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Smashing Pumpkins

todayMarch 21, 2024 13

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The Smashing Pumpkins (or simply Smashing Pumpkins)[note 1] are an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1988 by frontman and guitarist Billy Corgan, bassist D’arcy Wretzky, guitarist James Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, the band has undergone several line-up changes since their reunion in 2006, with Corgan being the sole constant member since its inception. The current lineup features Corgan, Chamberlin, and Iha.

The band has a diverse, densely layered sound, which evolved throughout their career and has contained elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, grunge, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, shoegaze, dream pop, and electronica overall, with Corgan as the group’s primary songwriter.[2] The band’s first album, Gish (1991), became an underground success. In the advent of alternative rock’s mainstream breakthrough, their second album Siamese Dream (1993) established the band’s popularity. Despite a tumultuous recording process, the album received acclaim and is regarded as one of the best albums in the genre. Their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) furthered the band’s popularity. Debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, the double album was certified Diamond by the RIAA and received various critical plaudits. After the release of Adore (1998) and a two-part project in 2000 (Machina and Machina II), the group disbanded due to internal conflicts, drug use, and diminishing sales by the end of the 1990s. With 30 million albums sold worldwide, the Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s, often cited as a cultural touchstone of Generation X and an essential act in popularizing alternative rock.

In 2006, Corgan and Chamberlin reconvened to record a new album, Zeitgeist. After touring throughout 2007 and 2008 with a lineup including new guitarist Jeff Schroeder, Chamberlin left the band in early 2009. Later that year, Corgan began a new recording series with a rotating lineup of musicians entitled Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, which encompassed stand-alone singles, EP releases, and two full albums that also fell under the project’s scope—Oceania in 2012 and Monuments to an Elegy in 2014. Chamberlin and Iha officially rejoined the band in February 2018. The reunited lineup then released the albums Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun. (2018) and Cyr (2020), in addition to Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts across three increments between 2022 and 2023. Schroeder departed from the band in October 2023.

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