respect.

      • Corndog

        What criteria are you using? Are you basing it purely on who had more radio songs or is it just personal preference? If it’s the latter then respectfully I would say that Pearl Jam’s first 3 albums; the holy trinity, are far superior to the Pumpkins first 3.

        I do love those first 3 albums though, and I quite liked Zeitgeist when it came out. Machina seems like there may be a decent album in there trying to get out but the production is so bad it’s hard to tell. For the most part all the instruments sound like white noise. One big homogeneous hiss. I’ve honestly never given Adore the chance it deserved given what came before. It’s always been on my to do list, then before you know it two decades have passed! I thought Oceania was truly awful, Monuments was slightly better but still kind of crap, and I’ve never bothered with any of that other stuff.

        • Atrosion Band

          Mostly based on who has the most songs I think are worthy of radio AirPlay. So many of the artist I thought were contenders didn’t have but a few recognizable songs to a casual rock fan.
          SP has
          Cherub Rock, Disarm, Today, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, 1979, Tonight, Tonight and Ava Adore as songs I still hear on the radio. None of them sound alike so they didn’t replace each other. There are 35 more singles like Zero and Stand Inside Your Love that really spoke.
          I think it is hard to not compare to other artists, but let’s say Pearl Jam never existed. Is SP great then? As a big SP fan, I always get irritated when other bands are media darlings. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Corgan portrayed in good light. Perhaps it’s time for the underdog to shine. They were successful, but never with the critics. Mellon Collie for instance is 128 minutes long with 7 singles and an incredible visual world built around it and has been left of “Greatest Double Album of All Time List” in place of 1 hour long double vinyls. MCIS is 4 LPs and had 98 B-sides! I can’t think of a more prolific artist. But I’m biased. That’s why I asked for others math, myself. BC played more unique songs in 1 year than Radiohead has played in their career. Yet, the band is already getting bad press for announcing they are going to just play from the 42 singles and maybe ‘Mayonaise’ to please the fans. Corgan general plays the new album in its entirety and tests new stuff, starts shit with the crowd as part of the act… and still wins the crowd over. Corgan was also on the “Top Guitarists” of all time list, and sleighs on piano and bass as well. And production… Oh and he wrote songs like Hole’s ‘Malibu’, and Natalie Imbruglias ‘Identify’. Zwan had great songs… and his Ogilala album is really “of the times”. He seems to be trying to vary his art, approach and style to be the only music anyone would ever need. The topics have really ran the 25 year fashion cycle to pretty much explain the world for decades to come. This article is a no brained to me. I love everything under the prog-rock sun… but I guarantee if you give everything he’s professionally released a fair shot you will in the very least be a fan. Check out the “If All Goes Wrong” DVD!

          • Corndog

            I am a fan, and the Pumpkins are a great band regardless of whether Pearl Jam exist or not. They’d be a great band on the strength of Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie even if either of them was their only album. I’ve been a fan since Gish. Apologies if I gave you the wrong impression.

            I think the bad press he’s getting about the tour is his own doing. He was so vocal in mocking other bands such as Soundgarden for doing a ‘nostalgia’ tour that he now looks like a total hypocrite. He seems like a real do as I say not as I do kind of guy.

          • Atrosion Band

            …but Soundgarden didn’t have a new record. He has always played his and created a fashion world around. He will have 4 albums either out or in the works in the last 3 years before he does the Nostalgia tour. And he toured earlier this year on his solo album.
            I wasn’t misjudging you on the “if Pearl Jam never existed thing”… I was more speaking personally. I love Radiohead, but sometimes when they get headlines (Top CNN article 2 days prior and the day of Chester Bennington’s death! … Cornell’s connection to Bennington was higher!) for deleted Facebook, I can’t help but go “Why not my band?”. I’ve matured in the last year to realize that’s cause news is bought, tied to politics, and anyone that isn’t in a certain Men’s Club isn’t allowed praise. Eddie Vedder golfs with Obama. What does that have to do with music? To some people, EVERYTHING. Not bashing Vedder, he’s a f*cking God, with a good, firm grip (club handshake).

          • Corndog

            Was King Animal not out at the time? I can’t really remember, but regardless of whether Corgan has a new album or not a nostalgia tour is still a nostalgia tour. He’s said that he’s only going to be playing the old stuff and that’s exactly what he was criticising other bands for doing. He can’t have it both ways.

            I really like Radiohead’s first 3 albums. Ok Computer is one of the best albums of all time in my opinion. I’ve never been able to get into the weird electronic stuff they started doing after that though.

            Far as Eddie is concerned, I don’t care who he plays golf with. It’s none of my business. My interest in these bands is only in their musical output. I have no interest in their personal lives.

          • Kay B

            I’m just gonna scoot in and say Radiohead’s The Bends is one of my faves……that is all.

          • Corndog

            Great album Kay. High and Dry. Fake Plastic Trees. Just. Street Spirit. So many awesome tracks!

            I do love it, but i think that OK Computer is just a little better. It’s a nigh on perfect album. I could listen to that all day long.

