When we were thinking of songs we’d love to cover, one of the first that came up for me, Tyler, was Tonight, Tonight by the Smashing Pumpkins. For the full album track list and more information about the project, visit this post: http://jennyandtyler.com/ffblog/
Tonight, Tonight first grabbed my attention when I was eleven or twelve years old. I was hanging out with my best friend at the time, Andrew, in his basement, playing floor hockey and watching cartoons, sometimes MTV (which we weren’t supposed to watch), when MTV was still playing a decent amount of music videos. When the video to Tonight, Tonight would come on, we’d stop what we were doing and just stand there, almost motionless, fixated on the screen of that big brown tube TV. Billy Corgan, the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, would serenade us with both a seriousness and a strange over-the-top-ness (not a ridiculousness, just a larger than life quality), crowned in a bashe top hat, the classical strings of what I later discovered to be the Chicago symphony lifting us into a strange, dream-like world, a world where lovers can jump out of hot air balloons with parasols and still live. I was mesmerized. Never before or again would I see a music video that so affected me.
Here’s that video:
When we recorded this incredible song, we wanted to capture the energy of the music and desperation of the lyrics, which seem to us to be a sort of call to repentance. We thought it would suit as an opening track for the album, hoping to lay a foundation of expectation, wonder, and excitement. In order to help accomplish this, we invited our friend Levi Weaver to lend his voice. Jenny and I often look for an excuse to sing three part harmony because of its full, even overwhelming quality. Levi made that possible. Levi sings with such dynamics, not only in terms of emotion and sheer volume, but also pitch range. He starts the song an octave below me and ends a sixth above me (a third above Jenny), concluding with a full on scream, unhindered and true. Will Sayles executed the outstanding drum part, drawing from the original recording. The glockenspiel served to emulate the strings, and a classical guitar the electric guitar, with that trademark lick during the first verse.
We hope this track sets a tone of expectation for the remainder of the album. Read more about the original song at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonight,_Tonight_(The_Smashing_Pumpkins_song)
Tyler (& Jenny)