“One thing that might excite fans of the album is that we were able to go back and locate elements from the original sessions that were stored digitally, but never used; such as some of the brilliant work done by Bon Harris. In that fresh mixes have been commissioned, shedding new light on not only the songs hidden foundations, but their futuristic nature as well. “
The 6-disc set features the original album in stereo (as remastered by Bob Ludwig), the album as it was released in mono (here for the first time on CD), plus an additional 3 discs of unreleased material and a live DVD, taken from the band’s charity tour of 1998. This happens to be my favorite Smashing Pumpkins album, so to hear all the demos, b-sides, and live performances from this era serves is fantastic. With most of the original line-up in tact, minus Jimmy Chamberlin on drums, there is definitely a good amount of music to tickle your eardrum hairs. Some standout b-sides include a Puff Daddy remix of “Ava Adore”, the song “Eye,” which appears on the soundtrack to David Lynch’s Lost Highway, and “The End Is The Beginning Is The End,” off the Batman & Robin soundtrack.
If you are a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins from this era, then you should definitely visit archive.org. There are currently 1,046 Smashing Pumpkins shows on that site that are free to listen to, and some which can be downloaded. This box set only give people a glimpse of their awesomeness from this era, but listening to them in concert from 1996 – 2000 paints the entire picture. For example, check out this show from July 12, 1998 @ the Aerial Theater in Houston, Texas. You can hear the sheer power of this band at the peak of their popularity. To this day, I have never seen a Smashing Pumpkins show, but thanks to this box set, and archive.org (as well as other bootlegs I have purchased or downloaded over time) I have a better idea of what the Smashing Pumpkins were really about in 1998.