Thirty-Three

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"Thirty-Three"
SmashingPumpkins-ThirtyThree.jpg
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedNovember 11, 1996
FormatCD
Recorded1995
Length4:10
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Flood, Alan Moulder, and Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Muzzle"
(1996)
"Thirty-Three"
(1996)
"Eye"
(1997)
Alternative cover
UK CD single 2
UK CD single 2

"Thirty-Three" is the final single from The Smashing Pumpkins's third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It was also the first single released after the firing of Jimmy Chamberlin and death of Jonathan Melvoin. The song peaked at 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number seven in New Zealand and the top 30 on multiple charts in Canada and the United Kingdom. In Canada it coincidentally finished at number 33 on the RPM Alternative 30 year-end chart for 1997.

Background

About the song, Billy Corgan said it was "A simple song in a country tuning" and was the first song written by Corgan after the Siamese Dream tour. The guitars recorded in the song are tuned to EGBGBE half a step down. The drum machine track is exactly the same track Corgan recorded when he laid down the demo version of the song, because he "couldn't remember how to recreate it". Corgan also explained that the "stringly sounds" in the recording are a vocoder with five slide guitars, each tuned to a single note to create the chords.[1]

Corgan joked on an August 24, 2000 taping of VH1 Storytellers that he planned on making "Thirty-Three", "Sixty-Six", and "Ninety-Nine", but only finished "Thirty-Three".[2]

When the band released their greatest hits collection in 2001, Thirty-Three made neither the international nor the US version.[3] It was included, however, for the Greatest Hits Video Collection.[4]

Single release

At the time of its release, the plan to release the song as the album's final single was a point of disagreement for insiders. Sources close to the band claim that "Muzzle" was in fact due to be released as the final single, as is evidenced by the fact that a promotional single for the song was issued to radio stations worldwide.[5]

Music video

The music video for "Thirty-Three", directed both by Billy Corgan and then-girlfriend Yelena Yemchuk, is a series of images shot in stop-motion, ending with a re-enactment of the Mellon Collie album cover. Jimmy Chamberlin is notably absent from shots of the band. Because the group's videos so often avoid the literal interpretation of lyrics, the video for "Thirty-Three" was created with images closely related to the words of the song, as an intentional stylistic departure.[6]

Lyrics

speak to me in a language i can hear
humour me before i have to go
deep in thought i forgive everyone
as the cluttered streets greet me once again
i know i can't be late, supper's waiting on the table
tomorrow's just an excuse away
so I pull my collar up and face the cold, on my own
the earth laughs beneath my heavy feet
at the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
steeple guide me to my heart and home
the sun is out and up and down again
i know i'll make it, love can last forever
graceful swans of never topple to the earth
and you can make it last, forever you
you can make it last, forever you
and for a moment i lose myself
wrapped up in the pleasures of the world
i've journeyed here and there and back again
but in the same old haunts i still find my friends
mysteries not ready to reveal
sympathies i'm ready to return
i'll make the effort, love can last forever
graceful swans of never topple to the earth
tomorrow's just an excuse
and you can make it last, forever you
you can make it last, forever you

B-sides

The B-side "The Last Song" features a guitar solo by Corgan's father, Billy Corgan, Sr.[7] and was performed live only once, at the Pumpkins final show at Chicago's Cabaret Metro.[8]

The B-side "My Blue Heaven" features piano by Keith Brown,[9] a song written in 1927 by George A. Whiting and Walter Donaldson.[10]

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy fame contributed piano for the B-side "The Bells".[9]

Track listing

US and UK promo CD singles
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Thirty-Three"Billy Corgan4:09
US and UK maxi-CD singles
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Thirty-Three"Billy Corgan4:09
2."The Last Song"Billy Corgan3:55
3."The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)"Billy Corgan8:31
4."Transformer"Billy Corgan3:25
UK CD single CD2
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Thirty-Three"Billy Corgan4:09
2."The Bells"James Iha2:17
3."My Blue Heaven"George Whiting/Walter Donaldson3:20
CD single from the The Aeroplane Flies High box set and Japanese promo CD single
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Thirty-Three"Billy Corgan4:09
2."The Last Song"Billy Corgan3:55
3."The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)"Billy Corgan8:31
4."Transformer"Billy Corgan3:25
5."The Bells"James Iha2:17
6."My Blue Heaven"George Whiting/Walter Donaldson3:20

Release history

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country Discogs MusicBrainz
1996 Virgin 7087 6 11571 2 3 • DPRO-11571 CD US 2269582 [1]
November 12, 1996 Virgin 7243 8 38574 2 5 • V25F-38574 CD US 705305 f998675d-ae01-3f06-bff5-67a71dde5b9a [2]
November 11, 1996 Virgin 7243 8 93915 2 7 CD Australia 2353221 [2]
November 12, 1996 Virgin • Hut Recordings 7243 8 93909 2 6 • HUTCD 78 CD UK 1120726 1afabaa4-ad73-488f-8d95-cd288837cd47 [2]
November 12, 1996 Virgin 7243 8 93910 2 2 • HUTDX 78 CD UK & Europe 1120742 e263f970-264e-47e5-921c-e15d6cc61652 [3]
November 11, 1996 Virgin VJCP-15019 CD Japan 4715282 3351f08c-c05c-4618-8524-9fa98ba9fbb9 [4]

More releases: DiscogsMusicBrainz

Charts

Availability

TitleNotesType
Chicago Tapes and Unreleased DemosBootleg
Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessDisc two – Twilight to StarlightStudio
Thirty-ThreeUS and UK promo CD singlesSingle
MCIS Demos IBootleg
The Aeroplane Flies High"Thirty-Three"Compilation
The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–1998Promotional CDPromotional • Compilation
Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991–2000)Video
Rarities and B-SidesCompilation

References

  1. Guitar World, 1997
  2. "Pumpkins' Billy Corgan Pulls Back Curtain For 'Storytellers'". MTV News. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  3. "Greatest Hits - Smashing Pumpkins | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  4. "Smashing Pumpkins: Greatest Hits Video Collection | Reviews @ Ultimate-Guitar.com". www.ultimate-guitar.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  5. "Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Retrospective". AlternativeNation.net. Archived from the original on October 25, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  6. Commentary for "Thirty-Three" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
  7. "Thirty Three [US] - Smashing Pumpkins | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  8. Smashing Pumpkins Live at Metro on 2000-12-02 : Free Download & Streaming, retrieved October 26, 2015
  9. 9.0 9.1 "The Aeroplane Flies High - Smashing Pumpkins | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  10. "Thirty-Three [6 Track EP] - Smashing Pumpkins | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  11. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  12. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7766." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  13. "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9795." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  14. "Charts.nz – The Smashing Pumpkins – Thirty-Three". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  15. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  16. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  17. "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  18. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  19. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  20. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  21. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  22. "RPM '97 Year End Top 100 Hit Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 27, 2019.

External links