Every Smashing Pumpkins Song, Ranked

Like fellow ’90s Chicago great Michael Jordan, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has seen his legacy become somewhat tarnished in recent years by poor late-career decision-making and the Internet’s desire to turn him into an endless meme cycle. But even though Corgan doesn’t have six championship rings to make his resume as bulletproof as Jordan’s, you could certainly make the argument that the lead Pumpkin was the only figure in American pop culture who was on as hot a run from ’95 to ’96: MJ won 72 games and a title; Corgan released the diamond-selling Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and — briefly — became the best and biggest rock star in the world.

With the 20th anniversary of SP’s definitive work passing earlier this month, and the official coronation of Pumpkin Season coming tomorrow, we’ve decided to look back on the catalog that made Corgan and his band — particularly when the supporting cast was James Iha, D’Arcy Wrtezky, and Jimmy Chamberlin — worth remembering in the first place. That includes not only all of the band’s album cuts — starting with the dream-psych of ’91’s Gish and concluding with the synth-soaked triumph rock of last year’s Monuments to an Elegybut also the overwhelming reams of B-sides, compilation contributions, and reissue bonus tracks they’ve released in the interim. We only counted our favorite version of each song — so no, we don’t have both “The End Is the Beginning of the End” and “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” on here — and only officially released, non-bootleg tracks, but the Pumpkins still served up a grand total of 318 songs for our ranking pleasure.

We’ve got a ways to go, so let’s get into the thick of it. Enjoy and, on behalf of Billy and Co., Happy Halloween.

318. “Pastichio Medley” (“Zero” B-side, 1996)

Even Lou Reed would lunge for the aspirin 16 minutes into this. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER

317. “A Song for a Son” (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol. 1, 2010)
316. “Rock On” (Judas O, 2001)
315. “Little Ditty” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
314. “G.L.O.W.” (Non-Album Single, 2008)
313. “Slurry” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
312. “On the Loose” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
311. “17” (Adore, 1998)

Basically 17 seconds of nothing, which means that straight silence is preferable to every song below this. — A.U.

310. “Blaster Caster” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
309. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Live)” (No Toys for O.J., 1994)
308. “Chewing Gum” (No Toys for O.J., 1994)
307. “Revi Ravi Roo” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
306. “Money (That’s What I Want)” (Adore: Kissed Alive Too, 2014)
305. “Feelium” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Morning Tea, 2012)
304. “Verily I Say” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
303. “Spiteface” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2012)
302. “Have Faithe, Be Merrie” (Smashing Pumpkins Record Club, 2011)
301. “A/Ab/E/B/F#” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
300. “Widow Wake My Mind” (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol. 1, 2010)

Just about every song on the Pumpkins’ first, ’70s AOR-fixated Teargarden By Kaleidyscope EP was uniquely awful; “Widow Wake My Mind” was no exception, with its weak glam vamping and hilariously uninspiring lyrical come-ons (“I’m looking for a love, a love that shines / To be mine, yes, all mine”). If Corgan had receded any deeper into his musical youth, he’d have been covering “Sugar Sugar” and the Banana Splits theme by Vol. 2. — A.U.

299. “Wishing You Were Real” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Special Tea, 2012)
298. “Blank” (“Tonight, Tonight,” 1996)
297. “Millieu” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
296. “Knuckles” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
295. “Chinoise” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
294. “The Groover” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
293. “Sun (Remix)” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2013)
292. “Jackboot” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
291. “Winterlong” (Judas O, 2001)
290. “Blast” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
289. “It’s Alright” (Adore: Chalices, Palaces and Deep Pools, 2014)
288. “Le Deux Machina” (Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, 2000)
287. “Astral Planes” (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol. 1, 2010)
286. “Nothing and Everything” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2013)
285. “Under Your Spell” (Live at Cabaret Metro 10-5-88, 2000)
284. “Bagpipes Drone” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
283. “New Waver” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Special Tea, 2012)
282. “FOL” (Non-Album Single, 2007)
281. “One Diamond, One Heart” (Oceania, 2007)
280. “Zoom” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Special Tea, 2012)
279. “My Dahlia” (Pisces Iscariot Deluxe Edition, 2013)
278. “Cross” (Adore: Malice, Callous and Fools, 2013)
277. “Ascending Stairs” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Morning Tea, 2012)
276. “Methusela” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Morning Tea, 2012)
275. “Pissant” (“Cherub Rock,” 1993)
274. “Lover” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Morning Tea, 2012)
273. “My Mistake” (Judas O, 2001)
272. “Bleed” (Live at Cabaret Metro 10-5-88, 2000)
271. “Because You Are” (Judas O, 2001)
270. “East” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2012)
269. “U.S.S.R.” (Siamese Dream: Lollipop Fun Time, 2011)
268. “Barb Wire” (Smashing Pumpkins Record Club, 2011)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=qua0u2nqTPY

A decent-enough instrumental demo with a particularly good Chamberlin shuffle, but best if viewed as a subliminal dig at future Pumpkins drummer Tommy Lee, via his ex-wife’s classic starring vehicle. — A.U.

