The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

I do not know of any person who doesn't like the Smashing Pumpkins and I mean who wouldn't?

I mean they're absolutely brilliant who else but the Pumpkins could get away with disavowing the punk rock roots shared by many of their 'alternative rock' contemporaries, instead the group pursued a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, arena rock, shoegazer-style production and, in later recordings, even electronica.

But what's also amazing about them is that the band is also a juxtaposition of front man Billy Corgan's grand musical ambitions as articulated with cathartic lyrics that have shaped the band's albums and songs. In fact, former bassist Melissa Auf der Maur once commented: "Everyone knows Billy doesn't need too many people to make a Pumpkins record."

That being said I would like now revisit the best audio introduction to The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which is a double album that they released back when I was in Junior High, the album was praised by critics for its ambition and scope. But to be totally honest I never owned a copy of this record I got the chance to listen to it when my classmate Jarme bought it at a Radio City branch in SM North Edsa's Annex Building, which I later borrowed for about 6 months or so.

The record was absolutely amazing, starting with the obvious appeal of 1979 to the anthemic Bullet with Butterfly Wings and the grinding sound of Zero the only song that reminds me of both Judas Priest and Joy Division. It was also among those records that I still wish that I have bought at the present as its songs still linger in my head every once and a while namely that of Tonight Tonight's all too empathic verse: "believe in the resolute urgency of now..."

Listening to the record is like watching an episode of Bob Brush's, The Wonder Years where you feel a myriad of emotions that range from hope, hate, fear and excitement, and if you'd look at the way present rock outfits create conceptual albums you will not help but notice that most of them are just trying to re-capture the spirit of Mellon Collie.