Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness’ Released On This Day 18 Years Ago
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Oct. 23 is a special day for Billy Corgan and the original line-up of Smashing Pumpkins as it was the release date of their album “Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.”The album was released originally on this date in 1995 and has seen as remastered special edition release in 2012.
From the onset for Billy Corgan, he wanted to record a double album much like that of The Beetles “White Album”. Corgan was once quoted as saying the album would be “The Wall” for Generation-X.
Mellon Collie would see a change in producer for the band. Butch Vig (Garbage) had produced the band’s two previous efforts and according to Corgan, working with Vig was a disadvantage for them:
To be completely honest, I think it was a situation where we’d become so close to Butch that it started to work to our disadvantage… I just felt we had to force the situation, sonically, and take ourselves out of normal Pumpkin recording mode. I didn’t want to repeat past Pumpkin work.
Once recording was done for the album with producers Flood and Alan Moulder, the band had 57 songs to choose from. Originally, the album was to be 32 songs, but was taken down to 28.
Once the album hit stores, the fanfare and critical rave began to pour in:
The group’s most ambitious and accomplished work yet – Time Magazine
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is more than just the work of a tortured, finicky pop obsessive. Corgan presents himself as one of the last true believers: someone for whom spewing out this much music results in some sort of high art for the ages. He doesn’t seem concerned with persistent alterna-rock questions of ‘selling out’, and good for him: He’s aiming for something bigger and all-conquering – David Browne
The album would go on to sell well over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone and launch the Pumpkins to levels of success not yet seen for the band. The success would not be without troubles. During the touring process for “Mellon Collie,” drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was let go from the band after he and touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvion overdosed on heroin; Melvion died from the the overdose.
Mellon Collie also yielded many accolades, including seven nominations at the 1997 Grammy Awards and one victory that night with “Bullet for Butterfly Wings” winning the “Best Hard Rock Performance.”