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Smashing Pumpkins

Biography

Billy Corgan and his Chicago cohorts arrived just as the alternative sea-swell was crashing ashore in the early 1990s, doing so with shiny, super-produced alt rock far removed from the Pacific Northwest's guttural Grunge rumblings. Corgan's obsessive, perfectionist nature helped rear an omnipresent triumvirate of crucial albums between 1991-95, each of which grandly built upon the scope and sound of its predecessor. Gish, Siamese Dream, and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness -- in addition to the myriad songs released as non-album tracks during that time -- were chiefly characterized by Corgan's vocals that could whisper one moment and wail the next, Corgan and James Iha's overdriven, buzzing, these-go-to-11 guitars, and Jimmy Chamberlin's propulsive, overwhelmingly powerful drum work that thrust "Silverf*ck," "Bury Me," and "Geek U.S.A." into fifth gear. Lineup changes and an electronica-embracing sound muddled the band's late '90s efforts, and the Pumpkins called it quits in 2000. After years of near-constant speculation, Corgan and Chamberlin partnered to reform the group in 2007, releasing the bombastic Zeitgeist and returning to the world stage.
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