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Post Reply Pearl Jam vs. Smashing Pumpkins
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Posted 4/4/15
Who do you think is the better nineties band? Pearl Jam or Smashing Pumpkins. Also, feel free to explain why you've made your choice.

Personally, I like SP more, but I can see if you like PJ more. I'll defs hear you out.
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Alright to start of I think that both were probably the two 90s bands with most derivative sound. Pearl Jam out of any grunge bands really showed the influence of 70s hard rock and arena rock. Smashing Pumpkins threw together elements of psychedalia(Gish, Siamese Dream), 70s prog rock (melancholy and the infinite sadness) and electronic(Adore).

Smashing Pumpkins work felt like watered down versions of better music at times (im looking at you Siamese Dream what did you do My Bloody Valentines body) and Melancholy feels like they wanted to make a double album just to make a double album and thus drags alot. But there are some flashes of genius among there discography. Adore has in my opinion one of the greatest music videos ever and 1979s an incredibly nostalgia and touching song. Tonight to Tonight is one of they greatest 90s alt rock songs in my opinion.

I like to compare the Pumpkins to Marylin Manson. Both were incredebly ambitious but both groups failed to meet the ambition in my opinion. Both groups had some of the best alt rock singles of the 90s. Both groups have a couple albums I enjoy alot (Smashing Pumpkins Adore, Gish, and Marilyn Manson, Portrait of an American Family, Mechanical animals: Side note Billy Corgan was actually pretty involved in that albums demo stages). Both groups kind of had an infamy surrounding them in there local scenes before they got famous(Pumpkins business practices were kinda viewed as sketchy by the Chicago underground scene though the Chicago underground rock scene is notoriously hard to please, Manson was well Manson). Both groups kinda lost something when they starting taking themselves a bit to seriously.

Anyway on to Pearl Jam. Of the four major grunge bands I like to break it down like this
Nirvana: most punk influenced
Alice in Chains: most metal influenced
Soundgarden: most "alternative" influenced
Pearl Jam: most classic rock influenced
Pearl Jam had a couple good songs but honestly Tad another grunge group that never hit it that big did the whole 70s rock meets grunge thing alot better.

At the end of the day neither of the bands are particular close to me. When it comes to 90s alt rock im more of a Nirvana/Nine Inch Nails kinda guy. But if I had to choose Id listen to the Smashing Pumpkins over Pearl Jam.
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Posted 4/4/15
I feel like Nirvana never did anything that deemed them worthy of artistic notoriety. And frankly, that might be because they weren't around nearly as long as they should have been. Nine Inch Nails is great of course, and may be the most important band of the nineties besides Nirvana and Radiohead, but I feel like they never had enough great songs.

Same with Pearl Jam. I can name a bunch by Smashing Pumpkins that I still play. Mellon Collie may drag to some, but Billy Corgan experimented more with that album than most bands even attempted in the decade. And there are plenty of iconic songs on it.

I think of Mellon Collie like the White Album of the nineties in the sense that it was a double album that was an album and a half of great stuff, and another half album of meandering. But there's enough great material on those two albums that it would be a challenge to imagine them as singles, though they might benefit hugely from the editing processes.

I'm a much bigger fan of Siamese Dream, however. It remains my second favorite album of the nineties, being a much more consistent record than Nevermind, Downward Spiral, or Ten. And I find Loveless to be dull, personally. There's no filler on Siamese Dream, unless you want to say Sweet Sweet, which is only a minute and a half anyways.

And Gish and Adore are both underrated albums. Not to mention, but mentioning anyway, their outtakes Cd, Pisces Iscariot, which had a few good numbers on it leftover from Siamese Dream.

I just don't think that I can listen to Pearl Jam and find anything that I can't enjoy with another band that does just about the same thing. They're not unique enough.
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Posted 4/4/15 , edited 4/4/15

Epicpenguin13 wrote:

I feel like Nirvana never did anything that deemed them worthy of artistic notoriety. And frankly, that might be because they weren't around nearly as long as they should have been. Nine Inch Nails is great of course, and may be the most important band of the nineties besides Nirvana and Radiohead, but I feel like they never had enough great songs.

Same with Pearl Jam. I can name a bunch by Smashing Pumpkins that I still play. Mellon Collie may drag to some, but Billy Corgan experimented more with that album than most bands even attempted in the decade. And there are plenty of iconic songs on it.

I think of Mellon Collie like the White Album of the nineties in the sense that it was a double album that was an album and a half of great stuff, and another half album of meandering. But there's enough great material on those two albums that it would be a challenge to imagine them as singles, though they might benefit hugely from the editing processes.

I'm a much bigger fan of Siamese Dream, however. It remains my second favorite album of the nineties, being a much more consistent record than Nevermind, Downward Spiral, or Ten. And I find Loveless to be dull, personally. There's no filler on Siamese Dream, unless you want to say Sweet Sweet, which is only a minute and a half anyways.

And Gish and Adore are both underrated albums. Not to mention, but mentioning anyway, their outtakes Cd, Pisces Iscariot, which had a few good numbers on it leftover from Siamese Dream.

I just don't think that I can listen to Pearl Jam and find anything that I can't enjoy with another band that does just about the same thing. They're not unique enough.


For me at least In Utero was the best 90s alt rock got. I kinda consider 94 to be the turning point in popular music were Hip Hop really kicked it into high gear and producing much better music than rock.

Honestly I really like the white album and I never have been into the "theres to much filler" side of things. I like the weird stylistic diversions in there like Rocky Racoon, Revolution 9, Dont Pass me By, and Helter Skelter.

I never have found the Pumpkins to be experimental. There strongest aspect is the same as Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails, the ability to fuse underground rock music with pop music. Siamese Dream has some cool guitar work on it but I feel its heavily indebted to alot of Shoegaze guitar sounds(same mixer as loveless, Alan Moulder who was brought in on purpose because Corgan admired Loveless sound which shows the bass in particular sounds nearly identical in tone to the bass on loveless). Overall the record comes off as a band trying to imitate another bands sound and I would rather listen to that other band. Today is a fantastic song though.

Melon Collie ill hold goes on way too long and its probably shows the band at there most derivative, Galapogos sounds like a Pink Floyd track but Corgans nasally voice does not fit the calming atmosphere at all. Jellybelly tries to be a kickass metal song but Corgans voice once again doesn't match the tone. The albums best moments 1979 and tonight tonight are really touching. Tonight Tonight is honestly just a beautiful and grandiose song, it excels at everything it tries to do.

Adore man its just a solid album. Its influences are a bit more subtle though Id say it owes alot to Gothic Rock. Ava Adore is just such a sinister song. Its dark and brooding sounds like a truly evil song a villian would sing. Also the music video for Ava Adore is just fantastic probably one of my favorite music videos ever. But most songs take the droney guitars of there earlier records reverb the hell out of them, take off alot of the distortion and replace it with flange and reverb or they just go full acoustic. The drum machine on the songs give off a feel not unlike Kate Bushs work with Daphne Descends beat sounding alot like running up that hill. It all comes together in just a moody and beautiful way. The drum beats and synths are able to keep a moody feeling without being cheesy. Corgons voice really blends well with the music. Out of all the Pumpkins records Id play this the most.

My problem with the pumpkins is that they kinda struggled to find a sound and never really found a unique one until Adore. Until then they just took influence from other bands who did the music better than them

Anyway if Siamese Dreams your second favorite 90s alt rock album whats your number 1?
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Posted 4/4/15
Find me a bad song on Siamese Dream, and I will send you flowers in the mail.

And as for my favorite album of the 90s, that would be OK Computer. Nothing crazy or anything. But I am on the Kid A side of the Radiohead fandom.
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Posted 4/4/15 , edited 4/4/15

Epicpenguin13 wrote:

Find me a bad song on Siamese Dream, and I will send you flowers in the mail.

And as for my favorite album of the 90s, that would be OK Computer. Nothing crazy or anything. But I am on the Kid A side of the Radiohead fandom.


Hummer, My address is 650 Sugar Lane in Columbus Ohio.

Honestly I never really got into Radiohead. Ok Computer and Kid A are amazing records but they never connected with me. I see alot of Kid A's appeal cause I doubt any other rock group ever with that huge a level of fame with throw there audience that huge of a curveball but for me Kid A wasn't really memorable. Ill sit down and listen to it enjoy it but then an hour later I dont remember it.

Overall my favorite 90s album are probably In the Aeroplane over the Sea, In Utero, Loveless, Downward Spiral, At Action Park, Illmatic, Enter the 36 Chambers, Ready to Die, Goat, The Chronic, Rid of Me, Pod, Last Splash, Split, Soulvaki, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, and Spiderland. Out of all of those Spiderland's probably my favorite. If you wanted to really stump me ask me my favorite 80s albums.
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Posted 4/4/15
Oh, I like Hummer. Sorry about that. It's nice that you're confident, though. Don't be surprised if you actually do see flowers in the mail soon.

Oh, I hate the Wu-Tang Clan. And yeah, I'm not gonna bash you for disliking Radiohead. I just adore Kid A. Every time I listen to it, I hear something else, cause I always finding myself listening closer, wanting to see if there was something I had not noticed before. And I love all the songs on it. Aeroplane's definitely a classic. I also like Pinkerton, Achtung Baby, Automatic for the People, Illmatic, Homogenic, etc.

Favorite albums of each decade:
50s - Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"
60s - Beach Boys "Pet Sounds"
70s - Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run"
80s - Talking Heads "Remain in Light"
90s - Radiohead "OK Computer"
00s - LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver"
10s - Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"
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Posted 4/4/15 , edited 4/4/15

Epicpenguin13 wrote:

Oh, I like Hummer. Sorry about that. It's nice that you're confident, though. Don't be surprised if you actually do see flowers in the mail soon.

Oh, I hate the Wu-Tang Clan. And yeah, I'm not gonna bash you for disliking Radiohead. I just adore Kid A. Every time I listen to it, I hear something else, cause I always finding myself listening closer, wanting to see if there was something I had not noticed before. And I love all the songs on it. Aeroplane's definitely a classic. I also like Pinkerton, Achtung Baby, Automatic for the People, Illmatic, Homogenic, etc.

Favorite albums of each decade:
50s - Miles Davis "Kind of Blue"
60s - Beach Boys "Pet Sounds"
70s - Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run"
80s - Talking Heads "Remain in Light"
90s - Radiohead "OK Computer"
00s - LCD Soundsystem "Sound of Silver"
10s - Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy"


Dammit I forgot to put Pinkerton and Bjorks Debut on my favorite 90s album list.

Okay by decade

50s: Little Richard "Heres Little Richard"(I for the life of me cant get into any Jazz outside of Sun Ra and James Chance)
60s: Velvet Underground "Velvet Undeground and Nico"
70s: The Clash "London Calling"
80s: Big Black "Atomizer"
90s: Slint "Spiderland"
00s: Kanye West "The College Droupout"
10s: Kanye West "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" I would put To Pimp A Butterfly but I think its too soon to make that judgement.

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Posted 4/4/15
Two Kanye West albums. Hmm... Well, to be fair, I was pretty close to putting two Radiohead albums, but LCD makes me feel warm inside. It reminds me of Remain in Light, where it's focus is not to let the beat break or run dry. Very engaging record.

And To Pimp a Butterfly, while being great, I think is a bit too scattered and convoluted to be capable of representing the decade.
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Epicpenguin13 wrote:

Two Kanye West albums. Hmm... Well, to be fair, I was pretty close to putting two Radiohead albums, but LCD makes me feel warm inside. It reminds me of Remain in Light, where it's focus is not to let the beat break or run dry. Very engaging record.

And To Pimp a Butterfly, while being great, I think is a bit too scattered and convoluted to be capable of representing the decade.


Yeah I always found LCD to have alot of talking heads in his system. I kinda consider James Murphy to do derivative music right he never comes off as a watered down version of what hes imitating like the Pumpkins, he always feels like he is the real deal, he seems to understand what makes the original great.

To Pimp A Butterfly I would say represent a lot of this decade to me. I think its a finely put together work. Its ambitious as hell and I cant say any other album this decade has tried this hard and succeeded. Kendricks talent is that hes able to relate his personal life to a broader political message. Few artists can do that Dylan wrote both personal and political but never really at the same time. Speaking solely in Hip Hop terms XXX by Danny Brown did the personal level fantastic painting a brutally honest yet funny character portrait of Danny showcasing the good and the bad, Lupe gave us alot of interesting social commentary but his "personal" songs are generic love songs. Kanye comes close but I feel Kendrick is still better lyrically.
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Yeah, and I'm glad that James Murphy does pay homage to his influences, and doesn't seem like he's trying to hide them, like Billy Corgan has been known to do.

While Kendrick is probably rap's best lyricist since Nas in his heyday, I do think that his music can be redundant after a while of listening. And when TPAB is as long as cds get, it becomes a burden to sit through, similar to Mellon Collie. Only, I don't really get bored with MC so much as I just can never find a good time to sit down and listen to the whole 2 hours of music. TPAB, I can start listening to, then begin to lost interest around 45 minutes in, and we're only past the halfway mark.
Posted 4/4/15
Never liked Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins were always better, fond memories of Smashing Pumpkins from back in my High School days.
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Posted 4/5/15
Smash everything!
Creation through destruction!
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Epicpenguin13 wrote:

Yeah, and I'm glad that James Murphy does pay homage to his influences, and doesn't seem like he's trying to hide them, like Billy Corgan has been known to do.

While Kendrick is probably rap's best lyricist since Nas in his heyday, I do think that his music can be redundant after a while of listening. And when TPAB is as long as cds get, it becomes a burden to sit through, similar to Mellon Collie. Only, I don't really get bored with MC so much as I just can never find a good time to sit down and listen to the whole 2 hours of music. TPAB, I can start listening to, then begin to lost interest around 45 minutes in, and we're only past the halfway mark.


Wasnt Melon Collie 2 cds? Thats my problem with it. Any band can fill up about a cds worth of great material but 2cds are nearly impossible to fill with nothing but good songs.

To Pimp A Butterfly I really don't get bored with because alot of the beats really change up the style and keep things interesting. Kendrick rapping in different inflections on each song also adds to the variety of it too me. Don't get me wrong its not MBDTF were every song throws out incredibly different sonic pallet but it still is varied enough that I can sit through it. I can see your point though as around the mid point the beats become really relaxed and chilled out and not something that demand you attention.

I kinda feel sorry for Nas when you start off with one of the if not the greatest hip hop albums of all time nothing you'll ever do will really match that. One of the reasons I always found Illmatic to be impressive was the fact he started creating it at 17. Spiderland similarly was created when the band members were 19-20. Like damn thats some pretty good music to be made at such a young age.
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Posted 4/5/15
Smashing pumpkins. Hands down.

They have a cleaner, more refined sound. Partially I'm sure due to their time in the recording studio cleaning everything up,

I generally tend towards a cleaner sound and I'm definitely more into the electronica genre. In the 90's I also listened to garbage for a love of the same sort of reasons Grungy but cleaner, more precise.

As for best albums..... for 00, BT's This Binary Universe doesn't get enough praise. It took electronic music and made it something I could see played in an outdoor symphonic setting.

But that's just me.
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