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on 29 August 2002
From the hauntingly beautiful opening instrumental title track to the gentle fadings of Take Me Down, I hardly dared to breathe listening to the first CD. For about a month and a half it was not out of my CD player, and the great thing is, every time I listened to it, I noticed another song that inevitably roared into my playlists. So good was the first CD, I was afraid to tarnish it by daring to try the second. I did, and although not as good (imo) as the first, it certainly grows on you. Sure, people say Corgan sounds like a whining vermin, but the sheer range of musical styles, genres and sounds explored in this album ensure that there certainly is at least something for everyone. Sure, you may not love the whole, but if you don't buy it, at least borrow it long enough to catch the fever. "If anyone doesn't find at least something to love on this album, they either have a problem with the essential elements of rock and roll, or cloth ears."
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on 27 August 2000
MCIS is one of the finer works of rock. It's a double CD album, and in every respects could (should?) be two seperate albums.
The first CD is the most immediatly accesible of the two. It contains a good mix of heavy rock (Jellybelly, Zero, Bullet with Butterfly Wings), a couple of beautifully mellow tracks (To Forgive, Cupid de locke, Porcelina) and some great rock tracks (Here is no why, galapogos and my fav Muzzle). Overall this CD has great balace, and most people just love it.
The second CD (titled Twilight to Starlight) is slightly different. Maybe it got overwhelmed by the first CD, but I didn't like this CD until recently, when I gave it a good listening. It is actually very, very, very good. The tracks Bodies, 33, 1979, thru the eyes of ruby, stumbleine and by starlight are all top draw, but the real gem is the last - Farewell and Goodnight. This is a great track, all the band sing on it.. it's really a great farewell track.. If you like the Pumpkins, this album is a must-have. You may not like the second CD at first - but give it time, and you'll realise the beauty of it.
Suggestion #1- Buy Adore if you like the second CD (it's not as lound or passionate as other Pumpkins work, but it's beautiful in other ways).
Suggestion #2 - If you havent got it yet, get Siamese Dream, you _won't_ regret it...
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on 13 March 2004
Most songwriters would choke at the task of having to follow up "Siamese Dream", a grandiose, a grandiose, perfectly formed epic from 1993, but Billy Corgan decided to one up his masterpiece with this sprawling, magestic double album that (however briefly) transformed the Pumpkins into one of the biggest bands into the wolrd and cemented thier legendary status.
It kicks off in a fashion different to any other alternative rock album, with an piano instrumental leading into the luscious string arrangemnts and soaring melodies of "tonight, tonight" its a gloriously disarming double strike that sets the listener up for 2 hours of almost unbroken quality.
"1979" is probably the jewel in the crown, a simply spine-tingling slice of dreamy goth pop.Other highlights are the two epics placd on either disc "Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans" and "Thru The Eyes Of Ruby" and the crunching melodic rock of "Here Is No Why", but almost every song here is superb, "Take Me Down","Muzzle","Bodies","Thirty Three".
Inevitably it does falter briefly on accasion,"XYU" and "Tales Of A Scorched Earth" are both toothless metal numbers that are confusing for thier inclusion (considering thier spots could have been taken by the sublime B-Sides "Marquis In Spades","The Aeroplane Flies High" or "Set The Ray To Jerry") and the two novelty pop songs "We Only Come Out At Night" and "Lily,My One And Only" are a little silly (although irresistably cute).
This is THE essential Smashing Pumpkins, even if its reputation has diminished in the last 9 years to the extent that its flawless pre-cursor is invariably lauded above it.Even if you've only ever heard "Today" you shouldnt hesitate a second longer in buying.
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on 28 September 2001
Gish was an accomplished debut. Siamese Dream was a masterclass in guitar riffs, intriguing lyrics and rock-out moments. Mellon Collie is simply outstanding as an all-round musical rollercoaster of styles, tempo and emotions, and for me is the best album released in the 1990's. For over two hours, the Pumpkins put their hearts on their sleaves and play some of the most visceral and contrasting songs that have ever been heard. A lot has been said of the contrast between the two parts of the album, with the first 14 tracks, "Dawn to dusk" gaining the plaudits over the latter half, "Twilight to starlight". And for sure, each half has its own character, but the album must be appreciated as a whole to understand why it is placed in such esteem. The album mixes styles, both musically and lyrically, from great heavy rock songs such as "Zero" and "Bodies" to melodic rock/pop tunes like the immortal "1979", right through to (gasp at the thought) the odd love song and acoustic masterpiece (think "33" and "Beautiful"). The only bad track on the album is the pathetic "Take me down" (track 14), which I think was a sympathy vote to putting some James Iha material on the album. The real magic lies in the mere 27 tracks which surround it, collectively encapsulating everything that made you enjoy good music in the first place.
