View Full Version : Was it the singing lessons that ruined corgans singing?


fuzzyroes
10-01-2014, 08:42 PM
I was reading Paul Stanleys book and he has a part where he talks about going to vocal lessons and that they were just trying to change all the things in his voice that made it unique and sound cool. Of course he didn't stand for it.

Didn't Corgan start going to singing lessons sometime after the MCIS tour?

Corgan used to have such a unique, identifiable voice. One of a kind really. But from Machina on his vocals have been incredibly generic and completely lack any of that Gish/SD era charm.

The vocals on adore are really nice, but they do lack a lot of the personality and uniqueness that were featured on the previous albums. And from Machina on the vocals definitely decreased in awesomeness.

fuzzyroes
10-01-2014, 08:47 PM
I was chilling with a girl at my place awhile back and we were having drinks listening to some pumpkins and she absolutely fell in love with Disarm. Was just awestruck by it. So then after I mentioned: "if you love that track you have to check out another of my favorites" and I put on the M2 LMGTWTY. She was completely unimpressed. I asked what she didn't like about it and she said that the vocals on Disarm were so emotional and intense and that on LMGTWTY they were so bland and boring.

I thought about it and she did have a good point. The raw emotion and the ever changing dynamics in Corgans voice were pretty much a thing of the past from Adore on. He has a more generic voice now... It may be more fundamentally proper, but it doesn't sound nearly as good.

ifuktyourmom
10-01-2014, 08:47 PM
The vocals now aren't as good as the old days in many ways, but the guy was gonna blow out his vocal chords singing the way he used to. I'd say it's a push.

slunken
10-01-2014, 08:50 PM
you can really hear on the adore box set he's singing in different registers that he's never done before

fuzzyroes
10-01-2014, 08:51 PM
I guess. I mean I'm sure a vocal coach would say his vocals on "Doomsday Clock" are better than the vocals on "Disarm" but of course any music lover would tell you that that's absolute bullshit.

I guess his vocals were pretty hoarse on a lot of the MCIS tracks but if he stuck to his SD era I doubt his voice would be blown out. I realize a coach told him that, but theres been a lot of rock n rollers who have sang in an unorthodox style who have still managed to maintain their craft late into their careers. Just listen to Brian Johnson from AC/DC

fuzzyroes
10-01-2014, 08:52 PM
you can really hear on the adore box set he's singing in different registers that he's never done before

Well he does sound absolutely awesome on Adore. But it's a different kind of awesome from the previous albums. The adore singing was great but I think it lead him into a different mindset on how to sing and from there-on it got less and less unique.

fuzzyroes
10-01-2014, 08:53 PM
If corgan sang a song like Disarm in the style of singing that he had during the Zwan era I doubt it would have even been a hit. It was the singing that made the song. It was his trademark thing.

slunken
10-01-2014, 08:56 PM
his vocals are fine it's the mixing that's off

bs1933
10-01-2014, 09:21 PM
I guess. I mean I'm sure a vocal coach would say his vocals on "Doomsday Clock" are better than the vocals on "Disarm" but of course any music lover would tell you that that's absolute bullshit.

Why would a vocal coach say that? Why would anyone say that? Also, To compare vocals on Zeitgeist to vocals from Adore era vocal coaching doesn't make any sense. You're talking about an album that came out 10 years later. Lots of things, LOTS of things changed in those 10 years.

Personally, the vocals are very different on Adore yes, but for me they really fit the rest of what is happening on the album. Whenever I listen to Disarm (which is never because I can't stand that song) and I hear the OOOOOOHOOOHOOO not only do the years burn, but my ears burn.

T&T
10-02-2014, 12:26 AM
i agree that it's the vocal mix that sucks.
billy doesn't want his vocals processed when they sound best running through that specific eventide patch

F.Delacroix
10-02-2014, 12:39 AM
billy doesn't want his vocals processed when they sound best running through that specific eventide patch

lol wut

Order 66
10-02-2014, 01:11 AM
zeitgeist is when it started going south. but a lot of that as to do with putting the vox upfront ... i don't know why he keeps insisting on doing that

Funbags
10-02-2014, 01:12 AM
I believe Bill's words were "She said I was doing it all wrong".

Funbags
10-02-2014, 01:14 AM
Btw, have you heard Paul Stanley's voice lately? It's totally fried. I think he even had surgery.

T&T
10-02-2014, 01:19 AM
lol wut
on gish and SD butch processed billy's vocals with an Eventide H3000 (specific patch). it's a little phasey. I know for MCIS billy fought to process his vocals less on the album and then on adore he wanted no processing.
in the MTAE diaries he mentioned running his vocals through that old patch on the H3000. hopefully it comes back in full force!
http://forums.netphoria.org/showpost.php?p=4086932&postcount=2580
http://www.smashingpumpkinsnexus.com/#!DONT-GIVE-UP-ON-USMONUMENTS-TO-AN-ELEGY-UPDATE/c7ba/7157D725-B370-4786-9D34-9A9912D47A72

F.Delacroix
10-02-2014, 01:22 AM
yes i'm well aware of all that thanks
longtime fan

T&T
10-02-2014, 01:26 AM
untr00 fan alert ^^

F.Delacroix
10-02-2014, 01:54 AM
that certainly doesn't make sense, next

Reyngel
10-02-2014, 03:15 AM
I don't think the singing lessons are what fucked up his vocals as much as it was his "I'll take it from here" mentality during the Machina era. His vocals during the Adore era are arguably some of his best, maybe tied with the sweet smoothness of Siamese Dream. But after a bit of vocal coaching, he kicked the coach to the curb and started trying to "teach himself" how to do things his voice has no business doing, such as that AWFUL vibrato he started using during the Zwan era and beyond.

His voice is still pretty decent, but it's the terrible, shaky vibrato that he can't seem to quit that really ruins it. If quit doing it, it would actually sound pretty decent again. Same thing with his consonant-dropping habit that the whole world cringes over.

vajohna
10-02-2014, 05:16 AM
The vocals on adore are really nice, but they do lack a lot of the personality and uniqueness that were featured on the previous albums.

Out of all the things I've disagreed with today, this is the worst. You're wrong.

fuzzyroes
10-02-2014, 06:33 AM
Btw, have you heard Paul Stanley's voice lately? It's totally fried. I think he even had surgery.

Well the guy is 62 years old. I've seen some TV performances a while back. His voice didn't sound too bad. A little weaker, but not a total stylistic change like Corgan.

fuzzyroes
10-02-2014, 06:37 AM
Out of all the things I've disagreed with today, this is the worst. You're wrong.

I didn't really express myself how I wanted to. I think his vocals are gorgeous on Adore, but a lot of his trademark vocal quirks were absent from it. It sounds to me like it was the start of Billy trying to sing in a more fundamentally sound manner.

fuzzyroes
10-02-2014, 06:39 AM
I guess Billy's just trying to preserve his voice. That's understandable. But for the love of god I wish he would just stop playing tracks like Bullet if he insists on singing it in his new laid-back style. Sounds ridiculous.

sneakyflutes
10-02-2014, 11:06 AM
If he wants to preserve his voice live, fine. Whatever. What I don't understand is why he feels the need to hold back on albums. If he fucking screamed or put some energy into his vocals at least half of Zeitgeist would have been tolerable. Like seriously, when was the last time he screamed on an album? Machina era?

dodoz
10-02-2014, 12:52 PM
I definitely think that it did him more harm than good. I'd like to know when he started taking singing lessons. I noticed a definite change around "Machina" but the worse was to come...:(
He might have started around "Adore" but boy, any vocal coach would cringe about "Annie Dog" - nice way to strain a voice, Bill.
The funny thing is that i never found his vocals annoying - most people's one pet peeve, usually, when they didn't enjoy the Pumpkins back in the day, until the early 2000s. I wonder how you guys describe his post 2000 vocals? Anyway, the vibrato, the simpering (if such a word exists), the "mmmm"s ("now and thenmmmmmmm" :dammit:) are really hard to tolerate.

Elphenor
10-02-2014, 01:40 PM
His vocals on both Adore and Machina are great. His vocals ten years later on ZG blew. I think it's probably a mixture of age and stylistic approach

Anthony_Kiedis
10-02-2014, 10:08 PM
The reason Californication came out so good for me is because the music sort of told me what to sing. I didn't have to think too much about it. The music definitely implied what the vocals should be. All I had to do was close my eyes and I could hear what my parts were.

Anthony_Kiedis
10-02-2014, 10:14 PM
Well, we used to do the socks performace and that made perfect sense to us and it was a lot of fun.

fuzzyroes
10-03-2014, 06:35 AM
If he wants to preserve his voice live, fine. Whatever. What I don't understand is why he feels the need to hold back on albums. If he fucking screamed or put some energy into his vocals at least half of Zeitgeist would have been tolerable. Like seriously, when was the last time he screamed on an album? Machina era?

