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Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins

Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan

When alternative rock took over the world, the airwaves, and MTV during the 1990s, few bands garnered more press or sold more records than the Smashing Pumpkins — you’d almost think they were from Seattle! But, no, the Smashing Pumpkins hailed from Chicago, Illinois, where bandleader, vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan began working with fellow guitarist James Iha in 1988, then recruited bassist D’arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain to complete the lineup. Over the next two years, the quartet cut several demos while performing local shows, prior to landing a deal with Caroline Records and recording their debut album, Gish, in 1991 with Steve Albini producing. A relative success, the album established the band’s unique blueprint, combining college rock, psychedelia, dream pop and heavy metal, just in time to join the alternative rock revolution spearheaded by Nirvana the following year. Like many of the independent bands now associated with grunge, in one way or another, the Smashing Pumpkins duly graduated to a major label (Virgin) and were catapulted into the mainstream by 1993’s Siamese Dream. The group then reached absolute ubiquity via 1995’s gargantuan, two-CD magnum opus, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, only to deal with tragedy when tour keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin suffered a fatal heroin overdose in July of 1996. Drummer Chamberlain was also busted for drug possession and replaced by committee on the band’s 1997 follow-up, Adore — a detour into electronica that alienated many fans, especially after Corgan blamed them for “not getting it.” 2000’s Machina/The Machines of God, fared somewhat better, but the Smashing Pumpkins (now reunited with Chamberlain) were, by all appearances, past their commercial prime, along with ‘90s alt-rock, so Corgan decided to break up the band to work with Zwan between 2001 and 2003. Corgan would inevitably backpedal and record once again under the Pumpkins banner, via 2007’s Zeitgeist, then initiate a so-called “ongoing studio album” with 2009’s Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, followed in 2012 by the more traditionally self-contained Oceania and 2014’s Monuments to an Elegy. So, however unlikely it may be that the Smashing Pumpkins will once again enjoy their world-conquering success of yester year, one should never count out the prolific Billy Corgan.

FOX
FOX

‘Family Guy’ Pokes Fun at ‘Baby Man’ Billy Corgan Being Sad at Disneyland

'Family Guy' must have been dying to poke fun at Billy Corgan for a while, because they crowbarred him into a joke.

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Billy Corgan
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan on Suicidal Depression in Early ’90s: ‘I Was Giving Away Stuff And Planning My Eulogy’

Corgan reveals he was extremely close to suicide in the early ‘90s and how the Pumpkins song 'Today' was the first step in getting him out of that dark place.

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Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Smashing Pumpkins’ Jimmy Chamberlin Selling Over 200 Drum Pieces From Throughout Career

Over 200 pieces will be up for sale starting Feb. 22 and fans are free to shell out cash to own Jimmy Chamberlin’s gear.

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Virgin
Virgin

Is a Smashing Pumpkins Reunion in the Works?

Billy Corgan stated 'things look good' for him and guitarist James Iha to play again, furthering speculation that a Smashing Pumpkins reunion is being plotted.

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Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Billy Corgan Plans #ThirtyDays Journey, Reveals Upcoming Projects

Billy Corgan will mix travel and music for his #ThirtyDays project, and also reveals several other upcoming ventures.

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Virgin
Virgin

21 Years Ago: Smashing Pumpkins Release ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’

On Oct. 24, 1995, Smashing Pumpkins served up the ambitious, two-disc classic 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.'

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Billy Corgan
Duane Prokop, Getty Images

Billy Corgan Files Lawsuit + Restraining Order Against TNA Impact Wrestling

Billy Corgan has filed a lawsuit against TNA Impact’s owner, Dixie Carter, and several other parties involved with the company’s ownership.

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Liz Ramanand, Loudwire
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Billy Corgan Talks Solo Album, Hints at Classic Smashing Pumpkins Reunion in Video Update

Billy Corgan shares details about his upcoming solo album and discusses more about the potential for a reunion of the classic Smashing Pumpkins lineup.

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Virgin
Virgin

Billy Corgan in Contact With Classic Smashing Pumpkins Members, Talks Potential Reunion

Billy Corgan is back in contact with all original Smashing Pumpkins members and claims 'maybe there’s the possibility that we will get back together.'

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Loudwire
Loudwire

Smashing Pumpkins Albums Ranked

See how we rank the Smashing Pumpkins' studio albums from weakest to strongest.

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