Smashing Pumpkins - Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Liner Notes [tekst, tłumaczenie i interpretacja piosenki]

Wykonawca: Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Tekst: Billy Corgan, David Wild

Tekst piosenki

It was the best of times that came before
the worst of times.

Considering all of the tension
preceding it — and all of the tragedy
and turmoil that would follow — Mellon
Collie and the Infinite Sadness was, perhaps
surprisingly, a memorably happy and
successful recording experience for The
Smashing Pumpkins. "This was the best
time in the band by far," Corgan says
today of the Mellon Collie sessions with a
mixture of pride and sadness in his voice.
"I think that's one of the great tragedies
in our story, that when we finally did find
the right balance internally we enjoyed
our greater success. What’s sad about
that is we were never able to recapture
that again."

On numerous levels both literal and
figurative, the double CD Mellon Collie
and the Infinite Sadness was a very big
success. "At the time, I went around saying
I was inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall to
try to create that kind of big, ambitious
thing. And, of course, jerks in the media
still take me to task for saying that. For
the record, from my point of view, I wasn't
trying to say that I had written my Wall.
Obviously our album didn’t have that
same kind of narrative. What I meant was
that we were trying to reach for something
expansive like Pink Floyd achieved with
The Wall — as opposed to making a double
album like The White Album by the Beatles
— which was basically a wider collection
of great songs by a group. Yes, those are
crazy groups to ever compare yourself to
but as they say, you have to aim high. So
I looked towards something like The Wall
as a kind of goal. Clearly, The Wall is the
superior album by far but looking now, I
feel like we did pretty good."

When it comes to Mellon Collie and the
Infinite Sadness, "good" is a rather large
understatement. Few double servings in
rock history have ever gone down quite
so well. "Making a double album was my
idea and I was dead set on it," Corgan
recalls. "Virgin tried to talk me out of it,
but when they realized that I couldn't be
swayed, they tried to convince us to take
the Guns N' Roses' strategy and release it
as two different CD's. I refused and dug
my heels in, and eventually, they agreed.
Of course I was thinking of classic double
albums like The Wall or The White Album,
but it was only years later I counted the
number of songs and realized that we'd
basically made a double CD which was
actually more like making a triple album.
It would fit on two CDs, but it was three
albums of vinyl. So it ended up being
something even more demanding than a
double album, and even more ridiculous."
As nervy an undertaking as it may have
been, the record shows that Mellon Collie
and the Infinite Sadness — nicely divided
onto two CDs, "Dawn To Dusk" and then
"Twilight to Starlight" — now seems far
more sublime than ridiculous.

This also marked a significant fork in
the Pumpkins' road.

"What strikes me now about Mellon
Collie is that we were coming off of
making Siamese Dream with Butch Vig
— which was a very idealized statement,"

Corgan says. "Siamese Dream was very suc-
cessful and very much at the forefront of
how records are made now with a strong
perfectionist streak. Yet, coming off of that
success, we went completely in the op-
posite direction working with Flood and
Alan Moulder. We headed into a much
darker, funkier and more visceral terrain.
Revisiting Mellon Collie for this edition,
that's what struck me — that we made
this kind of dramatic "about face" at a time
when most people would have made an
even more expensive idealized statement.
We went deep and we went for something
expansive sounding — not just expensive

The decision to work with the respected
British producer and audio engineer Flood,
aka Mark Ellis, and his longtime collabo-
rator Alan Moulder, was a significant one
for The Pumpkins. The group had admired
Flood’s work with artists from U2 to Nine
Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. "I loved
Butch Vig very much then, and I still do,"
Corgan explains. "The decision to switch
things up was based on the sense that there
was some whole other thing that could
be gotten to by us, but that a more radical
approach was going to be necessary to get
to it. We knew we wanted to continue our
evolving consciousness, but we were not
quite sure how to do it."

That hunch proved to be a good one.

"Flood’s great skill — beyond being
incredibly sonically gifted — is that he
seems to speak the language of the song-
writer," says Corgan. "He articulates back
to the songwriter what the songwriter is
trying to do. In many ways, he sees more
potential in your songs than you do. A
perfect example of that on Mellon Collie is
the song "By Starlight." There's a version
of us in rehearsal with these sorts of Nick
Mason-like slow fills and strings that
sounded like something off a Dan Fogel-
berg album. Flood fucking HATED it. He
said, ’What's with all the Seventies crap?
This is a much darker song. Let me show
you what you mean.' So then we ended up
cutting this very stark track that worked
much better."

