I have always been a huge fan of The Smashing Pumpkins. I first heard them at my uncle Phil’s house (“Siamese Dream” on vinyl) and got a CD copy for myself shortly thereafter. My vinyl buying days were over and I had embraced CD’s completely. Vinyl was out right? It will never come back. Lol.
I remember where I was when I picked up the “Pisces Iscariot” CD. I was out of town an stopped in an outlet mall and I just saw it in the tiny record store. I hadn’t heard it was coming out. I was not very plugged in back then. I had literally no idea what was on it, but I bought it and listened to it in the car and loved it. It was a compilation of singles and B-Sides and amazing.
When I first played my “Melancholy And The Infinite Sadness” CD I was cleaning our bedroom and I kept stopping to listen as THAT album was blowing my mind. A true classic album in every sense of the word.
Of course, over the years, through various sources I had amassed a huge collection of Smashing Pumpkins weirdities and obscure single tracks and live shows etc. but I wasn’t getting vinyl.
Fast forward to recent years where I have re-embraced the vinyl experience.
“Gish” and “Siamese Dream” were both readily available. Easy-peasy.
However, that’s where things got interesting. Having “Gish” and “Siamese Dream” on vinyl made me want to get the rest.
I spent a few years hemming and hawing over buying “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness”, largely deterred by the price. Eventually ponying up and purchasing it.
Now that I had albums 1, 2 and 3… I was forging ahead.
Immediately I hit a roadblock. “Zeitgeist”.
“Zeitgeist” for me was a return to form after the “Adore” and “Machina” albums. When I first heard it I was blown away. The “Adore” and “Machina” albums are good, don’t get me wrong, but this album sounded like old Pumpkins. This was the next album I went after on vinyl, but alas, I soon learned to my great DIS-satisfaction that it’s NOT available on vinyl. Not like it is out of print, but like it was never printed. For some reason, this album was never pressed on vinyl at all. It exists in various versions of the CD, different color covers and there is a Deluxe version… but no vinyl.
“Adore” and “Pisces Iscariot” are available. I have had them in my hands in the record store, but “Pisces Iscariot” is going for over $50 on Amazon. Why is this album so expensive?
Then there is “Machina/The Machines Of God”. Forget about it if you are just coming to Pumpkins vinyl. Here is a current Amazon search for the vinyl version. Serious?
Then there is the strange case of “Teargarden By Kaleidyscope 1” and “Teargarden By Kaleidyscope 2”. These were albums released online originally for free, and then later released on limited edition vinyl. Here is an article about this big project and Billy’s plans for it’s release.
In the end, the project was never completed, and to confuse things even more, the album “Oceania” is a part of the Teargarden project, but also a standalone album? “An album within the album” it has been called. This album I have also had in my hands in the very very early days of my vinyl resurgence. I was standing in B-Side Records in downtown Madison and I had it in my hand. I hadn’t heard any songs from it and was scared of paying the staggering sum of $24.99 for it. I put it back and walked away. MISTAKE. Now look at it.
Seriously, what the hell man?
I mentioned “Machina”. Here is more bad news if you want to get all the Pumpkins vinyl. The supposed final album from The Smashing Pumpkins (thankfully ended up not being true) was “Machina II/Friends & Enemies Of Modern Music”. This album was a whole different type of release. Here is some of the info from Discogs:
A follow up to Machina, and the last album from the band before their hiatus. As a final farewell, a limited pressing album was made (3×10″ + 2LP, 5 discs total) and given away to be bootlegged out among the fans.
Just to clear up any possible confusion, this is the final album from the band. There are 25 copies on vinyl only. There is not, and will not be a CD pressing.
Well… that makes it hard doesn’t it?
The good news is that recent releases HAVE been released on vinyl, and are available readily all over, including directly from the Smashing Pumpkins web site.
“Cyr” the upcoming album
which of course I have pre-ordered, is available on CD, and 2 different color vinyl versions, and of course a deluxe version with yet another color.
I have the Orchid colored version coming.
I have also purchased along the way “Monuments To An Elegy” and “Shiny and Oh So Bright Vol 2” on vinyl. I’m not running the risk that these become akin to “Pisces Iscariot” and end up being some ridiculous price in the future.
For the new Smashing Pumpkins vinyl collector there are a lot of challenges. There are of course endless bootlegs, some even on vinyl and don’t forget side projects like Zwan and Billy solo albums. Don’t get me wrong, if you can get Pumpkins on vinyl, get it, but be aware what you are getting yourself into.
Good luck out there.