Nine Inch Nails

Gave Up (Broken Machine)

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TESTO - Nine Inch Nails - Gave Up (Broken Machine)

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TESTO - Nine Inch Nails - Gave Up (Broken Machine)

It was the best of times that came before the worst of times.

Considering all of the tension preceding it — and all of the tragedy and turmoil that would follow — Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was, perhaps surprisingly, a memorably happy and successful recording experience for The Smashing Pumpkins. "This was the best time in the band by far," Corgan says today of the Mellon Collie sessions with a mixture of pride and sadness in his voice. "I think that's one of the great tragedies in our story, that when we finally did find the right balance internally we enjoyed our greater success. What’s sad about that is we were never able to recapture that again."

On numerous levels both literal and figurative, the double CD Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was a very big success. "At the time, I went around saying I was inspired by Pink Floyd's The Wall to try to create that kind of big, ambitious thing. And, of course, jerks in the media still take me to task for saying that. For the record, from my point of view, I wasn't trying to say that I had written my Wall. Obviously our album didn’t have that same kind of narrative. What I meant was that we were trying to reach for something expansive like Pink Floyd achieved with The Wall — as opposed to making a double album like The White Album by the Beatles — which was basically a wider collection of great songs by a group. Yes, those are crazy groups to ever compare yourself to but as they say, you have to aim high. So I looked towards something like The Wall as a kind of goal. Clearly, The Wall is the superior album by far but looking now, I feel like we did pretty good."

When it comes to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, "good" is a rather large understatement. Few double servings in rock history have ever gone down quite so well. "Making a double album was my idea and I was dead set on it," Corgan recalls. "Virgin tried to talk me out of it, but when they realized that I couldn't be swayed, they tried to convince us to take the Guns N' Roses' strategy and release it as two different CD's. I refused and dug my heels in, and eventually, they agreed. Of course I was thinking of classic double albums like The Wall or The White Album, but it was only years later I counted the number of songs and realized that we'd basically made a double CD which was actually more like making a triple album. It would fit on two CDs, but it was three albums of vinyl. So it ended up being something even more demanding than a double album, and even more ridiculous." As nervy an undertaking as it may have been, the record shows that Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness — nicely divided onto two CDs, "Dawn To Dusk" and then "Twilight to Starlight" — now seems far more sublime than ridiculous.

This also marked a significant fork in the Pumpkins' road.

"What strikes me now about Mellon Collie is that we were coming off of making Siamese Dream with Butch Vig — which was a very idealized statement," Corgan says. "Siamese Dream was very successful and very much at the forefront of how records are made now with a strong perfectionist streak. Yet, coming off of that success, we went completely in the opposite direction working with Flood and Alan Moulder. We headed into a much darker, funkier and more visceral terrain. Revisiting Mellon Collie for this edition, that's what struck me — that we made this kind of dramatic "about face" at a time when most people would have made an even more expensive idealized statement. We went deep and we went for something expansive sounding — not just expensive sounding."

The decision to work with the respected British producer and audio engineer Flood, aka Mark Ellis, and his longtime collaborator Alan Moulder, was a significant one for The Pumpkins. The group had admired Flood’s work with artists from U2 to Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode. "I loved Butch Vig very much then, and I still do," Corgan explains. "The decision to switch things up was based on the sense that there was some whole other thing that could be gotten to by us, but that a more radical approach was going to be necessary to get to it. We knew we wanted to continue our evolving consciousness, but we were not quite sure how to do it."

That hunch proved to be a good one.

"Flood’s great skill — beyond being incredibly sonically gifted — is that he seems to speak the language of the songwriter," says Corgan. "He articulates back to the songwriter what the songwriter is trying to do. In many ways, he sees more potential in your songs than you do. A perfect example of that on Mellon Collie is the song "By Starlight." There's a version of us in rehearsal with these sorts of Nick Mason-like slow fills and strings that sounded like something off a Dan Fogelberg album. Flood fucking HATED it. He said, ’What's with all the Seventies crap? This is a much darker song. Let me show you what you mean.' So then we ended up cutting this very stark track that worked much better."

