Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.
The early 90’s brought forth grunge to the mainstream, but it also heralded a new age of what was called “Alternative Rock”. Smashing Pumpkins were in the mix and seemed to bridge the divide between ultra cool indie hipsters and mainstream rockers. In September, 1993 the band released Today as the 2nd single from their 2nd record, Siamese Dream. Say what you will about Billy Corgan’s later records, this is one of the defining songs of the 90’s. Lyrically, the song pulls of a neat trick – it has listeners singing along to the chorus “Today is the greatest / Day I’ve ever known” while somewhat obscuring the dark subject matter detailed in the verses. The song is about Corgan’s suicidal thoughts that plagued him as he went through a deep depression. Corgan himself told Rolling Stone: “”I was really suicidal … I just thought it was funny to write a song that said today is the greatest day of your life because it can’t get any worse.” The song itself has elements of pop, shoegazing, and classic rock – a song that sounds both of its time and timeless. The song became the breakthrough single for the band, and was made even more popular with its video that played on MTV nonstop (embedded below). Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlain, D’arcy Wretzky, and James Iha would go onto even more success with slightly darker sounds – but Today remains an effortless masterpiece, reaching towards the light while mired in darkness.