MP3: Smashing Pumpkins do The Who/Velvets/Syd
I've always been an absolutely huge Pumpkins fan...just as Pulp are my favourite British band of the 90s, the Pumpkins were my favourite American band of the era. They're a band that got me into heavier music and that I can still listen to and love now. I was also a big fan of the Zwan album, which most people weren't (their live show in London was absolutely incredible), and I can even forgive Corgan for his mostly awful, though not totally worthless solo album. Earlier I was digging about in a box of cds and found my copy of the Pumpkins excellent five disc Mashed Potatoes bootleg. It's a bunch of live songs, radio sessions and outtakes from the bands first few years, and has some really great stuff on it. Probably the best things are the demos and acoustic versions of stuff like Spaceboy from Siamese Dream. The Pumpkins were always an absolutely amazing bsides band, and this set shows how they had tons more songs that were just as good that most people haven't ever heard. I think there are something like a hundred completely unreleased songs out there in the bootlegging community, so hopefully one day Corgan will do a Rob Pollard and release a box set. Until then, I thought I'd post a few of the more interesting cover versions from this bootleg. First up is a version of the Velvet Underground's Venus In Furs from a 1988 radio show, which is surprisingly listenable in comparison to the perfect original. Next up is a live version of The Who's I'm Free, which is of course from the Tommy album. This version was recorded in 1990 just as the band were prepating for the release of their debut album Gish. Good stuff! Last up is a song the band did eventually release as a bside, a cover of Syd Barrett's Terrapin. This is a live version with a vocal from lead guitarist James Iha, bless his heart. That's all for now, enjoy.
Update: Someone posted in the comments that in fact 114 pumpkins bsides are now available to buy on itunes. If you're that way inclined (which i'm not). Nothing unreleased, and far from complete, but some of it is absolutely amazing and not available on the 2 currently released bsides compilations.