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Fall-Winter 1994 - Sadlands (Billy's house), Chicago

Produced by Billy Corgan

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Upon completion of the Siamese Dream tour, Billy Corgan began composing a new set of songs for the follow-up album, and recorded both solo acoustic and multi-tracked electric demos on his 8-track at his home, now called Sadlands.  The album version of Stumbleine was taken from these tapes, as well as several of the Tonight, Tonight b-sides.  While most of these demos were featured as bonus material on the 2012 Mellon Collie Remaster box set, some remained unreleased and available on bootlegs Billy’s Home Demos (which leaked in 1996) and Mellon Collie Demos II (which leaked in 2000).  An electric demo of God leaked on the Mellon Collie Demos III demos bootleg. 

The Smashing Pumpkins believe "celebrity breeds idiocy," and have learned to trust no one. "People can be real assholes," D'arcy hisses, brimming with venom. "Like the guy who stole those tapes from me - he was supposed to be my friend, well, my sister's boyfriend, actually. And he pretended like he was nice." Chamberlin jokingly terms the situation "Pumpkingate," but adds that it was no laughing matter. "D'arcy's sister's boyfriend stole a bunch of our demo tapes from her house and sold them before the record was done. It was a huge soap opera - he sold 'em on the Internet, and it was pretty sophisticated." "These kids were not just kids," D'arcy continues. "They were like big-time, man - they were dealing drugs, selling guns, robbing people's houses, and apparently everybody knew but us. And when I find 'em..."[1]

Billy Corgan on "Blank": A home demo recorded in my bedroom the day it was written, this one was never supposed to come out. I never really liked it much, but a lot of my friends said it was one of their favorite songs. At the last minute it replaced a song called "Towers of Rabble," because I think I liked that one even less.

Billy Corgan on "Jupiter's Lament": This is supposed to be the Mellon Collie gospel song, and a rough version even exists with all the band members singing. This version is my home demo, cut on the same morning as "Stumbleine."

Billy Corgan on "Meladori Magpie": Another believe it or not, this left-over from Siamese Dream was written in the last-minute crush. Butch Vig never thought much of it, but it is one of my secret favorites. A simple song of innocence that has double-tracked, finger-picked acoustic and drum machine, and was recorded at home.

Billy Corgan on "Rotten Apples": A home demo that I just didn't have the heart or energy to go back and record. I like the lyrics a lot, and if I had spent more time on it it probably should have been on the album. It was written in the initial post-Lollapalooza batch ("33," "Jupiter's Lament,' Methusela," "Ugly") of acoustically tinged songs. It has double-tracked, finger picked guitar-all the better to hide those little mistakes-with a few choice keyboard overdubs bleeding through the vocal mikes.[2]

Billy Corgan on "Methusela": I would say of all the songs, the one that's always been very quizzical to me is a song called "Methuselah". There's a bootleg out there of it, but a really really rough copy of. And in fact at one point I even asked the fan to make me a copy because I thought that I had lost my original demo of it. I thought the tape was lost forever. So we have a fresh transfer of that song and a mix of it. And everyone who hears the song goes 'Wow, this is a really good song,' and I laugh and I say yeah, I never even played it for the band or Flood.

It was one of those things, I got up in the morning, and I cut the song, and I just wrote down… I think the song deals very directly with my relationship with my father, and I think I just avoided the topic altogether. So it's a song that probably should've been on Mellon Collie and Flood would've been all over it. And no one ever heard it, so it just sat there in the corner somewhere.[3]

Return to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

  1. Tom Lanham, "28 Reasons Why The Smashing Pumpkins Are Cooler Than a Bomb-Pop..." CMJ, December 1995
  2. Billy Corgan, "King Bs", Guitar World, January 1997
  3. Johnny Firecloud, "Interview: Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins". Mandatory, June 12th, 2011.