Back in 1988, Billy Corgan and James Iha started playing sad, Joy Division- and Cure-inspired songs over a drum machine. D’Arcy Wretzky joined them on bass, and the Smashing Pumpkins were born. But the band became something completely new and different after Corgan enlisted the help of jazz drummer Jimmy Chamberlain. Powered by Chamberlain’s frenetic, heavy drumming, Corgan began writing riff-fueled guitar rock. The Smashing Pumpkins recorded their first album with rock producer Butch Vig, and with ‘Gish’ the Pumpkins made a blip on the music map. But they were overshadowed by another Vig-produced album, Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind.’ After their next two albums, ‘Siamese Dream’ and ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness,’ though, they cemented their place among rock royalty. Since then, the band’s lineup and sound have changed several times. But Corgan has continued to keep the Smashing Pumpkins alive.
- Selected Discography: ‘Siamese Dream’ (1993), ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ (1995), ‘Adore’ (1998)
- Further Reading: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Smashing Pumpkins, 10 Best Smashing Pumpkins Lyrics, 10 Best Smashing Pumpkins Songs