Smashing Pumpkins’ music is distinguished from most other grunge rock in its incorporation of the high production values, ornate arrangements, and melodicism of such Seventies bands as Boston and ELO.
Corgan, whose father is a guitarist, grew up in a Chicago suburb and moved to Florida at age 19 as leader of a goth band, the Marked. Returning home, he formed Smashing Pumpkins, at first simply a duo (D’arcy, Corgan, and a drum machine). A local-label single, "I Am One," led to the release of "Tristessa" on Sub Pop; in 1991, the band’s debut album, with Butch Vig producing, became a college-radio favorite, eventually selling more than 350,000 copies (and going gold in 1994). The major-label followup fared even better, debuting at #10 in 1993 and making the group alternative-rock stars.
Emphasizing both the virtuosic interplay of Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain and Corgan’s confessional lyrics, the Pumpkins employed Mellotron and strings and multiple guitar parts on Siamese Dream and continued to edge closer to progressive rock than to punk or grunge. Pisces Iscariot (#4,1994), a compillation of earlier recordings, was the Pumpkins’ version of Nirvana’s Incesticide.
Formed 1989, Chicago, Illinois