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Big publications agree: No ‘Teargarden’ song among 2010’s best 1:10 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Posted by jjb in analysis, criticism, news.

The most prominent rock publications’ lists of the top songs of 2010 are in, and none of the seven songs released this year by the Smashing Pumpkins as part of the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope album is on any of them.

The basis for that statement — one which we would be happy to see disproven; please submit evidence in the comments on this post! — is a scan of twenty best-songs lists we sampled from the exhaustive list of lists maintained by Largehearted Boy. We covered nearly all the lists from sites or blogs familiar to us, plus a few unfamiliar ones.  The 20 sampled lists (listed and linked below the fold) contain almost 1,400 entries.

Artists named on at least one of the 20 sampled lists include Blur, OK Go, Usher, Josh Ritter, Thom Yorke, Neil Young, Robert Smith, John Mellencamp, Liz Phair, Alicia Keys, Teenage Fanclub, MGMT, Maps and Atlases, Iron and Wine, the Hold Steady, Interpol, Elton John, John Legend, Soundgarden, Avenged Sevenfold, Jimmy Eat World, Kylie Minogue, Katy Perry, Drake, the Roots, Mavis Staples, Stone Temple Pilots, Slash, Huey Lewis and the News, Willie Nelson, Hole, Miley Cyrus, Cyndi Lauper, Kenny Chesney, Muse, Jack Johnson, Nelly, Black Eyed Peas, Ke$ha, and Gwyneth Paltrow…plus all the artists you expect to have recorded the critics’ favorite songs of 2010.

Lists covered in our sample:

BBC 6 Music (list contains 100 songs)
Consequence of Sound (50)
Crawdaddy (50)
Drowned in Sound (100)
Gorilla vs. Bear (80+50)
NME (75)
New York Post (210)
Paste (50)
Philadelphia Inquirer (21)
PopMatters (60)
Pretty Much Amazing (100)
Rawkblog (50)
Rolling Stone (50)
Said the Gramophone (100)
Slant (25)
Spin Magazine (20)
Time Magazine (10)
We Listen for You (25)
You Ain’t No Picasso (50)

UPDATE (12/31): As Largehearted Boy adds to his list of lists, I’ll keep checking for lists from familiar sources and link them below.

Click Track (25)


1. C. Woods - 1:14 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fuck the critics.

2. Adam - 1:37 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

3. Topher - 1:43 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wow! Half of those performers didn’t even have new music in 2010.

4. Just_Erick - 3:29 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well that was tedious to look through. I went through just about all of it (might have missed 1 or 2). I loved and liked tons of the albums/singles mentioned, but was in disaggrement with many as well (especially Pitchfork; LCD and Ariel Graffit, and 2 kanye west songs in the top ten?? Like Really!?) And Rolling Stones, boy have they gone down hill. Anywho, enough elitism ha ha.

Unfortunately its true, not a single one had or even referenced the Pumpkins. I was kinda expecting a Song for a Son since it was the biggest and probably the most recognizable single but nothing was mentioned. Hopefully 2011 brings even better music from the Pumpkins. Then again, tons of fantastic bands from Radiohead to Portishead, to Bjork and many other’s will all release new material. Lots of competition indeed.

5. Nicola - 4:16 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What I find funny is that after BC said that thing about your podcast (yeah, that was a bit rude) you now pick on him every single time you can :)

6. Jonk - 5:18 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It’s all marketing. I have a hard time buying into this single song based craze lately. Never quite understood it.
Tom Tom definately deserves a mention

7. rapapapa - 7:01 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I’m not surprised, because of all the 7-8 songs SP released, not one of them, well maybe only Tom Tom could be in that list. but honestly.. these lists wont change anything to me, so i dont care if sp are on them, or not.

8. rapapapa - 7:03 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I mean, so far released songs are not worth to be called best of the year..

9. billy_wretzky - 7:12 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

apart from A song for a son, which honestly is a great song I could not think of any other songs that could be mentioned on a list. lists are not important but in the same time i don’t believe that the majority of these songs are the best corgan can produce….we love him anyway!!!lol

10. mrenger - 8:21 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

since when does anyone give a shit about publication’s ‘best of’ lists anyway? they’re pointless, get over it, grow up, move on. and it’s not like anything from teargarden is worth it anyway.

11. rapapapa - 9:23 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010


so far tracks are not worth to be listed. but like you said, who gives a shit.

12. Steve - 10:37 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010


13. carriage4hire - 11:18 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

if Billy would just grow his hair back and stop singing. Get a lead singer dude, or just produce.

14. carriage4hire - 11:23 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

seriously though, every other band listed has a better looking lead singer. SP MUSIC is great but the lead singer is the face and Billy , while my personal hero, is no Jagger or Elvis. Such a shame how visual the music biz is now.

15. Misery - 11:33 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I think it’s a ~bit~ late to get a new singer for SP.
Plus, the singer doesn’t have to be good-looking, just memorable, and BC is definitely memorable.

16. TheKestman - 11:54 am // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wow…so many morons and so little time. If Freak (which isn’t even my favorite TbK song) doesn’t deserve to be on a top 20, let alone a top 50 of the year list when the crap that’s on that list is so blatantly trendy then the world of music must be in a tailspin…oh, wait…it is. Btw, I’m sure Billy gets laid way more than you judgmental people do….just saying.

17. gyang333 - 12:18 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Josh Ritter is a great musician. At least one of these lists got one of their picks right.

18. J - 12:42 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For me to be listening to Surviror – Eye of the tiger has to be the best 2010 song, i know it´s from the 80´s rock era I think, where is the good music now?

19. rapapapa - 12:45 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The best is yet to come… (btw, good song by Scorpions)

20. J - 12:46 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

21. Awmg - 1:10 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Some of those artists definitely do not deserve to have songs on anyone’s Best of 2010 list. But if I were to make one, the new Teargarden songs probably wouldn’t be on mine either. Their just not that great. The only song I would even consider mentioning is Tom Tom. I hope Billy keeps his word about the music getting better in 2011, but he before he can get recognition for great songs, he needs to make great songs.

22. Corenski - 3:00 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Personally, I believe that if not for Billy’s rejection of the conventional music release model, his new music would be more widely embraced. If he had released a full album this year, I think everything would be different. It would not have had to have been a 44 song behemoth. It could have been a twenty some song double album. Or instead of EPs (which I think it tedious) Teargarden Volume I, could have been an 11 disc album. Then next year he could release Volume II, and so forth. I do think the key is a full album, with a few select singles (not trying to market every song as a single) and maybe (though not essential) music videos to accompany those singles. If the videos were artistic enough, they would get attention. With specific songs singled out as singles, radio play probably would have increased.

By rejecting the traditional model, and the record industry, SP is missing out on promotion and reaching a larger audience. It’s dirty and corporate, yes it is, and normally the sort of thing I’m dead set against. In this case however, I am hurting so badly for a real Smashing Pumpkins album. I couldn’t care less who Billy Corgan’s band or backing musicians are, I don’t understand people constantly saying this isn’t the Pumpkins because it’s missing *insert name of ex-band member*. To me, this isn’t the Smashing Pumpkins because they’re not releasing an album, and the Pumpkins were always an album band, and their songs (for me at least) work best within the context of an album.

Bottom line, Teargarden was originally announced in September of ’09. Since then, in almost sixteen months there has been a total of ten songs released, including the vinyl b-sides. Only seven have been officially released on the Pumpkins’ website as was originally promised. This new model of music release has been an interesting experiment, but I believe that it is a failed experiment.

Remember from 1993 to 1996 when the Pumpkins released 90 some songs? Siamese, Pisces, MCIS, the box set… it was amazing! A much better time to be a fan. Touring is great. Writing songs is great, and so is recording them. What’s not great is constantly talking about how amazing the present is (it’s not, 7 to 10 songs in 16 months, just isn’t) and how much more amazing the future will be (I sincerely hope so). I think the Pumpkins need to invest their time in the studio and actually releasing music before they do anything else.

I want an album. Who cares about how it’s released, just get the music out there and let it speak for it’s self.

23. Johnny Firecloud - 3:41 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010
24. mat - 4:21 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

well of course the pumpkins didn’t make it. i have a feeling 2011 will be better though

25. Misery - 4:21 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

But SP doesn’t need to reach a larger audience, they’ve just managed to do a semi-world-tour, with what I assume were sold-out gigs.
If they can sell out a tour, they definitely have people listening to his music.
Plus, they get promotion when each song is released, rather than each album, so in the long term they’ll get more exposure via this method than a series of albums. Kind of.

Also, If he released songs in album-packages, there’d probably be less b-sides coming from the project, and I don’t want to miss out on anything like Cottonwood…

26. Misery - 4:23 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Also, how did Hole get on a best-of list, yet Tom Tom didn’t?

27. Misery - 4:29 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I’d also like to point out, they don’t need to get a song on a best-of list, as they’re ‘Indie Artist of the Year’

28. gyang333 - 5:32 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010


THey’re selling out gigs, but most of these gigs in the United States at least, were in capacities less than 2,000 people. What’s better, selling out a 2,000 standing-room only venue or half selling a 15,000 sports arena?
Okay, maybe better is not the correct word, which approach reaches more people, the 2,000 venue or the half-assed arena?

29. skullivan - 5:59 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

These lists are always asinine. Stone Temple Pilots made a best of list? I really hope it wasn’t the first single off their new album which is one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever heard (the song, not the album, I never bothered to listen to that).

I would’ve expected to at least see Freak on someone’s list. SFAS got a lot of press but it’s also the only TbK song released in 2009.

30. Geezer - 6:00 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Screw that, who gives a flying fuck!?

Happy new year.

31. chris - 10:39 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Like Skullivan said, Song for a Son was 2009 (not that it made any best of 2009 lists). But Freak got tons of press, for it to not appear on a gigantic list of 100 good songs from the past year is kind of asinine.

32. Just_Erick - 10:43 pm // Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yea, I totally forgot A Son for Son was 09. Well, heres hoping for a new year of good music. The TBK project is getting better and better, by the next EP. We will be 1/4 of the way done.

33. higgs boson - 12:49 am // Thursday, December 30, 2010

I applaud Billy in what he’s been trying to do but he’s gonna have to put out heavier material in 2011 if he wants to top these charts..even still this year has been pretty great for the band, headlining a few festivals, putting out a great EP. As he’s said a million times, he wants this to be an organic process which means first and foremost finding that connection within each other and building from that however it comes. This tour has seemed to accomplish just that and if anyone here was lucky enough to see them this year, the chemistry was definitely there and developing over time. This project requires a lot of patience and nowadays forget about it.

34. jon morgan - 4:17 am // Thursday, December 30, 2010

I think the real point here is that our beloved Smashing Pumpkins have faded back into musical obscurity in the mainstream as current artistic endeavors bloat the airwaves and television. Doesn’t anyone here get that the Pumpkins are exactly where they should be on this new journey? All the new tracks are brilliant classic Pumpkins tunes very well done with a new band and a NEW Pumpkins sound. Everything that makes the Pumpkins great are present in all the new songs and b-sides and shows…for fucks sake even the sound checks that leaked were awesome. The live shows are awesome! Classic Pumpkins thru and thru. I am a huge Jimmy Chamberlin fan and had to grow to love Mike but cmon these songs are great. It’s the context people are missing. They are new again. Nowhere to go but up and build just they what started with Gish so many years ago. We are getting to experience the band grow again as a new whole and be there from the very start. I think it is a very exciting time to be a fan. It’s like a whole new 90’s and if you step back and look at the big picture it’s pretty bold what is happening. Mike is awesome listen to the live shows. The band is great and the energy is there. Looking forward to more Teargarden.

35. J - 8:33 am // Thursday, December 30, 2010

Or how is this as a candidate?

36. rapapapa - 9:50 am // Thursday, December 30, 2010

pet shop boys are ok an ok band. lighter than depeche mode, but still. and this song that you posted is old.

