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  • Gish
  • Customer reviews

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change

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 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 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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on 9 January 2000
This album is one of the best albums money can buy, The Smashing Pumpkins truly know how to make music, this, and Siamese Dream really show how true that is, with not one bad track on either one, if you have the money for this album, buy it now.
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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 10 December 1999
Gish is an exellent album, which is full of great songs. It is one of the 'Smashing Pumpkins' best albums out. "Nirvana are rubbish, Smashing Pumpkins rule!"-from my friend Sophie! 'Rhinoceros' and 'I am one' are only two of the great hits on this album! This album is a must buy...
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on 13 February 2000
'Gish' is an excellent album from an excellent band.Every song is pretty much as good as the next,although the best ones are 'Tristessa' and 'Snail' . Smashing Pumpkins know how to rawk,and Billy Corgan is a complete genius. Yay Pumpkins!
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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 18 November 2017
I won't go into the details about the music because if you're here, chances are, you've already heard it. What I will say is that this particular pressing by Virgin is brilliant. Everything from the packaging design to the actual quality of the record is perfect from start to finish. This is how all reissues should be done. Highly recommended for all good music lovers!
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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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