I know a lot of people who consider the music scene during the late 1980s/early 1990s as one of the most exciting and versatile since the 1960s. There was a lot of experimenting, mashing-up, borrowing, improving and elaborating happening during those years. In the U.S. you had an explosion set off by Grunge and the whole Seattle scene. But likewise, there was a lot going on in other parts of the country – Indie was expanding and Alternative was being taken seriously. It was a good time to be in a band and show up with a lot of ideas.
Smashing Pumpkins came out of Chicago – they had elements of goth, heavy metal, dream-pop and psychedelia and became one of the most acclaimed and influential American bands of the 1990s.
This session, done for John Peel at The BBC in 1991 features Smashing Pumpkins around the time of the release of their debut album Gish, and just prior to their follow-up ep in October, and a tour supporting everyone from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Guns n’ Roses.
The following year, the band would achieve across-the-board popularity and major commercial success. With it, came a lot of problems and discord within the band. But that was a year off, and at the time of this session, a future that hadn’t happened yet.
Here’s a reminder of what they were all about in the beginning, and 1991 was loaded with promise.
Play loud – it’s Friday anyway.