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  • Gish
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4.9 out of 5 stars35
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 28 November 1999
Gish starts with the pummeling drum beats of 'I am One.' Billy Corgan aims to rock and he does so superbly, the bass is definitive and the outstanding drumming of Jimmy Chamberlin leaves me speechless. From its pure rock anthems (tristessa, I am one) to its more beatiful tracks (windowpaine, rhinoceros) this album makes me thankfull that I am alive. It was a bold forboding of what was to come from the chicago rockers and is one of the best debut album that I have heard. If you want to spend money on something worthwhile this is definitly it!
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They're better known for the sprawling double-disc "Mellon Collie And the Infinite Sadness," but the Smashing Pumpkins first leaped onto the scene with "Gish." It's not as epic as some of their later material, but still a vibrant, musically-polished album, and one that has the flavor of experience on the first time around.
Kicking off with the undulating riffs of the excellent "I Am One," the Pumpkins slip effortlessly between multilayered hard rock (the mind-blowing "Siva," the magnificent bass-sputtering "Tristessa," the panoramic "Snail") and haunting ballads ("Rhinoceros," the vaguely psychedelic "Crush," the sweeping "Suffer") before wrapping up with the eerie "Daydream."
It's a rare band whose music can still be so relevant so long after it first came out -- let alone still being a voice for the disillusioned. Originally released in 1991, "Gish" definitely established the Smashing Pumpkins as a musical force of genuine artistry, talented songwriting and musical integrity. It's hard enough to find one of those, let alone three.
The grinding, kinetic guitars and bass in the harder songs form a wall of solid sound, except in "Siva" -- there, the sound keeps dying away to complete silence, before reviving with a swirling roar when you least expect it. At the same time, Corgan tones down the guitars to a gentle acoustic strum in the more balladic songs. Jimmy Chamberlin's lightning-fast drumming is an excellent accompaniment, as is D'Arcy's bass.
As a songwriter, few rockers can parallel Billy Corgan; his songwriting has the quality of poetry set to rock, which aren't things you generally see together. Corgan's high, reedy voice is interwoven well into the music, giving his poetic lyrics a certain heartfelt quality. And bassist D'Arcy gets to shine with her low, sweet voice in "Daydream."
"Gish" is recognizably the Pumpkins, at the roughest stage of their musical development -- but with edge, the musical force and the beauty that just needed refinement.
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on 25 May 2004
I bought this album on the strength of seeing a video ( Rhinoceros ) I had recorded from some Heavy Metal programme on the telly at about three in the morning . The album blew me away , and still retains a certain freshness today .
You can see how the pumpkins have influenced many newer bands with their playing style . There is a slightly psychedelic feel to the album in places as well - not quite as black as some of Billy Corgan's other work .
Faves ? - Rhinoceros and Daydream
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on 22 October 2012
Gish (1991) is The Smashing Pumpkins debut album, and a blinder it is. Raw. Experimental. I Am One, Bury Me, and Tristessa blast along at break-neck pace, showcasing Billy Corgan's heavy riffs and individual guitar sound. Rhinoceros is psychedelic rock, with a haunting undertone, dreamy, hypnotic. Jimmy Chamberlin's drums are sharp, tuned high, sounding tight; amazing fills; quick though subtle. It is evident listening to this album that Siamese Dream (1994) was just around the corner. These are essentially the two best Pumpkin albums. Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness (1993) was good but too long. Then they changed direction, injecting electronic music into their alternative rock sound, Corgan a self-confessed Depeche Mode fan. Mode are great. But the pumpkins are 'Gish'. This album rates up there with 'Bleach' and 'Ten' as an early-nineties classic rock debut album. Raw. Tight. Individual.
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on 24 February 2015
Listened to this on CD when it was first released, loved it. Bought it on Vinyl out of Nostalgia but I have found that areas in the tracks where the CD
was unable to keep coherence are now handled perfectly and clear, and I mean played on the same kit. Sweet.
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on 7 June 2012
This was a really good album, probably their third best album. It's good the way they made a box with all the little postcards, and the packaging has pictures of the bands faces which is good aswell. I like the way the box is finished,it really is very shiny indeed and lots of lovely purpley colours. Billy corgans' hair is fantastically long on the cover, which is funny as he is bald now which some people may find hard to get their heads around.

The box is very well put together made of very high quality cardboard materials, I noticed there is a black moving cardboard thing at the bottom which seems like its something else at the bottom, but it isn't. Included is a free booklet which is about 20 pages long and has some more lovely pictures of the band and some writing on the music. There's no pictures of them with their musical equipment, mainly them standing around or sitting around a table. There are 5 postcards which you might like to collect or send to a relative as a novel gift or perhaps write reminders on the back.

Anyway, this is a good album in a rather fetching box. You can also collect the Siamese dream one which is also roughly the same and has a similar design.

Happy listening!
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on 30 July 2006
Gish is the debut album from Smashing Pumpkins, originally released in 1991. Like many I didn't come across Smashing Pumpkins until there second album, "Siamese Dream". Such was its impact I was soon off in search of more of their music, where I found Gish.

The familiar whine of Billy Corgan's vocals is instantly recognisable to those who know the Pumpkins later work, as are the guitar riffs which often seem to clash with the accompanying instruments without actually sounded out of tune or even remotely wrong. Add some grinding guitar riffs and precision drumming to the mix and you have the unmistakable sound of the Smashing Pumpkins. The beauty of this album (as with other Pumpkins albums) is the effortless way if flows from this hard thumping grunge rock of the early `90s, to soft soothing ballads and back again to thunderous riffs and heavy thumping drums, ensuring the album never feels like an elongated song where a new track number means little more than a key change.

As with many grunge/rock bands of the time the production is much rawer than their later albums, though at times this actually adds to the music rather than being for the worse.

While definitely not their best album, any fan of their later albums will find Gish a worthy addition to their music collection, as will those whose tastes include the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and other bands of the `90s Grunge/Rock/Punk movement.
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on 25 June 2014
When I ordered this on vinyl the picture is of the original LP but I got the new version, this isn't a complaint, I love it, cheers.
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on 27 April 2016
Had this on cassette many years ago and finally got round to getting the CD...very glad I did!
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on 4 February 2012
On one side you had Nirvana's Nevermind, while the other side was Pearl Jam's Ten. I was the one who sat on the fence listening to Gish, and I am still on that fence.
As box sets go, in terms of respect to the Artist and quality , the box set equals Sub Pop's 20th A.... of Bleach by Nirvana (A document more than a box set) and the The Smiths The Complete CD Box Set. And Jethro Tull's Aqualung 40th Ann.... ,Bob Dylan's Original Mono Recordings.
I do not mind the money side of life, when done with respect..
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