Working first in a rehearsal space, then recording overdubs at the Chicago Recording Company, before finishing up at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, Flood and Moulder helped create a dramatically different creative atmosphere for The Smashing Pumpkins. Flood and Moulder wanted a sound that was truer to the band's live dynamic and at the same time an experience that was more inclusive for the other three members: James Iha, D’arcy and Jimmy Chamberlin. As Corgan recalls, "What Flood did really brilliantly, along with Alan, was that he addressed the real disappointment James and D'arcy felt over not playing on Siamese Dream. Flood really brought them into the process and said, '
Here's how you can participate and I will give you a really fair opportunity. But I'm also going to be the first person to let you know if you're not getting the job done.' And they went '
Great.' Flood definitely engaged James and D'arcy more at the demo and the arrangement stage, so even at the end of the day, if he stepped in and said, T think Billy should do this part,' they felt like they had more of a stake in how it all went down. Butch was all about getting the best recording. Flood made the process more inclusive. Both ways, the results were excellent."

For Corgan, "Flood somehow gets in there and captures an essence and exploits it, without taking the edges of it. That's what is unique about him and may be why U2 was drawn to him. Alan Moulder is Flood's best friend and there's an interesting dynamic there. Flood's sort of the Alpha Dog, but then he'll defer to Alan. Alan is one of those people who doesn't say a lot but when he says something it carries a lot of weight. Alan brought a lot of sonic clarity to the album, and he would often be working with James and D'arcy while I was in the workshop with Flood cooking something up. That allowed me to have all the oxygen I needed too. And as usual, Jimmy was drumming brilliantly all over everything."

Released on October 24, 1995, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness would debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart and yield major hits like "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" - the band's unlikely first Top 40 hit - and the exquisite "1979" and epic "Tonight, Tonight" as well as a thoroughly inspired series of videos. The album would also earn a Grammy as well as seven nominations. Of "Tonight, Tonight," Corgan says, "Of all the songs with The Smashing Pumpkins that one seems to have that level of just getting better with age. Every time we play it live it's one of the highlights of the night. And it's funny because in doing the reissues, listening to the demos, it reminds me what I was thinking at the time. I thought it was a pretty good song, but I didn't necessarily think it was exponentially better than anything else. That's just one of those songs that really connects with people — the chords, the message, everything. And somehow the song continues to hold that power."

Corgan recalls that "1979" — the band's biggest hit single ever — was more of a struggle, albeit one with a happy ending. "We had the track and we all thought it was a good song, but every time we tried to play it as a band, it sounded like The Rolling Stones — and not in a good way," Corgan says with a laugh. "It came out too bluesy. We were running out of time and packing up for L.A. Finally, Flood said, '
What's going on with this song? Tomorrow is D-day, we either finish this song or it's off the record.' So I went home that night, finished all the lyrics, did a demo that sounds remarkably like the final record. I came in the next day with the demo, and Flood said, T love it. Now make it happen.' We went in the room and cut it in one day. There are all sorts of weird influences on that track: there's a little Can, obviously some Europop, New Order, there's even something Sonic Youth-y in the riff. And Flood added that percolating Tangerine Dream thing in the back too. There's all sorts of weird little pieces of influence that somehow come together and create one of those beautiful synchronicities where everything lined up perfectly."
Beyond the more obvious hits, though, Mellon Collie is a song cycle of unusual depth and considerable range. Asked for his personal favorites on the album, Corgan says, "The songs that I would point to beyond the obvious A-pile are ones like "To Forgive," "Cupid De Locke," "Bodies" and "Thru The Eyes of Ruby" — which because of the way we worked was in many ways the last great epic Pumpkins song. In a way, I hear that song now as the end of an era."

As fate would have it, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness would itself mark the end of an era for The Smashing Pumpkins. Yet there can be little doubt this was also a stunningly beautiful moment when everything lined up — a moment in time that's still here to be treasured.

— David Wild, August 2012

Dawn to Dusk

Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

This ever-curious name came about years before its necessity, hatched as it were as I walked about the rusted grounds of Coney Island; on what was a bracing spring day circa 1991. Once received and noted within I auto-hypnotically blurted the title out into the air, hoping that by sharing it I'd better recall its odd canter later on. In 1994 I brought home a new found relic: a 1920s piano that sounded somewhat dull and sentimental to my ears, having chosen in sound what I also overlooked in the flat harp's poorly mismatched legs. Far up in the front parlor of my fresh painted Lady Victorian I hacked away, believing that in doing so I was playing my part in a beautiful dream now come true. Newly married and sitting out my mornings within the sloping arc of a bay window, I reached out into a once grand boulevard; keeping time with the sway of dancing trees. This is how I taught myself how to play my original instrument of choice, by inventing small partitas. This little train was among the best that lit the way.

Tonight, Tonight

Designed from the get-go to be a Mod throwback, '
Tonite' started out in a far lower key; lacking then the cut time verses that became its most recognizable signpost. The tune lingered around on the edges of a whole host of ideas until by chance I heard an orchestral fire in the aching changes; which in response made me only want to lift the key from a tidy C proper to a more epic G major. It was suggested then that we hire a proper arranger to make quite clear the mirrored song to lay on its twin, and that's how I came to spend 4 days of my life being told 'the rules' for what classical types would and wouldn't play as written. The string session itself was a harrowing affair; 30 foreigners on our rock and roll turf stuffed into the longwise expanse of 2 studio chambers. One noble scruff pulled me aside and said '
Did you write this stuff? Reminds me of Mahler!' Lyrically there were a few nods to Cheap Trick and Yeats, but the message I scrawled out was mine alone; rare in its direct honesty.


If memory serves the original riff dates backwards into 1992, where we'd spasmodically play some concoction of this song if there was nothing else to jam on in a 3rd encore. To spice things up the machine gun bit was added to chop up the monotony on the back end of the blues. Once we flipped the script to bring the rat-tat-tat up front, this led to far more excitement. Sped up tremendously, a Teutonic maelstrom emerged, until there was a starship waiting without a single lyric or melody to accompany it into space. A nihilist manifesto thrown like a pink hand grenade into an alley, I just went rode shotgun with the images until it sketched out nicely the gray of my suburban years. '
Jellybelly' holds one of my all-time favorite lines: '
Living makes me sick, so sick I wish I'd die.' Prescient indeed!


For the first time in my life I had a room solely devoted to nothing but the creative act. Into Spartan emptiness I placed a few rudimentary pieces of recording equipment; sitting atop passed on handmade furniture nobody in my family wanted, the ancestral code conveniently painted on as black decades before me. The room had once been the victim of fire, and when it was hot out you could still smell the charred timbers. From there I trace two demos made 5 minutes of one another; the first bearing the opening maw but with a different second riff that whilst choogalin, lacks the imbued menace of the first. I presented the completed architecture of the song to the band that following afternoon, which also happened to be my 27th birthday if one believes in myths and unicorns. I did not know then that I would become the song and the song would become a part of my assumed identity. Curiously, I also find in reflection a devastating first shot at one of my band mates in amongst the carefully sharpened lines, one early indication that I was souring to what I saw facetiously coming down the pike. The tossed off missive '
God is empty just like me' brought the God fearing and Hell-loving out to hound me for a few years in various backstage parking lots, trying their best to convert me to a God and Savior I was already sold on. Most seemed disappointed that I didn't put up more of a tenacious fight, beyond my saying that one lyric does not make a man, nor show the depths of what he believes in his heart.

