14. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

cd cover 14. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

I know some people don’t care for Billy Corgan, and others would argue that Siamese Dream [a modern masterpiece] would be a more worthy choice, but I went with another double-disc opus Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness. I got this album a while after it came out (I was a fan of the Bullet with Butterfly Wings video, but it was Zero that made me head out and buy the album.). As was my style at the time, I found the tracks I liked, and listened to only them (Tonight, Tonight, Zero, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, and 1979… for those of you playing at home, Yes, those are the first 4 singles/videos that were released…I stilled listened to the radio/watched MTV back then.) Anyway, then I started hearing Thirty-Three on the radio, and thought it was alright, and figured I ought to listen to that one too.. but now it was getting harder to remember what songs were on what disc in what order… The tracks are set up like this:

    Dawn to Dusk (Disc 1)

  1. Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
  2. Tonight, Tonight
  3. Jellybelly
  4. Zero
  5. Here Is No Why
  6. Bullet With Butterfly Wings
  7. To Forgive
  8. Fuck You (An Ode To No One)
  9. Love
  10. Cupid De Locke
  11. Galapogos
  12. Muzzle
  13. Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans
  14. Take Me Down
  15. Twilight to Starlight (Disc 2)

  16. Where Boys Fear to Tread
  17. Bodies
  18. Thirty-Three
  19. In the Arms of Sleep
  20. 1979
  21. Tales of a Scorched Earth
  22. Thru the Eyes of Ruby
  23. Stumbleine
  24. X.Y.U.
  25. We Only Come Out at Night
  26. Beautiful
  27. Lily (My One and Only)
  28. By Starlight
  29. Farewell and Goodnight

So as you can see, on the first disc, I’m going from 2 to 4 to 6, and on the other disc, it was 3 and 5… but I got sick of skipping, so soon tracks 3 and 5 on Disc 1 were getting played, and they were pretty good. (I really started to like Jellybelly.), and then I started just listening to the whole thing, and (re)discovered Bodies, which is by far my favorite song on the album now. At the time, I just thought the entire album was very eclectic, with a number of songs I enjoyed, and a number that I didn’t even recall hearing before, even when I listened through 2 or 3 times in one sitting. (Homework, high school webpage construction, and IRCing) Then I lost the album (i.e. a high school friend borrowed it, then denied having borrowed it, and never gave it back), and that was the end of that.

I got the album again sometime in college, but really didn’t listen to it much. Part of the reason was that most/all the songs are tuned a half step down, so if I wanted to try to play some of the songs, I’d have to retune my guitar, which was a bit of a pain back then. (I had a pretty crappy computer program that was supposed to help me tune, but it took a good 20 minutes to get the mic working each time.. so quick playing a few songs rarely worked… so I stuck to standard tuning). So I didn’t listen to it much until I got to Gospelcom, and was sticking all the cds I had onto my USB hard drive. I ripped this album, and gave it a listened, and was just blown away with almost every song on the album. There’s such a mix of pounding rock riffs, gentle folk, electronica, and light piano instrumentals.. it keeps each song distinct, and interesting. I guess if you’re going to do 28 songs, you really can’t make them all the same (which is why Green Day doesn’t do double discs, I guess) [10 points for alliteration!]. I read somewhere that described this album as Roger Waters meets Kurt Cobain.. and there are parts of that I like (A remarkable synthesis of pleasant instrumentals, melodic folkish melodies and pounding angst-ridden grunge songs blended together into one fairly cohesive message (“Life is pretty empty, but love makes it worthwhile… only love tends to completely dick you over a lot of the time”.. That’s the message I get out of it anyway.) So I started listening to this album a ton, and took the lyrics booklet dealie along on my trip to Austin to visit Serita, and I read through the lyrics on the plane ride (when I wasn’t busy passing out or praying for death). It was on the plane ride that I noticed Beautiful, which is now my second favorite song on the album. It matched how i was/had been/continued to be feeling quite well, I thought. It’s the kind of song I wish I had written, or envisioned myself writing if I didn’t ssuck so bad at writing songs/poetry.:

beautiful, you’re beautiful, as beautiful as the sun
wonderful, you’re wonderful, as wonderful as they come
and i can’t help but feel attached
to the feelings i can’t even match
with my face pressed up to the glass, wanting you

I guess it should be noted that this song is followed by Lily (My One and Only), which I find at times funny, and at times just kinda sad (in that “yeah.. that’s kinda me, isn’t it?” sort of way):

Lily, my one and only
I can hardly wait till I see her
Silly, I know I’m silly
Cause I’m hanging in this tree
In the hopes that she will catch a glimpse of me
And thru her window shade
I watch her shadow move
I wonder if she………?
Lily, my one and only
Love is in my heart and in your eyes
Will she or won’t she want him
No one knows for sure
But an officer is knocking at my door
And thru her window shade
I watch her shadow move
I wonder if she could only see me?
And when I’m with her I feel fine
If I could kiss her I wouldn’t mind the time it took to find
My lily, my one and only
I can hardly wait till I see her
Oh lily, I know you love me
Cause as they’re draggin me away
I swear I saw her raise her hand and wave (goodbye)

I’ve got some quotes again, but I’d recommend just reading through the whole album from front cover to the end some time, as the songs go together quite well, and some of the songs are pretty incredible.

  • ‘Love is suicide’ – Bodies
  • ‘I fear that I am ordinary, just like everyone. – Muzzle
  • ‘Believe in me as I believed in you.’ – Tonight, Tonight
  • ‘Don’t forget to call, whenever. I’ll be here just waiting for you’ – Beautiful
  • ‘I’m in love with my sadness.’ – Zero
  • ‘The impossible is possible tonight. ‘ – Tonight, Tonight
  • ‘I feel the same, I feel nothing.’ – To Forgive
  • ‘My life has been extraordinary: blessed and cursed and won.’ – Muzzle
  • ‘The more you change the less you feel’ – Tonight, Tonight
  • ‘Beautiful, you’re beautiful, as beautiful as the sky. Wonderful, you’re wonderful, to know that you’re just like I.’ – Beautiful
  • ‘I never let on that I was on a sinking ship.’ – Zero
  • ‘Holding back the fool again. Holding back the fool pretends. I forget to forget nothing is important.’ – To Forgive
  • ‘And I’m sure that you know me well, as I’m sure that you don’t. But you just can’t tell who you’ll love and who you won’t.’ – Beautiful
  • ‘Believe in the resolute urgency of now.’ – Tonight, Tonight
  • ‘Love solves everything.’ – Love

4 thoughts on “14. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

  1. Smashing Pumpkins is one of my favorite bands, i love the song tonight, tonight, i have their Rotten Apples cd, it has all their greatest hits on it, and i listened to it a lot but now its stuck in my cd player in my truck so i cant listen to it but it has lots of good songs
    good choice

  2. I’m with Steve (he should know, after all, since he borrowed my copy of Siamese Dream for four years). Siamese Dream is a masterpiece. It’s the best album I’ve ever heard for playing all the way through at a volume that makes it push out everything else, filling your consciousness and threatening the existence of your speakers.

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