Kelly’s Album of the Week: Siamese Dream








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In 1993, The Smashing Pumpkins were challenged with following up on their debut album, Gish. Gish was an unexpectedly popular album, so frontman, Billy Corgan, felt immense pressure to make an album that superseded the band’s expectations – Siamese Dream. The recording process for Siamese Dream was plagued with strife, writers block, and battles with drug addiction. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was dealing with a severe heroin addiction and would disappear from the studio for days on drug benders. Also, guitarist James Iha and bassist D’arcy Wretzky had just gotten out of a relationship. These problems forced Corgan to practically live at the studio in order to keep the record label satisfied.The time Corgan spent in the studio resulted in Siamese Dream becoming one of the most loved albums of the grunge era.

With a buzzsaw tone that had never been heard before, Siamese Dream, made a name for itself because of its chaotic guitar parts and excellent drumming. The staple of the Siamese Dream’s sound was the Big Muff fuzz pedal. The only way Corgan achieved such a menacing tone was by stacking two of these Big Muff pedals behind a Stratocaster. The dirty tone forced Corgan and his producer to spend days perfecting small sections of songs.

The first tracks, “Cherub Rock” and “Quiet” show the band’s heavier side with heavy distortion, messy solos, and explosive drum parts. “Hummer” moves through a series of build ups and quieter, sweeter guitar parts. The album slows down with songs “Disarm,” “Soma,” and “Spaceboy,” and the song, “Mayonaise,” is the pinnacle of The Smashing Pumpkins genius.

Siamese Dream is one of the most important albums of the 1990s. Billy Corgan and Co. did an outstanding job creating this album despite their troubles. Be sure to check out The Smashing Pumpkins’ music.

About the author: As an avid listener of music, guitar player, singer, and band member, I thought it might be fun to give my two cents about music I enjoy. I’m a fan of most genres, but really I just want to hear music with some artistic merit. I hope to get people to listen to music they haven’t heard and see if they like it. Also, feel free to suggest any music for me to listen to.

Kelly’s Album of the Week Archive