Working first in a rehearsal space,
then recording overdubs at the Chicago
Recording Company, before finishing up
at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles,
Flood and Moulder helped create a
dramatically different creative atmosphere
for The Smashing Pumpkins. Flood and
Moulder wanted a sound that was truer to
the band's live dynamic and at the same
time an experience that was more inclusive
for the other three members: James Iha,
D’arcy and Jimmy Chamberlin. As Corgan
recalls, "What Flood did really brilliantly,
along with Alan, was that he addressed the
real disappointment James and D'arcy felt
over not playing on Siamese Dream. Flood
really brought them into the process and
said, 'Here's how you can participate and
I will give you a really fair opportunity.
But I'm also going to be the first person
to let you know if you're not getting the
job done.' And they went 'Great.' Flood
definitely engaged James and D'arcy more
at the demo and the arrangement stage, so
even at the end of the day, if he stepped in
and said, T think Billy should do this part,'
they felt like they had more of a stake in
how it all went down. Butch was all about
getting the best recording. Flood made
the process more inclusive. Both ways, the
results were excellent."

For Corgan, "Flood somehow gets in
there and captures an essence and exploits
it, without taking the edges of it. That's
what is unique about him and may be why
U2 was drawn to him. Alan Moulder is
Flood's best friend and there's an interest-
ing dynamic there. Flood's sort of the
Alpha Dog, but then he'll defer to Alan.

Alan is one of those people who doesn't
say a lot but when he says something it
carries a lot of weight. Alan brought a lot
of sonic clarity to the album, and he would
often be working with James and D'arcy
while I was in the workshop with Flood
cooking something up. That allowed me to
have all the oxygen I needed too. And as
usual, Jimmy was drumming brilliantly all
over everything."

Released on October 24, 1995, Mellon
Collie and the Infinite Sadness would debut
at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and yield
major hits like "Bullet With Butterfly
Wings" - the band's unlikely first Top 40
hit - and the exquisite "1979" and epic
"Tonight, Tonight" as well as a thoroughly
inspired series of videos. The album would
also earn a Grammy as well as seven
nominations. Of "Tonight, Tonight,"
Corgan says, "Of all the songs with The
Smashing Pumpkins that one seems to
have that level of just getting better with
age. Every time we play it live it's one of
the highlights of the night. And it's funny
because in doing the reissues, listening
to the demos, it reminds me what I was
thinking at the time. I thought it was a
pretty good song, but I didn't necessar-
ily think it was exponentially better than
anything else. That's just one of those
songs that really connects with people —
the chords, the message, everything. And
somehow the song continues to hold that

Corgan recalls that "1979" — the band's
biggest hit single ever — was more of a
struggle, albeit one with a happy ending.
"We had the track and we all thought it
was a good song, but every time we tried
to play it as a band, it sounded like The
Rolling Stones — and not in a good way,"
Corgan says with a laugh. "It came out
too bluesy. We were running out of time
and packing up for L.A. Finally, Flood
said, 'What's going on with this song?
Tomorrow is D-day, we either finish this
song or it's off the record.' So I went
home that night, finished all the lyrics,
did a demo that sounds remarkably like
the final record. I came in the next day
with the demo, and Flood said, T love it.
Now make it happen.' We went in the
room and cut it in one day. There are all
sorts of weird influences on that track:
there's a little Can, obviously some Euro-
pop, New Order, there's even something
Sonic Youth-y in the riff. And Flood
added that percolating Tangerine Dream
thing in the back too. There's all sorts
of weird little pieces of influence that
somehow come together and create one
of those beautiful synchronicities where
everything lined up perfectly."

Beyond the more obvious hits, though,
Mellon Collie is a song cycle of unusual
depth and considerable range. Asked for
his personal favorites on the album, Corgan
says, "The songs that I would point to
beyond the obvious A-pile are ones like "To
Forgive," "Cupid De Locke," "Bodies" and
"Thru The Eyes of Ruby" — which because
of the way we worked was in many ways the
last great epic Pumpkins song. In a way, I
hear that song now as the end of an era."

As fate would have it, Mellon Collie and
the Infinite Sadness would itself mark the
end of an era for The Smashing Pumpkins.
Yet there can be little doubt this was also
a stunningly beautiful moment when
everything lined up — a moment in time
that's still here to be treasured.

— David Wild, August 2012

Dawn to Dusk

Mellon Collie And The
Infinite Sadness

This ever-curious name came about years
before its necessity, hatched as it were as I
walked about the rusted grounds of Coney
Island; on what was a bracing spring day
circa 1991. Once received and noted within
I auto -hypnotically blurted the title out
into the air, hoping that by sharing it I'd
better recall its odd canter later on. In 1994
I brought home a new found relic: a 1920s
piano that sounded somewhat dull and sen-
timental to my ears, having chosen in sound
what I also overlooked in the flat harp's
poorly mismatched legs. Far up in the front
parlor of my fresh painted Lady Victorian
I hacked away, believing that in doing so I
was playing my part in a beautiful dream
now come true. Newly married and sitting
out my mornings within the sloping arc of a
bay window, I reached out into a once grand
boulevard; keeping time with the sway of
dancing trees. This is how I taught myself
how to play my original instrument of
choice, by inventing small partitas. This little
train was among the best that lit the way.

Tonight, Tonight

Designed from the get-go to be a Mod
throwback, 'Tonite' started out in a far lower
key; lacking then the cut time verses that
became its most recognizable signpost. The
tune lingered around on the edges of a whole
host of ideas until by chance I heard an
orchestral fire in the aching changes; which
in response made me only want to lift the
key from a tidy C proper to a more epic G
major. It was suggested then that we hire a
proper arranger to make quite clear the mir-
rored song to lay on its twin, and that's how
I came to spend 4 days of my life being told
'the rules' for what classical types would and
wouldn't play as written. The string session
itself was a harrowing affair; 30 foreigners
on our rock and roll turf stuffed into the
longwise expanse of 2 studio chambers. One
noble scruff pulled me aside and said 'Did
you write this stuff? Reminds me of Mahler!'
Lyrically there were a few nods to Cheap
Trick and Yeats, but the message I scrawled
out was mine alone; rare in its direct honesty.


If memory serves the original riff dates
backwards into 1992, where we'd spasmodi-
cally play some concoction of this song if
there was nothing else to jam on in a 3rd
encore. To spice things up the machine gun
bit was added to chop up the monotony on
the back end of the blues. Once we flipped
the script to bring the rat-tat-tat up front,
this led to far more excitement. Sped up tre-
mendously, a Teutonic maelstrom emerged,
until there was a starship waiting without
a single lyric or melody to accompany it
into space. A nihilist manifesto thrown like
a pink hand grenade into an alley, I just
went rode shotgun with the images until it
sketched out nicely the gray of my suburban
years. Jellybelly' holds one of my all-time
favorite lines: 'Living makes me sick, so sick
I wish I'd die.' Prescient indeed!


For the first time in my life I had a room
solely devoted to nothing but the creative
act. Into Spartan emptiness I placed a few
rudimentary pieces of recording equipment;
sitting atop passed on handmade furniture
nobody in my family wanted, the ancestral
code conveniently painted on as black
decades before me. The room had once been
the victim of fire, and when it was hot out
you could still smell the charred timbers.
From there I trace two demos made 5
minutes of one another; the first bearing
the opening maw but with a different
second riff that whilst choogalin, lacks the
imbued menace of the first. I presented the
completed architecture of the song to the
band that following afternoon, which also
happened to be my 27th birthday if one
believes in myths and unicorns. I did not
know then that I would become the song
and the song would become a part of my
assumed identity. Curiously, I also find in
reflection a devastating first shot at one of
my band mates in amongst the carefully
sharpened lines, one early indication that I
was souring to what I saw facetiously com-
ing down the pike. The tossed off missive
'God is empty just like me' brought the God
fearing and Hell-loving out to hound me for
a few years in various backstage parking lots,
trying their best to convert me to a God and
Savior I was already sold on. Most seemed
disappointed that I didn't put up more of a
tenacious fight, beyond my saying that one
lyric does not make a man, nor show the
depths of what he believes in his heart.

