The End Is the Beginning Is the End

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"The End Is the Beginning Is the End"
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Music from and Inspired by the Batman & Robin Motion Picture
Released April 4, 1997
Format Cassette tape, CD
Recorded 1997
Genre Alternative rock, gothic rock
Length 5:07
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Billy Corgan
Producer(s) Nellee Hooper, Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Eye"
(1996)
"The End Is the Beginning Is the End"
(1997)
"Ava Adore"
(1998)
Alternative Version Cover
"The Remixes" cover

"The End Is the Beginning Is the End" is a Grammy Award-winning song by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. It is the first full-band song released as a single by the Smashing Pumpkins in the aftermath of their 1995 album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It is the first release to include a performance by drummer Matt Walker who would later perform on several tracks on Adore and all of James Iha's Let It Come Down album.

Song[edit]

Frontman Billy Corgan said of the song,

At one point I found myself going, "I can't write a song about Batman, I'm in an alternative band." And I thought this is stupid, if I can write a song about Batman and it serves the purpose, which is to make it happen and connect with the movie, and connect with something that is unique and original, then, why not? For me, it was a great kind of artistic thing to do because it was very freeing. I wasn't talking about myself or trying to represent the Smashing Pumpkins. I was trying to represent Batman.[1]

He further commented that the song's lyrics were meant to represent the Batman of the 1940s, when he was a "darker character".[2]

Many fans saw the new sound of "The End Is the Beginning Is the End", featuring a drum machine and added emphasis on the distorted guitars, as a taste of the sound of the next Smashing Pumpkins album, with Corgan himself saying the sound is "probably like what you would expect from us in the future."[1] However, the loud guitars of "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" are relatively nowhere to be found on the band's next album, Adore.

Despite its Grammy win and a strong promotion in conjunction with Batman & Robin, "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" has not had a strong commercial legacy in the US. While it was well received by American rock radio, the song found particularly strong chart success in other countries, reaching the top ten of both the Australian and UK Singles Charts.[3] The band performed the song live several times around its release in 1997, but never again.[4]

Since the single and video were released under Warner Bros. Records, the band were unable to use them for future releases, leaving them notably absent from their Greatest Hits DVD and CD releases.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, with Joel Schumacher's input. It features the members of the Pumpkins in Batman-like costumes, floating in front of images from Batman & Robin. The video is notable for being only one of two Smashing Pumpkins videos to have a different drummer besides Jimmy Chamberlin (Kenny Aronoff is briefly visible during the "Perfect" video) and is the only video with Matt Walker on the drums before his departure. The video was also nominated at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects and Best Direction.

The music video for this song appears on the second disc of the Batman and Robin: Special Edition DVD (also on the Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology 1989–1997 DVD boxset 8 disc version), released in October, 2005.

Other versions[edit]

The single contained three other versions of the song, titled as different tracks. "The Guns of Love Disastrous" is an instrumental version based around the tracks' various electronica-inspired elements, while the other instrumental, "The Ethers Tragic", is composed solely of its guitar parts. "The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" is a slower, less rock-oriented version with different lyrics for the verses, while the chorus is the same. This version appears on the Batman & Robin soundtrack as well.

"The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning" was used in a trailer for the 2009 superhero film Watchmen. Its appearance in that trailer helped the song break into the iTunes Top 100 during the summer of 2008, and the Smashing Pumpkins added this version to their tour roster in August.[5][6] The band played "The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning" through the rest of their 2008 tour.[7]

Prior to its inclusion in the trailer, it was "a version of that song that never seemed to get any notice", but as Corgan ultimately discovered, "[certainly] the massive jump in online sales seems to indicate it might be worth it for us and for the movie".[8] Corgan complimented its use in the trailer, but joked that his fans "seem to be confused when the outside world appreciates our work".[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Billy Corgan. 

No. Title Length
1. "The End Is the Beginning Is the End"   5:09
2. "The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning"   5:04
3. "The Ethers Tragic"   2:47
4. "The Guns of Love Disastrous"   4:11

The Remixes[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" (Stuck in the Middle with Fluke Vox Mix) 6:44
2. "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" (Stuck in the Middle with Fluke Alternative Mix) 5:39
3. "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" (Rabbit in the Moon's Melancholy & the Infinite Madness Mix) 9:28
4. "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" (Hallucination's Gotham Ghetto Beats) 6:15
5. "The End Is the Beginning Is the End" (Rabbit in the Moon's Infinite Radio Edit) 5:13

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart[9] 10
Austrian Singles Chart[3] 40
Belgian Singles Chart[10] 37
Dutch Singles Chart[11] 74
Finnish Singles Chart[12] 7
French Singles Chart[13] 41
New Zealand Singles Chart[14] 6
Norwegian Singles Chart[15] 5
Swedish Singles Chart[16] 19
Swiss Singles Chart[17] 37
UK Singles Chart[18] 10
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 50
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 12
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Week in Rock for May 2, 1997." Mtv Online. Retrieved on 2007/09/23.
  2. ^ "[1]". SmashingPumpkins.com. 2008-07-19.
  3. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  4. ^ "Tour History – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". spfc.org. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Song Boosted by Appearance in Watchmen Movie" Gigwise.com. 2008-07-22.
  6. ^ spfc.org : tour history : The Beginning is the End is the Beginning.
  7. ^ "Tour History – The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning". spfc.org. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. ^ a b "Hero Complex: Corgan Talks 'Watchmen' Music" Los Angeles Times. 2008-07-29.
  9. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  10. ^ "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  11. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". finnishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  13. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". lescharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  14. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  16. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". swedishcharts.com. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "The Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
  18. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2011-12-06. 
Preceded by
"Song 2" by Blur
Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative 30 number-one single
June 30 – July 7, 1997
Succeeded by
"If You Could Only See" by Tonic