Worst to First: Every Smashing Pumpkins Album Ranked
While their contemporaries during the early ’90s did their best to (at least appear like they wanted to) shun the idea of celebrity, Billy Corgan and Smashing Pumpkins never saw a spotlight they didn’t want to step into.
Maybe it’s because they always had something to prove: When they first emerged out of Chicago with their 1991 debut, Gish, Corgan, guitarist James Iha, bassist D’arcy Wretzky and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin were labeled the next Jane’s Addiction thanks to their arena rock ambitions and psychedelic, dream-pop undertones. Then, once grunge broke, they were quickly lumped in with the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
But Smashing Pumpkins were never a grunge band. They proved it with the mammoth crossover success of their ambitious double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (which turns 20 this year), then moved even further into more electronic and experimental territory in the 21st century. Although the classic lineup were only together for half of the band’s discography, Smashing Pumpkins have always been Billy Corgan – and he’s kept the band’s sound evolving since the beginning.
In the above installment of Worst to First, we take a look back at the Pumpkins’ discography and rank each of their studio albums.