Here Is No Why

This title was appropriated from an article
I'd read on an anniversary of the world's
first nuclear attacks. A survivor, in survey-
ing a legacy of near-total devastation, had
remarked in broken English that 'Here is
no why.' Looking at the twisted remnants
of my own childhood memories, I felt a
similar sense of loss amidst my confusion.
To hide some of my sorrow I couched
those thoughts into this glammed up tart
that rings neither happy nor sad. In some
respects this song doesn't really fit in well
amongst the others; being too maudlin
for its own good and too strident to take
full advantage of its T-Rexian strut. But
like its author 'The Death Rock Boy', its
most glaring defects are part of its linger-
ing charm.

Bullet With Butterfly Wings

The original rats in yer cage' chorus was
born of the boredom sitting around at
one of those overly dry BBC sessions, the
thump riff that opens the song a funny
remnant of the very first Siamese Dream
recording session. There were always lots of
Frankenstein parts laying about then that
I'd mix and match back up together, back
when my real job was trying not to forget
any inspiration that might come in handy
later. All the way through the 10 or so
months of writing and making this album
I thought this tune both powerful and
stupid, and I could never really settle on
one such opinion over the other. I would
later be shocked when the record label
announced this song to be their choice for
first single. I had to be talked into letting it
happen by one cigar chomping CEO who
declared brazenly over my phone, 'Kid,
it's a smash!' The song's true message has
grown on me over the years, as I find it to
be a withering attack on the lameness of
fame. Who could have known then that
the glory of fame would be an even more
important and ever-present commodity
in the 21st century than it was in the face
of the last.

To Forgive

The charitable act of forgiveness is made
scarce mention of, but that in itself really
stands as a lie, as there is nothing and no
one to be forgiven in the solemn halls of
this song. It is more so a song of condem-
nation, the greatest of which is reserved for
hand that writes it, who despite knowing
better will carry the same destructive
patterns he has learned in youth into his
own unnatural adult life. This is the kind
of effort one only needs to make but once,
and once is more than enough.

Fuck You (An Ode To No One)

In jostling about for attention in an era
where the pit out front often dominated
the focus of our evenings' music, heavy
songs were a must to both keep and control
the crowd in short bursts of regulated
energy. The more we traveled the heavier
we got, and the heavier we got the bigger
the audience grew until it was a monster
tipping over into those once safe places;
where chaos wasn't something you just went
into the city and did, only later to forget
all about it in the safety of your room. Like
the circus coming to town, we brought with
us all the shadow elephants into the room;
asking that they dance nice nightly for the
amusement of all. Songs like this rode the
razor's edge between nascent attraction
and violence; where the blood off a split
lip tastes good in your mouth. It took us
forever to find and harness this kind of raw
power, but once located and applied it had
the effect of separating the shades of each
night into different radical hues.


A straight up blues where I moan and drone
on about the confusing complexities of
1-o-v-e wherever sex is applied as cause and
effect. The word Tove' is used low here, for if
in being lucky and used lowly enough love
too becomes a useful device in the high arts
of illumination. Straight up the song rocked,
but by smearing the voice and cyber-afflxing
the drums it takes on a mocking tone that
distracts from the very real fear hidden in
it. Vagina Dentata. Love as represented
here is both oppressive and inescapable; an
unrelenting God that won't let go until you
are spent and hollowed o-u-t.

Cupid De Locke

To counter-balance our many dark excur-
sions into the void, I sought some refuge by
writing whimsically as well; finding solace
in twirling parasols and the extant, lingering
passions of the Belle Epoque. Love is held in
the ideal, driven up high above a nasty world
and held gloriously in places of unshakable
faith. In a rare fit of fun we even recorded
whisping aerosol cans and haughty, rusted
scissor snips to build up an unusual kalei-
doscope chorus around the semi-chromatic
wheeze of the synth. Not a note is played
by a human as it were, each part being fed
through a phalanx of mystery boxes, which
when twisted and turned just right spit back
out a different set of warbles than the funny
marbles you'd put in. In a humble nod to El-
vis there is even a spoken poem of dedication
that lilts out on the gallop, for I couldn't help
myself but wrap fully in the cloak of a sincere
and innocent lover.


