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Hall of Fame Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream

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With their second album, the Smashing Pumpkins hit the road to rock olympics. Frontman Billy Corgan played a big part in the success. And he didn't just get financial benefits from the album.

From: Bettina Dunkel

Status: 07/24/2013 | archive

Dying, just dying. I don't want more in the summer of 1993. My first big love has decided for another. Eated by self-pity, I lie like a filleted eel on the carpeted floor of my child's room, the volume control of the stereo set to the stop. No fucking human in the whole shitty world can understand me. Only one person feels the same as me: Billy Corgan.

The Smashing Pumpkins singer is my brother in spirit at the time. The separation from his girlfriend had thrown the already neurotic cross driver completely off course. Depression, a massive writer's block and problems with the other band members even lead to suicidal thoughts. Work, work, work is his self-therapy, which at some point turns into a mission: the manic search for dazzling perfection. The result is "Siamese Dream" - next to "Nevermind" or "Ten" one of the most important and influential alternative rock albums of the 90s.

Bombastrock in the name of neurosis

Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (Cover)

Nirvana rebel the hard, self-destructive way. Pearl Jam want to shake up with their socially critical texts. And with the Smashing Pumpkins, the slightly crazy look is directed inward. Band mastermind Billy Corgan relies entirely on the infernal interplay of guitar bombast and orchestral dream pop. A whirlpool of emotions - just right for a love-plagued teenager like me back then.

Art rock, metal influences and sweeping string arrangements are the foundation of "Siamese Dream". At least as important are Corgan's radically personal texts, driven by fear, sarcasm and sentimentality, presented in a uniquely androgynous and nagging manner. He definitely knows no inhibitions. Why also? The combination of anger, pathos and pain seems to have a cathartic effect for him. You can hear this most clearly on "Today" - still today one of the bittersweetest suicide symphonies of the hopeless Generation X.

The soundtrack of our loves

"Today" is then also one of the singles that accelerated the great success of "Siamese Dream" and gave the Smashing Pumpkins their final breakthrough. But the album was not only worth it commercially. Chris Fabian, the friend who almost drove Billy Corgan to suicide and whom he sang about in several songs, will be his wife in the release year.

My first big heartache, on the other hand, turned out to be an adolescent hormone overdose. Because the real love came a few years later. I didn't need "Siamese Dream" anymore. But this is another story.