2016.06.08

Article by: manillascissor

Dynamic artwork continues to be an integral component of the Smashing Pumpkins experience. The graphics range from commissioned professional artistry, hand-drawn stick figures, to blurry Polaroids. The visual component of the band has consistently provided a complement to the main element of the Smashing Pumpkins; the music. Musicians gracing album covers is certainly not a groundbreaking idea, and as such, will not be discussed in great detail. However, Smashing Pumpkins members have quietly, and sometimes downright secretively, displayed themselves on numerous releases throughout their catalog that go unnoticed if not paying attention. Here are some notable occasions when Smashing Pumpkins band members, family, and friends furtively morphed into artistic rock-athanasia.

Gish

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James Iha’s adorable dog, Bugg Superstar, can be found inside the Gish liner notes and vinyl dust jacket.

Tristessa

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Look behind the band photo on the front of the Sub Pop 7” to find Jimmy Chamberlin and his many hands on the reverse.

Siva

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Is that Billy Corgan’s necklace locket on the front?  Yes!  Is that James Iha on the back of the single?  Yes again!

I Am One

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Whose eyes are staring at us on the front of the single? Who is in the moon mask on the reverse? Whose cat is that? These questions remain unanswered, but suspicions run high that they could be band members.

Today

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D’arcy Wretzky’s younger sister, Jennifer Molly Wretzky, and a good friend, Magdalena Kijewska, are featured on the front of the single.

Earphoria/Vieuphoria

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The one and only Butch Vig is seen having fun in-studio in a very cheerful pig mask.

Pisces Iscariot

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Billy Corgan’s ex-wife is the blurred anthropomorphic figure on the front of this compilation album.  Billy Corgan is also credited with capturing the image.

That’s The Way (My Love Is)

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In a tweet from September 2014, Billy Corgan suggested that he was behind the masked Grim Reaper; however, two years later, Billy Corgan confirmed Tommy Lipnick as the masked politician.

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Drum + Fife

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A one year-old Billy Corgan starts to bang his drum ‘til his dying day.

Hand-Drawn Artwork

The band has also had a hand in creating artwork of their own for many releases.  Notable hand-drawn artwork appearances include:

Disarm front/back (Billy Corgan)

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Rocket front/back (Billy Corgan)

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Tonight, Tonight (Billy Corgan)

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Lull front/back (D’arcy Wretzky)

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Live at Cabaret Metro 10-5-88 (James Iha)

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Astral Planes/Widow Wake My Mind (Billy Corgan)

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Monuments to an Elegy (Billy Corgan)

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Billy Corgan personally photographed an image of a bronze lion statue (monument) outside of the Art Institute of Chicago as the front cover for Monuments to an Elegy.

Handwriting

Billy Corgan’s handwriting has also appeared numerous times. His penmanship can be found on many of the early demo cassettes, the “Siva” single (above), the cover titles and reverse-side tracklist on Gish, the liner notes in Lull, Siamese Singles boxset, the “Blissed” flexi-disc, Monuments to an Elegy title (above) and reverse-side tracklist, and scrawled lyrics inside the liner notes of Siamese Dream.  James Iha’s handwriting is also displayed on demo cassettes and the Peel Sessions EP along with the photo credit.

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And of course, the infamous Smashing Pumpkins heart logo from Siamese Dream (Billy Corgan)

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