Before this band (Billy Corgan) took a majestic swandive down the rundles of pomp and megalomania, rebanding with schoolage neophytes and becoming a complete embarrassment to their former glory, a little record called Siamese Dream humbly hit the Billboard charts at number ten in the summer of 1993. Propelled by the spirited single “Today,” a song played so many times it sounds about as fresh as a pile of raw sewage (yet occasionally conjures some feeling of a youthful naivety of the future), Siamese would go on to sell over six million copies worldwide.
But none of this really matters. I never got into this band until I was in my teens, way beyond their prime, so I can really only comment on how they got me through the doomsayer psychology and self-esteem fluctuations of high school/freshman year of college. Which is to say, a fucking lot. It didn’t help that “Cherub Rock” was the song I played on that video game Rock Band with the first guy I developed true, unrefined feelings for (I on “guitar,” he on vocals) before an eventual, acrimonious parting of ways (in which I was told never to call him again). Or that the sweeping violins of “Disarm” were what calmed me in the restless nights of recurring depression and allergic reactions.
Siamese Dream is the soundtrack to my last days of youth, and my first of my adulthood. Its moments conjure midnight drives in the middle of summer, rainy walks from class to my old dorm (especially those lush opening chords of “Mayonaise”), and more importantly, a childish hope that life is endless, full of belly laughs and butterflies. Without that hope, young adult life would be nothing but a playground in ruins. Great stuff.