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Tonight, Tonight (The Smashing Pumpkins song)

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Title: Tonight, Tonight (The Smashing Pumpkins song)  
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Tonight, Tonight (The Smashing Pumpkins song)

"Tonight, Tonight"
The single cover of "Tonight, Tonight" is credited to [1]
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Released April 15, 1996 (Europe)
June 11, 1996 (U.S.)
Format CD
Recorded 1995
Genre Alternative rock, symphonic rock
Length 4:16
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Billy Corgan
Producer(s) Flood, Alan Moulder, Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Tonight, Tonight"

"Tonight, Tonight" is a song by American single and second track on the first disc from their third album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and was released in April 1996 in Europe[2] and later in June 1996 in the United States.[3] "Tonight, Tonight" was critically acclaimed and commercially well-received upon its release. The music video accompanying the song was also successful and won several awards.

A shorter acoustic version of the song, titled "Tonite Reprise", was included as a B-side to the single and on the triple LP version of Mellon Collie. This single also later appeared in an extended form on the box set The Aeroplane Flies High.[4] Additionally, the song appears on the band's greatest hits release, Rotten Apples.[5]


  • Song history 1
  • Composition and lyrics 2
  • Reception 3
  • Music video 4
  • Single track listings 5
  • Chart performance 6
  • Personnel 7
  • Cover versions 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Song history

Billy Corgan began writing for the follow-up to Chicago studio to record all of their song ideas on tape.[7]

On Cheap Trick, with its black humoresque lyrics and theme, and that the song is addressed to himself, who escaped from an abusive childhood against all odds, so as to keep him believing in himself.[8]

Composition and lyrics

"Tonight, Tonight" is written in the [7]

Lyrically, "Tonight, Tonight" hangs together with the rest of the Mellon Collie.[10] The lyrics of the song have been compared to Robert Herrick's poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time".[11]


This is a 25-second sample from The Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight".

Problems playing this file? See .

"Tonight, Tonight" was met with critical acclaim. Allmusic reviewer Amy Hanson stated that the song "packs an emotional punch".[11] Jim Alexander of NME regarded the song as "swirling [and] grand".[12] Time's reviewer Christopher John Farley called the song "an expansive rock anthem, complete with soaring guitars and a 30-piece string section."[13] Entertainment Weekly's reviewer David Browne praised the use of strings in the song, saying that it was "whipped into a frenzy by hurricane-like strings".[14] On Mellon Collie‍ '​s entry in Rolling Stone‍ '​s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, "Tonight, Tonight" was praised as "the Pumpkins at their finest".[15]

While "Tonight, Tonight" never approached the chart success of "1979", it was among the most successful singles from Mellon Collie. Its highest position on any national chart was a number two peak on the New Zealand Singles Chart. Its highest position in the United States was at number four on Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks.[16] It also achieved number five on the Modern Rock Tracks and number 36 on The Billboard Hot 100.[17] The song also charted in other countries, peaking at number 21 on the Australian Singles Chart on June 9, 1996.[18] It placed at 50th in a list of best rock songs of all time broadcast by Kerrang! TV.

Music video

A scene from the "Tonight, Tonight" music video.

The silent film A Trip to the Moon, came from directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who got the idea for the video because the album cover for Mellon Collie reminded them of early silent films.[21] Hence, the video was filmed in the style of a turn-of-the-century silent film using theater-style backdrops and primitive special effects.[21] Most of the video's backdrops and puppetwork were created by artist Wayne White.[22]

Dayton and the production crew initially had problems locating costumes for the video because the movie Titanic was being shot at the same time in Los Angeles.[23] Titanic director James Cameron rented nearly every turn-of-the-century prop and costume in the city, leaving the "Tonight, Tonight" production crew little to work with.[23] Directors Dayton and Faris compromised by renting the leftover costumes and hiring designers to remake them into the elaborate period clothing seen in the video.[23] The video took three days to shoot.[24]

The video, which debuted in May 1996, begins with a group of people celebrating the launch of a zeppelin to the moon. Tom Kenny's character kisses Jill Talley's character's hand as the two enter the zeppelin, which was being held to the ground by people dressed as sailors using rope. The zeppelin approaches the Moon, which has a face like the Moon's face in A Trip to the Moon. Shots of the band performing in similar, turn-of-the-century attire using older, acoustic instruments are interspersed. The two characters jump off the zeppelin and fall onto the Moon's surface. Suddenly, several hostile humanoid aliens appear, surrounding the couple. Tom Kenny's character is restrained from a fist fight with the creatures, and Jill Talley's character defends herself by hitting a few of creatures with her umbrella, which vaporizes them, but the two are trapped and tied. The two form a plan, and then break free of the ropes and attack the aliens with their umbrellas. The couple escapes on a rocket similar to the one in A Trip to the Moon and land in the sea, where a merman resembling the sea-god Poseidon puts on a performance for them, including an octopus, singing mermaids, and starfish, before sending them back to the surface in a bubble. In the end they are rescued by a ship called "S.S. Méliès", in reference to the movie director.

The music video received heavy airplay on [19] It won six awards at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996: Video of the Year, Best Direction, Best Special Effects, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Breakthrough Video.[25] "Tonight, Tonight" was nominated for Viewer's Choice and Best Editing,[25] and was also nominated for Best Short Form Music Video at the 1997 Grammy Awards.[26] It is still considered one of the greatest music videos of all time, ranking number 40 on Stylus Magazine's list of the top 100 music videos of all time.[27]

Though regular 6-string acoustic guitars and electric bass guitar was used in the original studio recording of the song, in the music video, in keeping with the turn-of-the-century theme, some interesting instruments were used as 'props'; James Iha can be seen using a Gibson harp guitar and D'arcy Wretzky is seen playing an instrument that resembles the 1924 Gibson mandobass.