That's a good point. Many people at the time thought that maybe he had just lost it, but when he played that record store gig (byrnes first show with the band) he still did the screaming parts in Bullet pretty damn well.

fuzzyroes
10-03-2014, 06:40 AM
I agree with what a lot of people are saying. Corgan's voice lessons fucked up his signature vocal style that made me like his singing in the first place. He was taught to sing from his chest like Sinatra or Elvis, and it sounds like shit. He needs to get back to his fey, breathy head voice and, like Slunken said, mix the vox back down instead of making it sound like a Whitney Houston mix. It's simple Billy: get the Big Muff back out, get Jimmy back in the band, turn the guitars up, turn the vocals down, get Butch back to produce, and start singing like a 10 year old girl again.

haha amen. He was never known as a good singer anyways, but his trademark sound is what people fell in love with in the first place, so I don't even know why he ditched that to try and sound technically proficient.

The sound of the vocals was a bit better on Oceania though. But the melodies were just pretty uninteresting.

Reyngel
10-03-2014, 12:38 PM
haha amen. He was never known as a good singer anyways, but his trademark sound is what people fell in love with in the first place, so I don't even know why he ditched that to try and sound technically proficient.

The sound of the vocals was a bit better on Oceania though. But the melodies were just pretty uninteresting.

I don't know man, there were a lot of really horrible vocals on Oceania, particularly the title track. Shaky vibrato all over the place.

deadaswarhol
10-03-2014, 02:29 PM
It's simple Billy: get back to the shack.

.

dodoz
10-04-2014, 08:06 PM
It's fun to compare with his Marked-era vocals...:) "my singing wasn't very good" - Billy, "Viewphoria".

fuzzyroes
10-04-2014, 11:08 PM
I don't know man, there were a lot of really horrible vocals on Oceania, particularly the title track. Shaky vibrato all over the place.

Oh don't get me wrong, the singing is pretty bad on Oceania. It's pretty terrible and bland, but it is an upgrade from the Zeitgeist vocals.

dreams of glass
10-05-2014, 01:24 AM
Honestly I like his singing on Machina probably the most, followed by Siamese Dream, Pisces Iscariot, and some parts of Gish. Zeitgeist is annoying in parts with the multi layer vocals. There are parts of Melon Collie that are just ruined for me because of his singing. Honestly I can't get over some of his singing on that one.

panda show
10-05-2014, 09:24 AM
the vibrato doesn't fit his voice at all, that's the problem. he had a trademark whiney-breathy kind of nasal scream, and it was very distinctive. he kind of lost the screamy part of his voice after the mcis tour, but for the sake of better pitch. his voice was still pretty distinctive and unique up until zwan, when he started using the vibrato. not only does it ruin the old songs but it doesn't really fit his voice. and he can still scream, it's just that he doesn't want to. for example, this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MfgvwK5KLw
he still does some pretty good screaming, no different than he did in 1995. it's just that he uses the crappy vibrato and he's also missing a lot of drive in his voice, almost as if he's bored.
and I'm not talking about this particular video, his vocals actually sound pretty enthusiastic here even though his voice obviously doesn't sound the same as it did 20 years ago..
and that's another thing, just like our body changes as we age, our vocal cords change and age too (even though many people don't know that).. that's another reason why both his singing and speaking voice has changed over the past 20+ years.

T&T
10-05-2014, 09:36 AM
drive in his voice, almost as if he's bored.
this is the main problem.

Ram27
10-05-2014, 09:59 AM
the vibrato doesn't fit his voice at all, that's the problem. he had a trademark whiney-breathy kind of nasal scream, and it was very distinctive. he kind of lost the screamy part of his voice after the mcis tour, but for the sake of better pitch. his voice was still pretty distinctive and unique up until zwan, when he started using the vibrato. not only does it ruin the old songs but it doesn't really fit his voice. and he can still scream, it's just that he doesn't want to. for example, this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MfgvwK5KLw
he still does some pretty good screaming, no different than he did in 1995. it's just that he uses the crappy vibrato and he's also missing a lot of drive in his voice, almost as if he's bored.
and I'm not talking about this particular video, his vocals actually sound pretty enthusiastic here even though his voice obviously doesn't sound the same as it did 20 years ago..
and that's another thing, just like our body changes as we age, our vocal cords change and age too (even though many people don't know that).. that's another reason why both his singing and speaking voice has changed over the past 20+ years.

