After breaking through with major success behind their sophomore set Siamese Dream, how would Smashing Pumpkins top that? By going bigger, much bigger! On Oct. 24, 1995, Smashing Pumpkins did exactly that with the release of the ambitious, epic two-disc collection known as Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.
The seeds of Mellon Collie began to sprout during the summer of 1994, as the band began to wind down their support of Siamese Dream while partaking in Lollapalooza. Bassist D'Arcy Wretzky told the Chicago Tribune, "We all had our own head things going on that summer. Not so much tension within the band, but just being able to deal with other people in general." Guitarist James Iha added, "It was time to make another record or disband. Nobody wanted to go through the high dramatic b.s. anymore. It was totally necessary for everyone to do the next record."
So rather than take a break, the band powered forward with a desire and drive to do something special, all while feeling the pressure that most bands feel after their breakout disc.
"If you don't sell more than the last record, it means you're going downhill," stated Wretzky, while drummer Jimmy Chamberlin added, "And that would be very discouraging to us. That is a vibe we want nothing to do with." Frontman Billy Corgan stated, "I happened to be having dinner with Michael Stipe when Siamese Dream went platinum, and he turned to me and said, 'Welcome to the deep waters, kid.' And he's right, because once you're there, you have to keep treading and treading or you drown."
Smashing Pumpkins, Live in 1995