Zero (The Smashing Pumpkins song)

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"Zero"
SmashingPumpkins-Zero.jpg
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
ReleasedApril 23, 1996 (1996-04-23)[1]
Genre
Length
  • 2:41
  • 40:53 (EP)
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"1979"
(1996)
"Zero"
(1996)
"Tonight, Tonight"
(1996)

"Zero" is a song by American alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins. It was the third single from their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. "Zero" was written by Billy Corgan and was the first song recorded for Mellon Collie. The song has six rhythm guitars, with two line-in twelve string acoustics.[4] The cover artwork features photography by Corgan's then-girlfriend, Yelena Yemchuk, who also directed the music video.[5]

Commercially, "Zero" reached number one in Spain and number three in New Zealand. In North America, the song reached number one on Canada's RPM Alternative 30, number 15 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, and number nine on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. In the United States, the song was released as an extended play (EP) and charted on the Billboard 200 instead of the Hot 100 due to the EP containing more than four songs, which was Billboard's limit for single releases.[6] The EP reached number 46 on the Billboard 200.

The song was featured on "Homerpalooza", the penultimate episode of The Simpsons's seventh season.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

"Zero" is widely considered to be the Smashing Pumpkins' best song. Louder Sound and Kerrang both ranked the song number one on their lists of the greatest Smashing Pumpkins songs.[2][8]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Yelena Yemchuk and described by NME as "very cinematic and creepy at times".[9] The concept of it was to set it in a Roman mansion, with lounging guests, while the band acts as their entertainment. The band predominantly wears black, which contrasts with the room's vibrant wine-stained colors that are associated with the Roman period.

B-sides[edit]

"Zero" was released as an EP and includes "Pastichio Medley", a medley of parts of songs from the Mellon Collie sessions that mostly remain unreleased. The medley runs almost 23 minutes long and features over 70 songs.[10] The medley also features snippets of songs that actually were released; the snippet of the song "Disconnected" is a riff from an early version of "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" (originally B-side from the "Thirty-Three" single)[11] and the riff called "Rachel" ended up being worked into the album track "X.Y.U." Eventually, 2012's reissue of Mellon Collie saw a number of tracks from the "Medley" released in full versions.[12]

The track "Tribute to Johnny" is an instrumental, a homage to guitarist Johnny Winter.[13]

"Pastichio Medley"[edit]

"Pastichio Medley" is the last of the songs on the single/EP and is medley of demos from Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The medley features over 70 songs, listed below:[14]