Here Is No Why

This title was appropriated from an article I'd read on an anniversary of the world's first nuclear attacks. A survivor, in surveying a legacy of near-total devastation, had remarked in broken English that '
Here is no why.' Looking at the twisted remnants of my own childhood memories, I felt a similar sense of loss amidst my confusion. To hide some of my sorrow I couched those thoughts into this glammed up tart that rings neither happy nor sad. In some respects this song doesn't really fit in well amongst the others; being too maudlin for its own good and too strident to take full advantage of its T-Rexian strut. But like its author '
The Death Rock Boy', its most glaring defects are part of its lingering charm.

Bullet With Butterfly Wings

The original 'rats in yer cage' chorus was born of the boredom sitting around at one of those overly dry BBC sessions, the thump riff that opens the song a funny remnant of the very first Siamese Dream recording session. There were always lots of Frankenstein parts laying about then that I'd mix and match back up together, back when my real job was trying not to forget any inspiration that might come in handy later. All the way through the 10 or so months of writing and making this album I thought this tune both powerful and stupid, and I could never really settle on one such opinion over the other. I would later be shocked when the record label announced this song to be their choice for first single. I had to be talked into letting it happen by one cigar chomping CEO who declared brazenly over my phone, '
Kid, it's a smash!' The song's true message has grown on me over the years, as I find it to be a withering attack on the lameness of fame. Who could have known then that the glory of fame would be an even more important and ever-present commodity in the 21st century than it was in the face of the last.

To Forgive

The charitable act of forgiveness is made scarce mention of, but that in itself really stands as a lie, as there is nothing and no one to be forgiven in the solemn halls of this song. It is more so a song of condemnation, the greatest of which is reserved for hand that writes it, who despite knowing better will carry the same destructive patterns he has learned in youth into his own unnatural adult life. This is the kind of effort one only needs to make but once, and once is more than enough.

Fuck You (An Ode To No One)

In jostling about for attention in an era where the pit out front often dominated the focus of our evenings' music, heavy songs were a must to both keep and control the crowd in short bursts of regulated energy. The more we traveled the heavier we got, and the heavier we got the bigger the audience grew until it was a monster tipping over into those once safe places; where chaos wasn't something you just went into the city and did, only later to forget all about it in the safety of your room. Like the circus coming to town, we brought with us all the shadow elephants into the room; asking that they dance nice nightly for the amusement of all. Songs like this rode the razor's edge between nascent attraction and violence; where the blood off a split lip tastes good in your mouth. It took us forever to find and harness this kind of raw power, but once located and applied it had the effect of separating the shades of each night into different radical hues.


A straight up blues where I moan and drone on about the confusing complexities of l-o-v-e wherever sex is applied as cause and effect. The word 'love' is used low here, for if in being lucky and used lowly enough love too becomes a useful device in the high arts of illumination. Straight up the song rocked, but by smearing the voice and cyber-afflxing the drums it takes on a mocking tone that distracts from the very real fear hidden in it. Vagina Dentata. Love as represented here is both oppressive and inescapable; an unrelenting God that won't let go until you are spent and hollowed o-u-t.

Cupid De Locke

To counter-balance our many dark excursions into the void, I sought some refuge by writing whimsically as well; finding solace in twirling parasols and the extant, lingering passions of the Belle Epoque. Love is held in the ideal, driven up high above a nasty world and held gloriously in places of unshakable faith. In a rare fit of fun we even recorded whisping aerosol cans and haughty, rusted scissor snips to build up an unusual kaleidoscope chorus around the semi-chromatic wheeze of the synth. Not a note is played by a human as it were, each part being fed through a phalanx of mystery boxes, which when twisted and turned just right spit back out a different set of warbles than the funny marbles you'd put in. In a humble nod to Elvis there is even a spoken poem of dedication that lilts out on the gallop, for I couldn't help myself but wrap fully in the cloak of a sincere and innocent lover.


I cannot recall what it was about Darwin's fabled set of islands that led me to associate my crumbling marriage to them. Perhaps I was wondering if in the lure of a total and disconnected isolation we might better survive the onslaught of life's ceaseless progress. Idealizing a failed romance can only get you so far, and once engaged I found that somewhere between my idealism and natural compassion for an identified other there lived a truth I was not yet willing to swallow about myself. Cue up my admitting here that one of us was about to be abandoned, never realizing that the desertion would flow both ways. '
Galapogos' stands up over time as a remnant of grace that I lost as I wrote it.


