Thirty-Three (song)

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"Thirty-Three"
SmashingPumpkins-ThirtyThree.jpg
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Released November 11, 1996
Format CD
Recorded 1995
Genre Alternative rock, dream pop
Length 4:10
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Billy Corgan
Producer(s) Flood, Alan Moulder, and Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Muzzle"
(1996)
"Thirty-Three"
(1996)
"Eye"
(1996)
Alternative cover
UK CD single 2

"Thirty-Three" is a song by American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. It was the fifth and final single from their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It was also the first single released after the firing of Jimmy Chamberlin and death of Jonathan Melvoin. The song peaked at 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1996.[1]

Background[edit]

About the song, Billy Corgan said it was "A simple song in a country tuning" and was the first song written by Corgan after the Siamese Dream tour. The guitars recorded in the song are tuned to EGBGBE half a step down. The drum machine track is exactly the same track Corgan recorded when he laid down the demo version of the song, because he "couldn't remember how to recreate it".[2]

Corgan joked on an August 24, 2000 taping of VH1 Storytellers that he planned on making "Thirty-Three", "Sixty-Six", and "Ninety-Nine", but only finished "Thirty-Three".[3]

When the band released their greatest hits collection in 2001, Thirty-Three made neither the international nor the US version.[4] It was included, however, for the Greatest Hits Video Collection.[5]

Single release[edit]

At the time of its release, the plan to release the song as the album's final single was a point of disagreement for insiders. Sources close to the band claim that "Muzzle" was in fact due to be released as the final single, as is evidenced by the fact that a promotional single for the song was issued to radio stations worldwide.[6]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Thirty-Three", directed both by Billy Corgan and then-girlfriend Yelena Yemchuk, is a series of images shot in stop-motion, ending with a re-enactment of the Mellon Collie album cover. Jimmy Chamberlin is notably absent from shots of the band. Because the group's videos so often avoid the literal interpretation of lyrics, the video for "Thirty-Three" was created with images closely related to the words of the song, as an intentional stylistic departure.[7]

B-sides[edit]

The B-side "The Last Song" features a guitar solo by Corgan's father, Billy Corgan, Sr.[8] and was performed live only once, at the Pumpkins final show at Chicago's Cabaret Metro.[9]

The B-side "My Blue Heaven" features piano by Keith Brown,[10] a song originally written in 1927 by George A. Whiting and Walter Donaldson.[11]

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and Ivy fame contributed piano for the B-side "The Bells".[10]

Track listing[edit]

US and UK promo CD singles
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Thirty Three" Corgan 4:09
US and UK maxi-CD singles
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Thirty Three" Corgan 4:09
2. ""The Last Song"" Corgan 3:55
3. "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" Corgan 8:31
4. "Transformer" Corgan 3:25
UK CD single CD2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Thirty Three" Corgan 4:09
2. "The Bells" James Iha 2:17
3. "My Blue Heaven" George Whiting/Walter Donaldson 3:20
CD single from the Aeroplane Flies High box set and Japanese promo CD single
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Thirty Three" Corgan 4:09
2. ""The Last Song"" Corgan 3:55
3. "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" Corgan 8:31
4. "Transformer" Corgan 3:25
5. "The Bells" James Iha 2:17
6. "My Blue Heaven" George Whiting/Walter Donaldson 3:20

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 39[1]
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 18[1]
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 2[1]
New Zealand Singles Chart 7[12]
UK Singles Chart 21[13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]