"Believe that life can change / that you're not stuck in vain / we're not the same, we're different / tonight"
"The world is a vampire!"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
"Bullet With Butterfly Wings"
is the third album by the Chicago
band The Smashing Pumpkins
. Coming off the sucess of Siamese Dream
, the death of Kurt Cobain
, the decline of Grunge
, and the band's experience headlining Lollapalooza '94, Face of the Band
Billy Corgan decided to write the album as if it was their last. The result was a double album produced by Corgan (who described it at one point as "The Wall
for Generation X") and famous Alternative Rock
producers Mark "Flood" Ellis and Alan Moulder, ranging in material from gentle piano ballads ("Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness"), aggressive Alternative Metal
("Jellybelly", "Tales of a Scorched Earth", "Fuck You (An Ode to No One)", "X.Y.U."), loud-quiet-loud Grunge-ish
tracks ("Bullet With Butterfly Wings", "Here Is No Why"), the band's trademark psychedelic, Shoegazing-influenced
material ("Porcelina of the Vast Oceans"), quiet acoustic tracks ("Thirty-Three", "In the Arms of Sleep", "Lily", "Stumbleine") and more electronic-influenced material ("1979", "Beautiful") that foretold their style change on Adore
. It is the Pumpkins' second Rolling Stone-certified greatest album of all time, placing on the list at #487.
The album gained very good reviews on release (except only the common nitpick about Corgan's supposedly Wangsty
or pretentious lyrics), and spawned a few hits: "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", which married a rant about Corgan's exhaustion with fame and the alternative scene to one of their heaviest, most memorable Epic Riffs
, "Tonight, Tonight", a combination of the band's Alternative Rock
leanings with a Baroque Pop
orchestra and a very memorable video, and "1979", an electronic pop-rock song.
Disc 1: Dawn to Dusk
- 01 Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
- 02 Tonight, Tonight
- 03 Jellybelly
- 04 Zero
- 05 Here Is No Why
- 06 Bullet with Butterfly Wings
- 07 To Forgive
- 08 Fuck You (An Ode to No One)
- 09 Love
- 10 Cupid De Locke
- 11 Galapogos
- 12 Muzzle
- 13 Porcelina of the Vast Oceans
- 14 Take Me Down
Disc 2: Twilight to Starlight
- 15 Where Boys Fear to Tread
- 16 Bodies
- 17 Thirty-three
- 18 In the Arms of Sleep
- 19 1979
- 20 Tales of a Scorched Earth
- 21 Thru The Eyes of Ruby
- 22 Stumbleine
- 23 X.Y.U.
- 24 We Only Come Out at Night
- 25 Beautiful
- 26 Lily (My One and Only)
- 27 By Starlight
- 28 Farewell and Goodnight
"Mellon Collie and the Infinite Tropes":
- Alternative Rock: At times bordering on Alternative Metal.
- Anti-Love Song: "Bodies," "Love."
- "By Starlight" is a variation- it seems to be about the narrator falling in love with a girl who's as disillusioned and miserable as he is.
- Arc Words: "My one and only" shows up in nearly half of the tracks.
- The last fourth of the album contains variations on the line "you know me well."
- Bookends: The opening track and the last minute or so of Farewell and Goodnight share a few similar note patterns and are both predominantly piano.
- The opening and closing tracks of each disc are exactly the same length.
- Call Back: "Tonite (Reprise)" from the vinyl version of the album.
- Careful With That Axe
- Concept Album
- Distinct Double Album
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, the first two minutes of Porcelina
- Epic Rocking: Porcelina of the Vast Oceans (9:21), Thru the Eyes of Ruby (7:38), X.Y.U. (7:07)
- Genre Roulette
- Inspired By: The Tonight, Tonight music video was inspired by the 1902 film A Trip to the Moon
- Insistent Terminology: The band's mashup of Industrial and NWOBHM, commonly refered to as Cybermetal ("Zero", "X.Y.U.")
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The vinyl version. There's around ~20,000 known to be pressed.
- The 2012 reissue. The Deluxe edition includes 64 new tracks spread over 3 discs, a DVD with live material, two books with containing personal notes, lyrics, photos, essays, et. al, and a Decoupage kit to create your own cover.
- Madness Mantra: 'And I still believe that I cannot be saved' (Bullet With Butterfly Wings)
- 'Love is Suicide' (Bodies)
- 'The Night has Come to Hold Us Young' (Thru the Eyes of Ruby)
- 'emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me' (Zero)
- 'Get on the bomb! Get back where you belong!' (Where Boys Fear to Tread)
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The Album is all over the place. From 1 (Stumbleine, Take Me Down) to 8 (Tales of a Scorched Earth, Fuck You). "X.Y.U." is arguably a 9.
- Non-Appearing Title: As per usual, over half the song titles don't appear in their songs.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly
- Precision F-Strike: "Fuck You (An Ode to No One)".
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The lyrics to Bullet with Butterfly Wings were inspired by Billy's experience headlining Lollapalooza in 1994 and the decline of the alternative scene (much like how Siamese Dream's "Cherub Rock" attacked the scene and the band's critics).
- Refrain from Assuming: "The World is a Vampire" or "some variation on 'Rat in a Cage'" for "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
- Record Producer: Mark "Flood" Ellis, Alan Moulder and Billy Corgan. Corgan had previously hired Moulder to mix Siamese Dream because he was a fan of My Bloody Valentine. One of the reasons he gave for working with Flood and Moulder is that he felt that the band had grown too comfortable with Butch Vig, the producer of their previous two albums.
- Sampling: The rocket launcher explosion sound effect from Doom is sampled on "Where Boys Fear to Tread"
- Step Up to the Microphone: All the band members sing on Farewell and Goodnight.
- "Take Me Down" is a James Iha solo song.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Cupid de Locke", "Galapogos", "Take Me Down", "In the Arms of Sleep", "Stumbleine", "Farewell and Goodnight".
- And as an inversion, a song called "Love" happens to be driven by a hyper-processed guitar riff, feature heavily distorted vocals and generally sound like Industrial Metal meets Glam Rock.
- Updated Re-release: A few months after the CD and Cassette release of the album, the album was released on vinyl with a re-arranged tracklist while adding two new tracks, "Tonite Reprise" and "Infinite Sadness".
- Zeerust: The cover art has a woman, ripped right out of a Renaissance painting, riding a star-shaped ship through space while the art booklet has a picture of two Victorian dressed birds flying in a da Vinci-style flying machine.
IN THE EYES OF THE JACKAL I SAY KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABOOM