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Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan Lashes Out at Virgin, Promises Rarities Releases

March 26, 2008 10:30 AM ET

After filing a lawsuit claiming his former record label, Virgin, allowed Pepsi to use his band's name in a promotion without permission, Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan has decided to speak out. "I'm sure they indicated to Pepsi that they had a right to do this, full well knowing they do not have the right," Corgan told Billboard.com, adding that the soda promotion "crosses the Rubicon. You're going to see more of this playing fast and loose with the rules, hoping they don't get caught. At face value, it's not a huge deal. But in terms of precedent, it is, because there will be much more of this coming."

News of the breach of contract lawsuit broke yesterday. Corgan has been sparring with Virgin for years over the Pumpkins' back catalog (Virgin and SP co-own the rights to the music the Pumpkins released for the label). Corgan also said that his frequent attempts to reissue the band's older albums as expanded editions have been met with resistance by the label.

The Pumpkins are currently label-free, having fulfilled their one-album deal with Warner Bros. with Zeitgeist. In the lull between records, Corgan says he plans to release rare early concerts, unreleased studio tracks and outtakes from the Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness sessions. "We may start to release pieces as we go along, and the album comes out over two to three years," he says.

Related Stories:
Smashing Pumpkins Sue Virgin Records Over Pepsi Promotion
Smashing Pumpkins Form a Tag Team With Indie Wrestling Promotion
Rock Bloggin’: God Speaks to Billy Corgan, Tells Him to Post Ramblings on Public Forum

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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