Zero (song)

Zero (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Zero

Artist = The Smashing Pumpkins
from Album = Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
B-side =
Released = April 23, 1996
Format = CD and Cassette
Recorded = 1995
Genre = Alternative rock
Length = 2:41
Label = Virgin
Writer = Billy Corgan
Producer = Flood, Alan Moulder, Billy Corgan
Certification =
Last single = "1979"
This single = "Zero"
Next single = "Tonight, Tonight"
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Type = studio
prev_track = "Jellybelly"
prev_no = 3
this_track = "Zero"
track_no = 4
next_track = "Here Is No Why"
next_no = 5

"Zero" is a song by The Smashing Pumpkins. It was the third single from their third album, "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness" and was a return to the familiar angsty rock of the first single, "Bullet with Butterfly Wings". This style of their music was called "Cybermetal" by Billy Corgan. "Zero" was written by Corgan and was the first song recorded for "Mellon Collie". The song has six rhythm guitars, with two line-in twelve string acoustics. [Guitar World - January 1997]

The cover artwork features photography by Corgan's girlfriend, Yelena Yemchuk, who also directed the music video.

Live performance

"Zero" was played virtually intact, but simply played quicker than usual during the "Mellon Collie..." tour. It was almost never played during the promotion and tour for "Adore", only as a brief teaser, but was reintroduced in the brief "Arising!" tour in 1999. The "Sacred & Profane" tour of 2000 included a variant: it started off with a pulsing drumbeat and build-up to the song, which then would be played in style reminiscent of speed metal, removing much of the nuance and grunge-sludge anthemic appeal of song. Late in the tour, the band would segue from "Cash Car Star" into "Zero", the same as "Everlasting Gaze" was segued into "Heavy Metal Machine" or "Bullet with Butterfly Wings". Billy changed "and God is empty just like me" part for "and God is empty just like you" for the tour. "I'm your lover, I'm your zero" was also changed to "I'm your lover, I was your zero".Zero was reintroduced in 2007 in the promotional tour for the band's reunion album Zeitgeist.

Music video

The music video was directed by Yelena Yemchuk, her first of many contributions to the band. The concept of it was to set it in a Roman Mansion, with lounging guests, while the band acts as their entertainment. The band predominantly wears black, which contrasts the room's vibrant wine-stained colors that are associated with the Roman period. The official presidential portrait of James K. Polk is hanging in the room.


Unlike most singles, "Zero" was released as an EP and included "Pastichio Medley", a of parts of songs from the "Mellon Collie" sessions that mostly remain unreleased. The medley runs over 23 minutes and features over 70 songs. [ [ Pastichio Medley ] ] The medley also features snippets of songs that actually were released; the snippet of the song "Disconnected" is a riff from an early version of "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" and the riff called "Rachel" ended up being worked into the album track "X.Y.U.".

The track "Tribute to Johnny" is an instrumental; a homage to guitarist Johnny Winter. Not long after the release of the EP, Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin died of a heroin overdose, leading many uninformed fans to assume this song was a tribute to Melvoin.

Covers and other uses

*The band Evanescence has covered the song "Zero" on many occasions.
*The song was featured on "The Simpsons" episode "Homerpalooza", where the band appeared as themselves.
*The metalcore band Evergreen Terrace have a recorded cover of "Zero" on two albums. Once on their cover album "Writer's Block", and a live cover on "At Our Worst".
*The band 32 Leaves provided a cover version of the song for the tribute album ""
*A master recording of the song became available as downloadable content on the video game "Rock Band" on April 29, 2008.

Track listing

All songs written by Billy Corgan unless otherwise noted.

#"Zero" – 2:39
#"God" – 3:09
#"Mouths of Babes" – 3:46
#"Tribute to Johnny" (Corgan/James Iha) – 2:34
#"Marquis in Spades" – 3:17
#"Pennies" – 2:28
#"Pastichio Medley" – 23:00*


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