Mellon Collie is a must in any music lovers collection. To me it is the best single collection of music ever made. Others may enjoy some songs, but not others. But I will guarantee that among those 28 tracks, there will be more than enough to keep anyone who has a soul and a heart mesmerised while the Pumpkins do what they did best - pure, rasping, emotional music.
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on 29 April 2000
This is one of the greatest albums of the 90s and only a couple of others come close. When this was released, the UK was in the middle of the Britpop explosion and this album was entirely out of step with the current scene. Despite the grunge origins of the band, this is closer in spirit to Black Sabbath or even early Genesis (check out the ultra-prog artwork and the title track) than to Nirvana, though there are plenty of trashy tracks in there.
The reason this is a masterpiece is because it is so multidimensional. On first listen it is a sprawling confusing mess and it took me many listens to appreciate exactly how good it is. In fact every time you play it you notice something new and interesting. How many albums can you say that about?
This album has everything - delicacy (the title track), full on metal attack (Jellybelly, XYU), rock (Tonight, Tonight), prog rock (Porcelina of the Vast Oceans, Thru the eyes of Ruby) and even Beatles style pop (Lily). Smashing Pumpkins' White Album? - oh yes.
The sad thing is how few bands have been inspired by this album to make innovative, risk taking music of their own. Perhaps only Radiohead come close to making this kind of adventurous rock music these days.
All the other Pumpkins albums are worth getting. The most accessible one is probably Siamese Dream, though Adore is underrated and excellent in an entirely different way to this.
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"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" avoids the pitfalls of many double albums -- too much filler, too few good songs, not enough of the good stuff. Instead, this is in the spirit of the Beatles' "White Album" or Pink Floyd's "The Wall." Billy Corgan's tight writing and the Smashing Pumpkins's brilliant instrumentation make this sweeping double album a must-have.
The first disc, "Dawn to Dusk," builds up slowly with a mournful piano song, only to bounce into the sweeping "Tonight Tonight." Forming the rest are sizzling rockers ("Jellybelly," "Zero"), sparkling softer songs ("Cupid De Locke"), and quiet alt-rock ("Galapagos") and a few songs that stray into unknown musical turf (the sweeping ten minute "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans"). "Take Me Down" ends the first disc on the same quiet note that it began on.
Second disc "Twilight To Starlight" starts off on a very different foot. Jerky guitar riffs and drumming start off, sounding like a warm up, before exploding into the solid "Where Boys Fear To Tread." Having gotten that over with, Corgan and Co. switch into a somewhat quieter collection: gentle acoustics ("Thirty-Three," "Stumbleine," the sweet "In the Arms of Sleep"), catchy alt-rock (new-wavey "1979," "Thru The Eyes of Ruby"), blistering hard rock ("Tales of a Scorched Earth," "XYU"). The gentle "Farewell and Goodnight" rounds off the double album on a quiet note.
"Mellon Collie" has just about every kind of music you can hope to find -- ballads, prog, metal, alt-rock, and so on. A handful of songs feel superfluous, but the vast majority of them just feel like a musical quilt. That is, two musical quilts. The tone of each disc is quite different, with "Dawn to Dusk" being a rockier album more in tune with the past Pumpkins releases. "Twilight To Starlight" has a more experimental, sad feel.
Billy Corgan's reedy voice weaves seamlessly into the complex music, singing songs about loneliness, pessimism and longing for love. His songwriting is exceptional here ("breathing under water, and living under glass..."); his style is best described as poetry set to music. James Iha also dips into songwriting with "Take Me Down" and cowritten "Farewell and Goodnight." Guitar riffs both furious and gentle, sweeping strings, piano, Chamberlin's percussion and D'arcy's good bass work move up and down the scale, from soft to scathing.
With its epic music and tight lyrics, "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" is madly brilliant and among the best work that the Smashing Pumpkins did. Dark, sweet, sad, and angry, this is a modern classic.
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on 3 December 2012
This is amazing. Unfortunately, overpriced here. It costs about 70 quid to get from the Smashing Pumpkins website (smashingpumpkins.com). I only got it off here, because the Pumpkins' store appeared to have sold out of it. Now it hasn't and I feel foolish. Don't buy from here and spend more than you have to though. Same goes for the 5CD DVD set!
