Of all the major alternative rock bands of the early '90s, Smashing Pumpkins were the group least influenced by traditional underground rock. Lead guitarist/songwriter Billy Corgan created a layered, powerful sound driven by swirling, distorted guitars. When the group did achieve mass success with 1993's Siamese Dream, it went a long way to legitimize heavy metal and orchestrated prog rock, helping move alternative rock even closer to '70s AOR, especially in the eyes of radio programmers and mainstream audiences. Unlike many of their contemporaries, the Pumpkins were able to withstand many internal problems and keep selling records, emerging as the longest-lasting and most successful alternative band of the early '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Greg Prato
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