Smashing Pumpkins ‘Monuments to an Elegy’ Projected First Week Sales Disappoint

ChartNews is reporting that based on one day sales, Smashing Pumpkins’ new album Monuments to an Elegy will sell 17-19,000 copies in the United States during its first week on sale, based on one day sales.  This is the lowest first week sales total in the band’s career, outside of 1991’s Gish.  The album has been seen as a creative return to form for the band, despite the sales.

J. Cole will debut with 320-250,000, Carrie Underwood with 85-90,000, and K. Michelle with 75-80,000. The Pumpkins’ last album, 2012’s Oceania, sold 54,000 copies in its first week on sale.

Previous first week sales for Smashing Pumpkins albums:
Oceania (2012) – 54,000
Zeitgeist (2007) – 145,000
MACHINA/The Machines of God (2000) – 165,000
Adore (1998) – 174,000
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) – 246,500
Siamese Dream (1993) – 71,900

Below is Alternative Nation’s 4 star review of Monuments to an Elegy:

Billy Corgan has been hyping up Smashing Pumpkins’ new album Monuments to an Elegy ever since the ambitious project (which also includes its followup Day For Night) was announced earlier this year. BillCo even told AlternativeNation.net in September, “I feel like it’s there, and all of the response that I’ve gotten behind the scenes is off the charts. Just a really, really intense response. Things like people saying, ‘This is the record I’ve been waiting for you to make for 15 years.’ That kind of stuff, very grandiose things, but it tells me that we’re on point, in terms of hitting the right note. Because if you made like, ‘Hahaha, Siamese Dream 2,’ people wouldn’t have that response. They wouldn’t see it as current, and I know that from my own list, so it feels current to people that are hearing it.” You can stream the full album on iTunes by clicking here.

Opener “Tiberius” sets the tone for the unpredictable album. There is a sense of familiarity with the riff, which does harken back a bit to 90’s Pumpkins, but the piano parts and Corgan’s ‘ghosts and gods’ refrain keep the song sounding fresh. The production is noticeably solid on this track, which helps alleviate any fears of missteps like Zeitgeist.

“Being Beige” is the album’s lead single, and when it first came out I was caught a bit off guard, as with Corgan’s hype I was expecting a big rocker, but the track has grown into being one of my favorite rock songs of 2014. Corgan’s lyrics of heartbreak still have a sense of sincerity that many of his contemporaries have lost in the later years of their career. Corgan sings: ‘I don’t love you/for what it’s worth/so if you’re leaving could you hurt.’ Even as he pushes 50, Corgan still sounds lost and yearning for love, which always makes for great music. The song has two great hooks, with the standout being: ‘The world’s on fire/have you heard?’ “Being Beige” features one of Corgan’s best vocal performances in recent years.

“Anaise!” is probably the oddest song on the album, opening with a bass riff mixed with synth. There are some good vocals during the chorus, but this song isn’t as immediate as the first two. A new part comes 2 minutes in that helps elevate the song, and it gives it some potential as a grower.

When “One and All” first was released I thought it was a little Pumpkins by numbers, but after “Anaise” it makes sense to go back to basics. The song has a classic Grunge rock riff, and is a nice midlevel album cut, but there are more memorable songs on the album.

“Run2Me” is the best song Billy Corgan has written since “Tarantula,” maybe even Zwan. The track is driven by synth, with some shades of New Order and Bruce Springsteen (and even The Killers). “Run2Me” has an incredibly catchy hook, ‘Run to me/my love is strange,’ it easily sounds like something that could easily be a huge radio hit. Corgan covers new sonic ground here and doesn’t sound like he’s reaching for the past, but reaching for new melodic highs. Tommy Lee gives one of his best performances here, giving a real edge to what is at its core a beautiful pop song.

“Drum + Fife” is another song with a catchy chorus, there is a real emphasis on this album of cutting through the bullshit and having a strong hook, and getting there as quick as possible. There are some corny aspects of the song like the line ‘I will bang this drum until my dying day’ but the tight arrangement and chorus makes it memorable.

