Zero

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"Zero"
SmashingPumpkins-Zero.jpg
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedApril 23, 1996
FormatCD, Cassette
Studio sessions
GenreGrunge[1], alternative metal, alternative rock
Length2:41
EP length: 40:53
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Flood, Alan Moulder, Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"1979"
(1996)
"Zero"
(1996)
"Tonight, Tonight"
(1996)

"Zero" is the third single from The Smashing Pumpkins' third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. "Zero" was written by Billy Corgan and was the first song recorded for Mellon Collie. The song has six rhythm guitars, with two line-in twelve string acoustics.[2] Commercially, "Zero" reached number one in Spain and number three in New Zealand. In North America, the song reached number one on Canada's RPM Alternative 30, number 15 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, and number nine on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. In the United States, the song was released as an EP, so it instead charted on the Billboard 200, making it to number 46.

The song was featured on "Homerpalooza", the penultimate episode of The Simpsons's seventh season.[3] The cover artwork is of a Giorgio Armani model, photographed by Corgan's then-girlfriend, Yelena Yemchuk, who also directed the music video.[4]

Music video[edit | edit source]

The music video was directed by Yelena Yemchuk and described by NME as "very cinematic and creepy at times".[5] The concept of it was to set it in a Roman mansion, with lounging guests, while the band acts as their entertainment. The band predominantly wears black, which contrasts with the room's vibrant wine-stained colors that are associated with the Roman period.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

my reflection, dirty mirror
there's no connection to myself
i'm your lover, i'm your zero
i'm the face in your dreams of glass
so save your prayers
for when we're really gonna need 'em
throw out your cares and fly
wanna go for a ride?

she's the one for me
she's all i really need
cause she's the one for me
emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness
and cleanliness is godliness, and god is empty just like me
intoxicated with the madness, i'm in love with my sadness
bullshit fakers, enchanted kingdoms
the fashion victims chew their charcoal teeth
i never let on, that i was on a sinking ship
i never let on that i was down
you blame yourself, for what you can't ignore
you blame yourself for wanting more
she's the one for me
she's all i really need
she's the one for me
she's my one and only

B-sides[edit | edit source]

Unlike most singles, "Zero" was released as an EP and included "Pastichio Medley", a medley of parts of songs from the Mellon Collie sessions that mostly remain unreleased. The medley runs over 23 minutes and features over 70 songs.[6] The medley also features snippets of songs that actually were released; the snippet of the song "Disconnected" is a riff from an early version of "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" (originally B-side from the "Thirty-Three" single)[7] and the riff called "Rachel" ended up being worked into the album track "X.Y.U." Eventually, 2012's reissue of Mellon Collie saw a number of tracks from the "Medley" released in full versions.[8]

The track "Tribute to Johnny" is an instrumental, a homage to guitarist Johnny Winter.[9]

"Pastichio Medley"[edit | edit source]

"Pastichio Medley" is the last on the song on the single/EP and is medley of demos from Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The medley features over 70 songs.

EP track listing[edit | edit source]

All tracks are written by Billy Corgan, except where noted.

Main release
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Zero" 2:39
2."God" 3:09
3."Mouths of Babes" 3:46
4."Tribute to Johnny"Billy Corgan, James Iha2:34
5."Marquis in Spades" 3:17
6."Pennies" 2:28
7."Pastichio Medley" (The length was incorrectly put as "25:59".)Billy Corgan, James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Jimmy Chamberlin23:00

Release history[edit | edit source]

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country Discogs MusicBrainz
April 23, 1996 Virgin v25g-38545 • 7243 8 38545 2 3 CD US 627321 f3984f8c-bcba-4a8b-8515-900e01ad2032 [1]
April 23, 1996 Virgin 4LM-38545 • 7243 8 38545 4 7 Cassette US 4710583 9dcc8704-ddf5-3fe7-a2bf-6b9043151d67 [1]
August 19, 1996 Hut Recordings • Virgin HUTCD 73 • 7243 8 42046 2 4 CD UK 13850563 1bb55c5f-ee22-3930-9bca-cf83d90ca8b6 [1]
August 7, 1996 Virgin VJCP-15017 CD Japan 2672128 b1c48d7e-cae7-3a05-b474-47a360e093ad [1]

More releases: DiscogsMusicBrainz

Charts and certifications[edit | edit source]

Availability

TitleNotesType
Live In ChicagoPromotional • Live
Live At The RivieraBootleg • Live
Mellon Collie and the Infinite SadnessDisc one – Dawn to DuskStudio
666Bootleg • Video
ZeroMain releaseSingle
The Aeroplane Flies High"Zero"Compilation
The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–1998Promotional CDPromotional • Compilation
The VideosVideo • Promotional
MCIS Demos IIBootleg
A Gothic–Industrial Tribute to Smashing PumpkinsTribute
Rotten ApplesUS versionCompilation
Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991–2000)Video
The Killer in You: A Tribute to Smashing PumpkinsTribute
Rarities and B-SidesCompilation
Live Smashing PumpkinsLive
Oceania: Live in NYCLive • Video

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Hachette; 2011. Print.
  2. Guitar World — January 1997
  3. Hartmann, Graham. "The Smashing Pumpkins – Rock Star Cameos on 'The Simpsons'". Loudwire.
  4. "Yelena Yemchuk Video | Interviews". OVGuide. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  5. "Free Music Videos, Video Interviews, Music Video News, Live Sessions and Clips". Nme.com. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
  6. "Pastichio Medley". Personal.umich.edu. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  7. Corgan, Billy (January 1997). "King B's". Guitar World.
  8. "Smashing Pumpkins 'Mellon Collie' Reissue Is a Fan's Dream Come True | Antiquiet". Antiquiet. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  9. "I Need a Hero: In honor of Smashing Pumpkins' twentieth anniversary, a list of Billy Corgan's top ten guitar heroes". Riverfront Times. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  10. "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9200." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  11. "Charts.nz – The Smashing Pumpkins – Zero". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  12. Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  13. "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  14. "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  15. "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  16. "RPM Year End Alternative Top 50". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  17. "American single certifications – Smashing Pumpkins – Zero". RIAA. Retrieved November 15, 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  18. "New Zealand single certifications – Smashing Pumpkins – Zero". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved January 24, 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]