Today, The Smashing Pumpkins released a single off of their first new album, Monuments to an Elegy, which is called, “Being Beige.” You can listen to it here. Frontman Billy Corgan has been making music, releasing albums and touring as a part of The Smashing Pumpkins for a long time – since 1988 to be exact. However, an asterisk should appear after 2000, when the band released Machina / The Machines of God, because that was the last album that was made by the original four members – and that’s not entirely true.
Before Machina was recorded, drummer Jimmy Chamberlain was asked to return after being fired for drug-abusing reasons. With Jimmy back the original roster was set for the first time since Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. But that didn’t last long, because bassist D’arcy left the group before they recorded the album. After the release of Machina, Pumpkins fans and critics alike found out that the new combination of guitarist James Iha, Corgan and Chamberlain was a different kind of Smashing Pumpkins – more or less smashing, depending on whom you asked. Either way, the success that mid-90’s alternative rock had enjoyed was ending, and Machina / The Machines of God did not garner high critical praise or sell as well as the Pumpkins’ previous albums.
Since then the rest of the band has called it quits – Chamberlain being the last. He left in 2009. However, through it all, Billy Corgan remains. He and a rotating cast of bandmates have made three albums since Machina and he has two new ones on the way. Their new single released today has made one thing clear: the man has an unwavering determination to keep a band called The Smashing Pumpkins employed and making new music. Many feel that as long as Corgan is in charge and singing, any song that he and his bandmates release will still sound like a Smashing Pumpkins song. Take a listen to “Being Beige,” and you can decide whether or not you’re excited for the December 9th release of the third new album by the new Smashing Pumpkins.