Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan says U2’s ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ was improved by his advice

“I told him what I thought, and they actually used my advice”

Billy Corgan has explained how he improved U2’s ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ album after offering advice to Bono.

The Smashing Pumpkins frontman recalled the anecdote to Zane Lowe in a new interview with Apple Music 1, where he also explained how numerous artists from across the ‘90s inspired him.

It was here that Corgan landed on the topic of Irish rock veterans U2, and stated that back in 2000 he offered Bono some advice on his upcoming album — comments which the band then implemented into the final release.


“So, I’m over in Dublin, circa 2000, and I go to visit Bono at his house,” Corgan recalled. “We stayed up all night, and in the morning, for some reason, me and him are the only people up, and he says, ‘I want to play you something. We’re going to have to go out in the car, because I don’t want to wake the house up.’”

Billy Corgan
Billy Corgan. CREDIT: Don Arnold/WireImage

The music in question turned out to be the demos for the band’s tenth studio album, ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’, which Corgan claimed were “not all the way there”.

“So it’s me and him freezing in the driveway, and he pops in and he’s playing me what became the ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’ album, and it’s not all the way there, but sort of there.

“He goes, ‘Tell me honestly what you think.’ I’m like, ‘You really want me to give you my opinion?’… And I told him what I thought,” he added. “They actually used my advice! He let me know later, ‘Hey, we used your advice.’”

‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ was U2’s first full-length release of the millennium, and was released in October 2000. The album became a fan-favourite around the world, namely for its opening track ‘Beautiful Day’, which remains one of their most famous releases to date.


Elsewhere in the interview, Corgan also proceeded to share his appreciation for late Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain, and confirm that he was devastated by the loss as he considered the frontman to be his “greatest opponent”.

“When Kurt died, I cried because I lost my greatest opponent,” he told the host. “I want to beat the best. I don’t want to win the championship because it’s just me and a bunch of jabronis — to use a wrestling term.”

He continued: “It’s like Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest sports competitor I’ll ever see in my lifetime.”

Earlier this month, Smashing Pumpkins released the final part of their rock opera ‘ATUM’ — a three-part sequel to their classic double records ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’ (1995) and ‘Machina/The Machines Of God’ (2000).

In March, the Corgan-led band also headlined a new festival in Mexico called The World Is A Vampire alongside Interpol. They later announced a US tour of the same name, which will kick off in Las Vegas this July and run until September.

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