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17 Days of Adore – Documentary 3

Posted by Jason On April - 25 - 2009

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Adore Documentary – Part 3

17 Days of Adore – 17

Posted by Jason On April - 21 - 2009

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Adore – Track 16 – 17

17 is the final track on Adore.  The recording is 17 seconds long, and the melody being played is the vocal line from Blissed and Gone.  It’s an obscure piece of music, and is a strange, but creative way to close out an album that confused many mainstream Smashing Pumpkin fans.

I mentioned Blissed and Gone previously in the Annie-Dog blog post.  Blissed and Gone is a song that I would have loved to see on Adore.  Actually, there are few songs that I would have loved to see on Adore, not to mention, a multitude of b-sides that I would have loved to see included on MCIS.  That’s one of the appeals of the Smashing Pumpkins for me.  Corgan’s ability to write consistently good songs has led to an enormous catalog of unreleased songs.

So let’s walk through the many b-sides on Adore:

Blissed and Gone

“I remember playing the song for Rick Rubin (producer for Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and every other enormous artist in the past 20 years) when he came to visit me in the studio, and he didn’t know what to say.” – Corgan in an EQ Magazine interview

Let Me Give the World to You

This is a song that was recorded for Adore, and produced by Rick Rubin.  This recording eventually appeared on Machina II.  I don’t believe this is the Rubin produced recording.  Many thought this was the song that would have pushed Adore into the mainstream.  I enjoy the song, but in my opinion, it’s one of the most over-hyped Pumpkins songs.

Waiting

This is a great Adore-era song.  It’s a pleasant little song that would have fit well into Adore.

Chewing Gum

Do You Close Your Eyes

My Mistake

Other Adore Demos:

Once in a While

Czarina

Soot and Stars

Listen to 17

17 Days of Adore – Adore Documentary – Part 2

Posted by Jason On April - 19 - 2009

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Adore Documentary – Part 2

17 Days of Adore – Blank Page

Posted by Jason On April - 19 - 2009

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Adore – Track 15 – Blank Page

Blank Page is one of the saddest songs I’ve ever heard.  I honestly can’t pinpoint the exact meaning of the lyrics,  but I assume it’s about Corgan’s failing marriage at the time.

The haunting piano and painful, yet beautiful lyrics make a perfect ending for this melancholy album.

It contains one of my favorite lyrical passages that Corgan has written:

take a day, plant some trees
may they shade you from me
may your children play beneath

If the song is about Corgan’s divorce, this little passage becomes very powerful.

Listen to Blank Page – This song is best listened to with eyes closed

17 Days of Adore – Adore Documentary – Part 1

Posted by Jason On April - 18 - 2009

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Adore Documentary – Part 1

I just found this documentary.  It gives some awesome insight into the Adore era of the Smashing Pumpkins.

17 Days of Adore – For Martha

Posted by Jason On April - 18 - 2009

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Adore – Track 14 – For Martha

Billy Corgan wrote For Martha for his mother after she passed away from cancer.  The song is a beautifully written piece that encapsulates Corgan’s feelings about his mother’s passing. It’s epic in nature, but carries through it a feeling of fragility.

The song moves gently along until about the 4 minute mark, when it slowly builds into the second guitar solo on Adore.  The first solo was a 12 second section of Ava Adore.

At the end of the piece, a wave of guitars appear.  The Smashing Pumpkins would often put small musical ideas on the tale end of songs.  Another example of this is the end of Thru the Eyes of Ruby on MCIS.  Another epic Pumpkins song.

The song is also one of Corgan’s best work lyrically.  Read the lyrics as you listen to For Martha.

Whenever I run
Whenever I run to you lost one
It’s never done
Just hanging on

Just past has let me be
Returning as if dream
Shattered as belief

If you have to go don’t say goodbye
If you have to go don’t you cry
If you have to go I will get by
Someday I’ll follow you and see you on the other side

But for the grace of love
I’d will the meaning of
Heaven from above

Your picture out of time
Left aching in my mind
Shadows kept alive

If you have to go don’t say goodbye
If you have to go don’t you cry
If you have to go I will get by
I will follow you and see you on the other side

But for the grace of love
I’d will the meaning of
Heaven from above

Long horses we are born
Creatures more than torn
Mourning our way home

Lyrics from www.smashingpumpkins.com

Listen to For Martha

17 Days of Adore – Behold! The Night Mare

Posted by Jason On April - 16 - 2009

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Adore – Track 13 – Behold! The Night Mare

Memories.

