10 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While punk rock is often considered to be the main influence on alternative rock of the 1990s, Smashing Pumpkins were never a band with punk aspirations. Arena rock was their ambition and sonic perfection was their goal in the studio. Butch Vig, who also produced Nirvana's Nevermind, enabled Billy Corgan to layer the guitars beautifully, creating a sonic experience that requires headphones to fully comprehend. "I Am One" kicks things off with a guitar-bass-drum rumble that harkens back to Led Zeppelin's "Achilles' Last Stand" and reflects more than a passing interest in 70s-styled metal and hard rock. "Rhinoceros" and "Crush" add a level of psychedelic dream-pop that's pure bliss. Kids who were too young to see Queen or Rush in their prime are hand-delivered new heroes, courtesy of Corgan fulfilling own childhood fantasies. This music may have been marketed as "alternative," a spurious genre invention to begin with, but it's pure rock beauty and emotional transcendence. Bassist D'Arcy Wretzky's vocals on the orchestrated "Daydream" add yet another dimension to a band already working in 3-D. (A Deluxe Edition is also available with 18 additional cuts.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

While punk rock is often considered to be the main influence on alternative rock of the 1990s, Smashing Pumpkins were never a band with punk aspirations. Arena rock was their ambition and sonic perfection was their goal in the studio. Butch Vig, who also produced Nirvana's Nevermind, enabled Billy Corgan to layer the guitars beautifully, creating a sonic experience that requires headphones to fully comprehend. "I Am One" kicks things off with a guitar-bass-drum rumble that harkens back to Led Zeppelin's "Achilles' Last Stand" and reflects more than a passing interest in 70s-styled metal and hard rock. "Rhinoceros" and "Crush" add a level of psychedelic dream-pop that's pure bliss. Kids who were too young to see Queen or Rush in their prime are hand-delivered new heroes, courtesy of Corgan fulfilling own childhood fantasies. This music may have been marketed as "alternative," a spurious genre invention to begin with, but it's pure rock beauty and emotional transcendence. Bassist D'Arcy Wretzky's vocals on the orchestrated "Daydream" add yet another dimension to a band already working in 3-D. (A Deluxe Edition is also available with 18 additional cuts.)

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