Feb 112011

Live Collection brings together every live cover we can find from an artist. And we find a lot.

Hailing from Chicago, IL, the Smashing Pumpkins helped blaze a trail for the wave of apathy that infected most ’90s alternative rock. They also gave hip kids from the Midwest the first nationally-recognizable band they could take pride in since Cheap Trick. Formed in 1988, the Pumpkins enjoyed over a decade of fame and influence until noted in-fighting brought about their dissolution at the turn of the millennium. After numerous side-projects and member-shuffling, the Pumpkins have once again taken to the stage under the leadership of Billy Corgan, perhaps one of rock music’s true auteurs.

The Pumpkins have celebrated their diverse influences via cover songs throughout their career. A quick scan of their recorded catalog reveals studio takes of tracks originally by acts like the Cars, Van Halen, Alice Cooper, the Cure and Missing Persons. Their live shows are similarly peppered with covers that one might not expect to hear from these iconic slackers. Some of these do seem like a natural fit though: it’s not too hard to draw a line to the Pumpkins from Neil Young, Depeche Mode or Pink Floyd, for instance.

On the other hand, some of these covers take the group into stranger territory. Check out bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur and guitarist James Iha duet on that sublimely cheesy ’80s standard “Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League. The Pumpkins can apparently lighten up a little after all. And then there’s their early take on Blue Öyster Cult‘s fairly ridiculous “Godzilla,” from a 1990 show at Chicago’s Metro. I’m not saying that Nirvana stole their arrangement for ’91’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from a Pumpkins cover about a movie monster but…well, listen for yourself.

Any band with a career as storied as the Smashing Pumpkins has racked up a lot of shows. Download our full covers collection below, either as individual files or two mega ZIP files. If we missed any covers, tell us in the comments and we’ll update!

Live Collection: The Smashing Pumpkins

Cars (Gary Numan cover) *
Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young cover) *
Close to You (The Carpenters cover)
Dancing in the Moonlight (Thin Lizzy cover)
Don’t You Want Me (Human League cover) *
Everybody Come Clap Your Hands (The Searchers cover)
Everything Is Beautiful (Ray Stevens cover)
Firestarter (Prodigy cover)
The Gambler (Kenny Rogers cover)
Games Without Frontiers (Peter Gabriel cover)
Girl Named Sandoz (The Animals cover)
Give Peace a Chance (John Lennon cover)
Glimpses (The Yardbirds cover)
Godzilla (Blue Öyster Cult cover) *
Hang On Sloopy (The McCoys cover)
I Just Wanna Make Love to You (Muddy Waters cover)
I Love Rock and Roll (Arrows cover)
I Only Play 4 Money (The Frogs cover)
I Want You to Want Me (Cheap Trick cover) *
I’m a King Bee (Slim Harpo cover)
I’m Sitting on Top of the World (Al Jolson cover)
I’ve Been Working (Bob Seger cover)
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Iron Butterfly cover)
In the Summertime (Mungo Jerry cover)
It’s a Long Way to the Top (AC/DC cover)
Johanna (Iggy Pop cover)
Join Together (The Who cover) *
The Joker (Steve Miller Band cover)
Kooks (David Bowie cover)
Landslide (Fleetwood Mac cover) *
Limelight (Rush cover)
Lips Like Sugar (Echo and the Bunnymen cover) *
Louie, Louie (The Kingsmen cover)
Love Is the Sweetest Thing (Ray Noble cover)
Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin cover)
Money (That’s What I Want) (Barrett Strong cover) *
Monster Mash (Bobby “Boris” Pickett cover)
My Blue Heaven (Gene Austin cover)
Never Let Me Down Again (Depeche Mode cover)
Nowhere Man (ft. Chris Isaak) (Beatles cover)
Ol’ 55 (Tom Waits cover)
On the Road Again (Canned Heat cover)
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)
Out of Focus (Blue Cheer cover)
Reptile (The Church cover)
Rock On (David Essex cover)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Johnny Marks cover)
Run Shaker Life (Richie Havens cover)
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Tom Stacks cover)
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (Pink Floyd cover)
Some Kind of Wonderful (Grand Funk Railroad cover)
Sookie Sookie (Steppenwolf cover)
The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Stay (U2 cover)
Stray Cat Blues (The Rolling Stones cover)
Taxman (Beatles cover) *
Terrapin (Syd Barrett cover)
To Love Somebody (Bee Gees cover)
Transmission (Joy Division cover)
Venus in Furs (The Velvet Underground cover)
Walkin’ the Dog (Rufus Thomas cover)
This Wheel’s on Fire (The Band cover)
Wipe Out (The Surfaris cover)


Check out more from the Smashing Pumpkins at their official website!

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  33 Responses to “Live Collection: The Smashing Pumpkins”

Comments (31) Pingbacks (2)
  1. Um…Alice Cooper’s “Clones” is missing…they covered it on the 1st disc of The Aeroplane Flies High boxed set & it fucking rocks. :)

  2. Again, Again, Again (The Crux) is an SP original from their American Gothic EP.

  3. Also: “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” from The Cars is awesome…how is it you’ve got all these obscure live ones listed, but missed some really amazing covers they actually put work into recording? :/
    P.S. “Again Again Again (The Crux)” is NOT a cover. >:(

  4. Again, Again, Again is not a cover, its a Pumpkins original. The Crux is the subtitle of the song, kinda like (Fuck You) An Ode to No One.