I cannot recall what it was about Darwin's
fabled set of islands that led me to associate
my crumbling marriage to them. Perhaps
I was wondering if in the lure of a total
and disconnected isolation we might better
survive the onslaught of life's ceaseless
progress. Idealizing a failed romance can only
get you so far, and once engaged I found that
somewhere between my idealism and natural
compassion for an identified other there
lived a truth I was not yet willing to swallow
about myself. Cue up my admitting here that
one of us was about to be abandoned, never
realizing that the desertion would flow both
ways. 'Galapogos' stands up over time as a
remnant of grace that I lost as I wrote it.


Written at first on the piano in my crude
Lennon-ish tinker toy style, this song pos-
sibly more than any other in the collection
demonstrates the power of the old band
collective to convert up ideas rapidly; from
doleful sea shanties into epic rockets. It took
me nearly a month to convince Jimmy to
play with such joyful abandon on his fills,
and I cited the great Big Star as an example
where playing loose didn't necessarily mean
playing poorly. This notion opened up a
whole new gateway to Jimmy's drumming,
where emotional expressionism took priority
over his vaunted technical precision. Some-
where in my mind I was thinking of Bobby
D in repeating the core themes with varia-
tion at the end, but it was a leftover memory
of a clever song device from a source I could
never recall. The idea of a muzzle refers to
thinking my life would be far simpler if I just
kept my trap shut.

Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans

On our first two albums we'd grown ac-
customed to the benefit of playing many of
the songs live long before they'd been crystal-
lized on tape. Once stuck in the glut of so
many ideas, I suggested we consider playing
a few hometown shows to hammer out some
kinks, as well as force the dubious pretenders
among us out into the light. This made
plenty of sense to everyone save for the fact
that very few of the 50 plus songs we were
working on at any given time had any true
lyrics by which I might sing a show. Only 72
hours before the first of 4 planned such dates
I found myself with about 400 lines to fill
and very little idea of what I might want to
say if indeed I wanted to say anything at all! I
raced my way through various spiraled note-
books, compiling a sort of master syllabus of
lines and fragmented poems that I'd jotted
down along my travails. What came out in
haste was a sort of running screed, where
common ideas spilled over one another
until I wasn't sure what any of the songs
were really about. I ended keeping most of
what I'd scrawled out in that moment of
compression and pressure, and you can see
that most clearly in a song like Torcelina,
where vague allusions to mythic tides and
sinking ships seemed only to enhance the
unconscious feelings within. Carl Jung would
be proud! As much as I want every line of
every song to be perfect, there is something
perfect about not fussing over anything too
much; letting synchronicity be a teacher and
guide to the stars.

Take Me Down

With 7 years in on the band, James had
expressed interest in singing his own songs
rather than to just contribute to ideas which
I might develop into my own. There was
real enthusiasm and support around him
in the hopes he might chart his own path
as a singer-songwriter; as long as what he
brought to the band was strong. 'Take Me
Down was a tune I personally felt worthy of
inclusion from the start, but in the process
of fleshing out its varying ideas the rest of
us became moribund on a dreary isle. It
is fair to say that there are many songs on
Mellon Collie that are not band efforts per
se, where in pursuing a particular feeling I
wanted my singular ideas included as part
of the work as a greater whole. In the end
'Take Me Down became a different kind of
solo effort, because James would not allow
his song to be transmuted from its primary
colors by the band; and we did work on it
endlessly as a group, perhaps spending more
time on this than any other in the studio.
As such when we finished the album I
sequenced it towards the end of record #1,
because thematically it fit in nowhere I could
find; although sonically its drowsiness had
echoes elsewhere. James saw the demotion
of his favored song to the back of the line
as an unforgivable slight, killing his desire
to contribute to the band as a writer of note
from that moment on.

Twilight to Starlight

Where Boys Fear To Tread

Out there on the highways, lurking in the re-
cesses of those murky underpasses, are those
boys who know that life as it is presented to
most, is a scam; a work; a misguided waste.
Not everyone grabs a gun and allays their
phallic fears out at the expense of others.
Most just brood and wait for something,
anything, to happen. I bought a new guitar
made to look vintage, in the idle hours wait-
ing for the Double Door shows, and this riff
was the first dang thing I ever played on it. I
showed up for rehearsal showing off my new
axe, and taught the band the atonal figure.
What you hear on this record is the band
playing the song for the very first time.


