Chamberlin Explains His Decision To Quit Pumpkins

Former SMASHING PUMPKINS drummer JIMMY CHAMBERLIN has spoken out about his decision to quit the group last week (ends20Mar09), revealing he could no longer be a part of something he wasn't "into".
The drummer has opened up about his choice to opt out of upcoming recording and touring commitments with frontman Billy Corgan in a blog post to fans.
He writes, "I can no longer commit all of my energy into something that I dont fully possess. I wont pretend Im into something Im not. I wont do it to myself, you the fan, or my former partner. I cant just, Cash the check so to speak."
But he insists he and Corgan have not fallen out over his departure: "My best goes out to Billy and Im glad he has chosen to continue under the name. It is his right... There is no drama, bad blood."
Corgan and Chamberlin regrouped as Smashing Pumpkins in 2004 after the band split in 2000. The drummer joined the group Corgan founded in 1988 and played on all their albums, except 1988's Adore. He also joined Corgan in spin-off group Zwan.


Contactmusic

Tags: Smashing Pumpkins - Jimmy Chamberlin


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A Week In Music, Kings Of Leon Unveil New Album's First Taste 'Supersoaker', Tom Odell Plays Mesmerising London Gig And Mazzy Star Make A Long-Awaited Return 3777424 News

Kings Of Leon Supersoaker Artwork

A week in music videos... We finally get the first glimpse of what's in store for Kings Of Leon's sixth album 'Mechanical Bull' with their new single 'Supersoaker'. It's probably one of the most highly-anticipated albums of the year following their 2010 offering 'Come Around Sundown' which reached the top spot on the UK album charts and number 2 in the US. If you're a fan of awesome, driving rock anthems, then after listening to 'Supersoaker' you'll be the first to grab a copy of the new album in September. Listen to Supersoaker here.

Just as fresh and anthemic is London band Bastille, who stole the hearts of the nation with their debut album 'Bad Blood' earlier this year - an easy chart topper responsible for such tracks as 'Pompeii' and 'Laura Palmer'. They have now released a moving video for their emotional track 'Things We Lose In The Fire' which also managed to chart despite not being released as a single. Bastille are currently on a major world tour and will appear at the likes of Japan's Summer Sonic Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival and Berlin Festival this summer. Watch the video for Things We Lost In The Fire here.

Little Green Cars have certainly grabbed our attention this week with their strongly folk infused tune 'My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me'. It has a classically tragic love-lost set of lyrics with an unavoidably catchy melody and will certainly be one the greatest break-up anthems of the year. Taken from their Irish number one debut album 'Absolute Zero' released earlier this year, Little Green Cars have firmly cemented themselves as ones to watch this year. Watch the video for My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me here.

Oftentimes the word 'supergroup' can wind up with disappointment all round, but that's never the case with Tired Pony. Made up of Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, former Snow Patrol producers Iain Archer and Jacknife Lee, Belle & Sebastian drummer Richard Colburn, REM's Peter Buck and The Minus 5's Scott McCaughey, this band have unveiled nothing short of an outstanding country tune with 'All Things All At Once' taken from their upcoming second album 'The Ghost of the Mountain' due out on August 19th 2013. Watch the video for All Things All At Once here.

After reaching number one globally with his 2012 album 'Born and Raised', it's no wonder John Mayer wanted to get swiftly (pardon the pun) back into the studio for his next album 'Paradise Valley' due out this August. With new track 'Wildfire' he delivers his usual comforting, classic rock feel embracing the summer and, indeed, the festival season with a video featuring a high-spirited live gig plus lyrics. Watch the video for Wildfire here.

Tom Odell

Reviews of the week... Here at Contactmusic, we've been swooning over Tom Odell's debut album 'Long Way Down' since it was released in June this year. As well as touching the hearts of ladies everywhere with his hit single 'Another Love', Tom has already landed himself his first BRIT award, so it's no wonder that his sell-out crowd were hanging on to his every word during his live performance at Somerset House in London - which left the crowd stunned, despite having only just recovered from a chest infection. Reviewer Chantelle Pattemore was lucky enough to go see him: 'His intensity was infectious and the sell-out crowd stood completely mesmerised; for the majority of his set the audience were so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.' Read the live review here.

The Icarus Line have left us scratching our heads over what genre to put them under yet again with the release of their sixth album 'Slave Vows'. Just as energetic as their previous records, the new album is less of a struggle to be noticed and more focused on the talents of vocalist and guitarist Joe Cardemone. 'There is a definite 'warts and all' feel to Slave Vows', says our critic Jordan Dowling. 'It's gritty and doesn't apologise for it, and nor does it try to make amends.' Read the review of Slave Vows here.

