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Zero Single, Maxi

4 customer reviews

Price: £12.20
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Biography

The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most popular alternative rock bands of the 1990s, mostly thanks to the success of second and third albums Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. At the height of their fame they guest-starred in a memorable episode of The Simpsons.

The line-up of American alt-rock band the Smashing Pumpkins has altered over the years since their ... Read more in Amazon's Smashing Pumpkins Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Zero + Thirty Three [Box Set Version] (UK Import) + Tonight, Tonight [CD2] [CD 2]
Price For All Three: £28.61

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single, Maxi
  • Label: Unknown Label
  • ASIN: B000008QWF
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Apparel
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,111 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Smashing Pumpkins ~ Zero

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
One of the most odd things that I have found about the Smashing Pumpkins is that their b-sides are often equal to, if not better than, their a-side 'superiors'. This EP proves my point perfectly. All of the tracks on this album (with the possible exception of Pastichio Medley, which I will explain further on) could be mistaken for album songs. If only all bands had leftovers like this. Here is my track-by-track guide:
Zero - The EP's main track, and the only track included on a SP album, Zero is a piece of finely tuned heavy rock. It is hard hitting and depressing, with an addictive riff running throughout.
God - Another hard hitting rock track, fairly similar in sound and structure to other Pumpkin's release Bullet with Butterfly Wings.
Mouthes of Babes - Again, a heavily distorted track with an amazing riff, but more laid back than the previous two tracks, more complex.
Tribute to Johnny - A change of pace, this track is a grungey (is that even a word?!) instrumental, reminiscent of the Pumpkins Gish era sound. The track is frequently interlaced with fantastic guitar solos.
Marquis in Spades - The EP's best moment, this track is awesome. Grunge style guitars and hatefull vocals drive you into some sort of world of it's own. This song crushes anything by Soundgarden, Nirvana and Alice in Chains, the supposed kings of 90s rock. Utterly bewildering.
Pennies - Possibly the only moment on the track that doesn't crush you with ultra-heavy distortion, Pennies provides a welcome change of sound. It has a catchy, crisp riff and sad, gentle lyrics.
Pastichio Medley - The final track on the EP, this is quite a note to leave on.
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Format: Audio CD
For anyone who loves the raw edged , guitar driven side of the Smashing Pumpkins , Zero would be an obvious choice to add to the collection .
The majority of the tracks on the record such as the title track 'Zero' , 'Mouths of Babes' and 'Marquis in Spades' are straightforward , classic examples of the pumpkins darker , heavier side and are great to sit back and listen to when your in the mood for something loud . My personal favourite is the mind-blowing 'Tribute to Johnny' , a rarely heard instrumental track written by Billy Corgan and James Iha .
In contrast to the rest of the tracks on the record , 'Pennies' could be said to represent the more relaxed , melodic side of the pumpkins . Corgan has successfully combined a simple melody and poetic lyrics to form a song that comes from the heart but could not be accused of being over-sentimental .
The final track 'Pastichio Medley' is , as the title would suggest , a cut and paste job with lots of different songs taken from various Pumpkins albums . It takes some dedication to listen right to the end as the constant chopping and changing of tracks makes the music kinda hard to follow , but it's certainly an interesting change to the kind of thing that you normally hear .
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By ratmonkey on 26 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As basically an extended single, this is an excellent collection of tracks in its own right. It has the very good 'Zero' from Melon Collie... but it also has some very stripped down, very Siamese-era tracks that accompany it.

They are not all perfect but little gems like the dirty 'God' and dirtier 'Mouths of Babes' highlight what a great talent this band has. But it is with the excellent 'Pennies' that they really hit pay dirt. It's the ballad of sorts but is just so tuneful and near perfect you wonder why it wasn't included in the album proper.

As with Pisces Iscariot and other singles with excellent b-sides, like the 'Thirty-Three' 2 part release (Aeroplane Flies High is superb) and '1979', this is a more than essential purchase for any self-respecting Pumpkins' fan.
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By A Customer on 2 Jun. 2002
Format: Audio CD
The single itself is a bit overproduced lacking some of the visceral pleasure it had live, but it's a rock/pop crossover, it has all the pop sensibilities (hooks, chorus, verses and passion) that could make an avid Britney Spears fan consider rock in the same way Smells Like Teen Spirit and Jane Says, it's almost subversant in it's construction.
To top this off, there's a medley of great tunes that makes it worth buying the thing in the knowlege there aren't just lip service b-sides burning a hole in your pocket. Get it anyway you can.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not A Zero in Quality, Though 16 Mar. 2005
By Samhot - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Smashing Pumpkins always made quality music that made the final cut, in regards to their studio albums. But, what's more astounding is the quality of the music that never made the studio albums; you know, the tracks that either got tacked on as B-sides, or, were just not released at all. These B-sides to the _Zero_ single are *no* exception to this rule, as these are some of the best things The Smashing Pumpkins have ever made, and they have made *tons* of stunning stuff.

