I Am One

Album: The Smashing Pumpkins (1991)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song was the debut single from Smashing Pumpkins, released in 1991 from the band's first album Gish. It is one of the few Smashing Pumpkins songs credited to both lead singer Billy Corgan and guitarist James Iha. After this song was released, Corgan took creative control over Smashing Pumpkins and wrote most of the band's music by himself.
  • There are two recordings of this song floating around. The first one was released in 1990 and was recorded using leftover tuition funds that frontman Billy Corgan's grandmother had left him after she passed away. The second version is a re-recording of the first one with a more polished sound. It is this second version that appears on Gish and was released as the band's debut single.
  • A video for this song was shot in 1991 but it wasn't released until 2001 because the band was unhappy with it. Clips of the lost video were included in the band's 1994 long-form music video Vieuphoria, but the full version was not released until it appeared on the compilation DVD The Smashing Pumpkins – Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991–2000) in 2001.
  • Physical copies of the single for this song are extremely hard to find. Only 1,500 copies were pressed, making it a highly sought after release for Smashing Pumpkins collectors. There are also three test pressings in existence, two owned by Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan and one owned by Limited Potential owner Mike Potential. Limited Potential was the Chicago-based independent that released and distributed some of the band's earliest material.
  • When the band played this song live in the early '90s, lead singer Billy Corgan would often insert improvised speeches into the bass break section. This would often lead to the track extending to 8 to 10 minutes in length. Many fans didn't agree with Corgan's speeches due to their abrasive nature and condescending tone towards the youth of America. There were even times when Corgan's fellow band members became annoyed with his rants, with drummer Jimmy Chamberlin dismissing them as "art-breakdown."

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