The Smashing Pumpkins

Rhinoceros

Composed by Billy Corgan

Song Review by

Gish, the first Smashing Pumpkins album, wasn't really meant to break down walls with its singles, but a few tracks got some attention due to decent rotation on MTV, especially after the breakthrough of "alternative rock" in the fall of 1991. "Rhinoceros," the second song pulled from Gish, was not released as a single, but rather as the lead track of the Lull EP, as Hut/Caroline opted for the more indie cred-worthy EP route. Musically, it was a departure for those only aware of the band through MTV, which had been playing the more rocking "Siva" for some time. Blissfully psychedelic, "Rhinoceros" has a slow build, with Billy Corgan's effects-laden guitars floating over a rather restrained Jimmy Chamberlain and a wonderfully simple D'Arcy bassline. But of course Corgan can't resist rockin' out, and halfway through the song bursts out of its atmospherics with heavy riffs and James Iha's signature solos. In a sense, it's a bit of a microcosm of the entire Gish album: slow, heavy, dreamy, and psychedelic all at once. One of the Pumpkins' more brilliant early moments.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Gish 1991 Virgin 6:32
Lull 1991 Caroline Distribution 5:57
Going Underground [Eurostar] 1992
Various Artists
Eurostar 6:31
Pumpkin Seeds 1993 Sponge Records
No Image 1994 Kiss the Stone
No Image 1994
No Image 1994 Not Guilty 4:35
No Image 1995 Chance
Greatest Hits 2001 Virgin 5:53
No Image 2005 Virgin 5:56