The Smashing Pumpkins are an alternative rock band that was formed in Chicago in 1988. Originally, the band members were lead vocalist and guitarist Billy Corgan, bassist D’arcy Wretzky, guitarist James Iha, and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Over time, the band has undergone many line-up changes. Currently, the remaining original members of the band are Corgan, Chamberlin, and Iha. A later addition to the band is guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Since the beginning of their career in the music industry, the Smashing Pumpkins have sold more than 16.7 million albums. They have also won multiple awards for their music, including two Grammy Awards. During their time together, the Smashing Pumpkins have released 11 studio albums, four live albums, seven compilation albums, four video albums, six EPs, five soundtrack albums, three demon albums, 36 music videos, and 54 singles. Here are all The Smashing Pumpkins studio albums ranked.
11. Gish (1991)
The Smashing Pumpkins’ debut album was ‘Gish,’ which they released in 1991. It achieved only limited commercial success, peaking at number 146 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the United States. A theme that runs throughout the album is spiritual ascension, and Corgan tried to combine the grace of alternative rock with the heavy riffs of classic rock. The Smashing Pumpkins released two singles from the album; ‘Siva’ and ‘I Am One.’
10. Cyr (2020)
The most recent album released by the Smashing Pumpkins, the band’s eleventh, was ‘Cyr.’ It was a top 40 hit in Australia and Germany, although it was less successful elsewhere. At the same time as the band released the album, they released a five-part animated series called ‘In Ashes’ that was written by Corgan. Each of the episodes was used as an accompanying music video for five of the tracks from the album.
9. Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1/ LP: No Past, No Future. No Sun. (2018)
‘Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1/ LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.’ was the Smashing Pumpkins’ tenth studio album, and it was released in 2018. It was the first of the band’s albums to feature James Iha since ‘Machina II/The Friends and Enemies of Modern Music’ and the first to feature Jimmy Chamberlin since ‘Zeitgeist.’ Originally, the album was planned as two four-song EPs. The singles ‘Solara,’ ‘Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts),’ and ‘Knights of Malta’ were three singles from the album that were released prior to the album’s release.
8. Monuments to an Elegy (2014)
Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder recorded ‘Monuments to an Elegy,’ the band’s ninth studio album, as a duo. It did not feature the official drummer or bassist, with Corgan taking over the contributions for the latter. Although the sales for this album were poor compared to previous albums, it generally received positive reviews from critics. Its biggest chart success was in the United States, where it peaked at number 33.
7. Oceania (2012)
‘Oceania’ was the eighth studio album released by the band, and it marked a downward turn in the band’s chart success. Although it did relatively well in the United States and Canada, reaching number four on the charts in both countries, it was not as successful elsewhere. It was the only album to feature drummer Mike Byrne and bassist Nicole Fiorentino and the first to feature guitarist Jeff Schroeder.
6. Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music (2000)
There is an unusual story behind the release of ‘Machina II/ The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music.’ Following the lukewarm reception to the release of the first ‘Machina’ album, Virgin put off releasing the follow-up album, Consequence Sound. Corgan got fed up with waiting, so he decided to have just 25 copies pressed on vinyl, which he then gave to radio stations and fans just to get the album out there. Therefore, this studio album was never officially released under a record label. However, it is still available for fans of the band to download for free.
5. Machina/ The Machines of God (2000)
‘Machina/ The Machines of God’ was the fifth studio album by the Smashing Pumpkins and the first of two albums released in 2000. It was a concept album that marked the return of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and the first to feature bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. As the band had achieved chart-topping success with their third studio album that they did not reach with their fourth, The Smashing Pumpkins experimented with a new sound and style on this album. However, they once again failed to top the charts in the United States, peaking at number three.
4. Zeitgeist (2007)
After a break-up in 2000, the band did not officially get back together until 2007. The first album the band released after their reunion, although their seventh overall, was ‘Zeitgeist.’ It peaked at number two in the United States, topped the charts in Canada and the Netherlands, and was a top ten hit in Australia, Belgium, the UK, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
3. Adore (1998)
‘Adore’ was the Smashing Pumpkins’ fourth studio album. While it did not teach the same level of success as its predecessor, reaching only number two on the charts in the United States, it did top the charts in Australia, Belgium, France, and New Zealand. The period leading to the release of this album was a difficult time for the band, as drummer Jimmy Chamberlin had left and the other band members were struggling with ongoing interpersonal issues. It is possible that their issues were the reason behind the change in the musical style of this album, as it had more electronica influence than their previous work.
2. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
Commercially, the best album by the Smashing Pumpkins is ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.’ It was the band’s third studio album and their first album to top the charts in the United States. The album also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, while it was in the top ten in countries such as the UK, Belgium, France, Ireland, and the Netherlands. This album’s lead single was ‘Bullet with Butterfly Wings,’ and the other five singles released from the album were ‘Zero Tonight,’ ‘1979,’ ‘Muzzle,’ ‘Thirty-Three,’ and ‘Tonight, Tonight.’
1. Siamese Dream (1993)
Kerrang describes ‘Siamese Dream’ as not only one of the best albums by the Smashing Pumpkins but also as one of the defining albums of the 1990s. Although it is not the most commercially successful of the band’s albums, it is their most definitive and memorable. It is also the most popular amongst fans and the album that receives the highest praise from music critics. It was a top ten hit on the album charts in the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.