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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Smashing Pumpkins' "Siamese Dream" turns 15

Thinking back, I was rather young when the Pumpkins released this album (10 yrs old to be exact) but the second single from the album, "Today", caught my attention immediately. I quickly threw away my Ace of Base and proceeded to fall into a now 15 year love affair with the Smashing Pumpkins. My family didn't have cable at the time so my only exposure to new music was the old fashioned way, a run of the mill home stereo. (Explains the Ace of Base) I even went as far as to record my favorite songs onto cassette so I could listen to them whenever I felt like it.

Siamese Dream featured some of the best songwriting we've seen from Billy Corgon to date, even better than what the Pumpkins would later release on the dubious, blown load of a 3rd album (with the exception of a few songs) Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Loaded with some of alternative rock's best riffs, Siamese Dream wasn't without it's complications. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was at the height of his heroin addiction, guitarist James Iha and bassist D'arcy Wretzky had recently ended their relationship and Corgan was in the midst of a suicidal depression. All the ingredients for an album full of loud, angsty rock music.

There is a certain feeling this album will always give me. It's a timeless record that helped set the tone of alternative rock in the 90's. Granted, the Pumpkins weren't the only ones at the time mixing grunge with 70's and 80's style guitar rock but Siamese Dream was and is definitely a benchmark album for many bands at that time and still today. Sadly, that doesn't happen to include the latest Smashing Pumpkins album which is something we will all just have to learn to excuse.

Though I don't always remember to recognize them as one of the more influential bands for me, they are definitely one of the bands that shaped most of my early teen years and nothing can replace that nostalgic feeling I get every time I hear a Smashing Pumpkins song come on the radio. However, nowadays it's more likely to come on my iPod instead.

Check out this rather humorous video from Smashing regarding the 15th anniversary of the album. Enjoy!


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