It's hard to believe that a disc made up of B-sides would be this good. Most bands just throw away their B-side material, so unless you picked up the singles, fuhgeddaboudit. Not Smashing Pumpkins. Billy Corgan and crew churned out music on a level not seen since the '70s, when bands built their reputations on tours and constantly playing and recording, not stringing people along with a handful of videos from one album. In fact, they'd later up the ante with the "Aeroplane Flies High" box set.
Anyway, this disc has some classic Pumpkins moments that shouldn't be ignored just because they're not on a "proper" album. "Landslide," the Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac cover, was a moderate hit, being the only song from this disc that made it to radio. But all the songs are good, and follow the traditional Pumpkins formula of quiet, introspective numbers and distortion-laden rock fests. "Pissant," "Plume," "Frail and Bedazzled," and "Soothe" are all great, but "Starla" is probably the centerpiece of this disc. The song plunges through the first couple of minutes as one of their best straight-up rockers before pummeling you with some riff-heavy jamming. This song was also very popular among fans, apparently. I ended up adopting a cat named after this song, and some neighbors of mine also had a cat named Starla, with the same story behind her name. Kind of scary, if you ask me, but if a band can have that much impact on their fans, more power to 'em.
Finally, I have to mention the liner notes on this. The pictures, the haphazard typewriter font on the impossibly thin paper...it all adds up to kind of a slipshod package if you ask me, but it works perfectly on a B-side collection. It makes you feel like you unearthed some real buried treasures, or maybe like Billy Corgan himself put together a mix tape of rarities just for you. Maybe I'm reading too much into that, but it's cool nonetheless.