Song of the Day #4,373: ‘Today’ – Smashing Pumpkins

I strive to appreciate music and movies across many different genres, but everything has its limits. I can name a dozen or so horror films I really love, for example, but most turn me off completely.

When it comes to music, I’ve always had blind spots for heavy metal and rap. Rap is like horror, where I can pick and choose the bright spots. But metal is a non-starter. That displeasure extends to metal’s gentler cousin, grunge, which is one reason I’m a little out of step with the music of the early 90s.

When it comes to grunge acts, I can find a song or two I really like, but never an artist or an album. I could probably fit all of my favorite grunge songs on a 10-track playlist. Maybe 15.

Which brings me to Smashing Pumpkins, and their widely hailed 1993 album Siamese Dream. Now, whether Smashing Pumpkins are a grunge band is up for debate. They emerged around the same time as the Seattle bands who defined the genre, but they hailed from Chicago and had a slightly cleaner sound.

But for my money, I hear a lot of thrashy, muffled guitars and fast tempos… a lot of grunge.

Siamese Dream was the band’s second album. It’s dark and brooding, with songs inspired by frontman Billy Corgan’s near-suicide, but has some lighter musical moments sprinkled throughout. It unexpectedly sold more than four million copies in the U.S. and reached the Billboard Top Ten. It’s widely considered one of the best albums of the 90s.

I like some of what I hear on this album, including today’s SOTD and another single, ‘Disarm,’ but I keep tuning out because of the grunginess of it all. No matter how many of these “great” albums I hear, I just can’t get on board.

[Chorus 1]
Today is the greatest
Day I’ve ever known
Can’t live for tomorrow
Tomorrow’s much too long
I’ll burn my eyes out
Before I get out

[Verse 1]
I wanted more
Than life could ever grant me
Bored by the chore
Of saving face

[Chorus 2]
Today is the greatest
Day I’ve ever known
Can’t wait for tomorrow
I might not have that long
I’ll tear my heart out
Before I get out

[Verse 2]
Pink ribbon scars
That never forget
I tried so hard
To cleanse these regrets
My angel wings
Were bruised and restrained
My belly stings

[Chorus 3]
Today is
Today is
Today is
The greatest day

[Bridge]
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you on
I want to turn you

[Outro]
Today is the greatest
Today is the greatest day
Today is the greatest day
That I have ever really known

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,373: ‘Today’ – Smashing Pumpkins

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Ditto.

    I wonder if we would feel differently if grunge had come along in the 80’s during our more formative music years. I know, for example, that I generally don’t like heavy metal, but have a nostalgic soft spot for Van Halen, AC/DC and. KISS because my friends listened to their music when I was in junior high and high school.

  2. Peg says:

    Just the word grunge is a turnoff for me

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