The Smashing Pumpkins Biography

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Smashing PumkinsThe Smashing Pumpkins is an American alternative rock band that formed sometime in 1988 in Chicago. It all started when Billy Corgan met with guitarist James Iha while working at a record store. The two began to write some songs that were influenced by bands such as New Order and The Cure. Corgan also eventually met with bassist D’arcy Wretzky in 1988 and invited her to join the band.

The band first played as a trio at the Avalon Nightclub in August of 1988. They played with the aid of a drum machine to make up for the lack of a drummer. A club owner agreed to book them for shows on the condition that they do away with the drum machine, prompting the band to recruit Jimmy Chamberlain to become the band’s drummer.

By 1989, amid doing shows at clubs, the band also recorded a handful of demo tapes which later became the songs included in their 1991 debut album. The album became a minor success and was followed by their Lull EP in October of the same year. It eventually led the band to sign up with Virgin Records. By this time, The Smashing Pumpkins were already opening for touring bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses and Jane’s Addiction.

1993 saw The Smashing Pumpkins riding on the popularity of the growing grunge movement, although they resented being grouped as such. The band released their follow-up album Siamese Dream. Corgan’s decision to try and play most of the instruments during the recording of the album to achieve consistency brought tension within the band.

Many times during the recording of the album, the band fought with Corgan’s seeming tyranny during the recording process. But eventually, the album went on to debut at number ten on the Billboard Charts and went on to sell over four million copies in the US alone, fueled by the popularity of the hit singles "Today" and "Disarm". A release of the band’s B-sides entitled Pisces Iscariot in 1994 surprisingly outperformed Siamese Dream by reaching number four in the Billboard Charts.

After going on tour for the rest of 1993 until 1994, the band began to work on their next album. Corgan began working non-stop and the end result being the double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It contained a total of 28 songs that ran for over two hours. It became the band’s most ambitious as well as its most accomplished work which debuted at number one on the Billboard Charts in 1995.

The album went on to overtake the success of Siamese Dream and became certified nine times platinum. The album also was nominated for the 1997 Grammy’s and ultimately won the Best Hard rock Performance Award for the lead single, "Bullet With Butterfly Wings".

The band went on to release three more albums before the band broke up in 2000 after playing a farewell concert. The band members went on to do solo projects with others becoming members of other bands. Sometime on June of 2005, news came out on Corgan’s wish to revive the band. So far only Corgan and Chamberlain were vocal on reuniting as The Smashing Pumpkins although news about the other former members joining in remains undisclosed.

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