            How do you feel about the more electronic approach that they adopted after OK Computer? It really didn’t work for me. I’m not a massive fan of electronic music. I sort of lost interest in them after Kid A, and the last thing that i heard was In Rainbows, but i can’t even remember that one so it doesn’t appear to have left much of an impression. Have they released anything lately that is more like their older stuff?

          • Kay B

            I am not into the electronic stuff nearly as much. I think that it takes a lot of talent to do it, but after awhile especially when I have seen them live on TV, it’s like okay get on with it. I know this is totally apples to oranges but if I listen to music with little words I like Daft Punk, Crystal Method or Chemical Brothers. I always thought that if I was a UFC fighter my song I would come out to would be “Galvanize” by Chem Brothers. I honestly haven’t heard newer stuff from Radiohead. I do enjoy all their videos though. Karma Police and High and Dry were fantastic Videos.

          • Corndog

            It frustrates me because I know they could easily put out another album of the quality of The Bends or Ok Computer but they choose not to. I think they have some hangup about repeating themselves or something.

            I’m not really familiar with the other music you mention. Most of that stuff goes right over my head and just isn’t on my radar. I’m honestly not a fan of dance music at all. I know that’s not the right name for it but I tend to use dance music as an umbrella term for electronic music in general. One notable exception though. When I was a lot younger and much higher than I probably should have been I used to listen to The Orb. Stuff like Little Fluffy Clouds or Blue Room. I haven’t thought of them in years! I’m not sure if they’re even still a thing. I think it would have been termed as ‘ambient music’. Do you remember them?

          • John Scott

            Sounds like we lost interest in them at about the same time. Their later albums are interesting, but nowhere near the level of their early stuff. Very experimental. Almost jazz-like somehow.

          • Corndog

            Yes indeed. Someone needs to tell them that a song must have some sort of structure; a beginning, middle and end. I just can’t be doing with their later electronic stuff at all. That being said, there is no denying the quality of their first 3 albums. OK Computer in particular was a brilliant album!

          • Corndog

            You have just created a new genre of rock. Behold….Jazz-rock!

            I like that:)

          • Michael Dolce

            They were THE band of 1996 if you think about it. Above Oasis and Alanis who were the best sellers of the time. Nirvana might be a tad overrated when it comes to volume of work. Corndog is right when he nods to PJ’s first 3 albums being superior and having more “hits” … and B-sides. Vitalogy forever.

        • John Scott

          Give Adore another try. I started listening to it again, and I like it a lot more than I did when it came out. The tour they did to support it had some of their best live performances.

          • Corndog

            Yeah i’m absolutely going to do that. It’s definitely well past due:)

          • C.

            Easily has his most accomplished lyrics in written form. He has never reached that height afterwards or even close. His writing is what has gone downhill IMHO.

        • Michael Dolce

          Gah! I was with you until you said Oceania was awful. It’s a really solid record, as close to their 90s material as they come. Matt Byrne is no Jimmy Chamberlain but wasnt trying to be. Track 2 is a SOLID drum track. And there’s some solid stuff there. Zeitgeist is REALLY underrated. I told Billy that when i interviewed him last year. He joked that “at least someone liked it’ lol. Machina is…meh. Monuments is … meh

          • Corndog

            I really liked Zeitgeist, still do, and would argue that it is the closest to their early 90’s stuff. I could never really understand the hate that record got. It’s miles better than Machina.

            You have intrigued me though. I’m just about curious enough to see what it is that you heard on Oceania that i didn’t, that i might just give it another chance. I only listened to it the whole way through about 3 times, but if memory serves, it felt quite light on guitars, right?

          • Atrosion Band

            Mellon Collie got 3 stars in Rolling Stone. Siamese Dream got 3.5. Adore 3.5. Zeitgeist got 4. Oceania 3. Monuments 3. Pisces 3.
            Mellon Collie should have revised the star-rating system. 7! …But Siamese Dream is my favorite record of all time!

          • Corndog

            Siamese Dream would be my favourite Pumpkins album, but my all time favourite album is Pearl Jam’s Ten.

          • John Scott

            Those are two amazing albums. You can’t go wrong with either.

          • John Scott

            I don’t know man. I’ve tried, but I just don’t connect with Oceania. It’s technically well done, but there aren’t any tracks that I want to listen to over and over.

          • Corndog

            Yeah i wasn’t much of a fan either. In fact i thought it was a bit crap. I’m going to give it another listen just to see if i have missed something, but i’m not hopeful at all.

          • C.

            His lyrics are trite and simple, and that is what turns me off on most songs for Oceania.

          • Michael Dolce

            I can agree with that, though musically not a fan of adore

          • John Scott

            I didn’t like Adore when it came out. I didn’t really get into it until years later – not sure why. These days I listen to it as often as Mellon Collie or Siamese Dream.

          • Michael Dolce

            Track 2 for me – matt Bryne does an impressive job filling the space between the guitar

          • C.

            Yeah Zeitgeist has the best overall structure with good songs out of all their new ones IMO. Oceania is probably last for me.