“Monuments” sounds very contemporary, like something that could be played at a club while kids my age do ecstasy. When it comes to experimentation, this track worse much better than “Anaise!.” There are still classic Corgan melodic parts thrown in despite the club vibe of the song.

“Dorian” sounds a bit like Adore. It’s a nice track with some interesting sonic textures, but it gets a little repetitive.

“Anti-Hero” has been hyped as having a ‘Grunge’ riff, but it has more shades of pop punk. It’s one of the catchiest songs on the album, and sounds like something somebody in their 20’s today might write, in a good way.

Overall, this album proves that Billy Corgan has something left to give the world of rock. He sounds focused here on writing the best songs he can, with the biggest hooks possible. This isn’t Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, it’s The Smashing Pumpkins in 2014. Monuments to an Elegy is Corgan’s tightest album since Zwan’s Mary Star of the Sea, and while 2012’s Oceania was a solid album, this one packs more of a punch and has catchier songs.

Rating: ****

pumpkinstar

Best songs: Run2Me, Being Beige, Tiberius, Anti-Hero, and Monuments

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  • You know who I am

    Not surprised.

  • God

    hahaha

  • Dave Brookes

    You see Billy?? All your new age enlightment and refusal to work in the alternative grunge music culture has come back to haunt your stupid ignorant ass 🙂 hahaha , good! I got sick of hearing Billy Corgan bitching about how bad music is right now and bad lousy and how terrible grunge revival music is, its time to put his session driven band where it belongs. At the bottom of the rock n roll charts. Maybe next time you won’t be so hard on bands like Pearl Jam and The Foo Fighters, who know how to roll with the times and make great comeback albums unlike your petty ego which hasnt really inspired a lot of great musicianship, just a lot of bark with no bite

    • josephine blackheart

      I would LOVE to hear your music.

      • Dave Brookes

        FINE AND IF I DID HAVE A ROCK BAND TO TALK ABOUT, I WOULD MAKE SURE MY BAND DIDNT HAVE A LOUSY FRONTMAN WHO COMPLAINS ALL THE TIME ABOUT HOW MUCH MUSIC SUCKS WHEN ITS THE BANDS FAULT FOR NOT KEEPING UP THEIR STANDARD OF TRUE MUSICIANSHIP AND NOT TO BLAME POOR RECORD SALES ON ULTERIOR MOTIVES IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS.

        • Corndog

          See? I told you that argument was stupid on that other thread. Maybe now you’ll agree:)

        • josephine blackheart

          First off….Thanks for the all caps response back to my simple statement, a great way to get your point across…

          Second….Could you not a be a front person yourself?

          Third….You’d don’t know what you’re talking about.

          Fourth.,…Why are you following me now?

          • Disraeli Gears

            This Dave Brookes guy is really delusional, I wouldn’t take him seriously. I saw a comment he wrote on an article about how he doesn’t like the new Pumpkins album because its just “the same old riffs” yet hes a big Foo Fighters fan, I don’t think I even need to explain how ridiculous that is.

          • josephine blackheart

            Yes…I saw that. I have been a SP fan since 1991, and I’m digging the new album quite a bit. I know its not SD or MCIS but this is 2014, I don’t think people really want to hear that again….unless you were 2 years old in 93/95. Dave Brookes seems like a special kind of guy…I dont think he knows the difference between shit and shampoo.

            You’re cool Disraeli Gears, you seem like a real SP fan yourself and I respect that.

          • Disraeli Gears

            Yeah I was born in 94 and I don’t want a SD or MCIS 2! I want to see artists take risks and move forward musically. Thanks for the compliment, the Pumpkins are definitely one of my favorite bands!

          • josephine blackheart

            You are RARE my friend.

    • burgervan

      You’re way too invested in what aging rock stars think of each other.

  • Disraeli Gears

    LEAVE BILLY ALONE!! LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!

    • Scott Bussey

      He should probably stop putting his foot in his mouth. The guy tries to start feuds like he’s a west coast rapper circa 1996.

      • Disraeli Gears

        Scott Bussey- a man incapble of reading sarcasm, who spends time commenting on an article of an artist he isn’t a fan of.

