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the take

We Listen to All Four Versions of ‘Zeitgeist’ So You Don't Have To

Courtesy of Reprise

The Smashing Pumpkins’ Zeitgeist was released yesterday, and as you may have heard, it features a different track listing depending on where you buy it. Best Buy, iTunes, and Target each have exclusive versions with a unique bonus track — as well as album covers to more or less match their corporate colors — and all other record stores carry a standardized edition with a bright red cover and no bonus tracks. Which version should you buy, from which megaretailer? We're here to help.

Best Buy's version (with the yellow cover) features the bonus track "Death From Above," a pretty dull offering that, at best, sounds like it could have been buried at the end of 2000's MACHINA/The Machines of God. The iTunes version, with a blue cover — or at least a blue JPEG — features the bonus track "Stellar" which isn't any better and drags on about two minutes too long. But Target's purple-covered version includes Zeitgeist's title track, and it's actually pretty good. (We'll leave aside the idiocy of not including an album's title track on most pressings of the album.) The acoustic guitar and playful rhythm offer a nice change of pace from the wall of sound on the rest of the album, and unlike the other bonus tracks, Target's is added to the end of the disc rather than the middle, providing a far better closer than the weak "Pomp and Circumstances." But completists who crave every track probably don’t need to worry, since the band has a tendency to release their B-sides anyway. —Joe DeLessio