CD Review: Smashing Pumpkins — Gish and Siamese Dream Deluxe Boxed Sets

[ 0 ] December 14, 2011 |

Smashing Pumpkins
Gish and Siamese Dream Deluxe Boxed Sets
Virgin Records

By Ellen Eldridge

Amazing as it may sound, I had never actually heard Gish even though Siamese Dream punctuated my teen years. I never considered myself a huge fan of Smashing Pumpkins, but when I saw them live I was utterly blown away by both their technical skill and entertaining quality. Yet, I still never went back and bought or heard Gish. The fact that albums don’t fare as well in these Internet streaming and torrent ripping times means that many of the bands that have been around for decades reissue and remaster early career-defining albums. And so it is with the deluxe edition boxed sets for both Gish and Siamese Dream.

The theme of falling in love all over again reverberates in recent releases by artists like Tori Amos, The Cure, and R.E.M. The remastered albums by Smashing Pumpkins are available singularly, digitally, and on vinyl as well as in deluxe boxed sets.  Those who have never heard either album would do well to get the deluxe box sets because opening it will transport any music fan to that special birthday or holiday when the anticipation of opening a gift overflows with excitement for its contents.  The postcard-thick pictures of the band give the fan the tangible joy of holding on to a piece of the history. Lyric books and colorful packaging separates the remaster disc from a disc of demos and remixes. A DVD of a live show at The Metro comes with the boxed sets as well (a Gish show from 1990 and a Siamese Dream show from 1993).

The tone of squealing guitars writhing against the pounding drums brings back memories as either of the remastered discs will do for any longtime fan. The inclusion of an acoustic version of “Spaceboy” and “Disarm,” and the “Broadway Rehearsal Demo” for “Today” with its accented guitar solo makes the Siamese Dream deluxe set extraordinary, while disc two of the Gish Deluxe Set shows off the demos and experimentation Corgan calls the band’s, “first foray into the deep waters of rock and roll.”  Fans will hear the early solos standing up for every note to cry out clearly with angst and feeling. A Depeche Mode cover of “Never Let Me Down Again” plays eloquently on disc two of the Siamese Dream Deluxe Edition, which shows the moodier side of Smashing Pumpkins.

The line ,“We are the fossils, the relics of our time” from “Quiet” on Siamese Dream resonates loudly with these sets. This is a great idea for a year-end holiday gift for addition to any collector’s collection.

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