Smashing Pumpkins Giving Up on Albums?

“Billy and I are going to start working every day like we used to, but I don’t think we will make records again,” Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain was quoted in a BuzzNet post..

The idea seems to be to exploit the trend going back to singles as fans buy more individual songs and fewer long playing albums. Since their contract with Reprise is done, the Smashing Pumpkins seem to be watching Radiohead and NIN and have adjusted their own plan accordingly.

“People just don’t buy records anymore. Anyone under the age of twenty-four just buys songs. It’s just in our best interest to release blocks of songs. And I think what we’ll do – not to let the cat out of the bag too much – is to create the framework where we can release a number of songs and maybe create a title.”

Given Billy Corgan’s penchant for vast themes that veers on wankery, does it make sense to go the singles route?

BTW, maybe they should concentrate on redesigning that awful website of theirs. Sheesh!

Classic Pumpkins single:

Smashing Pumpkins Disarm video

6 thoughts on “Smashing Pumpkins Giving Up on Albums?”

  1. DP, I dig where you’re coming from with the wankery, but I still have to go on record and say that Mellon Collie is an awesome album… bombast and all.

    Zwan’s album was pretty damn wanky, I’ll give you that.

  2. I’d say Mellon Collie had about half an album’s worth of wankery in there, which I guess would end up being 25%. Of course, compared to the roughly 80 minute run time of an old skool double album like Exile, MC’s two hour long discs are pretty long just to begin with, and cutting out a quarter of it would bring it more in line with the traditional length.

    I would start by nuking the James Iha songs.

  3. i’m all for the singles approach. made sense to me ever since i got into music. one or two good songs at a time is all i need to love an artist. an album of filler usually turns me away. that’s pretty much what zeitgeist did to me. ok, i turn away from billy a long time ago, but i was hoping for some sort of redemption with this album. just didn’t find it in there. though, i did dig chamberlain’s drumming.

    at least they went out with a certified gold record. 500,000 copies sold is not bad when the album format is dead.

  4. A great song is a great song and there have been many great singles by artists whose other works I haven’t cared for. I worry, though, that perhaps we no longer have the attention span to digest an entire album.

    Many of my favorite artists were great at making entire albums work, albums in which songs worked together in a larger narrative. Example: Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell” was a great single, but it had a larger meaning within the context of The Wall. Someone who only buys the single misses out on the larger work. It would be a shame if artists shied away from making more complex and challenging works because the mass marketplace prefers simple and a-la-carte.

  5. A great song is a great song and there have been many great singles by artists whose other works I haven’t cared for. I worry, though, that perhaps we no longer have the attention span to digest an entire album.

    Many of my favorite artists were great at making entire albums work, albums in which songs worked together in a larger narrative. Example: Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell” was a great single, but it had a larger meaning within the context of The Wall. Someone who only buys the single misses out on the larger work. It would be a shame if artists shied away from making more complex and challenging works because the mass marketplace prefers simple and a-la-carte.

    Amen, Jude. Amen.

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