Written at first on the piano in my crude Lennon-ish tinker toy style, this song possibly more than any other in the collection demonstrates the power of the old band collective to convert up ideas rapidly; from doleful sea shanties into epic rockets. It took me nearly a month to convince Jimmy to play with such joyful abandon on his fills, and I cited the great Big Star as an example where playing loose didn't necessarily mean playing poorly. This notion opened up a whole new gateway to Jimmy's drumming, where emotional expressionism took priority over his vaunted technical precision. Somewhere in my mind I was thinking of Bobby D in repeating the core themes with variation at the end, but it was a leftover memory of a clever song device from a source I could never recall. The idea of a muzzle refers to thinking my life would be far simpler if I just kept my trap shut.

Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans

On our first two albums we'd grown accustomed to the benefit of playing many of the songs live long before they'd been crystallized on tape. Once stuck in the glut of so many ideas, I suggested we consider playing a few hometown shows to hammer out some kinks, as well as force the dubious pretenders among us out into the light. This made plenty of sense to everyone save for the fact that very few of the 50 plus songs we were working on at any given time had any true lyrics by which I might sing a show. Only 72 hours before the first of 4 planned such dates I found myself with about 400 lines to fill and very little idea of what I might want to say if indeed I wanted to say anything at all! I raced my way through various spiraled notebooks, compiling a sort of master syllabus of lines and fragmented poems that I'd jotted down along my travails. What came out in haste was a sort of running screed, where common ideas spilled over one another until I wasn't sure what any of the songs were really about. I ended keeping most of what I'd scrawled out in that moment of compression and pressure, and you can see that most clearly in a song like '
Porcelina', where vague allusions to mythic tides and sinking ships seemed only to enhance the unconscious feelings within. Carl Jung would be proud! As much as I want every line of every song to be perfect, there is something perfect about not fussing over anything too much; letting synchronicity be a teacher and guide to the stars.

Take Me Down

With 7 years in on the band, James had expressed interest in singing his own songs rather than to just contribute to ideas which I might develop into my own. There was real enthusiasm and support around him in the hopes he might chart his own path as a singer-songwriter; as long as what he brought to the band was strong. '
Take Me Down' was a tune I personally felt worthy of inclusion from the start, but in the process of fleshing out its varying ideas the rest of us became moribund on a dreary isle. It is fair to say that there are many songs on Mellon Collie that are not band efforts per se, where in pursuing a particular feeling I wanted my singular ideas included as part of the work as a greater whole. In the end '
Take Me Down' became a different kind of solo effort, because James would not allow his song to be transmuted from its primary colors by the band; and we did work on it endlessly as a group, perhaps spending more time on this than any other in the studio. As such when we finished the album I sequenced it towards the end of record #1, because thematically it fit in nowhere I could find; although sonically its drowsiness had echoes elsewhere. James saw the demotion of his favored song to the back of the line as an unforgivable slight, killing his desire to contribute to the band as a writer of note from that moment on.

Twilight to Starlight

Where Boys Fear To Tread

Out there on the highways, lurking in the recesses of those murky underpasses, are those boys who know that life as it is presented to most, is a scam; a work; a misguided waste. Not everyone grabs a gun and allays their phallic fears out at the expense of others. Most just brood and wait for something, anything, to happen. I bought a new guitar made to look vintage, in the idle hours waiting for the Double Door shows, and this riff was the first dang thing I ever played on it. I showed up for rehearsal showing off my new axe, and taught the band the atonal figure. What you hear on this record is the band playing the song for the very first time.


