This Album Changed My Life: The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

Niamh Farrell of Ham Sandwich on Billy Corgan’s masterwork

Niamh Farrell, with her Ham Sandwich band-mates: “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness blew my mind.”

Niamh Farrell, with her Ham Sandwich band-mates: “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness blew my mind.”

 

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is an incredibly important album for me. I came late to the party though, as I didn’t hear it until around 2000/2001. 

I was 17/18 years old and just finishing up secondary school. I got a job in a cinema part time and out of the blue, got a call that a friend of a friend knew a band looking for a singer. Not one to turn down an opportunity that sounded fun, I said I would give an audition. Before I went I was given a recommended album to listen to which was Mellon Collie.

It blew my mind. The opening of Tonight Tonight with its euphoric strings, the beautiful basslines in 1979, the trashy, all-out rock in Bullet With Butterfly Wings: they all spoke to me in a way I had never felt with music before. Sure I liked lots of different kinds of music but this was something new to my ears.

Bullet With Butterfly Wings

Tonight, Tonight

The album reminds me of those long summer nights, where the air is warm, wandering the streets with your friends or chilling at someone’s house. The kind of nights you want to go on forever. I still return to this album now and again, and will be forever grateful for it being brought into my life.

– In conversation with Niall Byrne

Ham Sandwich play Groove Festival on Sunday, July 8th, at Killruddery House & Gardens, Bray, Co Wicklow.

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