Rhinoceros (song)

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"Rhinoceros"
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Gish
Released November 5, 1991 (see Lull (EP))
Format 7" promo vinyl (see Lull (EP))
Recorded 1991
Genre Alternative rock, psychedelic rock,[1] dream pop[2]
Length 5:57 (single version)
6:32 (Gish version)
Label Caroline/Virgin
Writer(s) Billy Corgan
Producer(s) Butch Vig, Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Siva"
(1991)
"Rhinoceros"
(1991)
"Cherub Rock"
(1993)

"Rhinoceros" is a song by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins from their debut album, Gish. It was written by Billy Corgan and is one of the few songs from Gish that has been performed consistently throughout the band's career.

The song is an early indication of the loud/soft dynamic that would come to define the band's overall sound. The song was cited as a turning point by Corgan in an interview about Siamese Dream: "I can remember bringing in 'Rhinoceros', which didn't sound like anything else we had. But after a while you get used to playing 'Rhinoceros', so you bring in something that's a little weirder."[citation needed] In an early radio appearance from 1989, Corgan can be heard referring to the tune, which D'arcy Wretzky audibly protests playing, as "that real slow one".[citation needed] The album recording reportedly features 17 tracks of feedback.

Instead of being released as a CD single, "Rhinoceros" was instead featured as the first track on Lull. Songwriter Billy Corgan has mentioned that Lull is known within the band as "the Rhinoceros single".[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

A video was also made for "Rhinoceros", which was one of the Pumpkins earliest videos. It was directed by Angela Conway, who also directed "Siva". There are three main parts to the video.

Sample of "Rhinoceros", taken from the band's debut album Gish (1991) and also featured on the Lull EP (1992)

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The first is footage filmed on a sound stage featuring the band members "looking bored", and playing guitars. In one part of these scenes, D'Arcy is playing with a white ping pong ball which appears to float, an effect that was achieved by filming the scene in slow motion and then running it backwards. It is one of the most well-known scenes from the video.

Corgan has said in the commentary DVD for the video that the original plan for the video was to have these scenes filmed in a very small red room, so small that the band members were constantly on top of each other. This idea was inspired in part by the video for "Close to Me" by The Cure. When they arrived at the set to film, they were given a very large purple room, so instead of being cramped together, the band moved as far away from each other as they could.[citation needed]

There is also live footage from a small club show in London. This footage did not work out as planned and so it is only shown near the end of the video, starting with the guitar solo. The third type of footage used in the video consists of shots of the band in Hyde Park, London. The four members of the band took a video camera to the park and filmed themselves in various poses to make up for the poor live footage.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl promo single
No. Title Length
1. "Rhinoceros"   5:57
2. "Siva"   4:20

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 27

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mitchum, Rob (July 9, 2007). "The Smashing Pumpkins Zeitgeist". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 20, 2012. By focusing only on this portion of the group's character, Corgan misremembers the versatility that launched his band to the A-list: not just guitar-god bludgeoning, but epic psychedelia like "Rhinoceros", fragile pop like "Today," wide-screen symphonics like "Tonight, Tonight", and synth-loop ballads like "1979". 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Gish – Smashing Pumpkins". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 

External links[edit]