Tarantula (The Smashing Pumpkins song)

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Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Zeitgeist
Released May 21, 2007 (iTunes)
July 2, 2007 (UK)
Format Digital, CD, 7"
Recorded 2007
Genre Stoner rock[1]
Length 3:51
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Billy Corgan
Producer(s) Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"That's the Way (My Love Is)"
Alternative cover
iTunes release

"Tarantula" is a song by The Smashing Pumpkins. It is the first single from their seventh album, Zeitgeist, and their first release since their 2006 revival.

Release and structure[edit]

Billy Corgan mentioned during a June 5 concert in Berlin that "Tarantula" was titled in honor of the German rock band Scorpions, with whom Corgan had recently collaborated on the Scorpions song "The Cross". The intro and the outro of the song are inspired by the song "Dark Lady" of Scorpions, while Corgan stated that he wrote the solo of the song thinking how Uli Jon Roth could have played it. Corgan and Chamberlin believe the song is a culmination of music they've been listening to all their lives, specifically the Scorpions and UFO.[2]

A 30-second clip of the song was released on May 14, 2007.[3] The song was played in its entirety on the radio for the first time on May 18, 2007 when KROQ-FM aired the world premiere. WBRU in Providence, Rhode Island aired "Tarantula" twice in 15 minutes the same day. It was leaked onto the Internet soon after.[4] On May 21, 2007 the single was released on iTunes for the United States, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada the May 22. On this date, "Tarantula" was played for the first time live in Paris at the Pumpkins' first show in seven years. The song was also played on the Late Show with David Letterman on July 9, 2007.

On July 2, a single was released on CD and 7" in the UK, both containing the b-side "Death From Above". Both covers have a black-and-white photo of Paris Hilton holding a BlackBerry with the Zeitgeist album cover on the screen, and a low-resolution image of a mushroom cloud in the background. A separate 7" was released in a clear plastic sleeve on white vinyl.

On July 15, "Tarantula" entered the UK Rock Singles Chart at Number One.

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, "Tarantula" received mixed reviews. Drowned in Sound commented that Corgan's vocals "are trying too hard to sound like Pumpkins vocals, clumsily washed in reverb" and "is too much like a cobbled together montage of Smashing Pumpkins sounds to be exciting."[5] John Murphy of website OMH Music noted that while "all the elements are in place to make this a classic", "it seems as if Corgan's spent too long debating how the song should sound, rather than write any sort of memorable tune", ultimately calling it "disappointing".[6]

Alana King of website Roomthirteen called "Tarantula" a "promising track and is proof that the Smashing Pumpkins are as strong and resilient as ever."[7] Rob Taylor of website Clickmusic.com called the single "a slick and professional effort worthy of anyone's ear."[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video debuted on July 2, 2007 on Spinner.com.[9] It features the band (dressed primarily in the white outfits of the 2007 tour) playing with multiple extra people, in front of a psychedelic visual collage, and is partially shot in 3D. The video was directed by P.R. Brown.[10]

In July 2007, it was announced via the Smashing Pumpkins' official website that the green screen files for the video would be released online. Fans with video editing skills will be allowed to make their own version of the Tarantula video and enter it into a contest via the website.

Two winners were announced in August 2007. 1st place was awarded to Levi Ahmu and 2nd place was awarded to Mason Williams. Both videos consisted of vast amounts of visual effects. Honorable mention was made for Ryan Webber for his live action take on the music video.[11]

Additional information[edit]

Formats and track listing[edit]

  1. "Tarantula" – 3:51
  2. "Death from Above" – 4:06
  3. "Zeitgeist" – 2:49 (Dutch CD single bonus track)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007)[12] Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 2
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 6
U.S. Billboard Hot Digital Songs 44
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 50
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 54
Australian ARIA Rock Singles Chart 7
UK Rock Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[13] 59
Danish Singles Chart[14] 14
Irish Singles Chart[15] 44


  1. ^ Mitchum, Rob (July 9, 2007). "The Smashing Pumpkins Zeitgeist". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 20, 2012. Songs like "Doomsday Clock" and "Tarantula" wave the flag of stoner rock like Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult without embarrassment, and could likely pass for Queens of the Stone Age if it wasn't for that characteristic Corgan whine. 
  2. ^ Chamberlin, Jimmy and Billy Corgan. (Interview subjects) "Smashing Pumpkins - Zeitgeist Track by Track" (video).
  3. ^ "FMQB: Available for Airplay". FMQB.com. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  4. ^ http://www.theplugg.com/new-smashing-pumpkins-finally-leaked/
  5. ^ http://drownedinsound.com/releases/10457/reviews/2152271-
  6. ^ http://www.musicomh.com/singles/smashing-pumpkins_0707.htm
  7. ^ http://www.roomthirteen.com/cgi-bin/cd_view.cgi?CDID=6241
  8. ^ http://www.clickmusic.com/singles/article/Smashing-Pumpkins-Tarantula#ixzz1ee4EkMwe
  9. ^ "Tarantula Music Video". 
  10. ^ "Tarantula video news". 
  11. ^ "Tarantula video news". 
  12. ^ "Artist Chart History — The Smashing Pumpkins". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  13. ^ "The Official UK Charts Company : TOP 100 SINGLES CHART". theofficialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 2007-07-10. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  14. ^ "Hitlisten Top 40, 2007.07.13". Hitlisten.nu. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  15. ^ ">> IRMA << Irish Charts — Singles, Albums, & Compilations >>". Irma.ie. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 

External links[edit]