Latitude Festival 2013

In the news... Suffolk's Latitude Festival 2013 was definitely one of the stand-out festivals of the summer so far with star performances from headliners Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals as well as appearances from the likes of Texas, Yo La Tengo, Jessie Ware, Alt-J and The 1975. Not only that, but there was some unforgettable comedy sessions from the veterans - such as Eddie Izzard and Sean Lock - to the comics of more recent times such as Simon Brodkin's favourite chav Lee Nelson. Read the full story here.

Pitchfork Music Festival Chicago may have come and gone now, but we still have Pitchfork Paris 2013 to look forward to at the end of October. Joining the likes of The Knife, Disclosure and Hot Chip over the three day weekend are newly announced acts London post-punk revival four-piece Savages, American singer Youth Lagoon and Canadian DJ A-Trak among others. The festival will take place at Grande Halle de la Villette on October 31st - November 2nd. Read the full story here.

Mazzy Star are set to make a grand return with their first album in over 10 years, 'Seasons Of Your Day'. We've been pricking up our ears for signs of life since they released the single 'Common Burn' / 'Lay Myself Down' in 2011, but now we can expect an actual full-length album on September 24th 2013 featuring performances from the likes of My Bloody Valentine's Colm O'Ciosoig and the late Bert Jansch. Read the full story here.

Ahead of the release of their re-mastered 'The Aeroplane Flies High' box set, The Smashing Pumpkins have announced that they will be unveiling an interactive on-demand rental of their 1997 Belfort, France concert, completely free of charge! Fans will also get connect with each other via live chat and other social widgets during the showing on July 20th, so it looks set to be a one-of-a-kind experience for music fans everywhere. Read the full story here.

Kings Of Leon Supersoaker Artwork

A week in music videos... We finally get the first glimpse of what's in store for Kings Of Leon's sixth album 'Mechanical Bull' with their new single 'Supersoaker'. It's probably one of the most highly-anticipated albums of the year following their 2010 offering 'Come Around Sundown' which reached the top spot on the UK album charts and number 2 in the US. If you're a fan of awesome, driving rock anthems, then after listening to 'Supersoaker' you'll be the first to grab a copy of the new album in September. Listen to Supersoaker here.

Just as fresh and anthemic is London band Bastille, who stole the hearts of the nation with their debut album 'Bad Blood' earlier this year - an easy chart topper responsible for such tracks as 'Pompeii' and 'Laura Palmer'. They have now released a moving video for their emotional track 'Things We Lose In The Fire' which also managed to chart despite not being released as a single. Bastille are currently on a major world tour and will appear at the likes of Japan's Summer Sonic Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival and Berlin Festival this summer. Watch the video for Things We Lost In The Fire here.

Little Green Cars have certainly grabbed our attention this week with their strongly folk infused tune 'My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me'. It has a classically tragic love-lost set of lyrics with an unavoidably catchy melody and will certainly be one the greatest break-up anthems of the year. Taken from their Irish number one debut album 'Absolute Zero' released earlier this year, Little Green Cars have firmly cemented themselves as ones to watch this year. Watch the video for My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me here.

Oftentimes the word 'supergroup' can wind up with disappointment all round, but that's never the case with Tired Pony. Made up of Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, former Snow Patrol producers Iain Archer and Jacknife Lee, Belle & Sebastian drummer Richard Colburn, REM's Peter Buck and The Minus 5's Scott McCaughey, this band have unveiled nothing short of an outstanding country tune with 'All Things All At Once' taken from their upcoming second album 'The Ghost of the Mountain' due out on August 19th 2013. Watch the video for All Things All At Once here.

After reaching number one globally with his 2012 album 'Born and Raised', it's no wonder John Mayer wanted to get swiftly (pardon the pun) back into the studio for his next album 'Paradise Valley' due out this August. With new track 'Wildfire' he delivers his usual comforting, classic rock feel embracing the summer and, indeed, the festival season with a video featuring a high-spirited live gig plus lyrics. Watch the video for Wildfire here.

Tom Odell

Reviews of the week... Here at Contactmusic, we've been swooning over Tom Odell's debut album 'Long Way Down' since it was released in June this year. As well as touching the hearts of ladies everywhere with his hit single 'Another Love', Tom has already landed himself his first BRIT award, so it's no wonder that his sell-out crowd were hanging on to his every word during his live performance at Somerset House in London - which left the crowd stunned, despite having only just recovered from a chest infection. Reviewer Chantelle Pattemore was lucky enough to go see him: 'His intensity was infectious and the sell-out crowd stood completely mesmerised; for the majority of his set the audience were so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.' Read the live review here.

The Icarus Line have left us scratching our heads over what genre to put them under yet again with the release of their sixth album 'Slave Vows'. Just as energetic as their previous records, the new album is less of a struggle to be noticed and more focused on the talents of vocalist and guitarist Joe Cardemone. 'There is a definite 'warts and all' feel to Slave Vows', says our critic Jordan Dowling. 'It's gritty and doesn't apologise for it, and nor does it try to make amends.' Read the review of Slave Vows here.