  • Bonado

    I loved this.
    Less money.
    Less ego.

  • Corndog

    Anyone that didn’t buy the album just doesn’t get it, but they will in 5 years or so when we look back and see that yes, Billy was right. 80’s synth-pop WAS the way forward afterall….

    • Disraeli Gears

      Ah c’mon Corndog, I get that you don’t like the new album, its hit and miss for me personally. But just cause it has synths and the songs are pop doesn’t mean the music should be categorized as 80’s synth-pop, thats like saying using dirty distorted guitars is grunge music.

      • Corndog

        I’m just jerking his chain for my own amusement. He started it;)

        • Disraeli Gears

          Gotcha, shots fired!! haha

  • Corndog

    I wonder if Lightningbolt sold better than this? Nah…..sure Pearl Jam just don’t have the songs….In your face Billy! That’s what you get for talking shit about your uncle Eddie. Karma’s a bitch!

    • Disraeli Gears

      I don’t think its karma, I think Pearl Jam just has a bigger fan base and deservedly so, they’ve stuck together since the inception of the band unlike Corgan. I know you are going to take this the wrong way but you seem butt hurt about Corgans comment about Pearl Jam. I guess someone criticizing Vedder/PJ is like someone attacking your family to you, I get it “Uncle Eddie” is God to you.

      • Corndog

        Yeah, you know what? It’s really fucking daft, but you’re right. I do almost take it personally when i hear someone criticise Vedder. See? Didn’t take it the wrong way at all. I can’t argue with that when it is clear from my posts that what you have said is true. I’ve been like that with PJ (mostly your uncle Eddie) pretty much for as long as i have been into them.
        Difference is though, Eddie has no flaws…. 🙂

        • Disraeli Gears

          Well I can respect that you can at least admit to being a PJ fanboy basically. I can’t even go off at you thinking Vedder is flawless because with all your Uncle Eddie talk it seems silly.

          • Corndog

            Be honest, from now on, you’ll always think of him as your uncle Eddie too. In all seriousness, I can criticise Eddie with the best of them, I just tend not to do it publicly. I know the guy isn’t perfect but he is pretty damn awesome:)

  • Billy

    If Corgan put as much effort into the studio as he does expressing jealousy and envy about the success of his peers, i’m sure he would write a much better album. The only way to prove that he is more talented and worthy of praise is to walk the walk, because he sure loves to talk and not back it up.

    The chip on the shoulder, the desire to be the best used to be a driving creative spark. With age and maturity, bands like PJ and Foo have been able to find new ways to explore and express their creativity and still remain relevant. Corgan tells people that everything he works on is penultimate and then he releases it and it’s like….that’s it?

    As much as Corgan’s personality has turned me off of his music, everyone would agree that the talent is there. He will continue to fall short of expectations until he realizes that his “me against everyone” schtick should have been resolved by the time he got to his 30’s. Even the Corgan die-hards should be able to admit that he’s emotionally immature.

    • burgervan

      Penultimate means second-to-last.

  • GSUSHC

    your fanbase ain’t gone mate, its going because of your big dumb stupid
    fat mouth…..shut the fuck up and make music because that’s what you’re
    good at and that’s what you get payed well to do.

    Nobodies paying you to spew out dumb shit in spoken word that you’ve took to doing of late!

  • CraigPW1984

    I’m not surprised by the sales figures. The album is a disappointment. The only Pumpkins material Monuments trumps are the Teargarden songs released before Oceania. Aside from “One and All”, this album is more of a new wave/pop album. A couple of good songs out of only 9 tracks doesn’t cut it…

  • GhastlyFuckFace

    I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t disappointed with this album. Oceania was an excellent comeback album. The fan base touted it, and it got generally positive reviews across the board for a reason. He actually PUT some effort in, and created something worthwhile with the help of a FULL BAND. For him to shove Nicole & Mike to the side, in favor of an approach more in-line with Zeitgeist…?

