Remembering A Classic – The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (1993) – The Defining Moment Of Alt Rock Of The 1990’s

Man am I trapped in the 90’s or what!?! Last week was 91’s Crowdies and now this week my mighty Pumpkins. But if you were a teenager in the 90’s like me, swept up in the grunge wave and alternative drawl that enveloped the planet then you couldn’t have gone past MELLON COLLIE & THE INFINITE SADNESS and the double album event of the decade.

Following up from their break out, critically acclaimed SIAMESE DREAMS and B-Sides release PISCES ISCARIOT this double album is the Pumpkins at their most indulgent. When I say ‘their’ I really mean ‘his’ and by ‘his’ I mean Billy Corgan. With a suggested 80+ songs written for the album, Corgan himself said this was an album to liken to Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’. Grander in scale, scope and production than anything they’d ever done before (or pretty much any artist outside of Michael Jackson’s DANGEROUS) – MELLON COLLIE & THE INFINITE SADNESS saw the Pumpkins move away from producer Butch Vig and enlist the help of Alan Moulder and Flood (collaborators with U2 among others) to give the album a completely different feel than their previous works.

The result is a defining moment in music for the 90’s. This being the biggest album the Smashing Pumpkins ever released, MC&TIS sky rocketed the band from alt rock darlings to headlining mainstream rock gods (the ensuing world tour cementing their global status) and gave unto the world hits such as: TONIGHT, TONIGHT, BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS, 1979, THIRTY THREE and the nihilistically anthemic ZERO.

It’s in the other songs where the magic happens, for me the hugely superior PORCELINA OF THE VAST OCEANS stands out, the ball tearing FUCK YOU (AN ODE TO NO ONE) reveals the rock is still there, GALAPOGOS an emotive broken hearted love song, THROUGH THE EYES OF RUBY a rousing 70’s Glam Rock assault and the closing FAREWELL & GOODNIGHT and soft lullaby to send you on your way.  (I love all the songs.. These are some just to whet your whistle)

The magic of the album works as an entire piece and not selected tracks – the grandiose to the subtle, the biting to the ballad, the operatic to the orgiastic it’s all in here. This whole album works and loses none of the downbeat poetry of Corgan’s lyrics. The album is a must have and has just been re-released and remastered in a 5 disc massive edition with a WALL of remixes and out takes to keep your foaming mouths happy.

Get your hands on this album, relive your youth or discover a musical work unparallelled and incomparable to the music generic trash that’s getting rolled out today. MELLON COLLIE & THE INFINITE SADNESS was such an essential ingredient in my youth it’s so nice to see it re-emerge and I hope some of you get into too!

In the mean time go for a stroll through some of their magic below!

MELLON COLLIE & THE INFINITE SADNESS is out now on all formats