The Smashing Pumpkins

Cherub Rock

Composed by Billy Corgan

Song Review by

It's appropriate that Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin starts off this song with a circus drum roll, it being the lead track to the Siamese Dream album. Like all the rest on that record, "Cherub Rock" was actually recorded by himself and Billy Corgan alone, Corgan believing that the other members weren't yet up to his dreamed-of standards. Whatever the rationale, as a twosome Corgan and Chamberlin created a brilliant single -- while others from Siamese Dream would end up breaking the band into the big time, "Cherub Rock" smokes with searing passion and performance. In part this has to do with the lyrics, a wickedly hilarious slam against what Corgan considered small-minded indie rock culture (a sentiment pretty much returned in kind) couched in his preferred metaphor-via-obsessive self-focus. If it was just this it might not have amounted to as much, but with a dramatic, rushed intro, a blasting, flowing central riff with overdub on top of overdub (Butch Vig's production skills are clear throughout) and a Mick Ronson-in-overdrive solo on top of everything else, "Cherub Rock" does just that. It rocks, and rocks hard.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Cherub Rock 1993 Hut Records 4:59
Siamese Dream 1993 EMI / Virgin 4:58
Singles of the Week 1993 1993
Various Artists
BMG/RCA
Triple J Hottest 100 1994
Various Artists
4:58
No Image 1994 Not Guilty 4:26
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness 1995 EMI
First Generation: Virgin 25 Years 1998
Various Artists
Virgin 4:59
Greatest Hits 2001 Virgin 4:59
Earphoria 2002 Virgin 4:24
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock 2007
Original Video Game Soundtrack
Interscope 4:58
Oceania: Live in NYC [Video] 2013 Universal 4:43
Cherub Rock: Live at the Cabaret Metro, Chicago, Il - August 14, 1993 BRR
Oceania: 3D in NYC [Video] Universal 5:09
Rhinoceros Daydream Gold Standard Laboratories
Rock the Riviera Gossip 4:21
blue highlight denotes editor's pick