Latitude Festival 2013

In the news... Suffolk's Latitude Festival 2013 was definitely one of the stand-out festivals of the summer so far with star performances from headliners Bloc Party, Kraftwerk and Foals as well as appearances from the likes of Texas, Yo La Tengo, Jessie Ware, Alt-J and The 1975. Not only that, but there was some unforgettable comedy sessions from the veterans - such as Eddie Izzard and Sean Lock - to the comics of more recent times such as Simon Brodkin's favourite chav Lee Nelson. Read the full story here.

Pitchfork Music Festival Chicago may have come and gone now, but we still have Pitchfork Paris 2013 to look forward to at the end of October. Joining the likes of The Knife, Disclosure and Hot Chip over the three day weekend are newly announced acts London post-punk revival four-piece Savages, American singer Youth Lagoon and Canadian DJ A-Trak among others. The festival will take place at Grande Halle de la Villette on October 31st - November 2nd. Read the full story here.

Mazzy Star are set to make a grand return with their first album in over 10 years, 'Seasons Of Your Day'. We've been pricking up our ears for signs of life since they released the single 'Common Burn' / 'Lay Myself Down' in 2011, but now we can expect an actual full-length album on September 24th 2013 featuring performances from the likes of My Bloody Valentine's Colm O'Ciosoig and the late Bert Jansch. Read the full story here.

Ahead of the release of their re-mastered 'The Aeroplane Flies High' box set, The Smashing Pumpkins have announced that they will be unveiling an interactive on-demand rental of their 1997 Belfort, France concert, completely free of charge! Fans will also get connect with each other via live chat and other social widgets during the showing on July 20th, so it looks set to be a one-of-a-kind experience for music fans everywhere. Read the full story here.

23rd July 2013 1559282
Glastonbury Weather Dries Up Ready For The Big Acts 3738816 News

Many Glasto goers woke up to the pitter patter of rain on canvas this morning as Wednesday's warm, humid weather well and truly dissolved into rain. By the Thursday evening, the site was drenched - what had initially been forecast as a "short sharp shower turned into an all-day deluge," according to the BBC. And where there's rain, there's mud: big sticky, gloopy, welly-stealing piles of it. This didn't deter any of the 118,000 ticket holders already onsite, with revellers retreating to indoor tents or embracing the wet weather and sludge with gusto by making mud slides. As the main festival wasn't even fully underway by then, we can't say we'd like to be sharing their tent this weekend - let's hope they've brought some babywipes!

Michael & emily Eavis
Glastonbury Festival Organisers Michael & Daughter Emily Eavis.

Unlike everywhere else in the country, the rest of the weekend in the South-West is set to be mild, but not exactly toasty, with mean temperatures of 18°C combined with average windspeeds of about 15mph: so that little weather forecaster's cartoon of a grey cloud will pretty much sum up the weekend. 2009's extreme weather saw torrential downpours and thunderstorms lighting up the valley but was followed by 2010's glorious sunshine, which caused sunstroke and dust problems. Punters have a whole weekend of musical, comical and performance joy ahead of them to distract them from any weather woes though. Saturday night will be headlined by The Rolling Stones who have described the Glastonbury headline slot as an experience they were "destined" for, with organisers Michael and Emily Eavis "thrilled" to have the legendary Stones perform.

Rolling stones
The Rolling Stones Feel "Destined" To Headline Glastonbury.

After the 33-year-old festival took a break in 2012, The Stones will be joined by an incredible line-up, including Primal Scream, Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Costello, Smashing Pumpkins, Nick cave & The Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, and Portishead over the weekend. According to the BBC, Rain was forecasted to continue until 08:00 BST on Friday morning, but the sun is due to shine on the festival for the rest of the weekend. Hmm...we'll see.

Fans
Will The Weather Affect Fans' Weekends? Doubt It!

Many Glasto goers woke up to the pitter patter of rain on canvas this morning as Wednesday's warm, humid weather well and truly dissolved into rain. By the Thursday evening, the site was drenched - what had initially been forecast as a "short sharp shower turned into an all-day deluge," according to the BBC. And where there's rain, there's mud: big sticky, gloopy, welly-stealing piles of it. This didn't deter any of the 118,000 ticket holders already onsite, with revellers retreating to indoor tents or embracing the wet weather and sludge with gusto by making mud slides. As the main festival wasn't even fully underway by then, we can't say we'd like to be sharing their tent this weekend - let's hope they've brought some babywipes!

Michael & emily Eavis
Glastonbury Festival Organisers Michael & Daughter Emily Eavis.

