SMASHING PUMPKINS – ” Gish ” Classic Albums Released 28th May 1991

Posted: May 29, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The_Smashing_Piumpkins-Gish

On May 28th, 1991 The Smashing Pumpkins released their debut album ‘Gish’. Billy Corgan performed nearly all of the guitar and bass parts on the record.  They had been an active band for the 3 years before the release of this album, playing small shows here and there in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois.

Upon its release, it was quite positively acclaimed. This was, of course, in May of ’91.

Arriving several months before Nirvana’s Nevermindthe Smashing Pumpkins‘ debut album, “Gish”, which was also produced by Butch Vig, was the first shot of the alternative revolution that transformed the rock & roll landscape of the ’90s. While Nirvana was a punk band, the Smashing Pumpkins and guitarist/vocalist Billy Corgan were arena rockers, co-opting their metallic riffs and epic art rock song structures with self-absorbed lyrical confessions. Though Corgan’s lyrics fall apart upon close analysis, there’s no denying his gift for arrangements. Like Brian May and Jimmy Page, he knows how to layer guitars for maximum effect, whether it’s on the pounding, sub-Sabbath rush of “I Am One” or the shimmering, psychedelic dream pop surfaces of “Rhinoceros.”

Such musical moments like these, as well as the rushing “Siva” and the folky “Daydream,” which features D’Arcy on lead vocals, demonstrate the Smashing Pumpkins‘ potential, but the rest of Gish sometimes falls prey to undistinguished songwriting and showy instrumentation.

The album’s sessions, lasting 30 working days, were brisk by Pumpkins‘ standards, largely because of the group’s inexperience.The recording sessions put an intense strain on the band, with bassist D’arcy Wretzky later commenting that she did not know how the band survived it, and Corgan explaining he suffered a nervous breakdown

Regarding the album’s thematic content, Corgan would later say,

The album is about pain and spiritual ascension. People ask if it’s a political album. It’s not a political album, it’s a personal album. In a weird kind of way, Gish is almost like an instrumental album—it just happens to have singing on it, but the music overpowers the band in a lot of places. I was trying to say a lot of things I couldn’t really say in kind of intangible, unspeakable ways, so I was capable of doing that with the music, but I don’t think I was capable of doing it with words.

“Gish” went platinum 8 years after its release. As far as debuts go, this one is a masterpiece. You’ll love this album;

The band:  Jimmy Chamberlin – drums, Billy Corgan – vocals, lead guitar, bass, keyboards, piano, production, James Iha – rhythm guitar, vocals, D’arcy Wretzky – bass, vocals, lead vocals on “Daydream”, layouts

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