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The Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

The Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins photo 2000

The Smashing Pumpkins Biography

This Alternative-Rock band was formed in 1988 in Chicago, Illinois USA, by guitarist + singer & songwriter Billy Corgan, the rest of the band originally comprised James Iha on guitar, D'Arcy Wretzky on bass and Jimmy Chamberlin on drums.

After their first live appearance as opening act for Jane's Addiction, The Smashing Pumpkins, made its recording debut in early 1990 with the release of "I Am One"; this single preceded their first full-lenght album, "Gish", which was issued in May of 1991 and was supported by a national tour with The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam. The record scraped the bottom of The Billboard Top 200 chart and generated the Modern Rock top 30 single, "Rhinoceros".

One year later the band contributed a song for "Singles" original motion picture soundtrack, "Drown" hit #24 on The Modern Rock chart.

The group's next album, the breakthrough "Siamese Dream", was issued in the summer of 1993, it climbed into the top 10 of The Billboard 200, selling over 4 million copies and spawning no less than three Modern Rock top 10 hits: "Today", "Cherub Rock" and "Disarm" plus album's fourth single, the Active Rock top 30 hit, "Rocket". The first three singles also charted in the U.K. where the album debuted in the top 5.

Just a year later, Corgan and company released "Pisces Iscariot", a collection of B-sides, live songs and covers, including Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" which shot to #3 on The Modern Rock Tracks and pushed the LP into the top 5 of the U.S. Top 200 Albums chart.

In late 1995 The Smashing Pumpkins issued a bold double-CD entitled "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness", the set contained 28 songs and quickly soared to #1 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, it was certified platinum nine times over on the strength of numerous hit singles, firstly, "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" hit #2 on The Modern Rock chart and #22 on The Billboard Hot 100, "1979" rose to #1 spots on both Billboard's Modern and Mainstream Rock charts and grabbed a #12 spot The Billboard Hot 100, "Thirty-Three" also hit #2 on The Modern Rock Tracks. The album, which was was equally successful in Europe and Australia, sported three more singles, "Zero" "Muzzle" and "Tonight, Tonight", that made it to the top 10 on the U.S. Alt-Rock radio chart with the latter becoming the group's first U.K. top 10 hit.
The group won Best Hard Rock Performance for "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards.

In 1996 the band sacked their drummer Jimmy Chamberlin after his continuing drug abuse, his replacement was ex-Filter Matt Walker. Around this time the group recorded a new tune, "Eye", which was used on the soundtrack of the film "Lost Highway"; the single crashed into the top 10 of The Modern Rock chart.

In the summer of 1997, "The End Is The Beginning Is The End", one of the two Pumpkins' songs from "Batman & Robin" soundtrack, peaked at #4 on The Modern Rock chart and earned them yet another Grammy trophy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
Before the year's end the band started to work on the new album, but Walker left during the recording sessions.

At the start of 1998 Iha found time to release his solo debut album to little attention.
"Adore" was finally released in June, going straight to #2 on both the U.S. and Canadian Albums charts but the record failed to match its predecessor's sales; it yielded two Modern Rock top 3 hits: "Ava Adore" and "Perfect".

Wretzky quit The Smashing Pumpkins shortly before the band hit the studio for the follow-up to "Adore" and was replaced by ex-Hole bass player Melissa Auf Der Maur, around the same time Chamberlin returned to the fold. "MACHINA/The Machines Of God" appeared in February 2000 hitting #3 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart; the first single, "The Everlasting Gaze", peaked at #4 on The Modern Rock Tracks and "Stand Inside Your Love" rocketed to #2 on the same chart.

When Billy Corgan decided to disband the Pumkpins, he wanted to release a final album of studio outtakes, but Virgin Records refused, citing that it was too soon after releasing the previous album. He and his bandmates then opted to release via Web a 25-track set titled "Machina II: The Friends And Enemies Of Modern Music"; the fans could download for free the entire collection.
After the show at Chicago's Metro on December 2, 2000, Corgan announced that The Smashing Pumpkins would be no longer.

In the following years Billy Corgan joined up with New Order as a touring rhythm guitarist for a brief stint and debuted his new band, Zwan, in late 2002.

After a seven-year hiatus, for the short-lived group Zwan and his surprisingly sunny 2005 solo album, Corgan has revived The Smashing Pumpkins; joining original members Billy Corgan on vocals + guitar and Jimmy Chamberlin on drums, were guitarist Jeff Shroeder, bassist Ginger Reyes and keyborad player Lisa Harrington. "Zeitgeist" was released in July 2007 and its first single, "Tarantula", went straight into the top 3 of The Hot Modern Rock chart and hit #6 on The Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks whilst the album itself peaked at #2 in U.S. and #1 in Canada. The second single, "That's The Way (My Love Is)", reached the #23 position on The Hot Modern Rock chart.

In November 2008 the band relesed a non-album single titled "G.L.O.W.", featured in the latest installment of Guitar Hero.
Four months later Chamberlin left The Smashing Pumpkins, leaving Billy Corgan as the only original member in the band's line-up.

"A Song For A Son", was the first single that that became part of a 44-track musical project called "Teargarden By Kaleidyscope", a sort of a mega-album of songs released digitally and occasionally compiled into physical releases as limited edition EPs.


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The Smashing Pumpkins pictures:

  • The Smashing Pumpkins band lineup mid 90s The Smashing Pumpkins band lineup mid 90s
    The band line-up 1995, LtoR: James Iha, D'Arcy Wretzky, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin