The Smashing Pumpkins

Formed 1988.
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The Smashing Pumpkins - Glastonbury highlights

Highlights of The Smashing Pumpkins' Other stage set at Glastonbury 2013.

Featured in BBC Music Clips


The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Formed by frontman Billy Corgan (lead vocals, lead guitar) and James Iha (rhythm guitar), the band included Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) and D'arcy Wretzky (bass guitar) in its original incarnation. It has undergone many line-up changes over the course of its existence, with Corgan and rhythm guitarist Jeff Schroeder currently being the only official core members as of 2014.

Disavowing the punk rock roots of many of their alt-rock contemporaries, the Pumpkins have a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, shoegazing, and electronica in later recordings. Corgan is the group's primary songwriter—his grand musical ambitions and cathartic lyrics have shaped the band's albums and songs, which have been described as "anguished, bruised reports from Billy Corgan's nightmare-land".

The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, 1993's Siamese Dream. The group built its audience with extensive touring and their 1995 follow-up, the double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. With 20 million albums sold in the United States alone, the Smashing Pumpkins was one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing record sales led to a 2000 break-up.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Deluxe Edition

    Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Deluxe Edition 2012

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    The grandest Pumpkins album, expensive and infuriating and inspirational all at once.
  2. Review of Oceania

    Oceania 2012

    Reviewed by Ian Winwood
    Chicagoan enigmas return with dazzling and complex ninth studio album.
  3. Review of Gish

    Gish 2011

    Reviewed by Jaime Gill
    An expanded reissue of the Pumpkins’ potential-rich 1991 debut.
  4. Review of Zeitgeist

    Zeitgeist 2007

    Reviewed by Louella Deville
    Billy Corgan returns with a mighty blast of intense (though humour-free) rock majesty.
  5. Review of Greatest Hits {Rotten Apples}

    Greatest Hits {Rotten Apples} 2001

    Reviewed by Dan Tallis
    the hairs on the back of the neck stand on end with Corgan's strained vocals presiding...
  6. Review of Siamese Dream

    Siamese Dream 1993

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    The Pumpkins’ best album contains one of the greatest guitar-pop songs ever.
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