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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 8 June 2003
This album is sheer brilliance from start to finish. It is not as accessible as Siamese Dream but that makes it all the better. When I first heard it, I thought that there were quite a few dull, slow tracks - such as Rhinoscerous, however after repeated listening I just couldn't get those slow, beautiful, eerie and intense melodies out of my head. Even the full on fast rock numbers make room for some quiet, reflective moments - such as with track 2 - "Siva". With an album this great it really is difficult to pick out a favourite track. Every time I listen to Gish, I discover something new in one of the songs that didn't grab my attention before. The fact that most of the songs grow on you makes for these kind of pleasant surprises because with 99% of albums the opposite is true - the more you listen to it, the more you tire of it.
AN ABSOLUTE MUST for Pumpkins fans. If you are new to the smashing pumpkins I suggest you start with Siamese Dream before buying Gish.
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on 10 December 2011
Currently listening to disc 2 of this set which blows away the original album.
If you love the amazing 'Siamese Dream' you have to get this set as disc 2 has the same extreme energy and playability and also brings new life to the original album.
The perfectionist production makes the music on this disc sound like it was recorded this week.
I know the DVD disc 3 will not disappoint.
Any Pumpkins/Corgan fan needs to get this and the Siamese Dream set.
Amazon is currently the cheapest place to buy.
Get it onto your Xmas or New Year gift list now!
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on 14 April 2011
I am not a 'Pumpkins Fan'. Being a little old for this, I have spent most of my adult life filling in the gaps on 60s and 70s, which I still believe was the golden age of rock music. However, one day was one day when I decided to check the Pumpkins out. And I started at the beginning - with 'Gish'. And gosh, what a find Gish was! I simply love this album, and liken it to U2's "Achtung Baby". Beneath the sometimes harsh and apparently hectic overlays and the most exquisite rhythms and lyrics. This is so rich, complex, so satisfying in the long term. And what I like most is that I find it difficult to 'remember' this music; so that each time I listen, it is as if I re-discover it. And so the enjoyment is repeated upon each listening. Subsequently bought "Siamese Dream" & "Mellon Collie...", but sorry - gish remains the masterpiece for me. Bravo Smashing Pumpkins!
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on 19 July 2000
Gish is the debut you never expected to be true. It somehow portrays a band that will unquestionably develop and yet it is still wrapped in skillful lyrics, soaked in remarkable musicianship and tied together in a splendid bow of distinctiveness that never stops to amaze. It is almost an appetizer of what is to come and yet it is notably excellent on its own. Like all Smashing Pumpkins albums it has its own individual sound and feel. It can knock you down or soothe your soul. It may take a while for you to actually digest (which in my opinion is the sign of a good album) but once you do it will settle itself into your heart and head and stay there with all the greats.
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What may be said of The Smashing Pumpkins which has not already been said? The band's debut "Gish", while being a decade old retains its energy and vigour tenaciously. Basically, this album is one of psychedelic rock, from the excellent "I am one" to "Tristessa". However, the aspect which appeals most is the effortless way in which Billy Corgan oscilattes between hard rock and dreamy numbers, e.g "Crush". It is only sad that such a talented band came to be eclipsed by others such as Nirvana. So for all those new to the Pumpkins sound, from this album expect a rough ride, with grinding guitar riffs,dive bombing solos and truly some of the best drumming ever to grace a rock band, courtesy of Jimmy Chamberlin. If you like rock, you'll like this.
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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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This is an impressive debut, I bought "Mary, Star of the Sea" by Zwan and enjoyed it so I decided to investigate the Smashing Pumpkins. This album opens beautifully with "I am the one" and follows with "Siva". Here the Pumpkins trademark is set as Billy Corgan and James Iha layer the guitars while the rythym section just rocks on. The guitarists and the rythym section in this album seem to be an excellent example of symbiosis, two completely different species cooperating together to produce something better than the separate parts could create.
I like guitar rock, I love Zeppelin and the White Stripes, the Foo Fighters and the Rolling Stones. This album shows how, even at the very beginning, The Smashing Pumpkins were right up there with those bands.
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on 11 July 2012
Are you were wondering whether or not to buy this record...?? Thinking - yes 15 quid is a lot to pay on 1 album let alone the fact that, if given the choice you'd rather buy the Siamese dream remaster. I was also caught in the same dilemma. However having never owned a copy of Gish I thought what the hell and popped a copy of this in the basket. I would like to say that, having listened to the CD2 tracks, this CD alone is worth the cash. It sounds like A clean modern Billy without a lot of his pretentious weirdness from some of the later stuff.

Yes some of the tracks are scattered in the far corners of of some of the best of's and the chances are that some fans may have some of these, but there are some real gems here I've never heard before. And they sound great. Yet to put my finger on why this cd is so special. Really am looking forward to getting to know this album. Top class.
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on 10 November 2013
I've was a latecomer to The Smashing Pumpkins, discovering them around the time they first broke up (2000). I became quite familiar with their most famous output, but their first album Gish remained mostly undiscovered for me. I knew the singles and quite liked them but the album tracks were unknown.

So, this deluxe repackaging was my first proper experience of Gish. I've had it on heavy rotation for the past week and it's certainly an album I shouldn't have ignored for so long. Saying that, it does not represent the Pumpkins at their best and feels almost amateur compared to what would come next. As Billy Corgan says in the notes, this album is much more about the music than the vocals which at times seem almost incidental. Billy is not developed as a songwriter here and most of the songs do not contain hooks and often meander then end up somewhere else. Most of the album is quite heavy, but there are a couple of more acoustic tracks which provide a very welcome change.

If I was being harsh, I could say that the album is lacking in ideas. Upon first lesson you could be forgiven for not being able to tell I Am One and Bury Me apart. The songs own voices do emerge on repeated listens. Stand out tracks for me are Tristessa, Siva (what a riff!) and Rhinoceros (that probably being the most fully formed song on the album with a gorgeous chorus). Then there are the ones which still leave very little impression upon me, such as Snail and Suffer. The album does flow and is clearly intended as a complete listening experience from beginning to end.

Remastered here, the album sounds fantastic. I don't have the original to compare it to, but I certainly can't fault the audio quality.

The bonus disc is very interesting. I know that The Smashing Pumpkins have always been very prolific with a huge amount of b-sides and unreleased songs which I've never explored properly. Billy Corgan is a perfectionist which means that the many "demo" songs contained here sound completely finished and have excellent sound quality. And there is some really excellent stuff here. Starla initially seems a daunting track at 11 minutes long, but it's beautiful and dynamic, perhaps overshadowing most of the album tracks. Numerous demo versions or different recordings of the songs on the album appear here and they all sound a bit more aggressive or rawer, which in many cases may make them a bit better depending on your point of view (although you'll notice Billy sometimes has trouble singing in tune). The Sub Pop single version of Tristessa is particularly nice. Honeyspider and Pulseczar go into more psychedelic territory, with the latter one falling completely flat for me. Thought has been put into how this bonus disc flows and it makes a great piece of listening by itself rather than just a collection of curiosities.

The DVD is the weakest part of the set. We get a short live show from 1990 which has pretty bad, blurry video quality. The audio is very clear, although Billy's voice is far too crisp in the mix and the drums have a horrible fake reverb effect. The show itself felt quite dull to me as we are given an okay performance of Gish album tracks plus some covers which really aren't very interesting. The band don't come across as particularly refined, they seem anxious and D'arcy even looks bored. Billy hardly says a word to the audience who are very docile. It's the sort of thing I'll watch once and not bother with again however nice it is to have.

Overall, this is a high quality example of what a deluxe reissue should be. It comes in a very sturdy and well designed box. Not the Pumpkins' best album by any stretch of the imagination (I'm controversial: for me, Adore is the best thing they've ever done though many would disagree).
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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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