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Bullet with Butterfly Wings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
Bullet with Butterfly Wings.jpg
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
from the album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
ReleasedOctober 24, 1995
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Bullet with Butterfly Wings"
Audio sample
Bullet with Butterfly Wings

"Bullet with Butterfly Wings" is a song by the American alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins and the lead single from their 1995 double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. This song was the band's first Top 40 U.S. hit, peaking at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also spent six weeks at number two on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, and peaked at number four on the Mainstream Rock chart.[4] In Canada, the song peaked at number 18 on the RPM Top Singles chart and spent four weeks at number one on the Rock/Alternative chart, becoming Canada's most successful rock song of the year.[5]

The song was named the 91st best hard rock song of all time by VH1 in 2009[6] and ranked number 70 on the 2008 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.[7] The song came second in the Triple J Hottest 100, 1995,[8] was later voted number 51 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time, 2009[9] and placed at number 25 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of the Past 20 Years, 2013.[10]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • The Smashing Pumpkins Bullet With Butterfly Wings Live The White Room 22.12.95




The song had its origins during the recording of 1993's Siamese Dream. According to frontman Billy Corgan, "somewhere, I have a tape of us from 1993 endlessly playing the 'world is a vampire' part over and over".[11] It was not until 1995 that Corgan finished the song with the noted chorus "rat in a cage", on an acoustic guitar during the same session that "Landslide" was recorded.[11] The lyrics "Can you fake it, for just one more show?" may refer to the band's experience headlining the 1994 Lollapalooza festival, with Corgan calling it the "old job".[12][13] Along with other parts of the album, Corgan appears to compare himself to Jesus Christ, with the line "Jesus was an only son / Tell me I'm the chosen one".[12]

Music video

Filming for the music video took place in Los Angeles, California on September 30, 1995, with Samuel Bayer as director.[14] The visual look of the video was inspired by the work of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado on gold mining,[15][16] while, in contrast, the band used the video to debut their new glam rock wardrobes - notably, Billy Corgan's black shirt with the word "Zero" written in silver, and silver pants.[17] The video also marks the last filmed appearance of Billy Corgan prior to his decision to shave his head.[18][19]

When asked why the band chose Bullet for the first video, Corgan responded "the record company did a survey of K-Mart shoppers between 30 and 40 and this is the song they came up with". "This is the blue light special", said Chamberlin,[20][21] though it's likely in the context of the interview that these statements were in jest.

Track listing

Original US/UK CD single [22][23]

1."Bullet with Butterfly Wings"Billy Corgan4:16
2."...Said Sadly"James Iha3:09

"...Said Sadly" features Nina Gordon of Veruca Salt on vocals.

1996 Re-issue [24]

1."Bullet with Butterfly Wings"Billy Corgan4:16
2."...Said Sadly"James Iha3:09
3."You're All I've Got Tonight"The Cars3:10
4."Clones (We're All)"Alice Cooper2:43
5."A Night Like This"The Cure3:36
6."Destination Unknown"Missing Persons4:14

US 7" double A-side single [25]

1."1979"Billy Corgan4:24
2."Bullet with Butterfly Wings"Billy Corgan4:16



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[36] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Cover versions

In other media

The song is used, slightly edited, as the title song for the Animal Planet reality television series Whale Wars, which follows the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as they chase Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.[44] The song is also used in the South Park episode "Whale Whores", which parodies Whale Wars.[45]

"Weird Al" Yankovic performed the chorus in "The Alternative Polka" from his Bad Hair Day album.[46]

The song was featured as a playable track in the video game Guitar Hero 5.[47]

It was also used in the launch trailer for Dead Space 2[48] and TV spot for Battlefield 1.

The song was the TNA Lockdown wrestling pay-per-view theme song for 2009.[49]

UFC also used it for the Anderson Silva vs Nick Diaz fight in UFC 183's short trailer.[50]

A remixed version of the song can be heard in the trailer for Rampage.[51]


  1. ^ A.U. (August 6, 2015). "The 95 Best Alternative Rock Songs of 1995". Spin. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  2. ^ 1001 Albums: You Must Hear Before You Die. Hachette; 2011. Print.
  3. ^ Richardson, Sean (February 13, 2003). "Ride on". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on October 18, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  4. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins | Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "RPM Top 50 Alternative Tracks of 1995". Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs". Stereogum. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  7. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  8. ^ "1995 | triple j Hottest 100". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  9. ^ "Countdown | triple j's Hottest 100 of All Time, 2009". Triple J. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Countdown | Twenty Years  of triple j's Hottest 100". Triple J. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Corgan, Billy (January 1997). "King B's". Guitar World.
  12. ^ a b Pareles, John (October 22, 1995). "RECORDINGS VIEW;Alternative Rockers Think Big, Uneasily". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  13. ^ McKelvey, Iain. "The Throwback, 1995". Vulture Magazine. Archived from the original on December 22, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Finished challenges. "2 out of 3 - Bullet with butterfly wings: Digital Photography Review". Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "Bullet with Butterfly Wings". Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  17. ^ SPIN Media LLC (June 1996). SPIN. SPIN Media LLC. pp. 53–. ISSN 0886-3032.
  18. ^ Mac, Ryan; Dunn, Charlie (December 14, 2010). "Review: Live 105's Not So Silent Night". The Stanford Daily. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  19. ^
  20. ^ MTV News with Kurt Loder (Motion picture). MTV. October 1995.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Bullet With Butterfly Wings UK 5" CD SINGLE (54612)". Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  23. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Bullet With Butterfly Wings USA 5" CD SINGLE (241127)". Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  24. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins The Aeroplane Flies High USA BOX SET (76593)". December 9, 1996. Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  25. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins 1978/Bullet With Butterfly Wings USA 7" RECORD (224570)". September 27, 2002. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  26. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  27. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2864." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  28. ^ "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9053." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  29. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  30. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Smashing Pumpkins". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  31. ^ " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  32. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  33. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  34. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  35. ^ "Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  36. ^ "American single  certifications – Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 25, 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  37. ^ Baines, Huw. "The Menzingers - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff - August 9 2013 (Live Review)". Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  38. ^ Leahey, Andrew. "Explains It All". Allmusic. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  39. ^ Huey, Steve. "A Gothic Industrial Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins". Allmusic. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  40. ^ "Nerve Damage". Allmusic. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  41. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Dead New World". Allmusic. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  42. ^ "The World is a Vampire". Archived from the original on June 3, 2012.
  43. ^ Melia, Daniel. "Deftones, Panic! At The Disco for Smashing Pumpkins tribute album". Gigwise. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  44. ^ Feeney, Steve. "Review: Pumpkins a smash at State Theatre". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  45. ^ "The Fight Is On". Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  46. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic - Bad Hair Day". Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  47. ^ Brudvig, Erik. "OFFICIAL GUITAR HERO 5 SONG LIST". IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  48. ^ "Dead Space 2". Electronic Arts. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  49. ^ Lapatine, Scott. "Billy Corgan Adapts "Butterfly Wings" For Wrestling Commercial, Joins Twitter". Stereogum. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  50. ^
  51. ^

External links

This page was last edited on 10 December 2018, at 02:34
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