  1. "The Demon" (0:00–0:10)
  2. "Thunderbolt" (0:10–0:24)
  3. "Dearth" (0:24–0:35)
  4. "Knuckles" (0:35–0:52)
  5. "Star Song" (0:52–1:15)
  6. "Firepower" (1:15–1:28)
  7. "New Waver" (1:28–1:41)
  8. "Space Jam" (1:41–1:57)
  9. "Zoom" (1:57–2:17)
  10. "So Very Sad About Us" (2:17–2:27)
  11. "Phang" (1/2) (2:27–2:37)
  12. "Phang" (2/2) (2:37–2:47)
  13. "Speed Racer" (2:47–3:02)
  14. "The Eternal E" (3:02–3:17)
  15. "Hairy Eyeball" (3:17–3:21)
  16. "The Groover" (3:21–4:04)
  17. "Hell Bent for Hell" (4:04–4:20)
  18. "Rachel" (4:20–4:36)
  19. "A Dog's Prayer" (1/2) (4:36–4:47)
  20. "A Dog's Prayer" (2/2) (4:47–5:26)
  21. "Blast" (5:26–5:48)
  22. "The Black Rider" (5:48–5:59)
  23. "Slurpee" (5:59–6:17)
  24. "Flipper" (6:17–6:39)
  25. "The Viper" (6:39–6:48)
  26. "Bitch" (6:48–6:55)
  27. "Fried" (6:55–7:06)
  28. "Harmonio" (7:06–7:16)
  29. "U.S.A." (7:16–7:24)
  30. "The Tracer" (1/2) (7:24–7:36)
  31. "Envelope Woman" (7:36–7:49)
  32. "The Tracer" (2/2) (7:49–8:00)
  33. "Plastic Guy" (8:00–8:09)
  34. "Glasgow 3am" (8:09–8:17)
  35. "The Road Is Long" (8:17–8:26)
  36. "Funkified" (8:26–8:34)
  37. "Rigamarole" (8:34–8:46)
  38. "Depresso" (8:46–9:03)
  39. "The Streets Are Hot Tonite" (9:03–9:15)
  40. "Dawn at 16" (9:15–9:39)
  41. "Spazmatazz" (9:39–9:49)
  42. "Fucker" (9:49–9:59)
  43. "In the Arms of Sheep" (9:59–10:16)
  44. "Speed" (10:16–10:39)
  45. "77" (10:39–10:50)
  46. "Me Rock You Snow" (10:50–11:02)
  47. "Feelium" (11:02–11:14)
  48. "Is Alex Milton" (11:14–11:24)
  49. "Rubberman" (11:24–11:35)
  50. "Spacer" (11:35–11:42)
  51. "Rock Me" (11:42–11:51)
  52. "Weeping Willowly" (11:51–12:02)
  53. "Rings" (12:02–12:17)
  54. "So So Pretty" (12:17–12:29)
  55. "Lucky Lad" (12:29–12:43)
  56. "Jackboot" (12:43–12:57)
  57. "Millieu" (12:57–13:06)
  58. "Disconnected" (13:06–13:24)
  59. "Let Your Lazer Love Light Shine Down" (13:24–13:33)
  60. "Phreak" (13:33–13:37)
  61. "Porkbelly" (13:37–13:49)
  62. "Robot Lover" (13:49–13:58)
  63. "Jimmy James" (13:58–14:05)
  64. "America" (14:05–14:14)
  65. "Slinkeepie" (14:14–14:33)
  66. "Dummy Tum Tummy" (14:33–14:44)
  67. "Fakir" (14:44–14:52)
  68. "Jake" (14:52–15:03)
  69. "Camaro" (15:03–15:18)
  70. "Moonkids" (15:18–15:25)
  71. "Make It Fungus" (15:25–15:35)
  72. "V-8" (15:35–15:49)
  73. "Die" (15:49–22:57)

EP track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Billy Corgan. Additional writers are noted.

Standard CD and cassette EP[15][16]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Zero" 2:39
2."God" 3:09
3."Mouths of Babes" 3:46
4."Tribute to Johnny"James Iha2:34
5."Marquis in Spades" 3:17
6."Pennies" 2:28
7."Pastichio Medley" (length incorrectly printed as "25:59")James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Jimmy Chamberlin22:57

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zero". Amazon. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Bigland, Matt (October 18, 2016). "The 10 best Smashing Pumpkins songs". Louder Sound. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  3. ^ 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Hachette; 2011. Print.
  4. ^ Guitar World — January 1997
  5. ^ "Yelena Yemchuk Video | Interviews". OVGuide. Archived from the original on November 25, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (May 11, 1996). "Between the Bullets" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 108, no. 19. p. 80. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  7. ^ Hartmann, Graham. "The Smashing Pumpkins – Rock Star Cameos on 'The Simpsons'". Loudwire.
  8. ^ Law, Sam (November 20, 2021). "The 20 greatest Smashing Pumpkins songs – ranked". Kerrang. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  9. ^ "Free Music Videos, Video Interviews, Music Video News, Live Sessions and Clips". Nme.com. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Pastichio Medley". Personal.umich.edu. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  11. ^ Corgan, Billy (January 1997). "King B's". Guitar World.
  12. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins 'Mellon Collie' Reissue Is a Fan's Dream Come True | Antiquiet". Antiquiet. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "I Need a Hero: In honor of Smashing Pumpkins' twentieth anniversary, a list of Billy Corgan's top ten guitar heroes". Riverfront Times. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  14. ^ "spfc.org : songlist : Pastichio Medley".
  15. ^ Zero (US CD EP liner notes). The Smashing Pumpkins. Virgin Records. 1996. 7243 8 38573 2 6.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  16. ^ Zero (US cassette EP sleeve). The Smashing Pumpkins. Virgin Records. 1996. 7243 8 38545 4 7.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9200." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  18. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins – Zero". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  19. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  20. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  21. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  22. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  23. ^ "RPM Year End Alternative Top 50". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. July 17, 2013. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Smashing Pumpkins – Zero". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 24, 2018.