on 17 March 2006
Although Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness was more ambitious and diverse, Siamese Dream is arguably the best album in the Smashing Pumpkins catalog. In 1993, the Smashing Pumpkins were probably one of the most original bands of the alternative scene. With incredible soundscapes of guitar distortion, Billy Corgan's impassioned and ethereal vocals, and Jimmy Chamberlain's excellent drumming, these guys had a sound that was nothing like any alternative band of the time. Only My Bloody Valentine's Loveless (released in 1991) with its similar guitar-dominated sound could be considered as an influence, but Siamese Dream has its own distinct impact. My, what a sound. Billy Corgan sounds better here than any other Pumpkins album--on later albums he sounded whiny; here he sounds obscure yet not overly shrill. The guitar playing is incredible (listen to the outro of Rocket) and the music grabs you by the collar and takes you in with its sweeping power. Cherub Rock, with its slowly building opening leading to a bombastic arena rocker, is the perfect start to this album. After that, the double hit of Quiet and Today provides immense satisfaction. After Hummer and Rocket pass by leaving their audio imprint on you, the mood takes a sudden turn with the orchestral and haunting ballad Disarm which leads into the soft rock of Soma. The white-hot rage of Geek USA quickly rips through your ears before yielding to two more wonderful ballads--Mayonaise and Spaceboy. After that, the loud and powerful Silverf--k takes over. Finally, the album ends on a whisper with Sweet Sweet and Luna. You won't be tempted to skip through a single track. Although future efforts were more ambitious, the Smashing Pumpkins never made an album this flawless again. You can't lose by adding this one to your collection. ..By the way, there's nothing really "explicit" about the lyrics. Even Silverf--k contains no profanity, except for the barely audible interludes.
on 8 January 2010
i have owned this album since december 1993, when as a teenager in my penultimate year of high school, the whole 'grunge' thing was underway - i bought the cassette from grey & pinks record store on a trip to town after school - i remember the first time i had to listen to the whole album from start to finish, bizarrely, was on the way to participate in an indoor tennis tournament (ughh), was being driven there by my father, it was raining all the way and dark - the album was so new, fresh and awe inspiring - the track which gave me goosebumps at that time and still does to this day (listening to it right now on cd) is the majestical track called 'Disarm' - truly beautiful - as others have said, the album has no weak links and is a tour de force throughout - very high caliber material indeed
strangely i dont think this album has aged quite as much as some of the other big names from that time, the pumpkins style, certainly on this album transcends eras which are normally easily defineable
a great range of styles from more melodic through to heavy agressive riffs should find its feet with most audiences
thank god i was the right age to stumble upon this gem and still have it to refer to this day
on 29 March 2013
i bought this LP not long after it came out when i was at art college and would buy most things that were either rated in the nme or by students i respected or aspired to..
i didnt know anything about the pumpkins; who they were, where they were from, their age, gender, influences, their persona and image within the industry..
the more i listened the more i became engaged and fascinated by the awesome, gigantic and original sound; the tunes, the voice, the noise, the feel of this sound that seemed to know exactly what it was, but that i couldn't quite pigeon-hole..
so fascinated and enthralled i was, i feared losing that feeling of intrigue the band brought me. i didn't read the song titles, nor research the lyrics, the meaning, nor the bands' identity and history. i didn't want to know..
in so high an esteem i held the music on this album for a long time, i didn't want to find out anything about the band that might spoil it! it was just a CD i'd discovered, by someone called the Smashing Pumpkins (whoever they were), that i could keep for myself and listen to at will.
over the years i must have played it to death. it was a real bonus ( and i can't put my finger on why) that they didn't chart and that people hadn't heard of them. perhaps it appeals to my child-like side,- thinking i know a secret.. i don't know (Tom Waits and Nick Cave, to name a couple, are still in that select club!.)
unfortunately, i couldn't remain in that state; i loved it so much that i bought the follow-ups.. i couldn't resist watching the eventual TOTP appearances..i stumbled across the odd article,. i saw the interviews..
what a shame. NOT because the Pumpkins aren't plausible or credible, because they absolutely are. they are (I think) the real deal. no, but because for me, they now have an identity and without wanting to i begin to place them, rate them, grade them, pigeon-hole them and KNOW them.
the intrigue has gone. it happened for me with new order.. with PCL i bought an LP without even knowing what it was or who it was by!,- but just because i'd vaguely heard or read something and the cover looked intriguing! its where i wanted to be taken. that innocence was wonderful!
i'm digressing i know.
this is a great album. an album that despite me having heard dozens and dozens of times, i'll come back to again and again. the intrigue has for me , unfortunately, gone. and I know what the Pumpkins were about. but it is definitely to their credit that now they are to me, a 'normal' band, as opposed to a distant mysterious, mythical and intangible entity, i still love this album.
i have all the other pumpkins material. Melon Collie is excellent but not as fresh.- it is trying to live upto something. on gish i felt like it was a band still evolving toward its peak. and with zero, machines of god and the like it feels a bit after the event.. like prolonging something or trying to replicate something. but failing..
instead of 95% of todays'fodder that you'll acquire simply because its of now and your mate's into it, forget fashion and BUY this album, and introduce yourself to the Pumpkins. this is arguably them at their finest and among THE finest. Absolutely underrated (even thought they're rated). They'll come round again, and perhaps sooner than you think..
on 19 October 2012
I'll go all out and say that Siamese Dream is the best pure rock album of the 90's. That says how amazing it is given how many greats there are. Billy Corgan is compelling and his lyrics have such a deep meaning, the guitars are wonderfully distorted and Jimmy Chamberlin puts virtually every drummer out there to shame with his powerhouse drumming.
The drums roll, a calm build, then an explosion of screeching guitars and almighty drumming is the opener 'Cherub Rock'. Billy hits back at the industry and it's one of the most effective openers there's ever. 'Quiet' is a decent rocker with some great drumming. Next is the alt-rock hit 'Today'. With it's dark lyrics, dreamy verses and blaring chorus its easy to see why it became such a hit. 'Hummer' is arguably the song of the album (and best Pumpkins song in general). The distorted yet uplifting guitars, sledge hammer drumming and Corgan's excellent voice all work wonders together. It ends with one of the most beautiful outros of all time. Single 'Rocket' has some great guitar sounds and is extremely catchy. 'Disarm' offers an acoustic break, its ethereal sounds and calming guitars show the albums softer side.
'Soma' is gentle and dreamy, building up to some brilliant solos. If you like pure rock then you want 'Geek USA'. The guitars are as loud and catchy as ever, theres a wonderful ambient break and an incredible solo. The real hero is Jimmy Chamberlin, theres so many amazing rolls and fills that its impossible to describe. Fan favorite 'Mayonaise' is next and has a strikingly beautiful intro, some great guitar work and Corgan shines brightly. 'Spaceboy' is a lovely ballad for Corgan's brother. 'Silverf**k' is amazing. The Pumpkins delve into progressive rock with lots of build up and blasting guitars. 'Sweet Sweet' is just that, a short but very sweet tune thats really uplifting. 'Luna' ends the album on a high as an alluring tune with some great guitars and the graceful lyric of 'I'm in love with you'.
If like rock, Alternative music or want to hear some amazing musicians at their rocking best then buy this.
on 6 May 2012
Review of the remastered album.
Honestly this is one of my favourite albums, and I've waited a long time for a remaster. I'm trying not to be biased here...
This album captures the end of teen angst and the freefall into adulthood, seeing the world with shocking clarity. The lyrics are still apposite somehow in my 36th year, and I'm generally far more content in my world than I was 15 years ago when I first heard this - but this is album not just about the self, but the world outside my window its peaks and troughs, its futility and love, its life and death. Alongside the lyrics is a potent brew of buzzing guitars, cellos, psychedelic washes and reverb, acoustic folkyness and a high production value, a combination only rarely achieved in an 'alt rock band' - perhaps The Cure spring to mind as a British equivalent?
Anyway the remaster... Billy Corgan has been an overseer in the process of this re-release, in the same way Robert Smith was with The Cure remasters. Always a good thing when the main writer is heavily involved with a remaster in my opinion. The sound quality is frankly outstanding, and for me the first time the CD has really shone, and shown the high production value for what it is. The multi-layering on many of the tracks is far more apparent, with a few layers revealed I've never heard before, even after many listens. The reverb and delay effects have much greater clarity, and make more sense somehow, giving a more spacey and psychedelic edge. Vocals are clear, but to be honest always were. One of the best improvements is in the clarity of the drums - they are much more present without being overwhelming or loud. This adds a lot of weight to the album overall giving a more vinyl quality in its dynamic nature.