Once we moved from Pumpkinland to the sterile drawl of the Chicago Recording Company, we still had some tracks to cut. For '
Bodies' our producer Flood loaded in a full P.A. and cranked the subs so hard that in the sealed room we were nauseous with the pressure being thrown about. Naturally we became agitated and uncomfortable, which in turn meant our work with one another became terse. Someone in your ears says with a tongue that sounds sarcastic in your delirium, 'rolling', and you're off; galloping like Norse prophets on a single noted mission. At this point in my life there were bodies everywhere, and it would have titillated me then to know there were many more to come. To sing the song the full-range speakers were lit on fire in the control room; loud enough to make my ears ring. Gargle razor blades and scream-scream until it makes sense. I wondered then how I'd ever be able to sing the song in front of a room full of strangers.


Before it all falls apart there is a moment where you feel alright with not knowing where you will land; knowing that by standing at a crossroads you invite whatever just conclusion may come, be it failure or success. I'd take these walks through my old neighborhood, my collar pulled up not just to brace away the cold but so that I could save myself the embarrassment of being recognized near where I lived. I longed for a privacy I'd gladly given away in my rush towards Olympus, and my home, painted a camouflaged shade of purple, had become a target for late-night teens feeling the need to drunkenly scream my name as I slept. I was fine with the idea of never growing up, but death seemed unavoidable; the death of youth, the death of innocence.

In The Arms Of Sleep

Unhappy in love meant long nights on the town, undertaken without my bride in tow. I was spared the need to make up excuses why I didn't want her along because she worked a normal job. Vanity and attention called me to many a mirror, but this was not because I wanted to see myself in the gaze of another. I was looking for something while the rest of the world slept, and the zombies and parasites that roam the midnight world do have some answers in their pockets if you can get past their well-worn stories. A beautiful little song that by keeping quaint says more about disunion and disloyalty could than any symphony of noise could point to.


The last song recorded, on the very last day of recording. We'd banged it about in various guises, the worst of which sounded like ill-formed stones rolling down a very steep hill. The groove as it were was not in our inherent system, and it was only in turning to the rigidity of Krautrock did we find the song screaming to get out. We all felt it to be a good song and an inspired feeling, but with little in our canon to compare it to I was lost on it until the thought of losing it off the record roused the fight in me. It whirs and bangs like a happy clock in a Metropolis factory, and somehow the lyric, which sings of an opposing sensuous world, balances all of my life on the head of a pin. We guessed it could be a single, but never thought it would follow '
Bullet' into the trenches.

Tales Of A Scorched Earth

A song loved and hated still; the one that goes farther than any other and in doing so provides the demarcation point of where our reach has overextended itself. To play it was sheer madness, and considering that the vocal was sung just twice over the mixed backing, in the final hour no less, shows that its presence here hung in the balance until the bitter end. We can find no trace of these 2 vocal takes anywhere, and beyond my memory there is little left to explain what is ever there. If you listen carefully you can hear the howls of feedback between lines, and my struggling to sing out a song that would be near impossible even with a voice that is in fine touring shape. It survived the cut and the process simply because it signals the end.

Thru The Eyes of Ruby

The last of our long and overly constructed, epic songs; I even said as much at the time, thinking we'd never bother to do another. I approached '
Ruby' with real weariness, knowing the amount of work it would take and in my heart never being quite sold on the song. Looking back it has far more going for it as a composition than I gave it credit for at the time, and part of the way I approached the production of the guitars was almost to mock the mostly overblown style. Because my attention was elsewhere on other tunes, preparation of the guitar overdubs was handed off to my bandmates, who spent a week coming up with very little between them. With our time running out I added something in the neighborhood of 54 guitar parts in 4 hours, if for nothing else than to show my frustration with them in spite. Not necessarily inspired ways of communication, but effective nonetheless.


Recorded as a home demo in my empty room now dubbed 'badlands', '
Stumbleine' was a song passed off again and again with the notion we'd get around to recording it eventually. When the odious day came, I grew bored within minutes at the tedium of trying to track finger-picked guitar in my nerve-rattled state, and said wearily through the mic, '
Would you mind if we just use the demo instead.' Lab analysis was prepared, and my home machine brought in to see if indeed my one-take performance would hold up to the light of day. Surprisingly the performance as given was no worse than any of the other haphazard performances on the album, and so the demo passed into lore as the finished version.


