ZWAN – Live at Rock am Ring 2003

In just two short years, Zwan demoed and recorded a huge amount of material.  Whether in their electric format (The True Poets of Zwan) or stripped back and more acoustic driven (Djali Zwan), the Billy Corgan-fronted project showed a great depth and inventiveness.

Always a prolific writer, with Zwan, Corgan occasionally showed off his power pop influences (‘Lyric’, ‘Yeah’) alongside expansive prog rock indulgences (‘Jesus I/Mary Star of the Sea’).  While not always championed by everyone, this varied approach to material ensured Zwan’s only studio album remains a thrilling listening experience years after the event.

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Being Beige: a new video from The Smashing Pumpkins

As part of the promotion for their 2014 release ‘Monuments To An Elegy’, The Smashing Pumpkins have issued a new video for ‘Being Beige’, which can be watched in full below.

‘Monuments To An Elegy’ – the fourth part of the Pumpkins’ ‘Teargarden By Kaleidyscope’ song-cycle was released in December 2014 [full review here].  A new album is expected in the first half of 2015.

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THE SMASHING PUMPKINS – Monuments To An Elegy

monumentsFollowing The Smashing Pumpkins relaunch in 2006 after a half-decade hiatus, the band’s ever-prolific mainman Billy Corgan went into overdrive.  The ‘Zeitgeist’ album of the same year was well received, but subsequent projects were both broader in appeal and stylistic content.  With the launch of the ‘Teargarden By Kaleidyscope’ song cycle in 2009, Corgan embarked on his most ambitious project since ‘Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness’ in 1995.   ‘Teargarden’ – an ongoing series of releases covering a concept of sorts – began with two deluxe EPs of unreleased material, but really came alive with its third chapter, 2012’s full-length ‘Oceania’, which at the time of release stood as the reformed Pumpkins masterpiece…

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The REAL GONE 2014 Advent Calendar

We don’t know about you, but here at Real Gone Towers there’s a feeling that this year has disappeared far, far too quickly.
It’s December already and that can mean only one thing: it’s time for our countdown to xmas!

For the next three (and a bit) weeks, we’ll be bringing you a selection of hopefully entertaining clips in the build up to the big event. A new clip will be added each day, so don’t forget to keep checking back!

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EDITORIAL COMMENT: Incomplete (or rambling thoughts on collecting from an obsessive music fan)

Right up to the 1980s, things were fairly simple as a music fan.  Your favourite bands released singles and albums and, as a loyal fan, you bought them knowing you’d kept to your end of the bargain.  Sometimes singles weren’t part of albums and in that case you got something extra.   Things started to change in the 1980s when the picture disc started to make regular appearances, thus meaning an occasional extra purchase.  Labels like ZTT (run by business-minded Trevor Horn and Paul Morley) were quick to capitalise on marketing strategies – with bands like Frankie Goes To Hollywood, they made sure that different formats had different mixes and different edits.  In the case of the fledgling cassette single, they even went an extra step by including unreleased bits and pieces from the cutting room floor, often to fans’ bemusement and eventual delight.

Not everyone was as keen to play the game.  Towards the end of the decade, Morrissey – in a spiteful lyrical snide against his then record company’s repackaging of Smiths material – gave us the lyrical legend “reissue, reissue, repackage…re-evaluate the songs, extra track and a tacky badge”. Some bands stuck rigidly to the old model of single release followed by album…and then a couple more singles (often with something extra on the b-side, sure; but once that was done, you knew that was it, at least until the next outpouring of new material in a couple of years).

By the mid-90s, albums would occasionally appear as special editions.  This usually involved a bonus disc containing a handful of extra songs (or in the case of The Beautiful South’s excellent ‘Carry On Up the Charts’ anthology, a whole disc of hard to find b-sides) or live material.  Another easy choice for the consumer: you chose to buy either the standard release or fork out a few extra quid for that bonus disc – job done, everybody happy.  Bon Jovi’s ‘Keep The Faith’ was among the first to mark a shifting tide towards fan-testing, record company greed when the special edition appeared months after the original album’s release.  This staggered release ensured almost everyone had purchased ‘Keep The Faith’ already…but would they buy it again?  Of course they would – if not everyone, then at least a good proportion of the die-hards would want that extra material.  Why wouldn’t they?  The floodgates were open.

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