Tone Report Weekly 184 - Page 40

“Stand Inside Your Love” Smashing Pumpkins Machina: The Machines of God The wings were coming off the Smashing Pumpkins airplane by 2000, and fast. Fans were still confused about the band’s previous album Adore which was marketed as either its synth or acoustic album but somehow managed to not quite be either. The band re-hired drummer Jimmy Chamberlin (excised earlier due to drug issues) and put together an ambitious concept album conceived by frontman-songwriter Billy Corgan. Titled Machina, the album would have the lowest sales of the Pumpkins’ first incarnation and would see the exit of bassist D’Arcy Wretzky “Do You Feel Love” U2 Pop For most of the 90s, U2 had been embracing electronic music and spectacle as an ironic response to its earnest early material. Granted, this came together with the spectacular Achtung Baby, but the sequel would be more troublesome. Held back by songwriting problems and drummer Larry Mullen being out of commission due to a back injury, Pop was essentially released to the public unfinished, as the band had to prepare for the already-scheduled 40 40 during recording, also due to drug issues (two steps forward, three steps back). The subsequent tour suddenly became a farewell tour, and to this day Corgan doesn’t look back fondly on Machina. “It was a concept record, which nobody understood,” he said. “So the combination of those elements was a career- killer . . . Adore didn’t alienate the audience, they were just sort of like, ‘Oh, it’s not the record I want.’ [Machina] alienated people.” supporting tour. The final vocals were even recorded the day the album was sent off to be mastered. Arrangements would be gutted on the road, the album failed to generate a big hit, and U2 would go back to basics for all subsequent albums. It’s a shame that of all the tracks, the band never pushed “Do You Feel Love,” which feels like one of the few songs where it all came together. A solid bit of dance rock, it has strong funky guitar from the Edge and a killer bassline from Adam Clayton. With Bono’s croon on top of it, we have a song that wouldn’t even sound out of place on the untouchable Achtung Baby. What killed Pop was lack of time to let everything bake, but at least one bit of the bunch wasn’t spoiled. TONE // // Best TONE TALK TALK Best of of the the Worst: Worst: The The Finest Finest Cuts Cuts From From Your Your Favorite Favorite Band’s Bands’ Dregs Dregs