Like many of our songs we had some of the arrangement together, while other bits would vary from moment to moment depending on whether or not we could remember what we were 'supposed to do', or what had been changed count-wise from the day before. The idea of recording this number in an official way seemed to be way too much work for all of us, so with a shrug it was suggested why not record it live, vocals and all, in the studio. No volume would be spared, and we'd just rattle on it until it was done. Each take we'd play a little faster and I'd change a phrase here and there until what we were looking for was within reach. Coming off a wicked cold I had trouble keeping my voice fresh, but the garble only added to my sense of desperation that we'd never get that 'definitive' take. Producer Alan Moulder would later say that recording this final take was the single most exciting moment he'd ever had in a studio, and there was a sense as it went down that something important was indeed happening, albeit with a far greater clarity than had been caught in any prior version. I remember thinking in my mind and psychically projecting out to the band, '
Please don't mess up!' Archeological evidence does however indicate that a portion of this version was stolen from an earlier take for reasons I cannot recall. The end result is haunting and singular, a lasting effect which could never have been captured through conventional means.

We Only Come Out At Night

In my thirst for musical altruism I bought a zither by mail order, which brought immediate laughter from those in the gallows who said I'd never play it. I wrote this song that night to prove them wrong, a clever riposte to where we all thought ourselves so clever and dark and cool. Once you belong to the haunted there really is no true escape, but as long as you keep your wits about you you'll find you don't ever have to overpay the ferryman to take you across.


I would be remiss to make a double album without at least a clumsy nod towards the greatest band ever, The Beatles, who inspired such excess in the first place. '
Beautiful' as it stood had an original version that was far darker than this one, which in hindsight would have added more than what ended up being wry and churlish. I do like the simplicity of the lyric, and can see now why Flood pushed me to strip away the artifice of psychedelia that I insisted on lathering it up with; revealing what would have ultimately been a more important tune; a case where the song gets lost in the production where others benefitted mightily in the reverse.

Lily (My One And Only)

The story is worn and true. I would climb a tree in my Father's front yard to get a better look into the room of the young woman who had so jilted me at 16. Perhaps she became wise to my view because she would draw her shades and I would have to resign myself to watching the shadows move in her room to see if there was perhaps another with her. Not all were in agreement with the lyric at the end that has the protagonist being led away in cuffs. I tried to explain to them as best I could that crime should never pay, and as such I'm still waiting to extract my revenge on the young woman who broke my heart so. One can only imagine that her looks have faded greatly with the years.

By Starlight

Unlike with '
Beautiful', here I was convinced to let the darkness of the song shine though, and because of that this version holds up well to a modern sensibility. Originally we had it more like a sentimental-era Electric Light Orchestra, but our fine producer would gnash his teeth each time Jimmy would lay into a staggeringly long lounge fill. We of course thought this high-larious, and only added in more annoying cliches to the song. Part of what happened here is that the final version was slowed down to add to the languor, and the drums were cleansed of almost all expression. A last moment change in arrangement sent us scrambling through old takes, upon which we found what we were looking for but in a different key. If you listen close enough there is a dissonance that rears its head halfway through; the ghost of that cut-in.

Farewell And Goodnight

Originally penned by James, I jumped on this idea as a way to end the album appropriately whilst giving a strong nod to Los Beatles for being our existential guide. I pushed that we all should sing on it, an idea Jimmy found appealing until he actually had to sing. What I loved about the long process of making a double album is that this was the kind of song we would never have bothered with if not for the necessity of seeking out new beginning and endings. I like to think that symbolically our unity on this very last song stands as a fitting and final testament to a dream which held us in very good stead for many years. A wonderful dream that lasted long enough for us to even bother to document its raucous trajectory.

— Billy Corgan, August 2012

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