Classic Rock News

Despite all its rage, The Smashing Pumpkins' 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' turns 25

Virgin Records

The Smashing Pumpkins‘ alt-rock opus Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is 25.

The 28-track double album, which was first released on October 23, 1995, became one of the most iconic albums of the ’90s, and has been certified diamond for over 10 million copies sold in the U.S.

Going into the sessions for Mellon Collie, frontman Billy Corgan set his expectations high, dubbing the upcoming record “The Wall for Generation X.” In a departure from the first two Pumpkins album, which were recorded with Nevermind producer Butch Vig, Corgan instead produced Mellon Collie with Flood and Alan Moulder.

Upon its release, Mellon Collie debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and remains the only Pumpkins album to achieve that feat. It spawned hit singles “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” “1979,” “Zero,” “Tonight, Tonight” and “Thirty-Three” — “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” in particular seemed to capture the mood of the ’90s with the lyric, “Despite all my rage/I am still just a rat in a cage.”

While recording Mellon Collie was relatively non-eventful — especially compared to the drama-filled sessions for 1993’s Siamese Dream — things started to spiral out of control following the album’s release. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was fired from the band in 1996, followed by bassist D’arcy Wretzky leaving in 1999. Eventually, the Pumpkins called it quits altogether in 2000.

Corgan would then resurrect the band in 2006 with a revolving lineup of members. In 2018, Chamberlin and original guitarist James Iha officially rejoined the Pumpkins, though Wretzky remains uninvolved.

The reformed Smashing Pumpkins had planned to celebrate Mellon Collie‘s 25th anniversary with a world tour, but the outing’s been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re also working on a “sequel” album to Mellon Collie and 2000’s Machina.

By Josh Johnson
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