All in all this is a big success - I've not been near the extras yet but look forward to them. For those concerned with the 'loudness war', this isn't an obviously loud CD by any stretch (sorry that's the extent of my knowledge in this area!). In summary this re-release shows a great improvement sonically over the original, unveiling subtlety, pushing the weight and dynamics to an appropriate max, and adds a great deal to the already obvious quality of the lyrics, music and feel of the album. What more could we ask for! 5 stars, just for the remastering. Thanks Billy.
on 3 June 2000
From quiet,transcending beginnings to crashing guitars, this album showpieces fantastic musical ability and inspiring lyrics that come from the heart.Featuring some of the best songs the Pumpkins have done, I love this album. Maybe at first you won't like it, but soon you'll find you can't stop listening to it.It will grow on you. It makes you think, it makes you wanna rock, its got to be one of the best albums of the 90's.Mayonaise is such a divine song, the acoustic version on Vieuphoria is a must listen.'Today' is such a great song too,often credited with being their first big hit which put them on toop of the rock mountain. Songs like 'Disarm' and 'Spaceboy' come from the heart and showcase Billy Corgan's magical song writing. If there's one Pumpkins album you buy then maybe it should be Siamese Dream.If its two then definitely get Mellon Collie.
on 12 August 2011
For the uninitiated, this is arguably the band's best album to date as well as one of the best albums in musical history. Not fact of course but it is arguable. There are no low points. Granted it does take a while to absorb and on first listen (hard to remember my first time as it was so long ago now) it doesn't particularly make much of an impression. Especially if you take, for example, the opener 'Cherub Rock'. It's a very lumpen, downtuned mediocre track on the first couple of listens. However, keep with it and it opens up to become one of the most inexplicably excellent songs you're ever likely to hear. 'Quiet' is more immediate and definite grunge single material. That said, it is a classic. And then the opening to 'Today' kicks in and you realise that what has come before, genius though it is, cannot compare. You suddenly cannot realise what is happening. Surely songs can't be THIS good?! 'Hummer' is a sleeper hit. After the 3rd or 4th spin it becomes classic material. One of my all-time favourite SP tracks. 'Rocket' is more of a companion track but it's still awesome. And the sublime 'Disarm' does just that.
'Soma' is like an epic battle from beginning to end. 'Geek USA' is a refreshing thrash. 'Mayonnaise' is purest genius (there's a lot of it about here), 'Spaceboy' is an exceptional ballad, 'Silverf@#k' is another nice thrash, 'Sweet sweet' is just that and 'Luna' takes us off tothe realms of uncertainty concerning whether we're going to hear anything quite as good ever again.
It's pretty good.
on 29 November 2006
If you don't have this album, then let me give you some advice: don't go a minute longer without it in your life. I'm not going to hold back here, because Siamese Dream doesn't deserve anything less than the most outrageous, over-stated accolades to be bestowed upon its god-like charms.
Indeed, when the guitar and drum intro comes tumbling out of your speakers, it's as if god himself, unshaven and flannel shirted, has invaded your stereo to tell you that, when he invented guitar music, this is what he envisaged. Then the riff of Cherub Rock breaks out, and your journey has begun.
Siamese Dream is the embodiment of a great guitar album. It's riff-tastic in parts, intricate in others. It's got your anthemic rockers, yes. But if you want a slower number - it's got plenty of them apples too. Most importantly, though, Siamese Dream is a rock album. And like all great rock albums (this one, of course, being the greatest), it holds together to be one continuous, flowing work. While every tune on it is a peach, the album as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
It's too difficult to pick stand-out tracks here, because not a chorus, verse, riff, intro, outro or drumbeat is wasted - it's just all perfect.
Incase you hadn't noticed, I'm completely in love with this record, and would strongly encourage you to take my advice and give it a listen.
We salute you, Billy Corgan.
on 21 March 2014
I bought this album whilst on holiday in Florida in '95, I listened through all my youth it's a truly standout out rock album, that gets you going as well as any. Dreamt about it, hadn't heard it in years so downloaded the remastered edition and it's re-born to me I can remember every riff, lyric and drum beat. Struggle to think of a better album ever, seriously blown away again! But it, 90's rock at it's very very best, music at its beautiful heart!!
on 18 January 2005
Nothing less than essential for any record collection, "Siamese Dream" is one of my favourite albums of all time. If like myself you like the energy and intensity of loud rock music but aren't afraid of a strong melody and interesting lyrics then look no further. The opening run of great tracks starting with "Cherub Rock" and ending with album high point "Mayonnaise" are the equal of any rock album in history, admittedly it drops off a little thereafter but even the weakest songs on this record are at least worth a listen. The guitar playing is awesome and the drumming propels the whole thing forward in style. The classic singles "Today" & "Disarm" are obvious highlights but the joyous "Rocket" and the beutiful and hypnotic "Soma" are every bit as good. Much better than the self-indulgent, bloated, over-long and over-rated "Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness" that followed it and a great leap forward from "Gish", this was the high-water mark of the Smashing Pumpkins' career and given that they were one of the best rock bands of the 90's, that should give you an idea of how great this record truly is.