||[Jun. 2nd, 2008|05:58 pm]
I was surprised when someone mentioned to me that today was the 10th anniversary of the Adore album...my first thought was surprise that it had been that long since, and how quickly time passes...it seems like a long time ago and yet, in some strange ways, not that far back either...
recently, when we went in to record 'Superchrist', it was the first time I had been back to Sunset Sound studios since the completion of the Adore album...some of the same people still work there, and spoke very kindly to me of the time spent making that album...we were working in another room for 'superchrist', but I did ask to go to peek inside the other room where many of the songs were cut, and it's funny how time can play tricks with your mind as far as the proportion of things...the tracking room was full of amps and guitars back then, and so empty it looked quite large...i could see in my mind's eye the three of us sitting in a small circle recording 'shame', a song I had just written that morning...and playing take after take after take of 'for Martha', the band in the main room and me at the piano in the isolation booth, trying to reach them thru glass...
the reaction at the time of the album's release, if memory serves me correctly, was overwhelming negative...it was a very naïve thing to try to do, to make an album that sounded little like the one before, and which spoke very openly about mourning and loss...D'arcy in particular was very critical at the time of the decision to even call it a Pumpkins album, saying that it really should have been my first solo album...then I didn't know what to think, because the hopes I placed on the album, mistaken as they were (that the band could be seen in a more open light that had more to do with artistry), were dashed in all the talk of what it didn't sound like and how it was a failure thru and thru...and secretly yearned that the embrace of it would heal some of the wounds of my mothers death and probably honestly the death of the band as well...but none of that worked, none of it came true, and it has been a circuitous journey ever since...it does seem to be the demarcation point of what was, and what became, and what might be...the fact that after 10 years the album has found it's warmer place here and there shows that it's birth and death and re-birth are very much in line with the themes of the album...which is one of hope, and taking a chance that the moment lived properly is ultimately more important than in what gets written down later...
i lived that album quite deeply, and maybe that's why I still can't listen to it...and I can no longer blame anyone if they don't either...it's one of 'those', an 'other', something apart...and the pun of the title, crude as it is, serves quite simply:
Q: "when is a door not a door?"
A: "when it is a jar"
...see, bad joke...
Q: "when is an album not an album?
A: "when it is a-dore..."
Adore is actually my favorite album. Before it, I had heard Pumpkins, but I hadn't heard Pumpkins; after it, I couldn't get enough. It opened my ears to let me see the beauty, poetry, and emotion in even the loudest and hardest of tracks on earlier albums, in days when hard rock and metal were "not what I listened to". Maybe part of the reason I love it so much is that it struck a chord with the unhappiness and loneliness and change I was going through at the time, and I still feel that connection to it today.
It really was a beginning and an ending, and maybe finding it first was what allows me to love the old and the new Pumpkins equally, whatever direction the music takes.
My experience was similar... The Pumpkins weren't really on my radar unti the release of Adore. It wasn't that I disliked them, I just hadn't heard them - wasn't listening to a lot of hard stuff. When Adore came out, my local radio station was into playing entire albums every Saturday night, so I ended up taping Siamese Dream along with a couple of Adore singles. I was listening to both albums simultaneously and because they occurred in the same headspace (for me at least), I never got the sense of disparity and disappointment others had re: Adore.
So many SP songs are a fusion of obscene rock and lullaby-softness that... It's hard for me to polarise any one album as Their Sound. Makes me that much more grateful I happened upon them the way I did.
10 years later I still can't listen to Luna w/out expecting Ava Adore to follow.
I, for one, LOVED the Adore album.
It was different, yes. It was not the Pumpkins sound. But it was still very, very good.
It didn't speak to the fans that fell in love with the heavy, rocking guitars, but sat perfectly with those (like me) that can enjoy all aspects of the emotional music that you bring.
It played out musically the entire emotional gambit that is to mourn. That was very meaningful to me at the point in my life, and at several other points since.
Adore has a special place in my collection. I won't say it was better, but I will say it wasn't worse. It was just different, and a lot of people can't accept that.
I love Adore. I got the album the first time I left home and went out to sea 15. Now I listen to the album regularly when up at night.
I like music that I can really feel, and Adore is so emotionally tangible that it's an essential piece of art for me.
I never understood why the public didn't receive that album well. It's was, and still remains, one of my personal favorites.
Not that the opinion of a stranger matters, or that you will ever read this, but I hope that one day you'll make peace with the negative feelings associated with Adore and listen to it again because it's beautiful.
The only bad thing I can think of regarding that album was D'arcy's nipples.
Blank Page is the most beautiful thing Corgan has written.
i politely disagree, for only good can come from d'arcy's nipples. *chuckles* :}
I was listening to Adore today. Great memories from that album. The Smashing Pumpkins have still continued to put out amazing music.
I think this is one of the misunderstood/less well-received by the masses type of album. Sure, perhaps not all the crafting was on par with previous work, and sure it didn't catch the same media frenzy, but there are good songs there and it served a purpose. Whether it really should have been the first Billy Corgan album is a story I don't need to get into. ;)
I also didn't understand why people did not receive U2's POP as much as I--and not a small number of others--would have expected. Similar stage of a band's development, perhaps.
I really loved the Adore album.
I found a lot of songs on there extrememly beautiful and wrote many stories around "Pug" and "Ava Adore." I liked the emotion that you can feel in the album. I always thought that it was a magnificant album even if it wasn't "well-recieved."
Adore has been my favorite Pumpkins album since... I guess since ten years ago. There was something so unexpected and refreshing about it, and it's always been the perfect soundtrack for summer nights. Such a beautiful album.
