23. The Smashing Pumpkins, 'Siamese Dream'
Chief pumpkin Billy Corgan took the idea of quality control to its obsessive conclusion by playing most of this album's guitar and bass parts himself — a rough deal for guitarist James Iha and bassist D'Arcy. But Siamese Dream — co-produced with Butch Vig, fresh from Nirvana's Nevermind — is Corgan's idealized, super-hands-on version of the full band's soaring, angst-spiked psychedelia. (The Pumpkins' glorious onstage expansions of "Silverfuck" were proof enough that Corgan couldn't do it all on his own.) That the album remains one of alt-rock's most enduring documents is down to Corgan's acute commercial vision — the way he dolled up the confessional indulgence of "Today" and "Disarm" in heavy-Seventies pop lace — and the sheer power of the playing. No matter who did what.