The Aeroplane Flies High

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The Aeroplane Flies High
The Aeroplane Flies High.jpg
Box set by The Smashing Pumpkins
Released November 26, 1996 (1996-11-26)
Genre Alternative rock
Length 138:53
Language English
Label Virgin
Producer Billy Corgan, James Iha, Flood, Alan Moulder, D'arcy Wretzky
The Smashing Pumpkins chronology
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
The Aeroplane Flies High
Alternate cover
2013 reissue cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[4]

The Aeroplane Flies High is a five-disc box set released by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins in 1996. It contains expanded versions of the five singles from their album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and also included a 44-page booklet with pictures and writings by the band's lead singer Billy Corgan, as well as lyrics. A limited edition release, the box reached number 42 on the Billboard charts, and sold 300,000 units (1.5 million discs in all), generating a platinum disc for the band. Originally intended to be limited to 200,000 copies, Virgin Records produced more after the original run sold out due to overwhelming and unexpected demand.[5] The album was remastered in 2013 under the supervision of frontman Billy Corgan and reissued on vinyl and as a CD/DVD box set.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Billy Corgan, except where noted. 

"Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Bullet with Butterfly Wings"     4:16
2. "...Said Sadly"   James Iha 3:09
3. "You're All I've Got Tonight"   Ric Ocasek 3:10
4. "Clones (We're All)"   David Carron 2:43
5. "A Night Like This"   Robert Smith 3:36
6. "Destination Unknown"   Dale Bozzio, Terry Bozzio, Warren Cuccurullo 4:14
7. "Dreaming"   Debbie Harry, Chris Stein 5:11
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "1979"     4:28
2. "Ugly"     2:52
3. "The Boy"   Iha 3:04
4. "Cherry"     4:02
5. "Believe"   Iha 3:15
6. "Set the Ray to Jerry"     4:10
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Zero"     2:39
2. "God"     3:09
3. "Mouths of Babes"     3:46
4. "Tribute to Johnny"   Corgan, Iha 2:34
5. "Marquis in Spades"     3:17
6. "Pennies"     2:28
7. "Pastichio Medley" (mislabelled at 25:59 on disc) Corgan, Iha, D'arcy Wretzky, Jimmy Chamberlin 23:00

The "Pastichio Medley" is a medley of riffs from a variety of sources recorded after Siamese Dream and before the completion of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It features "The Demon", "Thunderbolt", "Dearth", "Knuckles", "Star Song", "Firepower", "New Waver", "Space Jam", "Zoom", "So Very Sad About Us", "Phang", "Speed Racer", "The Eternal E", "Hairy Eyeball", "The Groover", "Hell Bent for Hell", "Rachel", "A Dog's Prayer", "Blast", "The Black Rider", "Slurpee", "Flipper", "The Viper", "Bitch", "Fried", "Harmonia", "U.S.A.", "The Tracer", "Envelope Woman", "Plastic Guy", "Glasgow 3am", "The Road Is Long", "Funkified", "Rigamarole", "Depresso", "The Streets Are Hot Tonite", "Dawn At 16", "Spazmatazz", "Fucker", "In the Arms of Sheep", "Speed", "77", "Me Rock You Snow", "Feelium", "Is Alex Milton", "Rubberman", "Spacer", "Rock Me", "Weeping Willowly", "Rings", "So So Pretty", "Lucky Lad", "Jackboot", "Milieu", "Disconnected", "Let Your Lazer Love Light Shine Down", "Phreak", "Porkbelly", "Robot Lover", "Jimmy James", "America", "Slinkeepie", "Dummy Tum Tummy", "Fakir", "Jake", "Camaro", "Moonkids", "Make It Fungus", "V-8", and "Die".

"Rachel" bears a similar sound to, and is apparently an early version of, the Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness song "X.Y.U.".[7] As well, "Disconnected" is an as-yet-to-be-completed instrumental version of "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)".[8]

A full version of "U.S.A." was released on 2011's reissue of Siamese Dream; full versions of "Feelium", "Knuckles," "New Waver," "Zoom," "Phang," "Blast," and "Speed" were released on 2012's reissue of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness; and full versions of "Milieu", "Jackboot", "Rings", "The Groover", and "Star Song" were released on 2013's reissue of The Aeroplane Flies High.

"Tonight, Tonight"
No. Title Length
1. "Tonight, Tonight"   4:15
2. "Meladori Magpie"   2:41
3. "Rotten Apples"   3:02
4. "Jupiter's Lament"   2:30
5. "Medellia of the Gray Skies"   3:11
6. "Blank"   2:54
7. "Tonite Reprise"   2:40

"Tonite Reprise" is a solo acoustic version of "Tonight, Tonight" with slight alterations to the lyrics. It also appeared on the vinyl version of Mellon Collie.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Thirty-Three"     4:10
2. "The Last Song"     3:55
3. "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)"     8:31
4. "Transformer"     3:25
5. "The Bells"   Iha 2:17
6. "My Blue Heaven""   Walter Donaldson, George A. Whiting 3:20

2013 CD/DVD reissue[edit]

As part of EMI Music's extensive reissue campaign, a special edition of the album was released on 26 July 2013. The 6-CD set consists of the five original EPs, each now with added bonus tracks, as well as an additional CD of live material. In total the discs feature 90 tracks. The package also includes a DVD consisting of a live show in Belfort, France from 4 July 1997. The set was also released on vinyl as a 5-LP box set.

Promotional releases[edit]

To promote the original release of the box set, a four-track CD single was issued by Virgin Records America with customized cover sleeve and CD art.

US Virgin promo CD
No. Title Length
1. "The Last Song"   3:55
2. "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)"   8:31
3. "Transformer"   3:25
4. "Destination Unknown"   4:14


The Smashing Pumpkins
Additional musicians
  • Andy Chase – engineer
  • John Craig – illustrations
  • Pual Eledge – photography
  • Flood – production, engineering, mixing
  • Jeff Lane – mixing
  • Tommy Lipnick – engineering
  • Jeff Moleski – engineering, mixing
  • Tommy Moleski – engineering
  • Alan Moulder – production, mixing
  • J. Nicholas – mixing, mixing assistant
  • Frank Olinsky – art direction, design
  • Neil Perry – mixing
  • Claudine Pontier – engineering
  • Russ Spice – engineering
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering
  • Martin White – engineering
  • Yelena Yemchuk – photography, "Zero" cover art

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1996 The Billboard 200 42[9]