267. “A Stitch in Time” (Siamese Dream: Lollipop Fun Time, 2011)
266. “Vanilla” (Siamese Dream: Lollipop Fun Time, 2011)
265. “Towers of Rabble” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
264. “Daughter” (Non-Album Single, 2012)
263. “Heaven” (Adore: Malice, Callous and Fools, 2014)
262. “Star Song” (Adore: Malice, Callous and Fools, 2014)
261. “Tribute to Johnny” (“Zero,” 1996)
260. “French Movie Theme / Star-Spangled Banner” (“Cherub Rock,” 1993)
259. “Indecision” (Adore: Chalices, Palaces and Deep Pools, 2014)
258. “Terrapin” (“I Am One,” 1990)
257. “Rings” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
256. “Jennifer Ever” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2012)
255. “The Bells” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2012)
254. “Germans in Leather Pants” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
253. “Have Love Will Travel” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
252. “Teargarden Theme” (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol. 1, 2010)
251. “The Dream Machine” (Live) (Oceania: Live in New York, 2013)
250. “Jupiter’s Lament” (“Tonight, Tonight,” 1996)
249. “Spangled” (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol. 2, 2010)
248. “I Just Want to Make Love to You” (Live) (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)

The Pumpkins as ’70s cock-rock hellraisers: not totally implausible, but much better fitting as a Halloween costume than true second skin. — A.U.

247. “Transformer” (“Thirty Three,” 1996)
246. “Apathy’s Last Kiss” (“Today,” 1993)
245. “Jesus Loves His Babies” (Pisces Iscariot Bonus Tape, 2012)
244. “Bullet Train to Osaka” (“I Am One,” 1990)
243. “Jersey Shore” (Adore: Malice, Callous and Fools, 2014)
242. “Glamey Glamey” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Morning Tea, 2012)
241. “Soot and Stars” (Judas O, 2001)
240. “Slunk” (Lull, 1991)
239. “STP” (Siamese Dream: Lollipop Fun Time, 2011)
238. “Hope” (Still Becoming Apart, 2000)
237. “Jackie Blue” (20 Explosive Dynamic Super Smash Hit Explosions!, V/A, 1991)
236. “Fun Time” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
235. “Speed” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: High Tea, 2012)
234. “Meladori Magpie” (“Tonight, Tonight,” 1996)
233. “There It Goes” (Pisces Iscariot Deluxe Edition, 2012)
232. “Glass and the Ghost Children” (Machina: The Machines of God, 2000)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=DN9wdt2zvAo

The ten-minute centerpiece to an overwrought concept album that’s best enjoyed once you forget the concept. (Short synopsis: Eccentric rock star talks to God, undergoes major rebranding.) Worst of all here is the pitch-warped, spoken-word segment delivered by Corgan’s character, a slog of self-indulgent drivel that actually features the following line: “I’m operating on the premise that I’m hearing the voice of God, or what I perceive to be God speaking to me or through me…” Unbearably pretentious, even by SP standards. — KYLE MCGOVERN

231. “The Rose March” (American Gothic, 2007)
230. “O Rio” (Adore: Chalices, Palaces and Deep Pools, 2014)
229. “Jesus Is the Sun” (Gish: Trippin’ Through the Stars, 2011)
228. “Sunkissed” (American Gothic, 2007)
227. “Mama” (If All Goes Wrong, 2008)
226. “Czarina” (“Ava Adore,” 1998)
225. “Phang” (Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Special Tea, 2012)
224. “Smiley” (Peel Sessions, 1992)
223. “Summer” (“Perfect,” 1998)
222. “Ma Belle” (Zeitgeist Silver Edition, 2007)
221. “God” (“Zero,” 1996)
220. “Medellia of the Graay Skies” (“Tonight, Tonight,” 1996)
219. “Why Am I So Tired” (Earphoria, 2002)
218. “Purr Snickety” (“Cherub Rock,” 1993)
217. “If There Is a God” (Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, 2000)
216. “Violet Rays” (Oceania, 2012)
215. “Cinnamon Girl” (Pisces Iscariot Deluxe Edition, 2012)
214. “Moleasskiss” (Siamese Dream: Lollipop Fun Time, 2011)
213. “Zeitgeist” (“Tarantula,” 2007)
212. “Pomp and Circumstances” (Zeitgeist, 2007)
211. “Movers and Shakirs” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)
210. “Pox” (American Gothic, 2007)
209. “My Eternity” (Live at Cabaret Metro: 10-5-88, 2000)
208. “Dross” (Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, 2000)
207. “Tom Tom” (Teargarden By Kaleidyscope, Vol. 2, 2010)
206. “Speed Kills” (Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, 2000)
205. “Do You Close Your Eyes When You Kiss Me?” (Adore: In a State of Passage, 2014)
204. “Special Winner’s Song” (The Aeroplane Flies High Deluxe Reissue, 2013)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=36CWlosm83g

Four-and-a-half minutes of stage banter and James Iha drumming up intros for his bandmates (“D’ARCY WRETZKY ON THA MUTHAF**KIN’ BASSSS!!!) over an improv’d Jimmy Chamberlin groove, imagining a fascinating alternate universe in which the Pumpkins actually kinda liked each other. — A.U.

IMPACT

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