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The Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins

American alternative rock band

The Smashing Pumpkins (also written as just Smashing Pumpkins) are an American alternative rock band from Chicago. Formed in 1988 by frontman Billy Corgan (lead vocals, guitar), D'arcy Wretzky (bass), James Iha (guitar), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), the band has undergone many line-up changes. The current lineup features Corgan, Chamberlin, Iha and guitarist Jeff Schroeder.

Disavowing the punk rock roots of many of their alt-rock contemporaries, they have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, shoegazing, and, in later recordings, electronica. Corgan is the group's primary songwriter; his musical ambitions and cathartic lyrics have shaped the band's albums and songs, which have been described as "anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land".

The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, 1993's Siamese Dream. The group built its audience with extensive touring and their 1995 follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. With 30 million albums sold worldwide, the Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing record sales led to a 2000 break-up.

In 2006, Corgan and Chamberlin reconvened to record a new Smashing Pumpkins album, Zeitgeist. After touring throughout 2007 and 2008 with a lineup including new guitarist Jeff Schroeder, Chamberlin left the band in early 2009. Later that year, Corgan began a new recording series with a rotating lineup of musicians entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, which encompassed the release of stand-alone singles, compilation EP releases, and two full albums that also fell under the project's scope—Oceania in 2012 and Monuments to an Elegy in 2014. Chamberlin and Iha officially rejoined the band in February 2018. The reunited lineup released the album Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. in November 2018 and Cyr in November 2020.

Timeline

1988
The Smashing Pumpkins was born in Chicago.

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Alternative Rock

Thompson, Dave

2000

"Biography".

Erlewine, Stephen Thomas.

2016

"Pumpkin Seeds".

Kot, Greg

2002

"Smashing Pumpkins' Sudden Impact".

Azerrad, Michael

1993

Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's.

DeRogatis, Jim

2003

References

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