Unlike everywhere else in the country, the rest of the weekend in the South-West is set to be mild, but not exactly toasty, with mean temperatures of 18°C combined with average windspeeds of about 15mph: so that little weather forecaster's cartoon of a grey cloud will pretty much sum up the weekend. 2009's extreme weather saw torrential downpours and thunderstorms lighting up the valley but was followed by 2010's glorious sunshine, which caused sunstroke and dust problems. Punters have a whole weekend of musical, comical and performance joy ahead of them to distract them from any weather woes though. Saturday night will be headlined by The Rolling Stones who have described the Glastonbury headline slot as an experience they were "destined" for, with organisers Michael and Emily Eavis "thrilled" to have the legendary Stones perform.

Rolling stones
The Rolling Stones Feel "Destined" To Headline Glastonbury.

After the 33-year-old festival took a break in 2012, The Stones will be joined by an incredible line-up, including Primal Scream, Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Costello, Smashing Pumpkins, Nick cave & The Bad Seeds, Tame Impala, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, and Portishead over the weekend. According to the BBC, Rain was forecasted to continue until 08:00 BST on Friday morning, but the sun is due to shine on the festival for the rest of the weekend. Hmm...we'll see.

Fans
Will The Weather Affect Fans' Weekends? Doubt It!

28th June 2013 3028954
Glastonbury Festival 2013: Your Guide To The Biggest Clashes! 3734070 News

With such a ginormous festival site at 900 acres, and plenty of drunken hoardes and muddy puddles to fight through, the simple act of walking from one stage to another can be a difficult task. Throw in a lost mud-sucked welly and inebriated disorientation and you haven't a hope in hell of deftly navigating your way in between acts - even with that overpriced festival lanyard you spent half your first day's budget on.

Glastonbury returns in 2013 after having taking a well needed break in 2012 - the Eavis family, the cows and the grass all had a rest whilst the portaloos and crowd barriers were in London for the Olympics. The festival this year marks it's revival with an exciting line-up, including The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, Arctic Monkeys, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, Chase and Status, and Public Enemy.

However, with all star-packed line-ups comes inevitable clashes: fan of both Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds AND Smashing Pumpkins? Too bad - they're both on around 20:30 on the Sunday with a good half mile hike between stages, meaning you'll have to forego one sullen frontman for another.

On the Friday, psychedelic aussies Tame Impala lock horns with a host of contemporary indie bands, including Palma Violets, The Vaccines and Frightened Rabbit around the 18:30 mark. However, both Palma Violets and The Vaccines will both be performing on a vastly smaller 'William's Green' stage on the Sunday - best keep that one a secret!

On the Saturday, the clash between Haim and Noah and the Whale could prove a problem, as well as legendary Bobby Womack and The XX on Sunday. Further clashes to be wary of include Sunday's potentially painful Vampire Weekend and Of Monsters And Men, and Saturday's Primal Scream and Two Door Cinema Club.

Earlier rumours that the festival organisers were going to put a stop to punters wheeling their booze in on a trolley have been stopped in an email to ticketholders: "we'd like to clarify that you ARE still OK to bring your own alcohol through the gates, providing it's just for your own use (whether it's on a trolley or not)."

Well, they're never going to please everyone with their band scheduling but weather forecasts are predicting the weekend could be a bright one and the 33 year old festival's line-up looks stronger than ever.

smashing pumpkinsNick Cave
Corgan And Cave To Clash On The Sunday At Glastonbury.

vaccinesfrightened rabbit
Competiton Between The Vaccines And Frightened Rabbit Could Also Be A Problem.

With such a ginormous festival site at 900 acres, and plenty of drunken hoardes and muddy puddles to fight through, the simple act of walking from one stage to another can be a difficult task. Throw in a lost mud-sucked welly and inebriated disorientation and you haven't a hope in hell of deftly navigating your way in between acts - even with that overpriced festival lanyard you spent half your first day's budget on.

Glastonbury returns in 2013 after having taking a well needed break in 2012 - the Eavis family, the cows and the grass all had a rest whilst the portaloos and crowd barriers were in London for the Olympics. The festival this year marks it's revival with an exciting line-up, including The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, Arctic Monkeys, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, Chase and Status, and Public Enemy.

However, with all star-packed line-ups comes inevitable clashes: fan of both Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds AND Smashing Pumpkins? Too bad - they're both on around 20:30 on the Sunday with a good half mile hike between stages, meaning you'll have to forego one sullen frontman for another.

On the Friday, psychedelic aussies Tame Impala lock horns with a host of contemporary indie bands, including Palma Violets, The Vaccines and Frightened Rabbit around the 18:30 mark. However, both Palma Violets and The Vaccines will both be performing on a vastly smaller 'William's Green' stage on the Sunday - best keep that one a secret!

On the Saturday, the clash between Haim and Noah and the Whale could prove a problem, as well as legendary Bobby Womack and The XX on Sunday. Further clashes to be wary of include Sunday's potentially painful Vampire Weekend and Of Monsters And Men, and Saturday's Primal Scream and Two Door Cinema Club.

Earlier rumours that the festival organisers were going to put a stop to punters wheeling their booze in on a trolley have been stopped in an email to ticketholders: "we'd like to clarify that you ARE still OK to bring your own alcohol through the gates, providing it's just for your own use (whether it's on a trolley or not)."

Well, they're never going to please everyone with their band scheduling but weather forecasts are predicting the weekend could be a bright one and the 33 year old festival's line-up looks stronger than ever.

smashing pumpkinsNick Cave
Corgan And Cave To Clash On The Sunday At Glastonbury.

vaccinesfrightened rabbit
Competiton Between The Vaccines And Frightened Rabbit Could Also Be A Problem.

25th June 2013 700523
Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania 3080906 Reviews

Billy Corgan was always the antagonist of the mainstream 'grunge' scene. None of the other players really seemed to like him very much or at best - like Courtney Love - developed a troubled love/hate relationship with him. Of his contemporaries, still recording and releasing music at the same level as they did back in their heyday, few have managed to maintain the same momentum, the same ethos or the same sound that they once had (Sonic Youth, you're off the hook).

Dave Grohl escaped the tragedy of Nirvana's demise with a solid career of stadium-friendly rock, Courtney Love managed to make an entire generation of forward-thinking women hold their heads in their hands with despair as she side-lined music for the sake of becoming an unruly spectacle, Mudhoney were resurrected in a shower of doe-eyed nostalgia. This is, of course, a disgracefully brief synopsis of tabloid grunge. But what of Billy Corgan and his associates? Well, many of them disassociated themselves from him, for a start. Jeff Schroeder is the longest-standing member of the current incarnation of Smashing Pumpkins - he's been in the band since 2007. Jimmy, D'Arcy, Melissa and James are all long gone.

Though Corgan has stressed that all the band's members contributed to the album, you can't help but feel that he is essentially sailing this ship alone and the wind seems to have gone out of his sails somewhat. Love them or hate them, there was an undeniable fire in the belly of Smashing Pumpkins; they always appeared to be fuelled by dissatisfaction, frustration, railing against demons, internal and external to themselves. Where once he sang "despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage," Corgan now sings meekly (on 'Panopticon') "there's a sun that shines in me." It's uninspired and there is little here that hits home. Songs like 'Chimera' seem to be headed, in a fairly determined fashion, for the same area, smack bang in the middle of the road that was once occupied by Stereophonics. Just, maybe, with less chance of getting on the radio.

The closest that Smashing Pumpkins circa 2012 come to harnessing any of the energy, or combustion that Corgan's former troupe had, back in the days before your 'Loser' t-shirt turned grey and you swapped your flannel shirt for a pinstripe, is the penultimate track 'Inkless.' With its unerringly positive (if flaccid) refrain of "the stars are out tonight," you get a glimpse of those moments that Corgan seemed to have the ability to distill an entire planet into a song. It is, however, a large leap away from having anything like the power to emote that Corgan's fans know that he is capable of. Whether or not it's a personnel issue, or the fire has simply gone out, 'Oceania' is troubled by its own weakness and lack of potency or direction.

Hayley Avron

20th June 2012 smashing-pumpkins-oceania.jpg
Courtney Love: Kurt Cobain's Notorious Groupie Or Underrated Talent? 2566173 News
Never one to be out of the limelight for very long, Courtney Love recently announced that she has signed a publishing deal with HarperCollins to write a 'no-holds barred' memoir, with Anthony Bozza. Bozza is a regular Rolling Stone scribe and has previously tackled the lives of Tommy Lee and Slash in autobiographical form.

Any casual observer would be forgiven for assuming that Courtney Love was known simply for being a hell-raiser, always busy kicking up the sands of controversy. Of late, she has made the headlines more for her questionable parenting skills (her daughter, Frances Bean has been taken from her care on many occasions and, in more recent years has been said to have cut herself off from her mother of her own accord) than for her music.

Similarly, most people would find it easier to name one of Courtney's ex-lovers than to recite the lyrics to one of her songs. Most famously, she was married to the late Kurt Cobain (of the grunge band Nirvana) but she has also been known to date, or have some romantic involvement with the actors Edward Norton and Jim Carrey and a number of musicians, including Alex James of Blur, Smashing Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan and, somewhat unexpectedly, the comedian Steve Coogan. The words 'Courtney Love' and 'groupie' have been strung together on many an occasion.



However, for many music lovers, Courtney Love is a role model and worthy musician in her own right. Keen to dispel the myth that Courtney was riding on her husband's coat-tails, plenty of her fans will point out that Pretty on the Inside - the debut album from her band, Hole - out-sold Bleach (Nirvana's album, released at around the same time) on its initial release.

Along with bands like Babes In Toyland (of whom Courtney was also once a member), Hole bridged the gap between the ultra-feminist riot grrrl movement and grunge, helping to bring both to the attention of the mainstream media. Hoards of young women copied her 'babydoll' image: her bleach blonde hair, dark red lipstick and vintage dresses (often worn over ripped tights) were notorious and thoroughly synonymous with the sound that she helped to make so popular. Live Through This, the second album from Hole, has become one of the iconic albums of its era, as has the follow-up, Celebrity Skin, which was hailed for its more accomplished, 'Courtney-goes-Hollywood' sound.

She's also a highly intelligent and well-read woman. There aren't many rock stars out there that can quote freely from the works of Euripdes and Shakespeare. And few people could deny Love's determination and ability to speak her mind, with confidence and gusto.

Courtney has always attracted (and courted) controversy, though. Like many outspoken women in the music world and beyond, her failures have always been magnified and her accomplishments scrutinised. She was heavily criticised for releasing Live Through This so soon after Cobain's death and furthermore, accused of cashing in on her own personal tragedy. In actual fact, the album was intended for release the week after Cobain committed suicide but was obviously postponed. When questioned over the fact that many of the lyrics seemed to dwell on the theme of loss and the macabre, she simply replied "I'm not psychic but my lyrics are."

Some of Courtney's detractors went further in their criticisms and accused her of being responsible for and involved in Kurt Cobain's death. Even her own father has publicly declared his belief that she was involved in his demise. The documentary maker Nick Broomfield investigated the claims in the film Kurt & Courtney but no conclusions were drawn from his enquiries.

Those that defended her were given a dwindling supply of source material on which to base their arguments. Aside from some impressive, award-winning acting (in Milos Forman's The People Vs Larry Flint and the Andy Kaufman biopic The Man on the Moon), Courtney's creative output suffered from a distinct lack of critical acclaim. After a changing line-up (Melissa Auf Der Maur joined Smashing Pumpins before going solo and Patty Schemel was replaced by Samantha Maloney), Hole eventually disbanded. Courtney's subsequent solo album (aided in part by co-writer Billy Corgan and producer Linda Perry) received lukewarm reviews and sales were disastrously low in comparison to the band's former output.



In 2009, Courtney Love announced that Hole would be reforming and recording a new album. When it finally happened, the 'reformation' consisted of Courtney Love and no other original band members. Whilst some were happy to see Courtney back on stage, to others, the new shows simply acted as proof that Hole was very much a band and not just The Courtney Show. Without Eric Erlandson on guitar, Patty's notorious drumming or Melissa's expert bass-playing, the new 'Hole' wasn't really up to scratch.

As the new band promoted the album, Courtney's music was still overshadowed by her personal life; her turbulent relationship with her daughter Frances Bean spilled over onto the social networking site Twitter and became a spectacle, for all to see. Financial wranglings with Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic also turned public and ugly. Whilst Courtney was busy arguing that she simply wanted the money for the benefit of her daughter, she was also open about her own fiscal problems, though somewhat confusingly, frequently tweeting about her property purchases and her collection of expensive vintage dresses.

After the relative disinterest in the new line-up of Hole, is this autobiography Courtney's last-ditch attempt to remain in the public eye? After all, she has already released Dirty Blonde - a hefty collection of her diary entries, lyrics and personal photos in 2006. How much more of herself does she need to lay bare in order to bankroll her lifestyle? Is she in danger of erasing any positive cultural impact she's had, if she continues to play into the hands of the media, who rarely miss an opportunity to mock her? Or, perhaps, in writing the autobiography, she is allowing herself to have the final say on the controversy surrounding her dramatic past and finally getting the chance to tell her story in her own words, as opposed to having it filtered through the pen of a journalist?

Courtney has never been known for her timekeeping but the rumours are that the book is scheduled for release in Autumn 2012. We will have to wait until then to see if it kills her credibility or kickstarts her career again.


Continue the debate - Visit the Courtney Love: Kurt Cobain's Notorious Groupie Or Underrated Talent Facebook page


Never one to be out of the limelight for very long, Courtney Love recently announced that she has signed a publishing deal with HarperCollins to write a 'no-holds barred' memoir, with Anthony Bozza. Bozza is a regular Rolling Stone scribe and has previously tackled the lives of Tommy Lee and Slash in autobiographical form.

Any casual observer would be forgiven for assuming that Courtney Love was known simply for being a hell-raiser, always busy kicking up the sands of controversy. Of late, she has made the headlines more for her questionable parenting skills (her daughter, Frances Bean has been taken from her care on many occasions and, in more recent years has been said to have cut herself off from her mother of her own accord) than for her music.

Similarly, most people would find it easier to name one of Courtney's ex-lovers than to recite the lyrics to one of her songs. Most famously, she was married to the late Kurt Cobain (of the grunge band Nirvana) but she has also been known to date, or have some romantic involvement with the actors Edward Norton and Jim Carrey and a number of musicians, including Alex James of Blur, Smashing Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan and, somewhat unexpectedly, the comedian Steve Coogan. The words 'Courtney Love' and 'groupie' have been strung together on many an occasion.



However, for many music lovers, Courtney Love is a role model and worthy musician in her own right. Keen to dispel the myth that Courtney was riding on her husband's coat-tails, plenty of her fans will point out that Pretty on the Inside - the debut album from her band, Hole - out-sold Bleach (Nirvana's album, released at around the same time) on its initial release.

Along with bands like Babes In Toyland (of whom Courtney was also once a member), Hole bridged the gap between the ultra-feminist riot grrrl movement and grunge, helping to bring both to the attention of the mainstream media. Hoards of young women copied her 'babydoll' image: her bleach blonde hair, dark red lipstick and vintage dresses (often worn over ripped tights) were notorious and thoroughly synonymous with the sound that she helped to make so popular. Live Through This, the second album from Hole, has become one of the iconic albums of its era, as has the follow-up, Celebrity Skin, which was hailed for its more accomplished, 'Courtney-goes-Hollywood' sound.

She's also a highly intelligent and well-read woman. There aren't many rock stars out there that can quote freely from the works of Euripdes and Shakespeare. And few people could deny Love's determination and ability to speak her mind, with confidence and gusto.

Courtney has always attracted (and courted) controversy, though. Like many outspoken women in the music world and beyond, her failures have always been magnified and her accomplishments scrutinised. She was heavily criticised for releasing Live Through This so soon after Cobain's death and furthermore, accused of cashing in on her own personal tragedy. In actual fact, the album was intended for release the week after Cobain committed suicide but was obviously postponed. When questioned over the fact that many of the lyrics seemed to dwell on the theme of loss and the macabre, she simply replied "I'm not psychic but my lyrics are."

Some of Courtney's detractors went further in their criticisms and accused her of being responsible for and involved in Kurt Cobain's death. Even her own father has publicly declared his belief that she was involved in his demise. The documentary maker Nick Broomfield investigated the claims in the film Kurt & Courtney but no conclusions were drawn from his enquiries.

Those that defended her were given a dwindling supply of source material on which to base their arguments. Aside from some impressive, award-winning acting (in Milos Forman's The People Vs Larry Flint and the Andy Kaufman biopic The Man on the Moon), Courtney's creative output suffered from a distinct lack of critical acclaim. After a changing line-up (Melissa Auf Der Maur joined Smashing Pumpins before going solo and Patty Schemel was replaced by Samantha Maloney), Hole eventually disbanded. Courtney's subsequent solo album (aided in part by co-writer Billy Corgan and producer Linda Perry) received lukewarm reviews and sales were disastrously low in comparison to the band's former output.



In 2009, Courtney Love announced that Hole would be reforming and recording a new album. When it finally happened, the 'reformation' consisted of Courtney Love and no other original band members. Whilst some were happy to see Courtney back on stage, to others, the new shows simply acted as proof that Hole was very much a band and not just The Courtney Show. Without Eric Erlandson on guitar, Patty's notorious drumming or Melissa's expert bass-playing, the new 'Hole' wasn't really up to scratch.

As the new band promoted the album, Courtney's music was still overshadowed by her personal life; her turbulent relationship with her daughter Frances Bean spilled over onto the social networking site Twitter and became a spectacle, for all to see. Financial wranglings with Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic also turned public and ugly. Whilst Courtney was busy arguing that she simply wanted the money for the benefit of her daughter, she was also open about her own fiscal problems, though somewhat confusingly, frequently tweeting about her property purchases and her collection of expensive vintage dresses.

After the relative disinterest in the new line-up of Hole, is this autobiography Courtney's last-ditch attempt to remain in the public eye? After all, she has already released Dirty Blonde - a hefty collection of her diary entries, lyrics and personal photos in 2006. How much more of herself does she need to lay bare in order to bankroll her lifestyle? Is she in danger of erasing any positive cultural impact she's had, if she continues to play into the hands of the media, who rarely miss an opportunity to mock her? Or, perhaps, in writing the autobiography, she is allowing herself to have the final say on the controversy surrounding her dramatic past and finally getting the chance to tell her story in her own words, as opposed to having it filtered through the pen of a journalist?

Courtney has never been known for her timekeeping but the rumours are that the book is scheduled for release in Autumn 2012. We will have to wait until then to see if it kills her credibility or kickstarts her career again.


Continue the debate - Visit the Courtney Love: Kurt Cobain's Notorious Groupie Or Underrated Talent Facebook page

28th October 2011 2620003
Smashing Pumpkins - That's The Way 2050744 Reviews

Smashing Pumpkins
That's The Way
Single Review

It pains me to write this review, as Smashing Pumpkins used to be up there as one of my favourite bands ever. In the glory days of 'Siamese Dream', I could little envision that the band would ever put out any material that I wouldn't immediately fall in love with.

And then the band broke up. And then they reformed. And then they put out this single. And with this single it became patently clear that in that time the Smashing Pumpkins had lost a little something along the way, not least two of their original four members.

'That's The Way' reaches for the dizzy heights of 'Today', the sweeping ecstasy of 'Tonight, Tonight', and finds only bland riffs, blander singing and the blandest of lyrics. Forgettable and old-fashioned sounding, this single falls short of anything even close to aspiring to the stature of the Pumpkins' back catalogue. What the Pumpkins had before that made their music truly great was that extra quality, that originality and that little bit of soul that was almost palpable on singles such as 'Disarm' and 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings'.

Smashing Pumpkins would benefit from a listen to their back catalogue, which might prevent them from churning our sentimentalist junk like this single in the future.

2/10

Ellie Gurney

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Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist 2047958 Reviews

Smashing Pumpkins
Zeitgeist
Album Review

In the year of the comebacks, it was the Pumpkins one which got any self-respecting alternative rocker really excited. It's different to most of the others, like The Police, and The Eagles (CASH COWS!) or Spinal Tap (A JOKE BAND!) or the Spice Girls (BOTH!) because rather than just a lengthy world tour where they would have their devotees over a barrel, paying through their collective nose for overpriced tickets and merchandise, there would be an album of new material as well, and here it is, Zeitgeist.

Well, it would be a bit of a stretch to call this a
Smashing Pumpkins record really, as only Corgan and Chamberlain remain from the classic line-up, it could just as easily be called a Billy Corgan solo album. That said, the wailing, heavy metal guitars and OTT production means this sounds quintessentially Pumpkins, Jimmy Chamberlain's drums also sound mightily impressive. The trouble is, while this may have that Smashing Pumpkins 'sound', it lacks any of the classic songwriting or sheer inventiveness of their peak, attributes that were abundant on Mellon Collie.

Songs start off with great ides or riffs, 'Bleeding the Orchid' being an example, but they are stretched on until they become interminable. Similarly, 'United States' tries to be ominous and atmospheric, but ultimately falls flat under the weight of its own pretentiousness.

It's not all doom and gloom though, 'Tarantula', wisely chosen as the lead-off single, is a triumphant glam stomper, worthy of a place in the Corgan canon. Also, 'That's the Way (My Love Is)' is a welcome relief from the oppressive murkiness that hangs over the album, and sounds more like Corgan and Chamberlains now defunct, Pumpkins-on-Prozac band, Zwan. In this case that is no bad thing.

When the
Smashing Pumpkins grace the stage at this year's Carling Weekend,
you can bet your bottom dollar the crowd won't be screaming for tracks from
Zeitgeist.


Ben Davis

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Smashing Pumpkins, Tarantula, Video 2077155 Videos 3rd July 2007

Smashing Pumpkins
Tarantula

Smashing Pumpkins will release 'Tarantula' on July 2nd as the first single to be taken from their highly anticipated new album 'Zeitgeist' that follows on July 9th.
'Tarantula' is an undoubted highlight of the 'Zeitgeist' set and ranks alongside classic Smashing Pumpkins tracks such as 'Disarm,' 'Today,' 'Cherub Rock,' '1979,' 'Tonight, Tonight' and 'Bullet With Butterfly Wings' - songs that defined the alternative music era and continue to resonate, influencing a whole new generation.


'Zeitgeist', is sixth album from Smashing Pumpkins and their first of new material since 2000's 'Machina/The Machines of God' and the free, digital-only release 'Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music'. The album was produced by Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin with Roy Thomas Baker and Terry Date working separately on various tracks. The twelve-track collection represents the culmination of over two years work.

Smashing Pumpkins - completed by Jeff Schroeder (guitar), Ginger Reyes (bass) and Lisa Harriton (keyboards) - will embark upon an international festival tour throughout the summer. They will head to these shores to headline the Leeds and Reading festivals on August 24th and 26th respectively. They will also play Shepherds Bush Empire on June 19th.

Smashing Pumpkins have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in music history. Formed in Chicago in 1988, they released 'Gish', their influential (and platinum) debut in 1991, which was followed by more platinum and multi-platinum albums including 'Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness' and 'Siamese Dream'.

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