Yes that’s right, The Smashing Pumpkins classic is 20 years old so let’s relive this amazing album.
Released back on the 24th of October in 1995, the 3rd studio album built upon the success of 1993’s Siamese Dream propelled the band into the mainstream media and blew up their profile around the world. After Siamese Dream was released the band spent the following year touring extensively to promote the album before taking a year off. That year was the best thing the band could do as they spent it
writing new material, with Chicago born Billy Corgan stated at the time he had written some fifty six songs for the next album. What followed after this was the 2 CD, 28 track monster that we all know and love Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
Billy Corgan said at the time that this album was to be Generation X’s The Wall. The concept behind the record was and still is simple, the songs flow together as a symbol of the cycle of life and death. It was also around this time that Corgan started his iconic look of shaved head, long-sleeved black shirt with ‘Zero’ and the silver pants. The album itself produced 5 amazing singles and many more brilliant tracks, but it’s the singles that still live on and still get a lot of air time even now 20 years on are ‘Zero’ with its instantly recognisable opening riff, the much more softer and more melodic ‘1979’, the depressingly but still superb ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings’, the hauntingly sweet ‘Tonight, Tonight’ and the slow and meaningful ‘Thirty-Three’.
Mellon Collie was the band's greatest album to date, have débuted number 1 and selling over 5 thousand copies in the US alone. It’s just a shame that it was also the peak of the band’s success. The following album 1998’s Adore was a massive shift away from the guitar driven songs and a lot more electric, sales weren’t as high as before in the US, it did as well as Mellon Collie around the world though. Then followed 2000’s Machina which again shifted its sound back to guitar driven songs, but sadly it was too little too late, while it had great sales, the music world was changing over the ‘teen pop’ phase that was about to start.
Mellon Collie defined a generation, and true to Billy Corgan’s word the album has become Generation X’s The Wall and in some ways, anthem. This album connected with millions of young adults around the world and allowed them to come together as one, allowed them to speak just one language. This is what the world needs now, today, we need another massive concept album to blow our minds and bring us all back together. It doesn’t need to be The Smashing Pumpkins, but it’s still what the music world needs. Yes there are concept albums out there but we need that massive undertaking, that has the musicians soul still attached to it. Just like the 20 year old and still absolutely amazingly brilliant, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
Written by Dan.