Tag Archives: The Smashing Pumpkins

9 of the best – sounds of nineties

Good morning. It’s a little bit later than normal but hopefully worth the wait. I participated in Portsmouth’s Great South Run yesterday, which was was celebrating its 30th anniversary with a 1990s party. It was fun, but no semblance of the decade’s best songs involved. I give you my favourite nine sounds in chronological order. I have to say this is by far the toughest best-of list that I’ve published… just look at the quality of sound that I demoted to honourable footnotes.

Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (1991)

R.E.M. – Nightswimming (1992)

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye (1994)

The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 (1995)

Oasis – The Masterplan (1995)

Sparklehorse – Cow (1995)

Radiohead – Let Down (1997)

Mercury Rev – Holes (1998)

Wilco – She’s A Jar (1999)


Honourable mentions also go to: Cocteau Twins for ‘Cherry Coloured Funk‘ (1990); Pulp for ‘Babies‘ (1992); Pavement for ‘In The Mouth A Desert‘ (1992); Blur for ‘To The End‘ (1994) and ‘The Universal‘ (1995); Beastie Boys for ‘Sabotage‘ (1994); The Flaming Lips for ‘Placebo Headwound‘ (1995) and ‘Race For The Prize‘ (1999); Radiohead for ‘Fake Plastic Trees‘ (1995); Red House Painters for ‘Have You Forgotten‘ (1996); Spiritualized for ‘Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space‘ (1997); and Röyksopp for ‘So Easy‘ (1999).

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9 of the best – sounds of 1993

A compilation treat for the May Day holiday. Looking back at 1993, the world of popular music was a-changing… Björk was doing her own thing at the crossroads, house music had grown up a little less exciting, and hip hop was showing temporary signs of sophistication…

Björk – Venus As A Boy

Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II

The Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm

U2 – Lemon (Perfecto Mix)

Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy

David Bowie – The Wedding

Blur – For Tomorrow

Tindersticks – Marbles


Honourable mentions also go to: Jeru The Damaja for ‘Come Clean‘; Masters At Work for ‘The Buff Dance‘; George Morel for ‘Let’s Groove‘; A Tribe Called Quest for ‘Electric Relaxation‘ and not too much else. A quarter of a century after the annus mirabilis that was 1968, thin pickings were abound in 1993. That’s crossroads for you.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1995

A compilation to get the ears humming this weekend. My favourite 9 sounds of 1995, the swansong year for Britpop. Needless to say, Oasis and Blur feature.

The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

The Flaming Lips – Placebo Headwound

Oasis – The Masterplan

Underworld – Born Slippy

Radiohead – Fake Plastic Trees

Sparklehorse – Cow

Teenage Fanclub – Versimilitude

Blur – The Universal

Moby – When It’s Cold I’d Like To Die


Honourable mentions also go to: Pavement for ‘We Dance‘; Yo La Tengo for ‘Blue Line Swinger‘; Ol’ Dirty Bastard for ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya‘; Rob Dougan for ‘Clubbed To Death‘; Sparklehorse for ‘Saturday‘; and Radiohead for ‘Planet Telex’ and ‘Street Spirit’.

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The Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock (1993)


The notion of records that kick off with swagger has got me thinking… a few years earlier,  The Smashing Pumpkins’ released their 1993 album Siamese Dream.  ‘Cherub Rock’ opens the LP with drum-rolls, a grungy guitar riffs, fuzz and Billy Corgan’s lamenting vocals. They were destined for the rock pantheon from that moment on.

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The Smashing Pumpkins – Today (1993)


The Smashing Pumpkins 1993

There has been a lot of nostalgia about the 1990s in recent days. Twenty years later and it strikes me how many strong and seemingly fragmented scenes were all happening in parallel. A creative melting pot into which The Smashing Pumpkins threw their mettle. In 1993, the band established itself as alt rock poster kids with the release of ‘Today’, the second single off the band’s sophomore album, Siamese Dream. Have a great week.



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The Smashing Pumpkins – Disarm (1993)


The Smashing Pumpkins

What’s a boy supposed to do? Well how about writing one of the definitive alt rock symphonies. ‘Disarm’ was a watershed moment for The Smashing Pumpkins – the sound featured on 1993’s Siamese Dream and would be explored on their following album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness; and the ban for the song’s lyrics did nothing else but help their credibility in certain quarters. Billy Corgan had found his voice.


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Yuck – Get Away (2011)


Another local SW London connection, Yuck played Kingston-upon-Thames in September 2011. I think that might be my only chance to get my home town into the blog. When they are not getting lost or selecting lamentable band names, Yuck are creating a sound reminiscent of Sonic Youth, Pavement and Smashing Pumpkins. ‘Get Away’ is the opening track off their self-titled debut album and it quickly sets out this stall of well chosen musical references.

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The Smashing Pumpkins – 1979 (1995)

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The ‘Pumpkins played in Brixton the last couple of nights. “Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time, on a live wire right up off the street, you and I should meet.” Was it the loops, the video, or the sparkle of this gem within the impressive (but self-indulgent) sprawl of the 2-hour-long Mellon Collie and …? Probably all of the above, but I have a feeling that this is one of those tracks I’ll be requesting at future family events to show them how cool the generation was.

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