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on 2 February 2002
This is an album that needs several listening sessions to appreciate. Once you get into it, it is actually quite addictive.
It is dominated by metal influenced rock but there are also some beautiful ballads. My favourite heavy tunes are An Ode to No One, Love, Zero & Here is no why. They've got such power that it's actually exhausting to listen to. The electronic gritty background to Love is quite well achieved and is reminiscent to Kraftwerk.
Favourite ballads are To Forgive and Galapagos.
Melancholic and atmospheric.
This album is quite different to their previous Siamese Dream and shows a more mature Billy Corgan in terms of song-writing. Definitely a great album to have for any Smashing Pumpkins fan.
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on 17 March 2003
After hearing the odd track here and there it was time to set the hype and raves aside and decide for myself. I was not disappointed at all. Both cd's are great in their own right and the whole album an essential for any fan of rock, grunge or whatever you want to call yourself.
"Dawn To Dusk" - CD1:
A great mix of rock and lighter intervals, perfect for listening to as a whole, neither of the two losing the deep emotion and well written lyrics that 'Billy Corgan' is renowned for. Your almost guaranteed to know either "tonight, tonight" or "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" (aka Rat In A Cage) both absolute stand out tracks for the entire album. The cd flows beautifully from the impressive title track to "Take Me Down". You can decide upon your own favourites along the way, its well-polished tracks greet each other naturally not suddenly crashing into a larger sound or even falling to a quieter one, a work of art.
"Twilight To Starlight" - CD2:
For most not as popular as the first album, possibly due to the cd not being able to maintain the standard of the first with more filler like "We only Come Out At Night". However, the heavier tracks are more in line with more modern music, with "Where Boys Fear To Tread", "Bodies", "Thirty-Three" and "X.Y.U." all strong tracks that stand out from the whole album. This cd doesn't flow as perfectly as the first but with those tracks mentioned and my two favourites from the whole album "1979" (another well known epic) and "Thru The Eyes Of Ruby" it allows the cd still to sustain itself, even on its own.
Overall this is an amazing album, with lots and lots of great material, if only 2 or 3 can be noticeably weak the rest are above average and some even masterpieces
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on 24 May 2000
'Mellon Collie' is the most ambitious, defiant, angry and yet beautiful album ever created. It really is a masterpiece, far and away the best album I can ever hear. I first heard it when I was thirteen years old, and a sad little Kurt Cobain minion. All it took was one listen to blow away anything Nirvana ever did, and to make me realise how inspiring and powerful music could be. Everything about the album is so different yet so perfect. The artwork induces the mood of Victorian Gothicism; the perfect decoration for the most awe inspiring and incredibly moving display of passion, pain, and, ultimately, love, ever written. The album captures every human emotion, and, in its diversity and contradictions, sums up the utterly bizzare predicament that is life. The feelings of depression, anger and pain are blasted out on 'Zero', 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings', and 'An ode To no-one' - on the first CD - and 'Bodies', 'XYU', and 'Tales Of A Scorched Earth' on the second, and superior, CD. As Billy screams in emotional agony you feel so much for him, and are worked up into a fearsome frenzy of rage which, ironically, can also be therapeutic by allowing you an outlet for similar feelings. "LOVE IS SUUUUUIIICIIIIDE! " Yet, and this is the album's unique strength, these emotions are weighed up with feelings of mellow pondering of life's strange beauty. The title track, alongwith 'To Forgive', 'Galapogos', 'Thirty-three', 'In The Arms Of Sleep', 'Thru The Eyes Of Ruby', 'We Only Come Out At Night' and 'Farewell and Goodnight' are wonderous ballads, and the perfect companion to the aforementioned rock epics. 'Tonight Tonight' and '1979' also, are two amazing, and accessible, tracks which see Billy express his optimistic side and if you don't find yourself singing and stomping your feet along to them then consult your doctor immediately. Listening to the album in its entirety is one of the most exhausting, emotionally draining, confusing, yet ultimately beautiful, positive and rewarding experiences anyone can ever have. Billy's lyrics are so profound, intelligent, mesmerising and hauntingly beautiful that you will soon find yourself becoming immersed in them alone, never mind the music. Prepare to see you life changed forever and buy this album right now. An abstract passion, amid all the pain, frustration and confusion of mundanity,emerges; a hope of something better to come, something amazing, wondrous and above all achingly beautiful. It is strange. It is life. It is Mellon Collie.
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