It is interesting to hear D'arcy considered Adore to be really, your first solo album and I shall have to listen again with that thought in my mind. It is certainly different to earlier work, but it has strong merits when taken as a whole seperate from the others and I have come to expect that each "chunk" of Smashing Pumpkins should be taken as a unique whole seperate from other albums. I don't think that you can discount the value of any album because it did not live up to expectations of any particular group (yourself included) at that time. Though I also want to contradict myself and say that if you continue to write what you *need* at this point of time, then I am sure that others will emphasise with the sheer emotion that comes across in your work and the work of the band.
I think the core strength in the work that comes forth from both yourself and the Smashing Pumpkins is comes from the great stock of emotion that is evident in every song. It is a special gift that you give and not many other song writers/performers do and I believe this enables your music to resonate at a deeper level. I also think your ability to convey emotions helps others to express theirs. You were at a different place then, and through mistakes we grow and learn and move forward into the unknown.
I personally thank you for Adore and think that it had (and still has) a strength of its own. It is interesting to consider where I was 10 years ago and how I have grown as well.
On a side note: I hope you had a great time in Australia earlier this year. Thank you as well for visiting Adelaide on April the 2nd. It was a great birthday present.
All the best.
Adore was more amazing than it had been received. I think people can appreciate the album better now. It wasn't what people expected from you guys, but so what? "For Martha" is one of my favorite songs, period.
I was fairly young when that album came out, in 8th grade (although I've been a fan since Siamese Dream) and I wore out the first cassette I bought listening to it every night over and over again. In hindsight, I don't think it was your best work but excellent nonetheless. It actually got me through alot of rough times because I was going into high school and my parents got re-divorced so thank you. I think most of the reviews were fairly negative but I mean people were expecting all the bombast of your previous record and I think it was extremely courageous of you to do what you wanted to do and make an artistic statement rather then just try to repeat MCIS. I never got the whole shock over it anyways because it was a fairly logical progression from the softer stuff on Mellon Collie. Anyhow, if you read this stuff ever thanks very much Mr. Corgan!
That album really kind of wrecked me, in the best way.
Billy, it's been 10 years - stop complaining about how "poorly" received Adore was. It was always accepted and embraced by the core fans. Don't confuse the fact that the casual, fairweather fans who bought MCIS because they heard "Zero" on the radio once while they were date-raping a chick at a frat party didn't embrace the record with the idea that the record "was rejected." I've never been as hurt as when I was 17 and you did an interview and accused the fans of "abandoning" the band because it only went platinum instead of double-diamond. It was us fans that actually accepted and embraced that record from the beginning.
Don't confuse the fact that the casual, fairweather fans who bought MCIS because they heard "Zero" on the radio once while they were date-raping a chick at a frat party didn't embrace the record with the idea that the record "was rejected."
Adore is my favorite Pumpkin album.
That was the album that really made me want to get an SP tattoo.
Adore is my favorite Pumpkins, and one of my favorite of all time. My favorite Radiohead is Kid A, my favorite Nine Inch Nails, and the only one I still like, is The Fragile. Remember Pop by U2? The one everyone openly hated including the band? That's the only album by them I like. For some reason I have this strange love for what is often considered a bands "failure".
I remember when I bought Adore on cassette, my grandmother drove me to the mall, then the tape lived in my walkman for a month. I can't believe its been ten years. That makes gish....wow.
Amazing how much life changes in that time. The cassette is lost to time, my grandmother is gone and here I am staring back into the mists thinking 'how the hell did I get here'?
Adore remains the Pumpkins' album that I connect the most with emotionally. I think that makes it both wonderful and difficult. However, it's also what makes it exceptional. It's been a good 10 years. :)
Adore is one of my favorite albums, period. I put it right up there with The Cure's "Disintegration." I was a Pumpkins fan because of Mellon Collie and I really liked "Ava Adore." However, the Pumpkins dropped off my radar until Machina came out and I heard "The Everlasting Gaze." I bought Machina, Siamese Dream, and Gish when I got out of high school (back in '03). On a whim, I bought Adore two years ago when I was in a small record shop and it was one of the best musical decisions I have ever made.
I would stack "To Sheila" and "Crestfallen" and "Once Upon A Time" against nearly any song in existence.
The fact that the general public didn't receive Adore very well just goes to show how culturally stupid and deficient the aesthetic senses of most people really are. EVERY SINGLE PERSON that I have exposed Adore to has been utterly blown away. People who don't even listen to hard rock have said it is some of the best music they have heard.
I just can't believe that simple word of mouth didn't get Adore the praise it deserved. I don't care if "The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete" sounded absolutely nothing like "Zero" or "Where Boys Fear to Tread." Who cares? Billy made an extremely brave aesthetic move and created one of the best works of modern art, period.
In my opinion, TheFutureEmbrace was like Adore part 2. I wish Billy and the Pumpkins would go back to those beautiful electronic/acoustic soundscapes!
Favorite album if I HAD to pick ...would love to hear a new album reminiscent of Adore
i love that album. so much. i played it to death when it came out.
Billy, thank you for this post.
To be honest with you, "Adore" is my favorite Pumpkins album. It's actually my third favorite of all-time behind Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" and Radiohead's "OK Computer."
It's a beautiful album. Time has been very kind to it, I believe. It's unfortunate that hard times bring about the best art, but such is the human experience.
i liked that album.. its just the album you can play when you want to just chill and be normal with yourself
I never gave Adore too many plays when it came out because at fifteen and a fan of pretty much only punk and hardcore I couldn't really appreciate it and I didn't want to force it. My tastes have changed and expanded since then, and that album grows on me more every time I listen to it. It may not have been immediately received, but people will be discovering and rediscovering it a long time from now.