The music world of 1995 seems like a strange and distant land.

CDs ruled supreme, a fledgling internet was yet to simultaneously democratise the industry and short-change artists, and the ARIA charts were a mix of men with loud guitars (Green Day, Live, Silverchair) and women with big voices (Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Tina Arena).

On the guitar side of the musical equation, bands walked a fine line between being successful and being ambivalent about said success, all the while pretending they didn’t actually want to be successful.

Alternative music in the ’90s was largely about looking like you weren’t trying too hard or didn’t care too much — ego was definitely a dirty word.

Into this landscape stomped Chicago band The Smashing Pumpkins and their monolithic double album Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness.

Released on October 23, 1995 in the US and a week later in Australia, it was a towering work of audacious ambition unlike anything else on the scene.

An album cover, featuring a drawing of a woman with a star around her waist.
Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness