November 1992 – Broadway Rehearsal Studios, Chicago

  • Quiet
  • Hello Kitty Kat
  • Cherub Rock
  • Suicide Kiss (Geek USA)
  • Today
  • Disarm
  • Rocket
  • Spaceboy
  • Set the Ray to Jerry
  • Soma
  • Whirl (Whir)
  • Doorstep (Meladori Magpie)
  • Pissant
  • Tulips (Barb Wire)
  • Blew Away
  • French Movie Theme
  • Hummer
  • Frail & Bedazzled
  • Glynis
  • She Says
  • Sweet Sweet
  • Mayonaise

This is a tape of Siamese Dream demos submitted to the Library of Congress on December 22, 1992, called "Quiet and 20 Other Songs”.  A 15-track copy of this tape was submitted to Virgin records as well.  It was most likely recorded to 8-track at the band’s rehearsal space, just before leaving to Atlanta to record Siamese Dream. 

Billy Corgan: After reaching a saturation point with new ideas, our primary focus now becomes trying to finish the songs we have in hand…once we go into this state of completion, there is a sort of moratorium ban placed on bringing in new ideas, the general intention being to sort out the best from the best in what we have and get on with the business of finalizing arrangements, lyrics, and tweaking each individual part…sadly, I have been avoiding the issue of finishing the lyrics for some time, choosing instead to hide behind the focus on arranging and re-arranging what were already head spinning configurations of numbers, key changes, breaks, and implied emotional nuances…writing music is easy for me, but it is a new form of truth that I wish to find in these lyrics that I am having the hardest time with…I don’t want to obscure what I am truly feeling in my heart (like I did on our first record), by covering up much of my real sentiments with vague psychedelic babble…putting off the lyrics also has an impact on the day to day songwriting, as we are essentially arranging to implied emotions that are not in reality supported by actual finished lines (by the time we go on to Atlanta, I only have about 25% of the lyrics written)…as we know that we will keep cutting arrangements up until the final hour of recording, this isn’t a big issue of concern…and most of the individual parts are close enough that they can be further developed in the studio…but the lack of a lyrical focus hangs over the album like a dull cloud…

Each remaining song is addressed moment by moment with a laundry list of problems, and we set about tackling each one to everyone’s satisfaction…a laundry list on a particular idea might go something like this: “the intro sucks, the 2nd verse is too long, the lift into the solo is weak, the last bit goes on a little too long, and do you think we should change keys just before the end?”…we don’t vote per se, but rather talk or play thru the suggestions that are tossed in the air, and everyone’s overall body language usually dictates when a concept is or isn’t working…the floor is always open to all possibilities, and we dive into each and every issue with an understanding that all details are important to the overall strength of the album…I choose not to linger or get bogged down for too long on any one idea, because there are so many songs, and therefore, by math, too many problems…the basic thinking goes ‘what you don’t get untangled today you will possibly find a solution for tomorrow’…the only visible downside to this way of working is everyone must remember each days changes as they happen, and also retain the previous days option, say, if the next time we play a new part and go, “oops, that isn’t working”, be able to recall the old change at will…

One last, almost finished idea that has been sitting fairly untouched for a long while is a song simply called “today”…the song is given this name not for any existential reason, but rather out of my laziness, because the first line of the song starts with the word “today”, and calling it that makes it easily recognizable to all (laziness also dictates the title is never changed)…I suggest trying to come up with an interesting intro, and all agree that the blunt start (with the band just blasting in at the top) is boring and obvious…as is often the case of a good intellectual concept, musical silence ensues, shoes are stared at, and all I get in response to my suggestion is the buzz of the amps…frustrated, I look down at my guitar, and without hesitation, place my left hand on the 11th fret, high up on the top two strings…the first thing I feel immediately clicks, a dumb schoolhouse take on “la-dee-dah, la-dee-dah”…I look up, and no one says much, but then again, no one says no…without comment, I play it again, and at the appointed moment, the band kicks in full power…problem solved in 60 seconds…“next!”…

The pecking order on influence to the songs usually falls in this order: Billy, Jimmy, James, D’arcy…although D’arcy contributes very little in the arranging department, she is the person I watch most while we work, because like a child, she is incapable of hiding or masking any displeasure, and it shows readily on her face…James general interest is directly proportionate to whether or not a song is “his”, and following that, whether or not he personally likes a particular tune…he is fully capable of offering a brilliant suggestion at any given moment, and then turning right around and looking completely bored as if there were a million places he would rather be than here…Jimmy stands as the auteur of our power, so great is his unconscious understanding of how to lift the songs to the highest heights…his suggestions tend to be more emotional as opposed to musical…he readily reads my mind, and I read his, and much of our work is eye to eye, soul to soul, and goes on mostly unseen by the other two…my role is one of floor leader and cheerleader, as most of the songs are mine…we have a general rule, which is: ‘your song, your call’…this means that whomever is the writer on a particular song has final call on any decision, including a veto on what other members might play part wise…if a song is a co-write, then both people share this vote/veto…songs like “soma” and “mayonnaise” are true musical collaborations, as I sort thru the issues, making sure the other writer (in this case James) is in full agreement on all aspects of the song, and it’s execution…[1]

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  1. Billy Corgan, "The Texas Two-Step", livejournal, April 27th, 2005