The Smashing Pumpkins

Mashed Potatoes

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The holy grail of Smashing Pumpkins collectibles for the hardcore fanatic, Mashed Potatoes was originally 'released' by Billy Corgan as a small run -- less than ten copies total -- of an informal five-CD box set covering the band's first five years, from 1988 to 1993. The copies were given to friends close to the band for Christmas, 1994, and while a smattering of tracks emerged after part of D'Arcy's copy was stolen, it is considered "The Great Lost Release": known about but utterly unheard. A number of songs surfaced here and there indirectly, as many early demo tapes and live efforts made the rounds, but 2003 finally saw the five discs circulate via CD and MP3 trading -- presumably Corgan, who had released a flood of material in 2000 in circuitous fashion on the Internet, decided the time was right after Zwan called it a day. There's no real rhyme or reason to the discs' organization -- early demos, comparatively recent songs, interview snippets, and odd digressions and bits of stage banter are all jumbled together; it's like a mix collection from the person most responsible for it all existing in the first place. Some of the most enjoyable songs are the earliest, where Corgan was clearly enthralled by both his Goth and headbanging pasts. The former emerges with such sinuous, distinctly Cure-tinged songs as "Bleed," "Under Your Spell," and "Jennifer Ever," while Iron Maiden mania is equally evident elsewhere. Other intriguing revelations include a regular obsession with religious imagery ("Jesus Loves His Babies," which includes a wacky phone message from the titular character; "Jesus Is the Sun") that wouldn't resurface to such an extent until the Machina era. The various live and alternate versions of familiar songs can provide good surprises -- a take on "Window Paine" with a frenetic, rampaging midsection, an acoustic "Rocket" from a record store appearance on Siamese Dream's release date, a great studio acoustic "Luna," and an alternate "Spaceboy" with guitar in place of Mellotron. The covers are a mixed lot that are more interesting in terms of choice than in their performances. The Who's "I'm Free," the Rolling Stones' "Stray Cat Blues," Steve Miller's "The Joker," and the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" are solid instead of revelatory, though "Godzilla," by Blue Öyster Cult, gets the humor right. One of the exceptions is a bemusing choice, "Sookie Sookie" by Don Covay via Steppenwolf, which features Corgan happily declaring he need never cover the song again midway through its length.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:48
2 3:38
3 5:02
4 2:47
5 3:08
6 4:41
7 5:51
8 0:37
9 7:44
10 4:12
11 4:01
12 3:25
13 7:01
14 2:52
15 6:58
16 2:45
17 5:00
18 3:54
19 3:04
20 3:30
21 3:44
22 4:43
23 0:43
24 4:54
25 6:06
26 8:11
27 3:21
28 3:47
29 5:29
30 4:08
31 0:36
32 4:14
33 3:31
34 4:02
35 3:25
36 7:50
37 1:14
38 2:29
39 4:08
40 4:04
41 3:59
42 3:51
43 2:50
44 4:14
45 0:54
46 3:27
47 4:33
48 3:33
49 4:14
50 2:20
51 2:44
52 3:48
53 3:38
54 3:24
55 8:45
56 3:32
57 4:13
58 3:50
59 2:43
60 3:43
61 5:26
62 3:54
63 6:01
64 6:14
65 5:58
66 4:36
67 3:05
68 5:27
69 9:41
70 1:20
71 3:02
72 5:49
73 2:39
74 4:41
75 1:56
76 3:03
77 4:02
blue highlight denotes track pick