Smashing Pumpkins Bassist’s Top 5 Vocal Performances: Celebrating D’arcy’s 50th Birthday


Today is the 50th birthday of legendary Smashing Pumpkins bassist D’arcy Wretzky (though we’re posting this a couple of hours early). While D’arcy has not performed live or released music in nearly 20 years, her legacy lives on as one of the most influential women in 90’s rock. We can only hope that one day she decides to return with some new music and live performances!

To celebrate her 50th birthday, here are D’arcy’s 5 greatest moments as a singer. Feel free to leave your birthday wishes in the comments section, as she has been known to peek at them on Alternative Nation. I’ve gotten to know D’arcy a bit over the last few months, and she’s got a huge heart, so send her some love!


“Daydream” is the sole song on a Smashing Pumpkins studio album to feature D’arcy on lead vocals. The track appeared on Gish, and has remained a fan favorite for 27 years. D’arcy’s vocals on the track are vulnerable and emotional, a true standout moment on Gish. It’s a short song and definitely leaves you wanting more.

Farewell and Goodnight

“Farewell and Goodnight” is the bookend of The Smashing Pumpkins’ epic Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It is the only Pumpkins song to feature all four members on vocals. The song really captures the chemistry of the band’s original lineup. D’arcy’s duet verse with Jimmy Chamberlin is one of the most powerful moments of the song, their voices beautifully harmonize with each other, and Billy Corgan and James Iha eventually join them. Billy, D’arcy, James, and Jimmy truly were something special together!

Four Leaf Clover

D’arcy provided guest vocals on Catherine’s song “Four Lead Clover” in 1996. The song is quintessential 90’s alternative rock, driven by a Pixiesesque guitar riff. D’arcy’s vocals add a lot of character to the song, and hearing her makes you wonder what she could do with her own Breeders type band!

To Sheila (Live)

D’arcy provided backing vocals for the live version of the Adore classic “To Sheila.” She helped bring the song to life live vocally in a way that hasn’t always happened when the revived Pumpkins have played it in the last decade.

One and Two

“One and Two” appeared on James Iha’s debut solo album Let It Come Down, though it was originally worked on as a Smashing Pumpkins song. D’arcy’s harmonies here with James Iha are some of her most beautiful vocal work.

Thanks for all the music and performances D’arcy, and happy 50th birthday!

  • Fuzzmosis

    Happy Birthday to D’arcy! Definitely the coolest woman in grunge and an inspiration to young girls everywhere to show that women could succeed in a male dominated business. She always seemed to keep Billy in line from making horrible choices and for proof of that, look no further than the sound of the modern “Smashing Pumpkins”.

    Hopefully she returns to the stage. Would love to rock out to her playing again, much more than I would this sell out bullshit that B0lly is pedaling!

    • Atrosion Band

      So ‘Aeronaut’, Tiberius’, ‘Oceania’, ‘Song For a Son’, ‘United States’, ‘Mary Star of the Sea/Jesus I’ and ‘Mina Loy (MOH)’ are shit because they don’t have D’arcy’s name on them… but ‘Stand Inside Your Love’ is because the label thought it a wise decision to include her in the liner notes even though she was long gone? The last few tours sounded like shit compared to the MCIS tour… Got it. I got to get better at evaluating music. 😉 D’arcy was SP’s producer and mastermind because she is female, and females are superior. Got it. D’arcy spent the majority of her time and money on the band. D’arcy has been ranked one of the ‘greatest bass players of all time’… D’arcy wrote the songs? You know if you re-recreate a DaVinci, you get the credit. I know a guy that learned 60 songs for a gig that paid $350… He’s more brilliant than the composers of those works. Injustice is the only language some people speak. BC’s bad press is an injustice. Phil Spector killed someone and we didn’t have to re-evaluate his work and re-distribute the credit. Poor, poor D’arcy… No one wished me happy birthday this year… Not one person. No one sent a card or gift. I think D’arcy got too many Happy Birthdays and Socialism should redistribute some of them to me. 🙂

      • Cody Devere

        Dude you got issues

        • Atrosion Band

          Happy belated Birthday, Cody! And I agree… Communication issues. In person, in a different context, do you suppose I would come off the same? Do you tell people “You have issues” when they share their opinion in person? Do you ask for clarification until you understand their point? Or do you assume people with opinions or ideas other than yours are stupid?

          • Evan Jones II

            Dude, it’s her Birthday…put it aside for another day…man, always one party popper to ruin a nice time…

          • Atrosion Band

            I wished her happy Birthday. 🙂 Happy Birthday to you, too Evan! I hope a bunch of people come to my party next year and give me praise where it isn’t due. That would make me feel soooo good. D’arcy, if you are reading this: SP has been absolute shit since you left. That is why we are here 2 decades later. To say BC is an idiot and your guitar solo on Cherub Rock was amazing. That song you wrote, Tonight, Tonight is the reason I called 9-1-1 before I took some pills that one time. I hope people come to my B-Day party and tell me how my past employer abused me that time they sent me to foreign war. Happy Birthday!

