mashing Pumpkins Tour 2020: Smashing Pumpkins (formed in 1988) is an American alternative rock band formed by frontman Billy Corgan and guitarist James Iha.
Following the break-up of his gothic rock band The Marked, frontman Billy Corgan departed his home in St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S. and returned to his native city Chicago, U.S. Before long Corgan met rhythm guitarist James Iha and the two practiced and made their debut performance as a duo at the Polish Bar Chicago 21. The pair named themselves The Smashing Pumpkins and shortly after met bassist D’arcy Wretzky who was invited to join along with jazz drummer Jimmy Chamberlin.
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The Smashing Pumpkins made their recording debut on a Chicago alternative rock compilation CD entitled “Light Into Dark”, which was followed by their sell-out debut single “I Am One” released in 1990 through Limited Potential Records. The band’s full-length debut arrived after signing with Caroline Records in 1991, “Gish”, produced by Butch Vig, fused alternative rock with heavy metal, psychedelia and dream pop, drawing comparisons with Jane’s Addiction. After subsequently releasing the EP “Lull” in October 1991, The Smashing Pumpkins signed with Virgin Records and supported their album with opening slots for bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction and Guns N’ Roses.
In an attempt to move drummer Chamberlin away from his narcotic supply, the band moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1992 to record their sophomore album. With the help of producer Butch Vig again, “Siamese Dream” came about amidst a sea of turbulence within the band. Corgan, as with the first album, thought it was best for him alone to play all the guitar and bass parts, drawing some resentment from Wretzky and Iha. Chamberlin quickly found new drug connections and was absent for days at a time and Corgan was responding to his depression by spending all of his time in the studio.
Followed by a relentless touring schedule with appearances at 1994’s Lollapalooza tour and Reading Festival in 1995, Virgin issued a B-sides and rarities compilation titled “Pisces Iscariot” which reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
For the follow-up album frontman Corgan wrote fifty-six songs which ultimately got narrowed down to twenty-eight for 1995’s “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, became double platinum selling, earned the band seven Grammy nominations and spawned the hits “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” and “1979”. Around this time The Smashing Pumpkins were considered one of the biggest bands in the world, with considerable airplay on MTV and an appearance on the Simpsons.
In 1996 touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin and Chamberlin overdosed on heroin in a hotel room in New York City, Melvoin died and Chamberlin fortunately escaped the same fate. Chamberlin was subsequently fired and Corgan named “Mellon Collie…” the band’s last conventional rock album. True to his word the album’s follow-up “Adore” arrived in 1998 and represented a huge shift towards electronica and gothic influences. The album sold around 830,000 copies which was considered a failure by the record label. The band supported the release with a 17-date North American tour funded entirely out of the band’s pocket, of which they donated $2.8 million in total to charity over the course of.
After a short lived reunion with rehabilitated Chamberlin and the departure of Wretzky, who was replaced by Melissa Auf der Maur, The Smashing Pumpkins released their fifth full-length “Machina/The Machines of God” in 2000. The album performed poorly compared to its predecessors, however was argued to be one of their strongest. In 2000 the band announced they were disbanding after independently releasing “Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music” in September.
In 2005 Corgan took out a full-page ad in The Chicago Tribune to announce The Smashing Pumpkins were returning. Chamberlin was the only original other member to actually return, but alongside new guitarist Jeff Schroder and bassist Ginger Reyes they released the album “Zeitgiest” in 2007. From 2009 Corgan released a scattered selection of songs from a 44-track concept titled “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope” and followed by the full-length “Oceana” in 2010. The announcement of two new albums came in 2014 to tie up “Teargarden” concept, with the names “Monuments to an Elegy” and “Day for Night”.