A Smashing Reunion.
What does Smashing Pumpkins’ somewhat reunion mean for music?
An article by Gerswin Reynolds
Rock and metal fans have had it rough the last few years. With the fear of declining popularity everywhere, metal fans clamored for the next great rock resurgence, and they’ve only been met with heartbreak. With the announcement of Slayer calling it quits, Ozzy Osbourne retiring, new a System of a Down album that seems very unlikely of being finished, and finally even Slipknot contemplating the end, rock and metal has had very few celebratory moments in the last few years. However, Billy Corgan has recently announced the “Oh So Bright and Shiny Tour”, featuring three-quarters of the band’s original line up. The band would perform music exclusively from their first 5 albums, with fans chiming in to create the set lists. Will a Smashing Pumpkins reunion revitalize rock? Maybe not, but it’s certainly worth celebrating.
The Smashing Pumpkins are one of those rare bands that helped define a generation. The 90s were an incredible time for music, which saw the bourgeoning of the grunge movement, the second invasion of Brit Pop thanks to Oasis, Hip Hop’s mainstream revolution, boy bands, and the eventual emergence of Nu metal by the end of the decade. Amidst all of the chaos of the musical landscape, Smashing Pumpkins were able to pull in fans from all walks of life into their unique brand of music—music that spoke to people, and that was grander than most. Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was a groundbreaking double album that pushed the boundaries of music at the time, and spawned incredible classics for the band including, “Zero,”, “1979,” and “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”, with the latter remaining a staple on radio today. Together with their previous works, the seminal Siamese Dream and Gish, Smashing Pumpkins became cemented as a band worth emulating. Together the group has sold 21 Million Albums sold worldwide!
In-fighting, Jimmy Chamberlain’s drug addiction, and diminishing records sales from the poorly received Machina, saw the demise of the original lineup in 2005. Since then, Corgan has done well to carry on the band’s legacy while taking the band into new sonic territory. His biggest struggles seemed a growing demand for the band to be a showcase of greatest hits rather than a contemporary band, and Corgan has publicly riled against this idea for many years. The thought of a reunion of any kind seemed as unlikely as a Guns N Roses reunion. But times have changed.
Though ticket sales for the event have been seen as weak, and original member D’arcy Wretzky is absent from the reunion, fans can expect a great many things from the “Oh So Bright and Shiny Tour”. The band has rekindled their friendship, and playing together, fans and concert goers will likely feel the fire and energy of a band trying to recapture their youth. Renditions of long time favorites like “Cherub Rock,” “Siva,”, and “Disarm” will be closest to their original sentiments, as these are the original writers. And with any luck, this could put the Pumpkins on track to writing and releasing a new record.
Though the Pumpkins are far from their heyday, the band will recapture all the feelings and sentiments that made them the great group that they were. It will remind of us the timelessness of their work and of a time long gone. This is an important moment for rock, and one worth remembering.
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I am proud to host an interesting article on Smashing Pumpkins by Senior Editor and musician Gerswin Reynolds. To find out more about Gerswin, sneak peek into his music background and bio at:
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