Once we moved from Pumpkinland to
the sterile drawl of the Chicago Recording
Company, we still had some tracks to cut.
For 'Bodies' our producer Flood loaded in a
full P.A. and cranked the subs so hard that in
the sealed room we were nauseous with the
pressure being thrown about. Naturally we
became agitated and uncomfortable, which
in turn meant our work with one another
became terse. Someone in your ears says with
a tongue that sounds sarcastic in your de-
lirium, rolling', and you're off; galloping like
Norse prophets on a single noted mission.
At this point in my life there were bodies
everywhere, and it would have titillated me
then to know there were many more to come.
To sing the song the full-range speakers were
lit on fire in the control room; loud enough
to make my ears ring. Garble razor blades
and scream-scream until it makes sense. I
wondered then how I'd ever be able to sing
the song in front of a room full of strangers.


Before it all falls apart there is a moment
where you feel alright with not know-
ing where you will land; knowing that by
standing at a crossroads you invite whatever
just conclusion may come, be it failure or
success. I'd take these walks through my old
neighborhood, my collar pulled up not just
to brace away the cold but so that I could
save myself the embarrassment of being
recognized near where I lived. I longed for
a privacy I'd gladly given away in my rush
towards Olympus, and my home, painted a
camouflaged shade of purple, had become a
target for late-night teens feeling the need
to drunkenly scream my name as I slept. I
was fine with the idea of never-growing up,
but death seemed unavoidable; the death of
youth, the death of innocence.

In The Arms Of Sleep

Unhappy in love meant long nights on the
town, undertaken without my bride in tow. I
was spared the need to make up excuses why
I didn't want her along because she worked
a normal job. Vanity and attention called me
to many a mirror, but this was not because I
wanted to see myself in the gaze of another.
I was looking for something while the rest
of the world slept, and the zombies and
parasites that roam the midnight world do
have some answers in their pockets if you can
get past their well-worn stories. A beautiful
little song that by keeping quaint says more
about disunion and disloyalty could than any
symphony of noise could point to.


The last song recorded, on the very last day
of recording. We'd banged it about in various
guises, the worst of which sounded like
ill-formed stones rolling down a very steep
hill. The groove as it were was not in our
inherent system, and it was only in turning
to the rigidity of Kraut-rock did we find the
song screaming to get out. We all felt it to
be a good song and an inspired feeling, but
with little in our canon to compare it to I
was lost on it until the thought of losing it
off the record roused the fight in me. It whirs
and bangs like a happy clock in a Metropolis
factory, and somehow the lyric, which sings
of an opposing sensuous world, balances all
of my life on the head of a pin. We guessed it
could be a single, but never thought it would
follow 'Bullet' into the trenches.

Tales Of A Scorched Earth

A song loved and hated still; the one that
goes farther than any other and in doing so
provides the demarcation point of where
our reach has overextended itself. To play it
was sheer madness, and considering that
the vocal was sung just twice over the mixed
backing, in the final hour no less, shows that
its presence here hung in the balance until
the bitter end. We can find no trace of these
2 vocal takes anywhere, and beyond my
memory there is little left to explain what is
ever there. If you listen carefully you can hear
the howls of feedback between lines, and my
struggling to sing out a song that would be
near impossible even with a voice that is in
fine touring shape. It survived the cut and
the process simply because it signals the end.

Thru The Eyes of Ruby

The last of our long and overly constructed,
epic songs; I even said as much at the time,
thinking we'd never bother to do another.
I approached 'Ruby' with real weariness,
knowing the amount of work it would take
and in my heart never being quite sold on
the song. Looking back it has far more
going for it as a composition than I gave it
credit for at the time, and part of the way I
approached the production of the guitars was
almost to mock the mostly overblown style.
Because my attention was elsewhere on other
tunes, preparation of the guitar overdubs was
handed off to my band mates, who spent
a week coming up with very little between
them. With our time running out I added
something in the neighborhood of 54 guitar
parts in 4 hours, if for nothing else than to
show my frustration with them in spite. Not
necessarily inspired ways of communication,
but effective nonetheless.


Recorded as a home demo in my empty
room now dubbed badlands', 'Stumbleine'
was a song passed off again and again with
the notion we'd get around to recording it
eventually. When the odious day came, I
grew bored within minutes at the tedium of
trying to track finger-picked guitar in my
nerve-rattled state, and said wearily through
the mic, 'Would you mind if we just use the
demo instead.' Lab analysis was prepared,
and my home machine brought in to see
if indeed my one-take performance would
hold up to the light of day. Surprisingly the
performance as given was no worse than any
of the other haphazard performances on the
album, and so the demo passed into lore as
the finished version.


