Credit: YouTube

Billy Corgan’s isolated vocal on Smashing Pumpkins ‘Cherub Rock’ is proof he is one of the greatest rock singers

One of the iconic bands of the alt-rock scene, The Smashing Pumpkins, are still loved today by millions and millions of fans. Many of those fans were initially captivated by the band’s leading man Billy Corgan.

His sardonic tone, socially wry lyrics, and determined ethos meant he was an idol of Generation-X almost instantly. Yet, too often in our opinion, his greatest asset is too often overlooked. Billy Corgan is one hell of a singer and this isolated vocal track of The Smashing Pumpkins’ 1993 song ‘Cherub Rock’.

The song, taken from the band’s sophomore record; Siamese Dream, is a scathing assessment from Corgan of the so-called ‘indie’ scene which was being commercialised at every turn. It was one of the last songs written for the album but Billy and the band made sure it was the first release from the LP, ahead of record executive’s favourite ‘Today’.

The band’s decision was honoured and although the record execs were on the money (this time), with ‘Today’ being a much better commercial success story, the track soon became a fan favourite. It remains to this day as such, least of all because ‘Cherub Rock’ had a pain, an artistic drive, and a cadence that connected with its audience. A song seemingly suited for the rock radio it drives ahead like any indie-rock song should, like a flashy motor on an open road.

If the song’s message was ready to be heard it would be up to Corgan to deliver it. He does so with aplomb but it is only when heard in isolation does this resonate most strongly.

[MORE] – Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan picks his 10 favourite metal albums of all time

In the clip below for The Smashing Pumpkins’ song, the singer ranges from a gravel-tone sadness to a tonal fury that fills every inch of your speaker. At times scratching and whiskey-soaked and at others a bellowing plethora of frustration, with the song’s crescendo being those all important “Let me out!” lines delivered with a ferocious snarl.

The isolated vocal allows you to hone in on not only the song’s message but also the emotion that goes with it. Corgan here adds another texture of expression with every note. It was a performance that was picked up by one award show that year as he received a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal at the Grammys. He really should’ve won.

Listen below to the isolated vocal of Billy Corgan on The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Cherub Rock’ and hear why he is one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

‘Cherub Rock’ – lyrics

Freak out
And give in
Doesn’t matter what you believe in
Stay cool
And be somebody’s fool this year
‘Cause they know
Who is righteous, what is bold
So I’m told

Who wants honey
As long as there’s some money
Who wants that honey?

Hipsters unite
Come align for the big fight to rock for you
But beware
All those angels with their wings glued on
‘Cause deep down
They are frightened and they’re scared
If you don’t stare

Who wants honey
As long as there’s some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

Tell me all of your secrets
Cannot help but believe this is true
Tell me all of your secrets
I know, I know, I know
Should have listened when I was told

Who wants honey
As long as there is some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

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