From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
Song by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedJune 19, 2012
Studio sessions
LabelEMI, Caroline, Martha's Music
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Billy Corgan, Bjorn Thorsrud

"Quasar" is the opening track on The Smashing Pumpkins' eighth studio album, Oceania, released on June 19, 2012. The song was written and produced by the band's frontman Billy Corgan and was co-produced by Bjorn Thorsrud. In soundchecks during the Rock 'n' Roll Party tour, the song was sometimes called "Samurai Mike".

Music and lyrics[edit | edit source]

"Quasar" features the use of wall of sound and delay effects along with a drop-D tuned guitar work.[4][5] Lyrically, the song deals with spiritual themes.[1][3] A central theme throughout the lyrics is the search for "God", or faith. This search for God and spiritual truth or direction is conveyed in lyrics such as "Fated One, hold me down... ...Do I know you?"[6] As well, the song shows the vast diversity of Billy Corgan's spirituality, referencing the Christian God, the disciple Mark, the Hindu God Krishna, and referring to the ineffable name of God used in the Hebrew Bible.[7] Ironically, all of these references appear in the same verse; "God, right on!/Krishna, right on!/Mark, right on!/Yod He Va He Om!", with "Yod He Va He" referring to the Hebrew letters which represent the ineffable name; YHVH.[8]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

God right on!
Krishna right on!
Mark right on!
Yod He Vau He Om
Let’s ride on!
Right on!
Let’s ride on!

Fated One hold me down
Know my blur and my keep
Do I know you?
What keeps us free if you believe?
Please allow me to say hello to you
Yes I understand
Yes I know thy will
Yes I am that man
Yes, I
Yes, I

Lover, lover, catch me slow
You can serve me notice
You can have my sight
Lover, lover stay with me all night

Yod He Vau He Om
Brothers, Sisters roam!
Sunlight ride on!
Yod He Vau He Om
Let’s ride on!
Right on!
Ride on!

Yes I understand
Yes I know thy will
Yes I am one man
Yes I
Yes I understand
Yes I know thy will
Yes I am one man
Yes, I
Yes, I
Yod He Va Hey Om
Yod He Va Hey Om
Yod He Va Hey Om

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

"Quasar" received mostly positive reviews. Joseph Viney of Sputnikmusic described the song as "a rambunctious, wailing beast of a song with a number of different speeds and moods."[9] Rick Florino of Artistdirect praised the song, declaring that it is "one of the band's heaviest and most hypnotic gems ever." He also eulogized drumming parts of Mike Byrne, Nicole Fiorentino's basslines and Jeff Schroeder's fuzzed-out guitar work, along with Billy Corgan's vocal style.[4] The guitar work of the song was also compared to those of Television by Thomas Conner of The Chicago Sun. He also described the song's style as "Earthy Deep Purple, meet heavenly Kula Shaker."[10]

Many critics noted the resemblances between "Quasar" and previous Smashing Pumpkins songs. Jayson Greene of Pitchfork Media compared the songs introductory riff to those of "Cherub Rock".[11] The same comparison was also made by Michael Nelson of Stereogum, Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club and Rob Harvilla of Spin.[12][13][14] Iann Robinson of CraveOnline similarly analogized the riff to "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", while contrasting "Quasar" with its vocals and underlying guitar parts, which make it "less vitriolic and more fist pumping".[15] Matt Collar of AllMusic likened the song's spiritual lyrics to those of another Pumpkins song, "Siva".[1] Enio Chiola of PopMatters described the song as a "psychedelic approach to hard rock" and "a God-themed anthem", while inferring from the song that the album "seems like nothing new from the overwrought percussion heavy loudness that was Zeitgeist".[3] Dan Martin of NME referred to the song as "something approaching QOTSA channelling Zep's 'Whole Lotta Love'".[16]

Personnel[edit | edit source]


Oceania: Live in NYCLive • Video

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Collar, Matt. "Oceania - Smashing Pumpkins". AllMusic. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  2. Warner, Brett (June 13, 2012). "Album Review: The Smashing Pumpkins – 'Oceania'". Ology. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chiola, Ennio (June 18, 2012). "The Smashing Pumpkins: Oceania (take 1)". PopMatters. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Florino, Rick (Jun 13, 2012). "The Smashing Pumpkins "Oceania" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars". Artistdirect. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  5. Doherty, Charlie (June 29, 2012). "Music Review: The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  6. "Smashing Pumpkins Lyrics". Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  7. "Smashing Pumpkins - Quasar Lyrics | MetroLyrics". www.metrolyrics.com. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  8. Knight, Douglas A.; Levine, Amy-Jill (2011-11-08). The Meaning of the Bible: What the Jewish Scriptures and Christian Old Testament Can Teach Us. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780062098597.
  9. Viney, Joseph (June 17, 2012). "Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania (Staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  10. Conner, Thomas (June 15, 2012). "Review: Smashing Pumpkins, 'Oceania'". The Chicago Sun. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  11. Greene, Jason (June 19, 2012). "The Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  12. Nelson, Michael (Jun 13, 2012). "Premature Evaluation: The Smashing Pumpkins Oceania". Stereogum. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  13. Rytlewski, Evan. "Smashing Pumpkins Oceania". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  14. Harvilla, Rob (June 12, 2012). "Smashing Pumpkins, 'Oceania' (Martha's Music/EMI)". Spin. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  15. Robinson, Iann (June 20, 2012). "Review: Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania". CraveOnline. Retrieved August 9, 2013.
  16. Martin, Dan (June 12, 2012). "Smashing Pumpkins - 'Oceania'". NME. Retrieved August 9, 2013.

External links[edit | edit source]