          • Evan Jones II

            Like he was pointing out…YOU got ISSUES!


      • Keith Taft

        happy belated happy birthday atrosion !

        • Atrosion Band

          Thank you! Funny, how that simple gesture improved my mood. I wasn’t even feeling down, but now I feel better. Cool! Well, Happy birthday to everyone!

        • Evan Jones II

          So fUnNY…Yo, I don’t have any friends either….please wish me a belayed Birthday too…

          Thanks, Beetles…I feel better already!

          • Keith Taft

            belayed birthday evan !

            may you avoid many more

          • Anthony Carter

            How’s that spelling working out

          • Evan Jones II

            Just Dandy Andy, and how’s that no life you have not working? Please we know already.

          • Anthony Carter

            Actually really good thx … now please go play in traffic

          • Evan Jones II

            Boy, are you stuid …can’t even follow instructions….loser

  • Ronaldo Lacradria

    Happy Birthday D’Arcy!! (like you’ll really read this lol) It sucks you won’t be joining the Pumpkins on this years tour..being it maybe even 1 show like near your home??
    Hope you had a awesome day and stay well
    I know it probli wasn’t easy being with Billy back in the day but you still were awesome..

  • Olga Stewart

    Happy birthday D’arcy. :).

  • edging4dayz

    Happy b/day, D’arcy!!!! Hab a good one.

  • Evan Jones II

    Yes, Bravo Alternative Nation and A BIG??????BIG??????
    To You Sweet D’Arcy….
    This from RS
    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.

    Yes, you are, complete!

  • _horizont_

    Happy Birthday, D’Arcy!

    I really hope you’re going to release some of your songs soon.

    • Fuzzmosis

      Amen to that!

  • DanSwon

    Happy Birthday Fey Wu…I mean D’Arcy! x

  • Tilman Müller
  • Isles487

    Happy birthday D’Arcy! May this year bring you nothing but the best.

  • John Scott

    Glad to see an article that focuses on D’arcy’s vocals – which have always been underrated.
    IMO, her vocals saved songs like “To Sheila” by balancing out Billy’s shrillness during live performances. Happy birthday, D’arcy! I hope you have a great day, and a wonderful year.

  • Pedro

    Congratulations D’arcy! You’ve always been my favorite pumpkin! I really want to see you again in the world of music: solo, with SP or with another band.

  • Keith Taft

    happy birthday d’arcy thank you for the great music !

  • Pedro

    When softness is gold! D’Arcy’s voice in this version adds great value, complementing Billy’s voice. I think a lot of SP’s songs would have been even better if D’arcy had backing vocals.

  • Starfy


  • Max

    Happy birthday D’arcy!
    Who probably the one of the coolest person in music scene 90s.
    Look on the youtube SP videos’ comments…so many voices about D’arcy..! And I was sure about SP reunion process (that’s last years trend). But unfortunately….
    Anyway my memory keeps SP show on June 11,1998!
    So my congratulations from ancestors’ motherland:), D’arcy.
    With keeping much much love to you.

  • Aragon131

    Happy Birthday D’arcy.

  • Tamma Ocain

    Happy birthday, D’Arcy! Hope it’s awesome…?❤

  • dylan sumpter

    Happy Birthday D’arcy! The coolest bass player on the planet. Your style, your playing, is one for the history books. You are the only real pumpkin left in my mind!

  • Julieta Garcia

    Beautiful woman, I admired her for her musical talent with bass and career in Smashing
    Pumpkins but through alternative I read her notes and comments she made
    recently and not only discovered her side of famous and musical artist, but also her woman’s side , hardworking both in the music and in her farm, multifacetic (I have felt very identified with this), charismatic and of great heart, I admire her seems a beautiful being and I wish her a beautiful birthday.

  • Tilman Müller
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  • mike

    Happy your birfday is blessed with great summertime weather

  • -J a S o N-

    Happy Birthday Lady, you will always be the glow in the early Pumkins music, you added class to the angst and rock.

  • Anthony Carter

    Darcy was so beautiful and fun to watch her and her swaying with the pumpkins

  • David Henretta

    Lemme know when you list the Top 5

    • Tilman Müller

      Let me know when you post your avatar

  • T. M.

    “I think the worst thing is to continue to try to be a teen-ager. You see these awful pictures of like 50-year-old men in 25-year-old clothes. They’re not looking so good. I don’t wanna be that. I’m not interested in that.”

    “I’M gonna be that.”