1979 – The Smashing Pumpkins

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………………..on March 10th of 1996 “1979” the second single that was released from The Smashing Pumpkins LP “Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness” peaked #12 on Billboard. Lead singer Billy Corgan wrote this about making the transition out of youth and into adulthood. He remembered being in high school and having adult responsibilities like a car and job, but still being very much a youth and dependent on his parents. Corgan chose 1979 for the title because it rhymed with many of the words he wanted to use in the lyrics. This was the last song written for Mellon Collie. Corgan told the producer that he thought it had a lot of potential, so the producer gave Corgan 24 hours to make it work, or else it wouldn’t be on the album. He went home that night and came up with the lyrics, and they recorded it the next day. Corgan had a version of this written long before it was released, but he didn’t think it fit the mood of any of their previous albums. Billy Corgan once joked, “We wrote this song for Michael Jackson, but found he couldn’t do the Moonwalk to it.” The song proved to be popular with critics and fans; Allmusic’s Amy Hanson called it a “somewhat surprising hit”. The song was nominated for the Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards, and won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Alternative Video. In 2012, it was voted the second-best Smashing Pumpkins song by Rolling Stone readers. The music video for “1979” was directed by the team of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who had previously directed the music video for “Rocket”. Billy Corgan considers it the Pumpkins’ best video, calling it “the closest we’ve ever come to realizing everything we wanted.” The song was also a Top 20 hit in the UK reaching #16.