1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Release Date: 1994
Catalogue Number: 7 2438 39834 2 1
Record Label: Virgin Records America, Inc.
Disc Time: 57:29
Text Billy wrote in the booklet can be seen here:
Pisces Iscariot = Arguably better than ANY B-Sides album EVER Released.
This is no ordinary B-Sides compilation that was thrown together from old
discarded songs and demos that were plain jane material.
Smashing Pumpkins were know for making loud and quite music and putting
it together rather nicely. This CD is no exception. The range of
songs is astonishing, from the raw angry “pissant" to the beautiful soothe.
I have included what Billy said about each song the Pumpkins wrote in italics.
Soothe - 4/5. A Very mellow, sad acoustic ballad about loneliness and
being hungry. One of Billy's old acoustic demos from the Siamese era.
Here is what Billy said about Soothe:
"Recorded in my bedroom at my old apartment. You can hear the 7 a.m.
buses slithering by. A song for my babies. Children of the earth and such
I wanted to put this on Siamese Dream, but I wimped out. It's a song
about how you sometimes just feel empty inside. It always makes me cry. "
Frail and Bedazzled - 5/5. A nice, short, mellow rocker with some real
attitude. Corgan's solo is pretty fun to hear in this one.
Here is what Billy had to say about the song:
"Written for the monolith in '92- we jut never got around to investing
the proper time into this lullaby. We recorded this in about one hour,
and I wished we had spent more time, but... From the me vs. rock file.
Wrote these lyrics in the parking garage where i used to live/rehearse.
It was very cold in there-but quiet. You could hear the squeaking tires
at night, sounded like ghosts or something, but I wrote this message from
me to me to you. infinite lost at word sea. Owes a great debt to the band
Skunk, with whom I ripped part of this song off. Skunk was probably the
greatest band that I ever knew/saw
that is virtually unknown. "
Plume - 4/5 Taken from the "I Am One" single, this fuzzed-out Slow
rocker is a nice little song that takes the album into a different side
of the pumpkins. Relatively boring riff, but great solos.
Here is what Billy said about Plume:
"A groover from the Iha file- assembled I- in sane said bedroom and
recorded only a few days later at Kerry's studio. Another demo thing that
turned ugly and mean and got released. I know I wrote some of these
lyrics waiting for my dad to pick me up at the aeroport. My boredom has
outshined the sun. Sometimes you don't spend as much time on the lyrics-
and sometimes they're better- more how you REALLY feel. "
Whir - 4/5. Possibly the mellowest song on the album, this song is
respected by many, hated by few. It seems to have a bit of a country
twist to it.
Here is what Billy said about the Whir:
"Another recorded in an hour type that has been in the box. Part of the
Glynis lineage- sweet and sadness I've wasted all my years. I must have
written that line a zillion times, it just ended up here. Sometimes when
I listen to this, I hear who we really are. "
Blew Away - 4/5. From the James Iha collection. This song never really struck me until recently. My second favorite Iha song next to "The Boy"
Billy Corgan (taken exactly from PI liner):
"blew away - written by and produced by the man himself, welcome to
james. quiet and cool and whispered. this is a beautiful song. the only
song we have ever done that i was not did not stick my nose into and i am
glad i didn't. not to be confused with blue."
Pissant - 5/5. A nice two minute rocker with some super fast powerchords and some attitude. Loud, mindless fun, with the teenage angst we all love so much.
Here is what Billy said about Pissant:
"Pissant is one of the few things we have ever recorded live. Done during
the Siamese Dream sessions late at night and full of teenage pain. I made
up all these lyrics in ten minutes- got me a raygun, got me an altitude,
can't help feeling something's wrong with everyone of you- don't know
what it's about. Don't care. Rawk. Kerry and D'arcy tried to talk me into
putting this on the album and I was tempted, but no I just couldn't see
it in there amongst the tall trees. Not as much shade or room for the
little ones. "
Hello Kitty Kat - 4/5. A Slow Rocker that flanges in and out of your
speakers on high octane fuzz.
Here is what Billy said about Hello Kitty Kat:
"Now this song was a toughie because I really had intended to put this on
that album. But the ghosts of Gish said no no no so I left it alone kinda
because I really destroyed the mix. My most passive aggressive song. Say
hello before you say good-bye I should go before you make me cry she
wants to bleed every drop inside of me but I aim to please the little
girl inside of me too you know I hate say I always stay I don't want to
be like the others please who's sorry now if is how you how..............
love to love to love what you adore. Assemble a somewhat continuous
collection of this. "
Obscured - 5/5. Beautiful song, taken from the "Today" single. The lyrics for this are top notch, best on the album.
