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- Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (Deluxe Edition) by Smashing Pumpkins
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7/10 Missing Planet Customer review, 14th October 2014
The 2CD, 28 song extravaganza that is the Smashing Pumpkins third album is a lot better than it has any right to be. Releases like this are generated every so often by full of themselves rock superstars and would be expected to produce moments of sublime genius that are outweighed by material that really, really needed someone brave or foolish enough to stand up to the ‘icon’ concerned (I’m looking at you Mr Rose).
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness contains a more than a few of the latter, but these are outnumbered by the good which are in turn outshone by a significant amount of the great. All this comes with the surprise that amongst twenty eight songs, there’s nothing that really sounds like an out-take or reject from Siamese Dream.
After a very pleasant instrumental introduction, megahit / the one song from this record the Kerrang channel still play 20 years later ‘Tonight, Tonight’ shows up, and it’s still great. After that, it’s a bit patchy for a while with the possibility of a trend beginning to show. It seems the heavy songs are the bad ones and by the time you reach the first single from the record ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ (which wasn’t that great at the time and still isn’t), you’ll be wondering what I’m on when I talk this record up. Fortunately, ‘To Forgive’ comes next and it’s nothing but quality music until the end of the first disc, including some tracks that are as heavy as any of the first half’s failures.
Disc 2 is much more up and down than the first and is noticeably weaker than the first. That said, it contains the best heavy song of the lot (Bodies) and the best of rest as well (1979). Unfortunately it comes with X.Y.U. which is seven plus minutes of pure torture. By the time ‘Farewell and Goodnight’ rolls around, Billy Corgan has let the rest of the band out of their cages to sing and let us know they definitely did contribute something to the album.
Yes, there’s a better single disc record in here, but there’s an above average and a pretty good record directly to hand and how many bands could put out that level of quality just two years after they’d put out a genre-defining classic? Not many.
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