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Top 10 Smashing Pumpkins Songs

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by David MacIntyre. Despite all their rage, they’re still just rats in a cage. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Smashing Pumpkins songs. For this list, we've chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Be sure to also check out our list of the Top 10 Alternative Bands of the 1990s. Special thanks to our users Sabriel Jesus Maestas, Alex Johnston, MateusHonrado, MakiZaki, Loco Mustachio, Miika Soini and willroberts for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by David MacIntyre.

Top 10 Smashing Pumpkins Songs


Despite all their rage, they’re still just rats in a cage. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 Smashing Pumpkins songs.

For this list, we've chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Perfect"
Adore (1998)

One of the catchier songs on an otherwise very electronica-heavy album, this track has been compared to the band’s 1996 hit “1979”. It ended up doing fairly well commercially, just barely missing the Billboard top 40 and charting well in the U.K. and New Zealand. The video for the song even acts as a sequel of sorts to the “1979” video featuring the same actors and directors, though more on that video and song later.

#9: “Mayonaise”
Siamese Dream (1993)

You could say that “Mayonaise” is as epic as the Pumpkins could get in the earlier days of their career, and you wouldn’t be wrong. With the inspiration for the song title coming from the contents of frontman Billy Corgan’s fridge, the track has long been a fan favorite as it shows the band both at their calmest and their loudest. Although the meaning of the lyrics is debatable, the tune still makes fans emotional every time they hear it.

#8: “Rhinoceros”
Gish (1991)

One of the band’s earliest singles, this track starts as a mellow slow jam before erupting into one hell of an explosive tune. Shifting between quiet and psychedelic to loud and straight up rocking, it would become the band’s first single to chart on Billboard’s modern rock chart. The song is notable for being a turning point in the band’s sound and would go on to inspire later critically acclaimed albums like 1993’s Siamese Dream.

#7: “Zero”
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

Its heavy, repetitive riff sucks you in as soon as you start listening, and its lyrics are deep enough to make you stop and ponder. The angst-filled third single from Mellon Collie, the song features a symphony of rhythm guitars – six to be exact. Although it veers closer towards metal at times compared to their usual sound, the track was yet another hit for the Pumpkins on rock radio. With “Zero” the Pumpkins proved they were much more than the title implied.

#6: “Cherub Rock”
Siamese Dream (1993)

With lyrics pertaining to Billy Corgan’s distaste of snobby fans and critics, this song kicks this album off with a bang as soon as Jimmy Chamberlin’s drumrolls kick in. Fans and critics dug the tune’s shoegaze and arena rock influences, which earned the song a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance. The first single off the critically acclaimed Siamese Dream, the track has only gained popularity over time through its use in the “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” video games.

#5: “Disarm”
Siamese Dream (1993)

Although this song is heavily rumored to be about abortion, it’s actually about the strained relationship Billy Corgan had with his parents when he was younger. It was a change of pace at the time for the otherwise hard-rocking Pumpkins, having a more symphonic sound than the band’s other hits. You could say that its heavy use of bells and strings throughout the song was foreshadowing for what they’d do with their next album, particularly the next entry on this list.

#4: “Tonight, Tonight”
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

You might find the huge 30-piece orchestral instrumentation to be a little over the top, but you can’t say it doesn't work incredibly well with the song. Still an epic musical journey from start to finish, this track combines grandiose music with lyrics full of hope and optimism. Its music video is heavily inspired by the early 1900s silent film “A Trip to the Moon”, and won the band six MTV VMAs in 1996, including Video of the Year.

#3: “Today”
Siamese Dream (1993)

This was the band's first huge single, but it’s also possibly one of their more disturbing ones. With lyrics talking about how great today is, many would be quick to jump on the thought that this tune is a happy one. However the song was inspired by suicidal thoughts of frontman Corgan when he realized his life really couldn't get much worse. Regardless of the subject matter, “Today” was arguably the track that elevated the Pumpkins from an up-and-coming Chicago indie band to true arena rockers.

#2: “1979”
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

Both the song and its video, directed by eventual Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, capture the feeling of what it’s like to be young, carefree, and having the time of your life. Considered the most personal track off Mellon Collie, Corgan wrote this song with the 12 year old version of himself in mind, as this was the age that Billy grew out of his childhood. With a killer drum beat, “1979” became a hit on pop radio, charting within the top 20 in the U.S. and the U.K.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“Stand Inside Your Love”
Machina/The Machines of God (2000)

“Ava Adore”
Adore (1998)

“Tarantula”
Zeitgeist (2007)

“Soma”
Siamese Dream (1993)

“Thirty-Three”
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

#1: “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

From the moment Billy sings the first five words, you know you’re in for something that’s gloomy, wild and exciting all at the same time. Epitomizing the soft verse-loud chorus dynamic the Pumpkins used to define their sound during the prime of their career, this track is pretty simple compared to many of their other songs, but its execution is impeccable. Its video is set in a diamond mine, and is notable as it is the last time we see Billy with hair.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favourite Smashing Pumpkins song? With new Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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