The Smashing Pumpkins - "33"

“33” was the fifth and final single from the Smashing Pumpkins’ third album, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”, but it also was the first song written by Billy Corgan (vocals and guitars) for that double album.

Corgan : “A simple song in a country tuning, ‘33’ was the first song I wrote when I came home from all the Siamese Dream touring [“Siamese Dream” being the title of the Smashing Pumpkins 2nd album]. I took three days off, and this was literally the first thing that came out of my hands when I sat down. The 'cha-cha-cha' sound is my drum machine through a flanger, and what you hear is the same one right off the demo because I couldn't remember how to recreate it. The stringly sounds are part Vocoder, plus five slide guitars tuned to one note each to create the chords.”
“When I wrote that song I was just moving into my house, I had just gotten married, and in some ways the song talks about me entering a new phase in my life. But it also talks about how I don't really necessarily trust that part of my life. Obviously it has more relevance now that I'm divorced and I'm out of my house... The song has a different poignancy for me now, both because I foreshadowed the future and I was also hopeful that that sort of future was going to work out.”

“33” was the first single released after the firing of Jimmy Chamberlin (drums) and death of Jonathan Melvoin (keyboard player on tour). It is said that the song was released instead of another song called “Muzzle” because there aren’t any drums on “33”, whereas “Muzzle” features great drums by the sacked drummer…

As to why the song is called “33”, Corgan : “I had a friend read my tarot cards and the person said that ‘When you're 33 years old,’ -this is when I was 27, - your life is going to completely change’. I actually had hoped to write three songs: ‘33’, ‘66’, and ‘99’, but I never wrote ‘66’ and ‘99’.”

Available on the double album “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”