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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.

Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin Returns to Smashing Pumpkins for 2015 Summer Tour

Legendary original drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has rejoined the band for the Smashing Pumpkins' 2015 North American tour with Marilyn Manson.

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Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan
Ian Gavan, Getty Images

Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Addresses Future of Online Music Streaming Services

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has delivered a well thought out commentary on the future of music streaming services.

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Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Billy Corgan: ‘Smashing Pumpkins Dies When I Die, and Maybe Not Even Then’

Billy Corgan reveals that Smashing Pumpkins will always be part of his life and that the band is not in danger of going away.

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Smashing Pumpkins
Caroline Records

24 Years Ago: Smashing Pumpkins Release Debut Album ‘Gish’

On May 28, 1991, Smashing Pumpkins kicked off their recording career with the album 'Gish.'

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Marilyn Manson / Billy Corgan
Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan: We Wanted To Form a Band With Flavor Flav and Jenna Jameson

Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan held a press conference in Chicago to talk about their joint tour, and things got a bit strange.

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Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)
Duane Prokop, Getty Images

Smashing Pumpkins To Raise Awareness for Military Veterans and Families on Summer Tour

Smashing Pumpkins have partnered with Easter Seals Dixon Center to help raise awareness and funds for veterans and military families.

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Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan Joins TNA Wrestling as Senior Producer

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan will continue his passion for wrestling serving as TNA Wrestling's senior producer.

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Max Cavalera Chris Jericho Billy Corgan That Metal Show
That Metal Show / VH1 Classic

Max Cavalera, Chris Jericho + Billy Corgan to Guest on ‘That Metal Show’

Soulfly's Max Cavalera, Fozzy's Chris Jericho and Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan drop by VH1 Classic's 'That Metal Show.'

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Marilyn Manson / Billy Corgan
Jason Merritt / Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Marilyn Manson + Smashing Pumpkins Team Up for 2015 Co-Headlining Tour

Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins will team up for "The End Times" co-headlining trek this summer.

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22. The Smashing Pumpkins - 'Day for Night'

The Smashing Pumpkins Unveil ‘Drum + Fife’ Video, Book TV Performances

The Smashing Pumpkins have released a music video for their track “Drum + Fife,” a song off their latest album, Monuments to an Elegy.

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