    It shows. Structurally, I like the songs. The drums? Yes, they are better. The lyrics? Yeah, they’re awful. Tiberius, Anaise!, One & All, Monuments and Dorian may be good songs to my ear, but that’s 5 out of 9 songs. Not a good ratio. Toss in the lyrical stumble…and it just simply does not stack up.

    Billy may be the main, most important component in the Pumpkins, but for him to go from a full-band ‘return-to-form’ and creative period, back to employing the ‘I’m the musical equivalent of Batman & I stand alone’ bullshit? It shows.

    There was a life brimming from Oceania. Sure, the original band wasn’t there, but the four of them came up with a fresh, new vibe that worked. Nicole, especially, lifted that album to new heights on Oceania. Oh, not to mention, Billy was singing like he gave a shit again, and the lyrics weren’t trite & fucking simplistic like they are on Monuments.

    Day For Night needs to be mind-blowing in order to redeem this. If it isn’t, then he should seriously consider burying the hatchet. When will he learn that whenever he takes absolute control in the studio, people can tell the difference? It doesn’t work. It worked for Siamese Dream, but he also had Jimmy (and James’ two fantastic song ideas to base off of). It worked once in 1993…it won’t work in 2014.

    He needs to put everything he has into Day For Night, drop the moniker after that, unleash his 2000-2013 back-catalogue and disappear for a while.

    • Eddie Yarler

      Hmmm I agree with you about really putting 110% into Day for Night in regards to creativity, and marketing but disappearing for a while is the kiss of death for some bands. The really big acts like Metallica, and AC/DC can do that but if Billy did that I think it could kill his career.

  • burgervan

    I can’t believe how butt hurt everyone is over Billy Corgan’s not-at-all uncommon opinion that Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters have been spinning their wheels for over a decade. I’m not even a big Smashing Pumpkins fan, but neither of those bands have released anything that can rival Siamese Dream. They’re middle of the road and always have been.

    • Eddie Yarler

      People are just fucking stupid fanboys honestly. He didn’t even really diss either band.

      • Disraeli Gears

        Exactly, you guys got it right. Some fan bases are cult like and can’t take any criticism. Alternative bands like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and Tool come to mind, and I like all those bands but the fans can be really overly protective to put it nicely.

    • Scott Bussey

      Pumpkins are garbage. Always have been. Always will be.

      • Disraeli Gears

        Well I would disagree. Rhinoceros, Rocket, Mayonaise, Galapogos, Obscured are great songs to name a few. Maybe you never gave them a chance beyond the hits. As a aspiring musician I find the Pumpkins(the original band) to be way more inspiring than most alternative rock especially shit like the Foo Fighters today. To each their own i guess.

  • Eddie Yarler

    Damn that’s crazy. I don’t understand why his sales are depleting? How come Oceania sold so much more than this? I haven’t heard songs from either albums on the radio and Oceania has 30.000 copies more.
    Honestly though Billy just put himself in a hole (lol Courtney Love, eww) in terms of relevance. And NO it has nothing to do with him “not being down to Earth” or “having a big ego” like so many of the crybabies here are saying. Its because he has refused to play what made him great. Yea I know he puts hits in his setlist yada yada but he seems so against being nostalgic to the point where its ruining his career. There is NOTHING wrong with celebrating the work that got you to where you are. Celebrating the anniversaries of Melon Collie, Adore, Siamese Dream could have helped GREATLY with relevance. Having the original band back would put him near Pearl Jam’s level right now, regardless of whether they contributed creatively or not people still see Smashing Pumpkins as a band, not just Billy and friends which is what it is. I know he wrote all the material but the same thing applies to Guns N’ Roses.

  • http://bangbros.com Bill Austeh

    So much for Tommy pee and Brad Wilks booth .
    Those numbers suck big time, there was an album cat and dogs singing that sold like 35,000 so guess bibliophile is going have to add some animal’s to his act, starting with his 2 cats. Chimps and bald ly

  • nomad

    I love a lot of the 1990’s Smashing Pumpkins. I find William to be a megalomaniac these days, but I’m always open to new music from songwriters that have impressed me in the past. The thing is, his new music just doesn’t appeal to me. The songs aren’t good.