‘Smashing Pumpkins crowned the end of my childhood’

This Album Changed My Life: James Heather on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

'The single 1979 was electronic, which was a signpost of where my head would go.'

'The single 1979 was electronic, which was a signpost of where my head would go.'

 

This album arrived at a key time in my musical development in the early 1990s. I was a rock-loving teenager. It was a golden age for the genre. I loved Nirvana but this double album trumped everything. It was to me what the White Album by The Beatles was to my dad.

My friends who played guitar were all “cooler” than me, so the album gave me something to cling on to as an aspiring musician. It had gorgeous piano pieces and gentle lullabies in an off-kilter voice not unlike my own.

On tracks such as Zero and Bullet with Butterfly Wings, the riffs were heavier and more emphatic than any rock band I had heard, too. The single 1979 was electronic, which was a signpost of where my head would go.

The year after this album came out, I listened to DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing . . . , sat with a circle of friends, and my whole reference point for music changed. I became more experimental in my outlook. Smashing Pumpkins crowned the end of my childhood in the most special of ways.

In conversation with Niall Byrne

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