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Smashing Pumpkins, The - Gish
Label: Virgin Records
Release: 1991

I Am One
Bury Me
Window Paine
Gish - Smashing Pumpkins, The
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Average Blamo User Rating: (51 votes)

The Smashing Pumpkins rolled up their sleeves in 1990-1991 and headed to Madison, Wisconson with guru Butch Vig to record their debut album, they put a lot of work into this album, and it shows.

Gish captures an almost fetal feeling when you listen to it now, like a band being born for the first time, and the Pumpkins have been to reinvent themselves every album. Nonetheless, Gish shines as a strong debut, it has a lot of psychedelic ambiance to it, and it is as though the listener can almost see them recording certain songs like "Window paine" and "Rhinoceros" set to mood lighting or no lighting at all. This album showcases everyone in the band's musical ability, well. Gish was complete, with songs averaging 6 minutes, with many transitions. It shows you what the Pumpkins will become, and after listening to it, if you've never heard Siamese Dream, you can almot predict there would be an evolution that you are not ready for but will gladly appreciate in time. Most bands can't capture in 10 years and 5 albums what the pumpkins captured in Gish, it's one of the strongest debut albums I've ever heard.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

The Smashing Pumpkins debuted in 1991 with this record - a derivative, bog-standard rocker of a record, and one of the odd-one-outs in the catalogue (This, and Adore). The Pumpkins would never be this straightforward ever again - as it stands,though, it is a half-decent record, although there are definite faults.

Some of the songs don't really have much talent to them - Billy's guitar, while never that great, was poor here. The riffs and melodies are either rudimentary, unmemorable, or stolen, and the solos are general early Corgan fare - unfocused and messy. This doesn't actually have as bad an effect as it seems - most of the songs get by, and there's no real terriblesongs on here. This is why the album is such an odd-one-out - it's incredibly raw. Only a couple of songs even slightlysound like they were given any real thought and preparation.

It's these songs that turn out to be the best - there's the nice, pretty "Rhinoceros", with it's memorable "she knows" chorus, and by far the best song on here, the fantastic "Crush" - i'd say that this song was pretty easily the song that tookmore time to do than all the others on here put-together. It has a great stop-start rhythm, that glorious bassline, anddelicately picked notes. Easily the best song here.

Another song that's on this same level is the incredibly underrated "Suffer" - a nice, repetitive, quiet mood, with a goodchorus thrown in. Very decent. The majority of the others are raw rockers for sure - "I Am One" opens the album, with a riff lifted right out of "Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses, and it's followed by "Siva" - another big, fast, speedy rocker.The same can again be said for "Bury Me", another fast-paced rocker, and "Tristessa", another one, with a huuuge Led Zeppelininfluence. "Snail" is a lesser Rhinoceros, and there's "Window Paine" - a big build-up rocker, executed pretty poorly. Finally, the album closes with "Daydream", a pretty standard song, sung by D'Arcy this time.

Not much to say about most of these songs - they don't have many stand-out factors, the solos are generally crap, the riffsare decent, nothing more, and Billy's singing about various standard subjects for the Pumpkins. Ah yes, his voice - it's not as offensive here as it would turn out to be at the end, although it's still not great. The thing that these songsdo have going for them is energy - the band sound more energetic here than they do on all of their other records. So thereis certainly a life in this music.

I'll give this album a 6 overall - it's a good, standard album. Not one for the classic books, but it's alright.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

i am one... of the few... as you at three. got to find a messiah in your trinity. your city will burn your city will burn. try to find a messiah in a cup of coffee.

this album is MEDIOCRE. even when i was pumpkinheaded, i didn't really like this album. it's sloppy, and not very interesting. BUT the band plays with a sloppy funness. in fact, for my money it's the only time they were ever really a band you know, instead of billy playing guitars and bass, and jimmy drumming. oh sure, james and d'arcy played live, but they were well not neccesary at all. :)

pfft. if you're interested in the pumpkins don't start here. it's a dorky dumb album with poor song writing ability, poor production, dumb lyrics, but with tons of energy. call it their punk album.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

The first Smashing Pumpkins CD in their long, 12 year careers. "Gish" is what you should expect of a first album. It has two or three really great songs, and the rest are either average or below. With songs like, "I Am One" and "Rhinocerous," the album did sell around 400,000 copies originally. Off the album, there were singles for:
I Am One

The best song on the album is "Snail," a song that even Billy Corgan couldn't describe. All in all, the album is worth getting, but there are other Pumpkins albums that should go earlier on your list.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

Beginnings.......this is where the real music is made. The Smashing Pumpkins have made a great deal of single and albums, but the only true and perfect collection of their musical genius comes from their 1991 album "Gish." The beginning progresses with a hard-hitting drum solo the eventually roars into the phrase "I AM ONE AS YOU ARE THREE." When the album begins, the one knows that this album will be great. With little to spare financially, the pumpkins were on a tight budget and thus, this brought forth a strive to perfect every second. This album has strong roots in grunge, and I think that if the pumpkins kept this tone (as they half-way did on the "Siamese Dream" album), they would have gone farther than they did. This album had and still has potential, especially the potential in "Siva." This flawless album proves to be quite a piece of art. Even though the pumpkins might be the whiny little brother of grunge, they have shown that poetic and "artsy"(as alice cooper said of them) expression can go a very long way for the glory of music in general. If you collect classical albums, this one must be on your CD shelf. Enjoy...... sincerely, your kindegarten cosmocrat....

Reviewer Rating of CD :

If you collect classical albums, go to the classical section of the All Music Guide. Don't buy Gish. (If you're on a budget, try the 'Naxos' label.)

If you're at all interested in the beginnings of the Smashing Pumpkins, or even what may have been critically well-received in the early years of TRU FAN slightly-underground alternative rock, then at least have a listen.

There are indeed some classic tracks (and classic rock influences) on this album. The anthem "Billy's Theme" (aka "I Am One") leads out the 10 tracks while the other single, "Tristessa" is similarly fast, heavy and distortion driven. But the two most likely to stand the test of time are the sloppy-but-slick rocker "Siva" and the gem "Bury Me" with its all-conquering bassline - fit for a wakeboarding video.

"Rhinoceros" represents one of the best early examples of the soft-loud dynamic that would become a sign of many later Pumpkins' tunes, complete with the simple but memorable chorus line ("and she knows, she knows, she knows..."). "Snail" is a similar highlight, but this style of song gives itself up by the time you hit "Window Paine".

Instead, "Daydream" offers... hmmm, more than a hint of... D'arcy? ... or the scope of... the band's... sonic landscape? - yes. They can do acoustic songs as well. But combine this with the slower melodies and arrangements of "Crush" and "Suffer" and it's apparent that the album and the Pumpkins were never just about a conglomeration of piercing riffs and heavy drumming lyrics. There's a depth here that represents the various moods and dense imagery always at the core of the Pumpkins' sound.

And While the lyrics of Gish have sometimes left even most dedicated fans a little nonplussed, there is no denying the raw energy of the music and the feeling that what you hear is what you get. That's the psychedelic swirling guitars; Jimmy Chamberlin's drumming; RAWK(tm) basslines; Billy's untrained singing voice; some subtle melodies; James' first Les Paul.

So without any further embellishment, I present to you my favourite Pumpkins album.

Reviewer Rating of CD :


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