“Disarm” by The Smashing Pumpkins (1993)

The majestic sweep of “Disarm” captured me before I even figured out its title. It’s beautiful. Hearing it now, I’m wondering when the last time a string arrangement in a pop song captured my attention.

I missed Gish the first time around, discovering it years after its release (and to this day not being incredibly crazy about it). The late summer ‘93 release of Siamese Dream (and the subsequent blowing up of The Smashing Pumpkins) coincided nicely with my first job in music retail, my first consistent exposure to MTV, and my subsequent opening up to lots of bands and genres that I wasn’t previously familiar with. Corgan’s whine (which now reminds me of Eric Cartman from South Park) spoke to my teenage soul for two or three years…and then it very much didn’t. I pretty much checked out after Adore. And now I find him insufferable to the point that it would be very difficult for me to appreciate new Pumpkins music. But “Disarm” still gets to me, and probably always will.

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