Panopticon

Songfacts®:

  • The song's opening riff had been sitting around for a while, but though the band felt strongly about it, they weren't sure what to do with the idea. "It had a, dare I say, 'modern-feeling' to it, said Billy Corgan to MusicRadar.com, "but still in the style of guitar that I like to play."

    "Ultimately, I just sat down and wrote the song on the piano," he continued. "Sometimes, when you've got a riffy song, it helps to just play the chords with no rhythm, and then you hear the 'song' in it. It's those very Paul McCartney/Wings-type chords - Broadway-type chords."
  • Corgan is especially proud from a songwriting standpoint how the song goes from D major to A minor. "It goes from a very 'majorly' feel into something sorrowful, almost a Spanish feel," he explained to MusicRadar. "I don't know how the heck I did that, but it's one of my favorite things in the song, how you can keep the key but change the emotion."
  • The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). The idea behind the design was to allow an observer to watch all inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being observed. Bentham devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison, but though the British government rejected his scheme at the time, it has since been seen as an important development. Social critics have subsequently used the principle behind Bentham's Panopticon project as a metaphor for the intrusion of modern societies and their pervasive inclination to observe and normalise. The increasing use of CCTV cameras in public spaces is cited as a current example of the deployment of panoptic structures.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Def Leppard QuizMusic Quiz

Can you name Def Leppard's only #1 hit in America? Get rocked with this adrenalized quiz.

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Stan RidgwaySongwriter Interviews

Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.