  5. Oh, yeah…you also missed their cover of The Cure’s “A Night Like This” (though i wish Billy had sung this instead of James because it could have been amazing) & “All the Young Dudes” by David Bowie.

  6. & “Born Under a Bad Sign”, which was also covered by Cream & Hendrix.

  7. Charlcie, most of the songs you named are studio recordings. This only compiles live cuts. As far as I could tell, none of those songs (great as they are) were performed live, unfortunately. The “All the Young Dudes” I found wasn’t the pumpkins, but Billy Corgan with David Bowie. If there is a Pumpkins version out there, tho, I’ll add it on to this post!

    Gyang333, thanks for the tip about Again, Again, Again. We’ll get it removed. Sorry!

  8. + “Isolation” by Joy Division.

  9. Isolation was actually A) a studio track and B) not recorded by the Pumpkins but by Billy’s side band, the Starchildren.

    You’re right about Bad Sign tho. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Oops…i missed the “live” part…sorry about that! :(
    The ones i listed are really awesome covers, though. :)
    And yes, you’re right about the David Bowie thing ~ it’s a duet {the bootleg i have has it listed as a cover & i forgot} & i’m not sure if “Born Under a Bad Sign” really counts, either, since Billy’s dad sang it (i was just scanning through my iTunes).
    {i am not afraid to admit when i am wrong.}
    So despite the “Again, Again, Again” thing, i suppose you can have your crown back as the “master grand~high live cover compiler of the Pumpkins universe”. ;)
    It’s an awesome list & i’m planning on downloading the ones i don’t have.

  11. Iron Man – Black Sabbath

    If you go to http://www.spfc.org/tours/date.html?year=0&date_display=0|0|0|||||0|0|0|0|0|0|1 you will may find more covers…

    Peace and Love

  12. Wow…you ARE good! I am impressed by your knowledge of the lexicon of Pumpkins. :)
    I didn’t know that “Isolation” was from his Starchildren side project.
    Damn these bootleggers & their incorrect labeling of things!
    {Only kidding…without the bootleggers, i wouldn’t have the vast Pumpkins collection that i do.} ;)

  13. Charlcie, I feel you on the bootleggers and their labeling. That’s why I made that Again, Again, Again mistake, which is totally my fault.

    Re: Born Under a Bad Sign, even if Billy’s dad sang it, it’s still fair game. A few of the ones posted above feature Billy Sr. too!

    Lizzy: I chose not to include any snippets or teases the Pumpkins did of songs during extended jams on “Heavy Metal Machine,” “Silverfuck” or the rest. I’m pretty sure “Iron Man” falls into that category… at least, all the ones I’ve found. If there is a full performance out there, please share. Also, thanks for the setlists link!

  14. I thought that might be the case :) you’re welcome!

  15. born on the bayou-CCR (played at voodoo fest 2007)

  16. Faatherton, the version of that I’m seeing is part of a “Heavy Metal Machine” jam… it was just a couple minutes long, not the whole song, right? (I could have an incomplete file)

  17. great collection, though the track you have listed as landslide. i don’t know what it it is.. but i know its not landslide .. still great .. thanks

  18. oops just realised that its limelight , the rush song .. just the titles transposed on the download. . so glad the live version of landslide is on there after all.

  19. Weymes: agreed. It almost feels like cheating to include a “Landslide” cover since the studio version was a hit for them, but it’s just such a good cover. Probably my favorite take on the song, actually, including the original.

  20. The Pumpkins also played Baby Loves to Rock and Auf Wiedersehen with Cheap Trick on Oct. 23, 1995 at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago. Also known as the “Blackout” bootleg.

  21. Kevin: Indeed they did. Those were included with the post at first, but they were removed since they’re more like live collaborations between bands than covers. What do you think – would you like links to them here?

  22. No need to post links. I have a copy of the bootleg CD. =)

  23. Wasn’t the Iggy Pop cover “Johanna” a Billy Corgan solo cover. Did the Pumpkins cover this song as well?

  24. Kevin, you may be right. The recordings I found of Johanna are from the summer of 2005 and were labeled “Smashing Pumpkins.” I know that’s a year before Zietgiest came out, but I thought perhaps the band played some warm-up/cover shows before going back to the studio. If I’m wrong, my apologies. Of course we can still keep the covers here if you guys want.

  25. Yes, Johanna was strictly a BC solo gem, circa 2005 and Zeitgeist was released in 2007. No need to apologize. I’m not trying to be difficult. Just chatting music.


  26. I appreciate the correction. I think a few of the ones above may be from 2005 Billy solo shows. For now, tho, we can leave them up just cuz they’re kind of cool. If you guys want them gone, let us know! I guess at this point, SP is basically a Billy solo project anyway…

  27. No problem, I think Billy solo cover (and even Zwan) would be in there…

  28. Now that’s an interesting thought. Do you guys want me to add Zwan and the Billy solo stuff? We could do a separate post perhaps…

  29. More Billy related stuff is never bad! I would be interested in seeing what you have that I don’t since I kind of got away from trying to get everything possible during that era.

  30. Hi, is the Smashing Pumpkins songs is now available on CD?

  31. Could you update this? It’s no longer available for download, and probably a good chunk to add after 8 years.

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