Billy Corgan Says Smashing Pumpkins' 'Machina II' Will Be Around 80 Tracks

By Katrina Nattress

January 28, 2021

After years of teasing, it sounds like Machina II is finally near completion. During a recent interview, Billy Corgan revealed that the rework was being mastered. “The album reconstituted comes in at about 50-plus tracks,” he said, with the entire project “somewhere in the 80-track range.”

Machina/The Machines of God and Machina II/The Friends & Enemies Of Modern Music came out seven months apart back in 2000. The band wanted to release the records together, but their label at the time, Virgin Records, refused the idea after 1998's Adore didn't sell as well as expected. Only 25 copies of Machina II were pressed, with those in its possession encouraged to share it for free online.

Machina II was written to be kind of like a musical, but because it was never finished, it was like shooting a movie that wasn’t fully edited,” Corgan explained. “Machina I was like one edit of the footage, and Machina II was some of the leftover footage — but there was even more stuff leftover. So, this was my attempt, 20 years later, to kind of finish the movie and in the process of trying to finish the movie, realizing the movie can never be finished.”

He went on to explain that some tracks "are unfinished, almost like a sketch. But in the aggregate of listening to it, you kinda get a sense of the movie I was after. It’s pretty wild. It’s almost impossible to put into words."

“I’m going to write an essay when we release the box set to try to explain what it is,” Corgan added.

He didn't give details about when we can expect the box set to arrive; however, it's slated to come out sometime this year.

Photo: Jonathan Weiner

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