37. J - 10:32 am // Thursday, December 30, 2010

I was going to say Cindy Lauper is also in the 2010 best list, is it for “Girls just wanna have fun” or “shebob”?
Crazy times.

38. J - 11:03 am // Thursday, December 30, 2010

The song titles could have at least been posted.

39. Steve - 1:52 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

@Corenski – You make some good points. However, I think the 93-96 era was a particularly fertile time for Billy and he has slowed down a bit. He is still writing a huge volume of songs (something like 50 demos already done in 2009) but is much more selective about what comes out. Both because of changing listener trends, and, let’s face it, he’s not exactly churning out dozens and dozens of killer songs the way SP was in the 90s. He knows that with each song he has to make a good impression, and honestly I think that the 8 released songs are, track-by-track, stronger than anything he’s done since Machina. That’s just my opinion.

All that said, I’m very much looking forward for a more complete listening experience. At least now we have 8-10 songs and have some sense of what the album is about. Waiting months and months just to be able to listen to say, three tracks in a row was a bit much.

40. THE FREAK - 2:37 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

@Steve- I agree that Billy is much more selective but I think that Billy is out of touch with what listeners want to hear. How many of those 50 sings did he trash and how many of those trashed were amazing heavy songs that just didnt fit “his theme”.

41. Steve - 2:39 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

@THE FREAK – I hope and pray that you’re right, but I always figured most of those demos were more along the line of dull midtempos like “Shadowland”. Would like to hear a crazy recording of the TR-TR-TR-TRIP though.

42. THE FREAK - 2:45 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

I always forget about the trip but I love that song. Ya a heavy version of that and as rome burns would really give EP 3 some meat

43. rapapapa - 3:51 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

he probably dismissed When the Cocks Crow.. but at least a demo version exists.

44. rapapapa - 3:54 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Trip lyrics are too repetetive.. and the riff is boring and simple.. still I kinda like that song.. wouldnt mind to have a good studio version of it.. with amazing solos and screamy vocals.. eh..those dreams.

45. rapapapa - 3:56 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

As Rome Burns
Zen Baby
My Love is Winter / When the Cock Crows / I Don’t Mind (heavy from 2008) would make a a very solid ep. maybe even great.
third post. oh well.

46. Steve - 4:28 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

I’m sure the third EP will not disappoint. The one thing I’m really holding out for is a “Porcelina”/”TTEOR”/”GatGC” type ‘journey’ song. “United States” or “Superchrist” are the closest the new SP has come to that but I would love something with a better blend of textures and dynamics.

47. J - 4:28 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Klaxons – echoes, from last summer is also included in the list, I´m still playing that one sometimes.

48. J - 4:31 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

49. gyang333 - 8:45 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

I’m not sure how they’re/going to release a 3rd EP. Billy said there’s only 2 more songs coming and then they’re changing it up a bit. So who knows…

50. gyang333 - 8:52 pm // Thursday, December 30, 2010

also, I have a feeling that after the next 2 songs are released, he’s going to re-release the first 10 songs as Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, Part 1.

In the end, 4 parts, and as a massive box set.

51. chaja - 2:00 am // Friday, December 31, 2010

4cds as a massive box set? well maybe including demos/dvd

52. higgs boson - 10:21 am // Friday, December 31, 2010

wouldn’t it make more sense to do four 11 song LPs to account for 44 songs?

53. fuzzy - 10:09 pm // Friday, December 31, 2010

Thats bunk. Tom-Tom or Freak definitely should have been mentioned.

54. jcoriha - 1:24 am // Saturday, January 1, 2011

For me “A Song for a Son” was #1, or if you want to count it as 2009 (or 2008) I would go “The Fellowship” or “Tom Tom” in the Top 5. May 2011 bring us somewhere around 6-12 more new songs!

55. reggaeluv2000 - 12:54 pm // Sunday, January 2, 2011

gee…I suggested 4 cd’s 11 songs on each back in April 2009….so much for listening Billy

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