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WATCH: 5 Songs that Cover a Range of Smashing Pumpkins Talent

By: Maura O'Malley

March 17, 2017

Today (March 17) marks The Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan’s 50th birthday. In case you weren’t aware, the band’s first album, Gish, was released back in 1991. I’m no expert when it comes to math, but that means Corgan’s spent over half his lifetime in the game, and that’s worth celebrating.

And celebrate, he will. Corgan has been working on several projects in anticipation of the big day, including his cross-country train trip, “There Not There,” “Thirty Days,” and an in-the-works collection of 50 of his favorite self-written songs.

To help Corgan celebrate his 5th decade on this planet, we’ve got 5 songs that really highlight the band’s broad range of talent. In no particular order, here’s what I got:

“Landslide”

It’s not a Smashing Pumpkins original, but this has got to be one of—if not THE—best covers of the Fleetwood Mac song. The combination of acoustic guitar and Corgan’s crooning gives this a sweet, beautifuly simplistic sound. And how fitting are some of these lyrics for Corgan’s 50th?

“Cherub Rock”

This one probably gets the most rotations in my personal playlists. It’s just got that perfect ‘90s rock vibe with such a clean, well-constructed sound.

“Today”

Just like “Cherub Rock,” this one’s also on 1993’s Siamese Dream. Its classic opening guitar riff has such an optimistic sound, and that, paired with the somewhat dark lyrics, creates a perfect combination.

“Siva”

Craving some solid grunge? Listen to “Siva.” Off 1991’s Gish, AKA The Pumpkins’ first album, this one is such a product of its time in all the right ways.

“Bullet with Butterfly Wings”

A little weird? Totally. Catchy? Absolutely. Who doesn’t know—and love—that gritty chorus?

While it pained me not to include “Tonight, Tonight,” “Mayonaise,” “Luna,” “1979,” and “Disarm,” I hope you’ll agree that the above songs help to showcase the versatility of Billy Corgan’s and the band’s talents.

Happy birthday, Billy!