Billy Corgan (billycorgan) wrote,
Billy Corgan

The Smashing Pumpkins Archive Project

The SP archive project, for which we don't yet have an official nom de plume, is now fully underway. People are being hired, wired, and fired up with this insane pile of stuff to go through. The main focus of our tape transfers is to take any materials from 1985-1994 that are relevant to the Gish, Siamese Dream, or Pisces Iscariot albums and get them into a stable, 96k format. This makes it easier for me to instantly jut around and hear what we have. It is a surreal experience to listen to a demo from 1987 and have no memory of ever recording it, but knowing from the chords and the style that is indeed you that is playing!

A few days ago I started to listen through, in no particular order, to demo tapes related to those early years, and found a lot of ideas that sounded fresh and interesting to me, considering I know now the outcome of those different approaches and interests as I was laying them out then in pursuit of a new sound. Most of the materials would be of little interest to the mainstream fan, but the beauty is we can release these ideas and snippets if we can find the right way to do so. If I had to make a choice today, it would probably be something along the lines of outline the project, and see who might want to buy in with a guarantee that they are assured a limited edition pressing. We all know the songs will be bootlegged, there is no mystery in that anymore, but I feel that because of what these ideas are, in essence a real peek under the covers of how these albums came together, that there will be enough fans who would want to own a physical copy. Putting them together for digital consumption is easy, but probably not going to excite enough people. I know I get motivated when I think about a 20 album vinyl set of my demos from 1985-1994, even if only 500 fans wanted every one, because it means together we get to make something permanent that requires love, and a cover photo, and some liner notes, etc. In essence it is motivating to share more than just a digital file; to make art.

Our main focus in the short term however is to find the relevant songs to be part of the bonus disc on each release, and to get these together in time to get out before Christmas of this year. There are many obvious choices to choose from, for example 'Drown' from the Singles soundtrack and 'Starla', which was the B-side of the UK 'I am One' single for 'Gish' bonus disc. On the surface, if you already own those songs, you might say 'why do I need them again?' Which is a good question I myself ask as a fan. So for example, for 'Drown', we may release an alternate version with has a completely different take of the long end guitar solo, mixed by Butch Vig in 1992. With 'Starla', we've talked about a completely new Kerry Brown mix 2011 style, with the original mix still being available on the 'Pisces Iscariot' record. These of course are those more known titles, but we remain hopeful to find those hidden gems that have never been heard by anyone. For example, I came across a tape the other day where I had played live, right onto an 8 track recorder, 5 songs acoustic, 'Rocket' being one of them. This version I know has never been bootlegged out. But I also found on that same tape 2 unknown songs which are half-written, with me kind of faking lyrics as I often do when I'm writing a song. I never had any intention for anyone to ever hear these versions, and in their raw form are probably not release worthy, at least not commercially. But what I might do is 'finish' the songs now; record a final version after all these years with me on guitar and voice alone, and provide those half-baked versions on the SP facebook page for everyone to enjoy a lost moment in time. So lots of exciting choices as well to come.


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I can't begin to say how happy this makes me! I've longed for great recordings of such demos and rarities. Hunting eBay and the 'net for gritty recordings of songs like 'Nothing and Everything' and 'My Eternity' can only get you so much.

Thank you, can't wait!
Billy, I think there are plenty who would be interested, and I think you should keep kicking ass as long as you're still into it. Ready for cool rarities.
that's awesome, man! would love to hear some old (new) good stuff! and many others would love too!
i'll believe, and certainly buy, this when i see it.
That sounds amazing i would love to hear a peek behind those albums.
Don't buy in, Billy. Money is no friend of mine.

Enjoy yourself!
this is an awesome idea
My love for SP comes back very often when I check for Youtube videos of old performances.

My favorite "bootleg" ever was the Arising Tour songs around 2000 before Machina was released. Songs like Virex, Dross, Speed Kills, Wound, were amazing. NOT to insult Machina at all or what the songs turned into, just that the performances were so great.

My point is it's extremely unfortunate that none of these are on Youtube anywhere. I REALLY REALLY hope they're released at some point. I know the recordings are locked somewhere in the vault and it would make the best live album ever. I humbly hope they consider it.
I'd pay good money for such a collection. and yeah, i still buy CDs and I would LEAP at the chance to buy this on CD. Vinyl is special, but I don't have any gear to play yeah, I'd need a CD ;) of course if it only came out in vinyl, I'd still buy it. I've bought all the TBK vinyl so far.
Thought this might be slightly related at best - Len (singer) mentioned in a journal from 2005 - (

To hear the Product 19 tape referenced -
Billy Corgan said today on Piers Morgan that Our President lacks a moral compass. Who is he talking about and what things bring him to say this? We have the most moral decent president we have had in years, and this guy thinks Barack Obama lacks a moral compass? What a wimp to say this and not say what his reasons are? I am no longer interested in Billy Corgan thats for sure.
What, have you never heard of freedom of speech? Billy is a citizen with a right to express his views. Just because you disagree doesnt mean you have to hate him and the music. Thats so fascist.
This is a wonderful idea. Thank you for giving such amazing information about “ SP archive”. I also want to hear some new good stuff.
Billy, are you currently suing the Nickelodeon group 'big time rush' for steeling your "whoo hoo" riff? Or did you approve their using YOUR music??
I found your journal by chance only and got real pleasure to read. It's a pity, that journal does not updated anymore.
well lets face it, you don't have a good singing voice and you should remix your song things can change to things will change and we are far from being friends but i like what you said on the alex jones show, so i'm looking forward to your next album
Wow if you dont have something nice to say, get off the internet and get a life!
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