Like the other B-side-filled EP's deriving from the _Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness_ album, each start off with the track of the single, then are followed by the B-sides. "Zero" is a raging anthem. Likewise, the rest of the EP -- with the exception of the melodic alt-pop of "Pennies" -- shows off the Pumpkins' overdriven, distortion-filled rock. "God" is a perfect example of this; the verses are soft, while the chorus rages with an intense, overdriven madness that was the Pumpkins' niche. "Mouths of Babes" features a tasteful riff on the pentatonic (in descending mode) that opens the track, and eventually closes it off (and is repeated, but the key is changed in the final motif, before the track cuts off.) "Tribute to Johnny" is a fusionesque metal instrumental; a little bit of funk, a little bit of jazz, and loads of distortion. Perfectly shows just how talented and diverse these pumpkins were. It's tasteful and chewy as well, while "Marquis in Spades" is a more plodding, but equally heavy, well-distorted number. "Pennies" gives you a breather from all of the distortion of past, and leads into the very interesting (to say the least) "Pastichio Medley." This is a 23-minute smorgasbord of spliced-together riffs taken from dozens of Pumpkins' songs that were either unfinished, or just plain unreleased. The overdriven extremeties that were so common to The Pumpkins' niche are here, indeed, but there are also moments of quiet to be found, and the occasional vocal.

Case and point: if you are a diehard Pumpkinhead (like myself; The Pumpkins are my top favorite when it comes to the "alternative" bands from the '90s scene), you will *not* want to be without this single, or the others that came from the _Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness_ sessions. If you are lucky enough to own _The Aeroplane Flies High_ boxed set (the complete, _Mellon Collie_-derived singles/EP's in one boxed set, and with a booklet of complete lyrics, photos, etc.) then you will already own this single. Recommended indefinitely.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Zero 15 May 2004
By Sasa Janjac - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Zer0, I collected singles and I have around 100 of them, but nothing comes near this. Marquis in Spades, God ... realy good sound. Buy it
S.J.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Wow, very impressive ... 31 Dec. 2004
By Jerry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is practically the only "Single" type cd i own. This one is worth buying since all the songs on it equate to about the length of a full-on album. Don't be fooled about the last song on the single though ... i at first found it a "waste of time", yet after a while it really started to mesh with the whole album even though it sounds like a collection of guitar instrumentals. All the other songs are soooo awesome! "God" is god .... trust me. Overall this cd is very intoxicating - even with no alcohol - crazy huh? Give it a try.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
At least we got to hear this stuff. 20 April 2002
By "jaylimmo" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Wherein Billy C. proves he's a pumpkinhead by showing us the heavy cards he had up his sleeve all along but left off the album. "God": a crushing stomp along the lines of the superior "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"; "Mouths of Babes": a mid-tempo Aerosmith-like tune that should DEFINITELY gone on MC; "Tribute to Johnny": funny mid-seventies riff-homage; "Marquis in Spades": dumb title for their most Judas Priest-like song yet; and "Pennies": an absolute POP GEM that should have been a single on its own. Then there's the "Pastichio Medley" of 72 song fragments, from which they could have constructed at least five heavy rawkers which would have rivaled gish. An A+ for generosity, a C- for frustration.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Next to Godliness. 29 Aug. 2011
By Andy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Smashing Pumpkins' 1995 double-disc affair, "Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness," is one that often gets accused of carrying dead weight. To say that the Pumpkins crammed the set with filler is absolutely ludicrous, though (and outright implies that one simply did not listen to the full piece enough to let it sink in) and the "Zero" EP proves it. With five songs (and one very grueling instrumental) that could have very easily fit in on the aforementioned album, the EP makes the perfect counterpart or expansion of said album.

Do you like your Pumpkins to be of the rocking variety? Then you're in luck here. Like its namesake single, the "Zero" EP is a front to back rocker. You might recall "Marquis in Spades" from the "Judas O" compilation that was included on some copies of the band's 2001 greatest hits set, "Rotten Apples," but the rest of the bunch are pretty much exclusive to this set. "God" and "Mouths of Babes" are Pumpkins at their best, with layers of fuzzy guitar riffs stacked against a relentless rhythm section. Billy Corgan's often poetic lyrics seem irrelevant when pitted against such strong instrumentals, and for the Johnny Winter tribute track, the aptly titled "Tribute to Johnny," truer words were never spoken. One of the few and true collaborations between Corgan and guitarist James Iha, "Tribute to Johnny" lets the group's classic rock flag fly high, showing that the Pumpkins were more than just mid-'90s alt-rockers at heart. While Corgan and Iha playing dueling axes, bassist D'Arcy Wretsky holds it down with a hearty bass-line that serves Jimmy Chamberlin's monster drumming well. This track is the highlight and serves as a perfect example of why Corgan's ex-bandmates were more than just hired help. "Pennies" takes things down a notch, but still retains the vintage sound that can be heard in any of "Mellon Collie"'s finer moments. Capping off the set is the very interesting "Pastichio Medley." Clocking in at well over 20 minutes, this instrumental can be a bit taxing to get through being that is merely clippings of riffs that were left off the album for whatever reason. Although it's not everyday listening, it is historically significant (in regards to the band, anyway) and something any Pumpkins enthusiast should bear witness to.

No matter the price you pay to track it down, "Zero" is perhaps one of the finest Pumpkins singles/EPs in existence and worth seeking out (the used price here is an absolute steal, by the way). Simply put, you won't find any throwaway tracks on the set and you might even wonder why the band didn't decide to make "Mellon Collie" a three-pronged attack. Heck, even if the band's mixed output from the late '90s and onwards bums you out, this little EP serves as a sort of consolation prize. "Zero" is, simply put, anything but a zero.
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