Like many of our songs we had some of the
arrangement together, while other bits would
vary from moment to moment depending
on whether or not we could remember what
we were 'supposed to do', or what had been
changed count-wise from the day before. The
idea of recording this number in an official
way seemed to be way too much work for
all of us, so with a shrug it was suggested
why not record it live, vocals and all, in the
studio. No volume would be spared, and
we'd just rattle on it until it was done. Each
take we'd play a little faster and I'd change
a phrase here and there until what we were
looking for was within reach. Coming off
a wicked cold I had trouble keeping my
voice fresh, but the garble only added to

my sense of desperation that we'd never get
that 'definitive' take. Producer Alan Moulder
would later say that recording this final take
was the single most exciting moment he'd
ever had in a studio, and there was a sense as
it went down that something important was
indeed happening, albeit with a far greater
clarity than had been caught in any prior
version. I remember thinking in my mind
and psychically projecting out to the band,
Tlease don't mess up!' Archeological evi-
dence does however indicate that a portion
of this version was stolen from an earlier take
for reasons I cannot recall. The end result is
haunting and singular, a lasting effect which
could never have been captured through
conventional means.

We Only Come Out At Night

In my thirst for musical altruism I bought a
zither by mail order, which brought immedi-
ate laughter from those in the gallows who
said I'd never play it. I wrote this song that
night to prove them wrong, a clever riposte
to where we all thought ourselves so clever
and dark and cool. Once you belong to the
haunted there really is no true escape, but as
long as you keep your wits about you you'll
find you don't ever have to overpay the ferry-
man to take you across.


I would be remiss to make a double album
without at least a clumsy nod towards the
greatest band ever, The Beatles, who inspired
such excess in the first place. 'Beautiful' as
it stood had an original version that was far
darker than this one, which in hindsight
would have added more than what ended
up being wry and churlish. I do like the
simplicity of the lyric, and can see now why
Flood pushed me to strip away the artifice of
psychedelia that I insisted on lathering it up
with; revealing what would have ultimately
been a more important tune; a case where
the song gets lost in the production where
others benefitted mightily in the reverse.

Lily (My One And Only)

The story is worn and true. I would climb a
tree in my Father's front yard to get a better
look into the room of the young woman who
had so jilted me at 16. Perhaps she became
wise to my view because she would draw her
shades and I would have to resign myself to
watching the shadows move in her room to
see if there was perhaps another with her.
Not all were in agreement with the lyric at
the end that has the protagonist being led
away in cuffs. I tried to explain to them as
best I could that crime should never pay, and
as such I'm still waiting to extract my revenge
on the young woman who broke my heart
so. One can only imagine that her looks have
faded greatly with the years.

By Starlight

Unlike with 'Beautiful', here I was convinced
to let the darkness of the song shine though,
and because of that this version holds up
well to a modern sensibility. Originally we
had it more like a sentimental-era Electric
Light Orchestra, but our fine producer
would gnash his teeth each time Jimmy
would lay into a staggeringly long lounge
fill. We of course thought this high-larious,
and only added in more annoying cliches to
the song. Part of what happened here is that
the final version was slowed down to add to
the languor, and the drums were cleansed of
almost all expression. A last moment change
in arrangement sent us scrambling through
old takes, upon which we found what we
were looking for but in a different key. If you
listen close enough there is a dissonance that
rears its head halfway through; the ghost of
that cut-in.

Farewell And Goodnight

Originally penned by James, I jumped
on this idea as a way to end the album
appropriately whilst giving a strong nod to
Los Beatles for being our existential guide. I
pushed that we all should sing on it, an idea
Jimmy found appealing until he actually had
to sing. What I loved about the long process
of making a double album is that this was the
kind of song we would never have bothered
with if not for the necessity of seeking out
new beginning and endings. I like to think
that symbolically our unity on this very last
song stands as a fitting and final testament to
a dream which held us in very good stead for
many years. A wonderful dream that lasted
long enough for us to even bother to docu-
ment its raucous trajectory.

— Billy Corgan, August 2012

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