The Celestials

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"The Celestials"
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedJune 21, 2012 (promo)
October 14, 2012 (7" single)
FormatDigital download, 7" vinyl
Studio sessions
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Billy Corgan, Bjorn Thorsrud
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"The Celestials"
Promotional CD cover

"The Celestials" is the first single from The Smashing Pumpkins' ninth album Oceania. It was originally sent to radio airplay as a promotional single on June 21, 2012. The band performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 23, 2012.[1]

Background and recording[edit | edit source]

The song had a working title of "Special K".[2]

In an interview with MusicRadar, Corgan stated, "I have all of these vintage keyboards that we just crank out when I need something, so I don't really know what's on here. It's some super, highly obscure '70s keyboard." He added, "The arrangement is kind of like classic MTV, circa 1994. You start with the acoustic and then the band kicks in grunge."[3]

Reception[edit | edit source]

The track has received positive reviews. Tree Riddle of Loudwire praised the track's sound, stating "Acoustic guitar and orchestral swells dominate the beginning, along with Corgan’s tortured vocals (which actually have a better, more polished sound than on other recent works). Once the full band kicks in, you realize that this is the standout track on the album. 'The Celestials' employs all the elements that make a classic Pumpkins song, and is likely the best released under the name in over a decade. Corgan caps off the tune by matching the line "Everything I want is free" with a beautifully reserved lead guitar riff."[4] RedEye favorably compared it to one of the band's biggest songs, "Disarm", from their album Siamese Dream, calling it a "...nod to the Pumpkins' past. Its acoustic guitar and orchestration make it, if not a sibling, then a distant cousin to the classic "Disarm".[5] Similarly, CraveOnline compared it to the most acoustic aspects of their Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album and said that "...The song is catchy but with a injection of prog-rock that keeps it from collapsing on itself."[6]

The track was included on Loudwire's list of "Best Rock Songs of 2012."[7]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

On the day that you were born
They built an empire off a scream
I can't explain
Endlessly they'll set you free
Give you reason to believe
This empty place I may seem unafraid
And I may seem unashamed
But I will be special k
Never let the summer catch you down
Never let your thoughts run free
Even when their numbers draw you out
Everything I want is free
'Til the end
'Til the end
'Til the end
I'm gonna love you 101 percent
I'm gonna love you 'til this ends

Take a chance if you should go
Face upon your happy home
The scanners wait
You were always on your own
You can't escape
I may seem unafraid
And I may seem unashamed
But I will be special k
Never let the summer catch you down
Never let your thoughts run free
Even when their numbers draw you out
Everything I want is free
You're not me and never ever will you be
I'm gonna find you and never run against
I'm gonna find you 'til the end
'Til the end
'Til the end
Never let the summer catch you down
Never let your thoughts run free
Even while their numbers call you out
Everything I want is free
Free you're free with me
You're free with me

Track listing[edit | edit source]

Release in Autumn 2012, this 7" single came packaged in a cardboard box and a t-shirt. It was sold exclusively at Target and of unknown quantity.

US single
1."The Celestials"3:55
2."Inkless" (Original Mix)3:05
US promo CD
1."The Celestials"3:38

Release history[edit | edit source]

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country External sites
October 14, 2012 Martha's Music MM 007 7" + t-shirt US Discogs MusicBrainz [1]
June 21, 2012 Martha's Music CD US Discogs [2]

More releases: DiscogsMusicBrainz

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2012) Peak
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[8] 29
Canada Rock (Billboard)[9] 40
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[10] 45
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)[11] 62


The CelestialsUS singleSingle
Oceania: Live in NYCLive • Video

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Smashing Pumpkins To Perform On Jay Leno This Week
  3. Joe Bosso (June 13, 2012). "Interview: Billy Corgan talks The Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania track-by-track". MusicRadar. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  4. Riddle, Tree (April 3, 2012). "The Smashing Pumpkins, 'Oceania' – Album Review". Loudwire. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  5. Moore, Brian (June 15, 2012). "Album review: Smashing Pumpkins, 'Oceania'". RedEye. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  6. Robinson, Iann (June 20, 2012). "Review: Smashing Pumpkins - Oceania". CraveOnline. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  7. Hartmann, Graham. "Smashing Pumpkins, 'The Celestials'". Loudwire. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  8. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  9. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Canada Rock)". Billboard.
  10. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard.
  11. " – The Smashing Pumpkins – The Celestials" (in Dutch). Ultratip.

External links[edit | edit source]