Here is what Billy had to say about the song.
"Obscured is old because it was originally supposed to be on the Lull
E.P. which was really supposed to be a single but they tricked me.
Written during Gish recordings, we have finished it and let it sit for
two years and then it can come out as the B side of Today in the U.K. The
darkland. So it was on all of friends tapes and supposed to be on the
next one but I swore I would never again re-record one of our own songs
because it is lame to do so."
Landslide - 3.5/5. Not the best job of singing by Corgan, and it's not
the best cover they've ever done. In my opinion, Dancing In The Moonlight
would have better fit in Landslide's Place.
Starla - 5/5. Nothing is perfect, but this song gets a five from me,
because this is pure Pumpkins. It's raw Pumpkin power. It starts off with
a slow rhythm, leaves out with an Asus2 chord...then kick on the dirt box
and VROOM!! This thing takes off. Billy goes INSANE on guitar (using a
load of effects in the process) for the 6 minute jam session after the
actual song is finished. Beautiful noise. Don't skip over this one.
Here is what Billy said about Starla:
"My friend Aneta still says to me that this song should have been on
Siamese Dream. But back again to that no record 2x rule. This was
recorded at the same time as Plume, and was also intended to be a demo,
but we needed b-sides for our pretty worthless I an One U.K. Single (the
dark continent). So in a way Plume and Starla were their own single if
that makes any sense at all. Recorded over time, or recorded at two
different sessions, one for vocals and solos, and one for drums, etc....
Another song with vocals written at the last second. I wrote the middle
part on the back of an envelope- serve yourself no one else can do for
you like you and no one else fails like me but in my eyes I burn alive no
more words just you and I high in the sky- some of my favorite lyrics.
Better that I did not care. Solo played at 7 a.m. Listen for the police
car going by. I met this girl in Dallas when we were on tour with the
Chili Peppers and that was where I got the idea for the song because when
she said her name I thought wow, what a great title for a song.. Two and
one fourth years later, I run into this same girl at a part and I say did
you hear that song we recorded using your name, starla? And she said, no
my name is Darla but hey Starla, Darla whatever it doesn't matter, so
there you go. Never trust a girl who ends up with, well I can't say."
Blue - 4/5. This song takes several twists and turns. As soon as it's
done rocking, then it slows to a mellow pace, then starts rocking again.
Here is what Billy said about Blue:
"Blue is the only Gish outtake represented here. From the Lull single.
Viva lull and remastered by our man Howie for your listening pleasure.
Yet another sad happy song from the O'Corrigan file. I thought about
using an acoustic version of the song for this album, but it seemed silly
to have a different version of an unknown song. Maybe someday. On tour
forever, blue I lay with you this velvet morning stay with me for a while
a million yes's and no's strewn across 6 long years. But it all adds up
to something even if you are not quite sure of what that is. "
Girl Named Sandoz - 3/5. An Animals' Cover written by the infamous Eric Burdon and John Weide. It's a good song to get up and dance to, which is not something the pumpkins' usual make you do.
La Dolly Vita - 5/5. Taken from the "Tristessa" vinyl. I understand why
it was a B-Side. It would have never fit with the distorted fury of Gish.
Sort of reminiscent of Crush, this is one of my favorite songs from the
Pumpkins. Absolutely beautiful.
Here is what Billy said about La Dolly Vita:
"So old yet it is kinda timeless in a strange way. I think it is because
it has a dignity all in it. So many mistakes but the raygun is always on
catch my assumption. Mary's always on the shoulder and the devil has his
pitch fork on that backside of yours. La Dolly Vita, true as blue sky,
cool as ice cream. The beside of our second single recorded with Butch
Vig. We recorded this and Tristessa on the same day somewhere in the past
and it was also the first day back. Many memories. Sorry, a tad too
personal. Be careful what you say but be more careful what you don't.
Well, a song like this we don't play live. Mostly not because it is a bad
song. But because the band has never found the right way to play it.
We've managed to record it in the studio. I would much rather not play a
song and have it be sacred. I don't want to sound religious about it.
But, I mean if something is dear to your heart, and you got to go out
every night a ruin it and trying to play that song live is we keep
ruining and ruining. Part of the problem to was that it has and alternate
tuning. So, if your playing it to friends... "
Spaced - 3/5. This is an odd one here. Experimental sounds and passing voices in and out. Vulgar language is all over the place in this one, though you can hardly make out a word Billy speaks. Not really a song, but a good closure for this collection. Here is what Billy said about Spaced. "Spaced is kinda hard to explain so I won't, but if you listen real close you can hear the seven secrets of the seven veils of Apollo. Part of the Siamese Dream debris collection. "