          • C.

            His lyrical style is the problem these days. Go compare Adore in written word to what he is writing on Oceania. It’s like two completely different writers. Adore actually looks like poetry.

          • Michael Dolce

            I can agree with that. Though don’t much like the music of adore. Oceania is more my thing

        • Michael Dolce

          It was definitely more focused on the drums. For me being a drummer I really liked it a lot. But that being said tracks 235 sound like vintage pumpkins and the backend of the record 12 to 14 sound like something off of melancholy to me

          • Corndog

            I still have it on my Ipod. I’ll give it another spin, but i’m honestly not holding out much hope!

            After saying Honestly while discussing Corgan, i’m now thinking of Zwan:) I really liked that album. When it came out i used to call it happy pumpkins!

          • Michael Dolce

            That’s next on my Corgan list LOL. I’m collecting the tiered garden stuff right now if the YouTube but I like to space my music out. Ironically speaking of 90s bands just downloaded Soul Asylum and gin blossoms greatest hits. Considered a cheese rock back in the day maybe I’m getting soft in my old age LOL

          • Corndog

            I’ve never heard any of the strangely named Corgan stuff. Was it Teargardens and Kaleidoscope’s or something like that? I’d be willing to give it a go if a thought it was more like old school rockier Pumpkins though.

            You should definitely give Zwan a chance if you haven’t heard it before. I really enjoyed that album. Like i said it’s like a slightly more upbeat, hopeful Pumpkins kind of sound. Paz Lenchantin’s voice really complimented Corgan’s well.

          • Atrosion Band

            Check out “Song For a Son” off of Teargarden. I think it is SP’s greatest song since “Stand Inside Your Love”, which might be in their top 5 greatest songs.
            https://youtu.be/Ic2dcp0wddw

          • Corndog

            Thanks. I’ll give that a listen later when I can concentrate on it properly. I’m with my kid now and he’s listening to Manson very loudly:)

          • Corndog

            I listened to it. Takes it a while to get going, but yes i’d agree that this is a very decent song. Is all the Teargarden material similar to this?

            See, i can’t understand why Oceania and Monuments sound like they do if he can still write stuff like this?

          • Atrosion Band

            Monuments and Oceania are technically part of Teargarden. It shines.

          • Corndog

            Can you explain that to me? So there is no actual record called Teargarden then?

      • Stone Gossardish

        This is awesome to discuss. I will come back and fill this in becuase it’s worth a deep dive. There’s so much good stuff there that I can’t rip them off that quickly. My impression is that SP & Billy, let’s presume they’re one, would line up between 5 and 10th on that list, probably closer to 5th.

        I love Silver F, Rocket, Zero, and so many more. So this is really worth digging in. And no one has more B-Sides and extras of their era than that band. So when I get a bit of time later this week I will respond. I will literally need to get a pad of paper and write some notes.

  • Evan Jones II

    Super, Smart, Smartie, Billy Wonka thinks so it must be true!
    D’Arcy says otherwise…..but can he sing? LOL.pErFEct

  • BillyCorganFanClub

    About time he gets respect on here. Thank you writer for telling it like it is, and letting those who may have otherwise not known that Billy is ‘the man’.

    The Smashing Pumpkins were ‘smashing’ because Corgan WAS and IS the band, and always has been. The others were either there for Billy needing some background help, which could have easily been filled by anybody decent, or for their looks (D’Arcy).

    Billy Corgan is the MAN!!!

    • John Scott

      It wasn’t just one person, dude. It took all four of them to truly make the Pumpkins what they were. If Corgan is the man, then why hasn’t his solo work taken off?

  • Shibusa 🇬🇧

    Daydreaming on my morning commute I arrived at the same conclusion.
    Nobody wrote top tier rock songs and incorporated as much variety as Corgan.

    My wife and I once discussed Nevermind vs Siamese Dream, which is arguably Cobains best vs Corgans best. It ain’t even close.

  • Atrosion Band

    Ogilala was named best rock album of 2017. What other songwriter deserves the title as best songwriter of the 90’s? Since Corgan wrote and arranged guitars, bass, lyrics and produced drums… I don’ think anyone else came close. I could be wrong. Name your candidate!

  • Dave Groal

    God I’m so fucking sick of hearing about Billy dick weed Dorkin sounds like a punk ass five year old who. Had his balls stomped on . On top of that I would rather hear about Wes scantlen being arrested again at least puddle of mudd was good.

  • David Henretta

    man, you couldn’t have hit the nail more on the head…the Smashing Pumpkins as a band were head and shoulders above their contemporaries like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, and all the other bands that sound like they just vomit the same album every cycle. As far as Billy goes, none of those bands could hold a candle to him in terms of writing a song, there’s fluff and then there’s the Smashing Pumpkins! Just bought “Oceania” on vinyl today and am listening to it right now, might as well through in best of the 2000’s and onward as well

  • JohnBonham808

    Corgan is a fake and a joke. Always has been. He seems now to be getting the attention he’s always wanted. The attention he felt he deserved. The world falls apart around us… Fools.