It's weird how good that show is. Vocal wise, guitar wise, even Mike Burns sounds really good compared to later renditions

dreams of glass
10-06-2014, 01:32 AM
I saw SP play in 2010, and when they played BWBW, after the breakdown in the middle of the song he sang that last "rat in a.... CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGEEEEE" for what seemed like forever. It wasn't screaming, but he just held that note with no loss of intensity. It was awesome and one of the highlights of the show.

sneakyflutes
10-06-2014, 11:05 AM
His vocals on As Rome Burns were always pretty solid too. He's capable of screaming how he used to, I think he just chooses not to. The consonant dropping shit has to be intentional too. The only real damage to his voice I can tell is when he tries to sing lower register parts, which is fine because he hardly does anyhow. Everything else is him just trying to sing better but apparently no one around him has bothered telling him it sounds like shit.

Ram27
10-06-2014, 05:28 PM
hired guns

Araneae
10-06-2014, 08:02 PM
It seems like people keep referencing his 2010 vocals. 2010 was a long time ago. Physically he has changed quite a bit, which might affect his breath control and singing. To me, he didn't sound very strong at Ravinia.

Elphenor
10-06-2014, 08:48 PM
He should form a band where he plays guitar and doesn't sing. And a female should be the vocalist because high pitched vocals mesh well with Corgan's musical style

Elphenor
10-06-2014, 08:49 PM
I'm thinking a full on shoegaze album with Corgan busting out all his effects and drowning us in guitars

Spira|_
10-06-2014, 08:49 PM
If he really started singing lessons after MCIS, so then it is the reason he fucked up his singing since that point. I dont know about that Eventide processing but sounds a bit bullshit because he used to sing Gish and PI and SD way live on that eras.

Billy singing/voice was what I hated more on SP at the begining then ended on what I most enjoy on SP.

Spira|_
10-06-2014, 08:52 PM
It seems like people keep referencing his 2010 vocals. 2010 was a long time ago. Physically he has changed quite a bit, which might affect his breath control and singing. To me, he didn't sound very strong at Ravinia.

He didnt sound very strong at Ravinia. He did sound very weak on most of the songs.

aeroplume
10-06-2014, 08:58 PM
i always thought billys voice was good after he changed it up starting with adore. the live performances from adore and machina were great. even with zwan they were great to me. that terrible vibrato thing started with zeitgeist i think, and ever since its been pretty terrible. but i'm not a singer, just a fan.

i mean what is he trying to prove? that he can actually sing? at least theres still thom yorke.

Elphenor
10-06-2014, 09:40 PM
Corgan's Machina vocal's were amazing. He took the gimmicks of his style to the extreme and it was great because the dude can't actually "sing"

reprise85
10-06-2014, 09:48 PM
Yeah he embraced the nasal, for better or worse.

F.Delacroix
10-06-2014, 10:01 PM
even Mike Burns sounds really good

i'm telling jimmy you said that, ram27

slunken
10-07-2014, 07:49 AM
Computers. So trendy.

sneakyflutes
10-07-2014, 11:06 AM
The only people I ever heard bitching about his voice pre-Adore were people that hated the Smashing Pumpkins anyhow.

Ram27
10-07-2014, 12:07 PM
lol

bye june
10-07-2014, 12:43 PM
I think it would be really cool if he focused on guitars/effects/lyrics and performed with a female singer.

Not strawtits.

Ram27
10-07-2014, 12:56 PM
Whoever sung 'The Boy' with James sounded nice

bye june
10-07-2014, 01:04 PM
James?...

???

bye june
10-07-2014, 01:06 PM
well so far practically every female singer he works with drowns out his vocals.

hope he finds someone who doesn't do that

My point is that he wouldn't sing at all...there would be a different singer.

Araneae
10-07-2014, 01:16 PM
Whoever sung 'The Boy' with James sounded nice

Nina Gordon (veruca salt), I think.

dodoz
10-07-2014, 05:11 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UddY5hH88q0&t=6m12s

Some people might have thought there was a fire alarm in the store or something :)

Gooch
10-07-2014, 05:24 PM
that s ridiculous - after the song, one guy goes "yeah", to signal the song is over, and only like 5 people clap.

Ram27
10-07-2014, 05:32 PM
Better than people clapping in the middle of the song because they don't know it's not over

bye june
10-07-2014, 07:18 PM
Nina Gordon (veruca salt), I think.

She sang with James on ...Said Sadly, not The Boy.

As far as I know...

Ram27
10-07-2014, 11:16 PM
Yeah, I mixed up the TAFH James songs