Gish is the debut studio album by American alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins, released in May 1991 through Caroline Records. Frontman Billy Corgan has variously described Gish as a “very spiritual album” and “an album about spiritual ascension”. Despite initially peaking at only number 195 on the Billboard 200 upon its release, Gish received positive reviews from critics, and was eventually certified platinum (one million copies shipped in the US) by the RIAA. On April 1, 2019 Rolling Stone magazine ranked Gish the 32nd greatest grunge album of all time. The first mastering of Gish on CD was from Digital Audio Tape and appeared on Caroline Records, a subsidiary of Virgin Records. In 1994, after the success of follow-up Siamese Dream, the album was given a slight remaster and redesign and was reissued on the Virgin label. Both editions credit Howie Weinberg as mastering engineer. In 2008, the Smashing Pumpkins announced a 17th-anniversary box set re-release of the album that would include older bonus material, but this set experienced delays. After finally negotiating the rights, Gish was re-issued in November 2011, being remastered on CD and Vinyl with extra tracks and packaging. Here are all of Gish songs ranked.
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“Snail feel a little repetitive and drab. Snail is an important moment for the Pumpkins because it gave a bit of a hint (and laid the groundwork) of where they were headed musically.”
“Suffer” another rocker with lines like “All that you suffer is all that you are” and “too late to recover piece of mind/too late to recover me” – the song takes a turn in the middle and just.. simply rocks, I can’t even describe it, the song just emits an aura, a feeling.”
“Crush” is notable for its interesting playing and one interesting thing of note is that the percussive sound in the guitar solo is actually Billy’s jewelry. “
See more: Smashing Pumpkins Albums Ranked
“There’s no doubt that the music on Gish sounds good, but Billy Corgan’s songwriting is not yet at the incredibly high level it would reach on later albums, and that’s the limiting factor here. Not that there aren’t interesting moments, but Billy Corgan is just beginning to tap into the poetic lyricism and musical innovation that would become trademarks of his career.”
6. Window Paine
“Window Paine” is a slow song, that probably is my least favorite on the album- “window paine around my heart” Billy sings. Its just too slow for my tastes, but sort of reminds me of “Silverf***” on Siamese Dream in some ways, its just an odd sort of song”
“Daydream” is a sad song lyrically, but musically sounds happy. “my daydream screams bitter til the end…/the love i shared true, selfish to the heart/my heart my sacred heart” – D’Arcy sings. D’Arcy adds a really nice touch to this song, the original demos had Billy on vocals.”
4. Bury Me
“Bury Me” is just awesome, if not trippy at times.. and there are some really awesome guitar licks in this song right before the end where Billy sings “She will bury me”.
3. I Am One
“I Am One” even has a bass solo from D’arcy! That song shows where the band was at this point and it was really a good sign of how they could jam out. If anyone wants to prove someone that all of the band members were really talented musically, this would be the track to do that with.”
“The punch continues with “Siva”, which has amazing guitar work of Billy and James. I like it when the song gets more clean and “dreamy” as well. It’s like a taste of more greatness that was to come.”
“Bass still shines in some of these songs that come later, too. A great example of this is “Rhinoceros”, a good mix of new wave and hard rock that was kind of what the Pumpkins were. Once again, the guitar solo is amazing. Billy and James are such overlooked guitarists; nothing they do ever sucks. The vocals have some of my favorite melodies on Pumpkins tracks, as well. I like the way it fades out in the last thirty or so seconds, also.”