The other day I had a song stuck in my head and after about 10 minutes I remembered who the band was and I went and put it on. The band was Professional Murder Music, who you might remember from the early 2000’s and their inclusion on the End Of Days soundtrack with their song “Slow.” While listening to their album, I remembered their very great cover of The Cure’s “A Night Like This.” While listening to that I thought, I should listen to another cover of the song by The Smashing Pumpkins. The pumpkins version is sung by James Iha so it has a different vibe than you’d normally get as we are so used to Billy/William as the singer. So I spent some time with both and I have my favorite of the two. Which one do you prefer?
Professional Murder Music- A Night Like This:
The Smashing Pumpkins (James Iha on Vocals)- A Night Like This:
My excitement level is pretty high right now. After last week seeing Nine Inch Nails for my 19th time and now this week, the news is finally released about The Smashing Pumpkins long awaited new album! “Atum: A Rock Opera In Three Acts”. The 33-track collection, whose title is pronounced “autumn,” is being billed as a sequel to 1995’s “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness” and 2000’s “Machina/The Machine of God”. The LP will be released as three 11-track “acts”, eventually culminating in a three-act rock opera. Act 1 of “Atum” will arrive on November 15 2022, Act 2 on January 31 2023, and Act 3 will be made available, along with a special-edition box set featuring all 33 album tracks plus 10 additional unreleased songs, on April 21, 2023. “Atum: A Rock Opera In Three Acts” was written and recorded over a four-year period by Corgan and the rest of the current SMASHING PUMPKINS lineup: guitarists James Iha and Jeff Schroeder, plus drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.
The first single “Beguiled” is out now and features a video that was made and performed live on TikTok of all places. And to make things even more interesting, Billy Corgan will premiere a new track every week for the next 33 weeks on his new podcast, “Thirty-Three With William Patrick Corgan”. The first two episodes, featuring the songs “Atum” and “Butterfly Suite”, are out now.
Not only is this exciting but The Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction tour starts next week and runs through November. What a show that will be. I know I’ll be attending it. See you there!
Ever since I went to see The Smashing Pumpkins a coiuple weeks ago, I’ve been reliving the show in my head. One of the moments of the show that really stood out to me was when they played their cover of The Talking Heads “Once In A Lifetime.” The original version is still astounding and this version, especially the arrangement the Pumpkins put together takes on a life of its own. I still can’t get over how damn good this was.
Very recently The Smashing Pumpkins song “Disarm” celebrated 28 years since its release as a single. To this day, that song still gives me goosebumps. It’s such a poignant song and one of those that will absolutely stand the test of time. This performance of “Disarm” is quite different than the one you find on the masterpiece that is Siamese Dream. Just watch and listen!!
The Smashing Pumpkins- Disarm (Live at the 1994 MTV VMA’s):
The Smashing Pumpkins have a plethora of deep cuts that could fill one hell of a playlist. The deep cuts alone from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness could make an album of their own. I love going back to MCIS and delving into particular songs even more than before. This morning I remembered a certain riff to a Pumpkins song and it took me back to when I bought this album and all the feels I got when I reached this song on the record. The song I’m referring to is “X.Y.U.” from the Twilight To Starlight portion of MCIS. I’ve loved this song from the day I heard it. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album. The song was recorded in one take, live for the record with drum and vocal overdubs added later. The title means “Ex, Why You?”, but is also a play on the spelling of Russian obscene word “хуй” (pronounced “hu:i”) that is translated as “penis”. “X.Y.U.” is a song that was developed in a similar jam fashion to “Silverfuck” as it evolved as a song over the years. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing this song live a couple of times over the years and it’s always a highlight and never disappoints. So, take about 7 minutes out of your day and delve into this superb deep cut from The Smashing Pumpkins.
The Smashing Pumpkins have a very interesting and awesome history with cover songs. Through all my years of listening to them, I’ve noticed that when they do a cover, it’s usually done in a manner that is tasteful, creative and a little different. I’m quite fond of their cover of Depeche Mode’s “Never Let Me Down.” So much so that it’s in my top 10 favorite covers. One of the cover songs that SP has done over the years that always was a fun one to delve into was their take on the David Essex classic “Rock On.” The Smashing Pumpkins version is a bit more experimental and artsy but, still retains the impact of the original with a new spin. If you haven’t heard this before, I’m interested to get your take on it.
It’s truly amazing how many great songs The Smashing Pumpkins have that are B-Sides. During the Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness era, not only did they write 28 songs for the alvum but also a whole plethora more which wound up being the box set, The Aeroplane Flies High. One of my favorite songs in the set comes from the “1979” single. That song is “Ugly” and it’s one hell of a great song. One of those B-Sides that you hear and right off the bat think, why wasn’t this on the album?! One day, I’d love for Billy Corgan to put together a whole album of Mellon Collie songs and Aeroplan songs into a full album and see what that sounds like.
One thing I genuinely enjoy about cover songs is when bands really make an effort to make it their own. Whether it’s changing up the vibe or arrangements, the new interpretation often times can take the song to new heights. A great example of this is The Smashing Pumpkins version of Joy Division’s “Transmission.” The Pumpkins take on it is spacey, borderline psychedelic and even transcendent at times. It’s different enough yet still pays homage in a very distinct way.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Transmission (from Adore Deluxe Set):
The Smashing Pumpkins- Transmission Live 98:
The Smashing Pumpkins w/Davey Havok and Peter Hook- Transmission Live 2018:
The Smashing Pumpkins double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness celebrates it’s 25 birthday this year (actually October 24th is the official date). This album, was a huge game changer and has gone on to influence and inspire countless bands and artists throughout the years. I still remember buying the album when it came out, and the countless hours I’d sit in my room and listen to it. One of the memorable moments I have about this album is when I first saw the video for “Tonight, Tonight.” I was absolutely blown away by how visceral the video was along with how interesting it was. The video was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who would go on to make other pretty awesome videos for Korn and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a couple). The video won multiple MTV Video Music Awards as well as being a Grammy nominated clip. Another interesting tidbit about the video is that it stars Tom Kenny and Jill Talley who you might recognize from their work on Spongebob Squarepants and Mr. Show. This video is one of the all time greats and it deserves to get its acclaim and be celebrated along with the masterpiece of the album it belongs to.
For the past couple of weeks, The Smashing Pumpkins have been teasing something new in regards to their upcoming new album. Well, this morning they released two brand new songs, “CYR” and “The Colour Of Love.” They have an Adore feel to them along with an 80’s sensibility. It also kind of reminds me a little bit of where Billy was going on his solo album, The Future Embrace. Personally, I dig this a lot. It’s done well and the songs are well written. I look forward to this whole album which is supposed to be a double album with 20 songs. So I’ll reserve full judgement until it’s all out and I can hear it all in context. In the meantime, check out these two new songs!