Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16: Smashing Pumpkins, "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness"

Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness
Year: 1995
Label: Virgin

While Siamese Dream catapulted the Smashing Pumpkins to stardom, it was their follow-up album, the 2-disc (6 sides of vinyl) set, Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness that truly made the band shine. Making a single album of great music is a daunting enough task; yet the Pumpkins were able to offer nearly 30 songs spread over 2 hours of superb musical mastery.

The album, split into halves called "Dawn To Dusk" and "Twilight to Starlight" (though the vinyl version has a different order as well as 2 additional songs), follow a steady, yet meandering storyline. From the abrasive “Zero” to the industrial “Love” to the rolling melodies of “To Forgive,” the first half of the album truly spotlight both the musical and lyrical prowess of Billy Corgan.

The second half of MCIS is far darker and more unassuming in nature. The vast majority of people are not as familiar with this half of the album as the band only released one of its songs as a single (“1979”). As far as I am concerned, it is the second half of MCIS where the Pumpkins take the album from “great” to “genius.”

Highlighted by the borderline pop of “Thirty-Three,” the heartbreaking “Stumbline” and the Syd Barrett-esque sound of “We Only Come Out At Night,” one realizes that this half alone could have been a monumental release.

The absolute gem of Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness is the final song, “Farewell & Goodnight.” Written by the band as a whole, each band member takes a crack at this gothically textured lullaby, Simple instrumentation and unaltered, quiet vocals of some of Corgan’s most wonderful lyrics make this song nearly overshadow the entire other 120 minutes previous.

Smashing Pumpkins were truly one of the most amazing bands during the 1990's. Recently, they've had "reunion" tours that were basically "Billy Corgan & Friends." When they were able to operate as a single musical unit, the results were nothing short of astounding. Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness is a true testament to the seemingly endless ability of the band and should ABSOLUTELY have a spot on your collection.

Standout tracks(it gets 4 for being a double disc): "Love," "Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans," "Farewell & Goodnight," and "Stumbeline."

1 comment:

-chris said...

This is definitely a must for every collection.