The Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream Turns 20

Loudster Co | July 26, 2013 - 10:30 am
20 years ago, The The Smashing Pumpkins released their second album, Siamese Dream. Released on Jul. 27, 1993 on Virgin Records, the album produced by Butch Vig who reprised his role as producer after working on their debut album Gish in 1991. Siamese Dream debuted at number ten on the Billboard charts, and eventually sold over four million copies in the U.S., and over six million worldwide, cementing The Smashing Pumpkins as an important group in alternative rock music. Four singles were released in support of Siamese Dream: “Cherub Rock”, “Today”, “Disarm”, and “Rocket”. In addition to receiving mostly positive reviews upon its release, Siamese Dream has widely been regarded as one of the best albums of the 1990s, and one of the best albums of all time.

Vig said, “Billy wanted to make a record that people would put on and say, “What the fuck was that?” We wanted to have things going on in the left ear and right ear all the time”. One of Corgan’s main goals was to create a sense of sonic depth, but, as Corgan said, “without necessarily using delays or reverbs – to use tonalities instead.” For the album, the guitars were layered multiple times. Corgan has stated that “Soma” alone contains up to 40 overdubbed guitar parts. Vig stated that as many as 100 guitar parts were compressed into a single song. Rolling Stone noted that the album was “closer to progressive rock than to punk or grunge.”

The subjects of Corgan’s lyrics on Siamese Dream varied. Corgan noted that most of his lyrics for the album were about his girlfriend and future wife Chris Fabian, with whom he had briefly broken up at the time he wrote the songs. Corgan occasionally wrote about other subjects. In “Cherub Rock”, the album’s opening track, Corgan attacked the American music industry, and “Today” is about a day that he was experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts. “Spaceboy” was written as a tribute to his autistic half-brother, Jesse. Siamese Dream earned The Smashing Pumpkins their first Grammy Award nominations. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album, and the group was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal at the Grammy Awards of 1994. The album is frequently included in lists of the best albums of the 1990s – the Alternative Press ranked it fourth, Pitchfork ranked it 18th, and Spin ranked it 23rd. In 2003, the album was ranked number 360 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

01  “Cherub Rock”
02  “Quiet”
03  “Today”
04  “Hummer”
05  “Rocket”
06  “Disarm”
07  “Soma”
08  “Geek U.S.A.”
09  “Mayonaise”
10 “Spaceboy”
11 “Silverfuck”
12 “Sweet Sweet”
13  “Luna”

Siamese Dreams is released on 7/23/93 via Virgin. Buy the deluxe edition on iTunes/Amazon

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