As I’ve mentioned before, I relate much of Adore to strange personal memories.  All of which seem meaningless on the outside, but really mean a lot to me personally.  So here is  a little about the memory I’ve attached to Behold! The Night Mare.

I bought Adore while at a school basketball tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I went to school at Republic High School in the small Missouri town of Republic.  If you’ve ever heard of the band “The Republic Tigers,” then you’ve heard of my school.  They’re named after it.

Going out of state for a basketball tournament was a big deal for a bunch of small-town Missouri boys.  I don’t remember much of the actual basketball from the tournament, other than us getting killed by one of Oklahoma’s top basketball programs.  Outside of the basketball, I remember spending time with my teammates.  All of whom, I’d played basketball with since 7th grade.  You carry a special bond with teammates.  When you play together throughout your adolescent and into adulthood, you really begin to feel like a family.

When I hear Behold! The Night Mare, I remember a moment when I was sitting on our school bus listening to this album and waiting to leave the tournament to go back home.  I just remember that it was a gray, winter day.  I remember thinking about how hard we had all worked on basketball, and how it would soon end when we would graduate.  I remember that feeling of loss, and the feeling that all these friends would soon begin drifting away into their own lives. In that moment I  contemplated how our lives would not be the same.  We would soon be losing our youth, and would need to move into the next phase of our lives.

A lot has happened to those friends, including many tragic events that have impacted and solidified my views on God, and my responsibilities as a person.

It seems like a lot to associate with a song, but it’s the reason I love this Behold! The Night Mare, and this album.  The entire album makes me ache for that period of my life, my youth, and the hope that came along with it.

Listen to Behold! The Night Mare

17 Days of Adore – Shame

Posted by Jason On April - 16 - 2009

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Adore – Track 12 – Shame

Shame is a prime example of Billy Corgan pushing for something new.

Up until this point in their career, the Smashing Pumpkins had been known for their “wall-of-sound” production style.  On their Siamese Dream album, Corgan layered 40-60 guitar overdubs on songs.  In contrast, a normal recording for a 4 member band will have 2-6 guitar overdubs.  This approach to recording gave Gish, Siamese Dream, and MCIS they’re sound.  Adore, to an extent, does some of the same things, but works with more instrumentation than previous works.

Shame is the sheer opposite to the “wall-of-sound” approach.

The song is carried by a bass line that rarely moves, a rhythm section that remains constant, an ebow building feedback and atmosphere, one guitar picking delay-ridden notes, a sparse keyboard, and Corgan’s distinctive vocals.  The sparseness of the track gives it an open, melancholy feel, and really evokes the core emotions spread throughout Adore.

I really enjoy this song.  I often listen to it in the car while driving at dusk, or if I’m driving while the sun is just starting to rise.  It’s made for that period when the sky is dark, but not yet night.

Listen to Shame

17 Days of Adore – Annie-Dog

Posted by Jason On April - 14 - 2009

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Adore – Track 11 – Annie-Dog

The recording of Annie-Dog that appears on Adore is actually the demo, which also appears on the Adore Demos 1 bootleg that floated around Pumpkinland for a while.

The song is probably one of the most hated among Pumpkin fans.  I even found a thread on a Smashing Pumpkins fansite where fans were arguing whether Annie-Dog is the worst SP song or not.

I don’t mind the track.  I would much rather have heard Blissed and Gone as track 11 instead, but we’re left with Annie-Dog, a song about a woman who uses love to obtain power, according to Corgan.

The song floats on a quiet piano progression, and Corgan gives one of his most relaxed vocal deliveries.  It’s an interesting song, on an album full of unique choices for the Smashing Pumpkins.

Listen to Annie-Dog

Listen to Blissed and Gone

17 Days of Adore – The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete

Posted by Jason On April - 14 - 2009

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Adore – Track 10 – The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete

The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete is a beautiful little song about murder.

In an outake from the Smashing Pumpkin’s VH1 Storytellers episode, Corgan explains that this song is about a man (Pete) murdering his lover (Dusty).  In the moment where Dusty crosses over, she is unable to understand that her man was murdering her, and is still trying to call out to him.

There may be more to read into this fictional story.  At the time Corgan was going through a divorce.  I’m speculating, but perhaps the fictional story may be a metaphor for what Corgan was going through at the time.  Perhaps feeling that he had murdered his marriage through inaction, or mistake.  Just a thought.

Sonically, The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete once again merges electronics with acoustic instrumentation.  The song begin with a drum loop and quickly leads to soft acoustic guitar lines that float along during the song.  The ebow makes another appearance in the middle of the song.

Listen to The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete