The Smashing Pumpkins announced that they have commenced recording for their next album, a 33-song sequel to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) and Machina (2000). When the band first announced plans for the new album, they stated that they intend to aim for a late 2021 release.
Along with the reveal that they were in the recording studio today, March 2, frontman Billy Corgan added, “Songs are written, lyrics too…so now it’s just record-record-record.” The band is also considering a Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness 25th Anniversary Tour this year that was rescheduled from 2020, if COVID-19 restrictions open up to allow it.
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All of the albums in the conceptual trilogy have been long. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was a double album with 28 tracks. Among those tracks are hit singles like “1979,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” and “Tonight Tonight.” According to the press release, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart and ended up being nominated for seven Grammy Awards.
Conceptually, Mellon Collie is loosely based upon a day in the life of a lonely teenager. Machina has a concept revolving around a rockstar named ‘Zero’ (after a song on Mellon Collie) who hears the voice of God and changes his name to ‘Glass.’ According to the press release which announced it, the new album will be a “musical-themed” addition to the conceptual trilogy. The original idea for Machina was for it to play out like a musical theater play as well.
The new album is not to be confused with Machina II, which was similarly “written to be kind of like a musical,” Corgan told Radio.com. “But because it was never finished, it was like shooting a movie that wasn’t fully edited.” Machina II is the unfinished album the band shared to the internet for free in 2000, which is currently being remastered. The remastered version is set to be a lengthy 80-track record, adding 30 new tracks to the original release.
Photo credit: Alyssa Fried