Playlist Gems: Smashing Pumpkins Today

Following on from my first “playlist gems” post, next up is a song I came across during a random shuffle of a 90’s Spotify playlist I had created for the shop where I work. If you know me by now through following the blog and some of my previous posts my go to genre of choice would definitely be Hip Hop. I have listened to hip hop going on about 14 years now it is 100% my first port of call when it comes to music. However I am a music fanatic and would listen to mostly anything, now don’t get me wrong there is some genres I can leave mostly really heavy techno not that I particularly dislike it as a genre, it’s just a type of music that I couldn’t sit down and listen to for any sort of Duration.

The playlist gem I have chosen for today comes from Grunge/Alternative rock pioneers The Smashing Pumpkins the song is called “Today” and is taken from their 1993 album “Siamese Dream” on Virgin records.

Image source http://www.genius.com

 I am a huge fan of this band who have had monumental success in the early to late 90’s. The track is written by their lead vocalist and guitar player Billy Corgan. The smashing pumpkins were one of the poster boy bands of the infamous “Generation X” in the 90’s Grunge music scene which developed in Seattle Washington. This genre formed from musicians and fans feeling a huge sense of disillusionment with the “Glam Rock” bands of previous generations, bands like Def Leopard or a Van Halen for example.These kids came from a time where there was immense prosperity in the United States and for once they had the choice and the freedom to express themselves. Most felt the genres of previous decades did not represent them to any extent. There was also a sense of extreme division in a lot of suburban household’s. A lot of youth felt their parents didn’t understand them and with a liberal ethos becoming more normal and more and more younger people attending Universities it tended to cause a lot of tension. These kids were frustrated, lost and angry and it showed in the fantastic music that spawned from that era.

“Today” begins with a beautiful distorted guitar intro which has anthem like qualities into a very positive, uplifting opening few lines.

“Today is the greatest day I’ve known” 

What starts off as what would seem to be a happy song, quickly you realise how Ironic this opening lyric actually is. It takes a sharp turn to a very dark theme of suicidal ideation and angst.

“Cant live for tomorrow, tomorrows much too long I’ll burn my eyes out before I get out” 

This song is quite clearly about Corgans struggles with depression, according to Genius.com Billy Corgan wrote this after a death in the family and also the ending of a long term relationship. In these lines he is ironically telling his fans, that particular day was a rough one for him. 

“Pink ribbon scars that never forget, I’ve tried so hard to cleanse these regrets”

He is talking about how he has tried to escape from reality by taking Heroin which never worked. The song is an ode to their avid fan base, it is a call to attention for anybody who is or has been through a tough situation, and is showing them that although they may feel alone in their despair, he understands what they’re going through.

Image source: http://www.pumpkin-machine.ru

It is a deep and meaningful song and one I feel has been underappreciated as time has passed. So have a listen if you’re new to the band. And if you’re a fan of The Smashing Pumpkins and it brings back feelings of nostalgia enjoy and share it with a friend.

– Phil.

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