Single track listings

The Tonight, Tonight single was released with two different versions containing different Billy Corgan.

  • US single release[28]
  1. "Tonight, Tonight" - 4:15
  2. "Meladori Magpie" - 2:41
  3. "Rotten Apples" - 3:02
  4. "Medellia of the Gray Skies" - 3:11
  • The Aeroplane Flies High track listing[4]
  1. "Tonight, Tonight" - 4:15
  2. "Meladori Magpie" - 2:41
  3. "Rotten Apples" - 3:02
  4. "Jupiter's Lament" - 2:30
  5. "Medellia of the Gray Skies" - 3:11
  6. "Blank" - 2:54
  7. "Tonite Reprise" - 2:40

Chart performance

Chart (1996) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[29] 21
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[30] 39
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[31] 32
Canadian Alternative 30 (RPM)[32] 2
Ireland (IRMA) 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[33] 46
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[34] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[35] 58
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[36] 7
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[17] 5
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[17] 4
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[17] 36


All information taken from Allmusic.[1]

  • producer, artwork
  • James Iha – guitar on "Tonight, Tonight" and "Medellia of the Gray Skies"
  • D'arcy Wretzky – bass on "Tonight, Tonight" and "Medellia of the Gray Skies"
  • Jimmy Chamberlin – drums on "Tonight, Tonight"
  • Dennis and Jimmy Flemion – instrumentation on "Medellia of the Gray Skies"
  • Jeff Moleski – engineer
  • Flood – producer of "Tonight, Tonight"
  • Alan Moulder – producer of "Tonight, Tonight"
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering

Cover versions

"Tonight, "Tonight" has been covered by [37] and was also featured during the season 1, episode 3 of MTV's Teen Wolf (Pack Mentality.);[38] Their cover plays near the end of the movie 10 Years.[39] Panic! at the Disco, as a live recording, wherein they replaced the lyrics "The place where you were born" with "The place where Jon Walker [former Panic! at the Disco bassist] was born", and The Voice U.S contestant Katrina Parker, who covered this song on the show's first live round.


  1. ^ a b "Tonight Tonight" at AllMusic. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins-Tonight, Tonight single (Europe release)". Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  3. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins-Tonight, Tonight single (U.S. release)". Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  4. ^ a b The Aeroplane Flies High at AllMusic. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  5. ^ Rotten Apples at AllMusic. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  6. ^ Kot, Greg (1995-10-22). "Double Take: Smashing Pumpkins raises the stakes with 'Mellon Collie'". Chicago Tribune. 
  7. ^ a b c d Corgan, Billy (January 1997). "King B's". Guitar World. 
  8. ^ Billy Corgan Plays Tonight Live on Howard Stern show June 19, 2012 on YouTube
  9. ^ Spevak, Jeff (1997-01-23). "Super Angst Sunday". Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. 
  10. ^ Kelly, Christina (1995-12-01). "Smashing Pumpkins-The Multi-Platinum Band is over the infighting but can the harmony last?". US Magazine. 
  11. ^ a b Amy Hanson. Tonight, Tonight (The Smashing Pumpkins song) at AllMusic. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
  12. ^ Alexander, Jim. "Smashing Pumpkins : Rotten Apples". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  13. ^ Farley, Christopher John (1995-11-13). "A JOURNEY, NOT A JOYRIDE". Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  14. ^ Browne, David (1995-10-27). "PUMPKIN BATCH: Smashing Pumpkins". Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  15. ^ "487) Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". Rolling Stone. November 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d "Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins". Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - TONIGHT, TONIGHT (SINGLE)". Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  19. ^ a b c Corgan, Billy (1996). (Interview). Smashing Pumpkins Videography.  
  20. ^ Daher, Karl (1998-05-29). "Listessa Interviews Billy Corgan". Listessa. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  21. ^ a b Commentary for "Tonight, Tonight" music video. The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–2000: Greatest Hits Video Collection (Virgin Records, 2001).
  22. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (5 September 2012). "'"Exclusive: Wayne White Talks Smashing Pumpkins Video "Tonight Tonight" In Clip From 'Beauty Is Embarrassing.  
  23. ^ a b c Haring, Bruce (1997-09-12). "A 'Smashing' Wardrobe Run" (http). Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2015-03-07. 
  24. ^ de Barros, Adriana. "Smashing Pumpkins vs. George Méliès". Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  25. ^ a b "1996 13th MTV Video Music Awards". Archived from the original on 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  26. ^ "Rock On The Net: Grammy Awards: Best Music Video". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  27. ^ Stylus Staff (2006-07-20). "Stylus Magazine's Top 100 Music Videos of All Time". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  28. ^ "Tonight, Tonight [US]". Retrieved 2007-04-16. 
  29. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  30. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  31. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 63, No. 22, July 15, 1996".  
  32. ^ "Rock/Alternative - Volume 63, No. 22, July 15, 1996".  
  33. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  34. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight". Top 40 Singles.
  35. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight". Singles Top 60.
  36. ^ The Smashing Pumpkins Songs (Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts
  37. ^ Borges, Christine. """MP3: Passion Pit Covers Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight, Tonight. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Pack Mentality: Songs from the Show". Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  39. ^ 10 Years at the Internet Movie Database

External links

  • "Tonight, Tonight" Official music video on YouTube
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