“1979” is a song by the American alternative
rock band The Smashing Pumpkins. Released in 1996 as the second single from their third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, “1979” was written by frontman Billy Corgan, and features loops
and samples that were uncharacteristic of previous Smashing Pumpkins songs. The song was 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 Grammy Awards, and won an MTV
Video Music Award for Best Alternative Video.
According to statements in interviews, Corgan worked nonstop after
the Siamese Dream tour and wrote about 56 songs for Mellon Collie and
the Infinite Sadness, the last of which was “1979”. As the Mellon Collie
sessions came to a conclusion, 1979 wasn’t quite finished and When the time came to choose the songs that were to appear on the album, producer Flood said that “1979” was “not good enough” and wanted to drop it from the record. This, however, inspired Corgan to finish it in four hours. The next day, Flood heard “1979” once and decided immediately to put it on the album. Corgan considers “1979” the most personally important song on Mellon Collie.
The song features a sample of Corgan’s voice repeated throughout. During recording, Corgan was singing “ooh” as the melody line, so he and Flood decided to record him singing to a tape. The pair electronically manipulated several samples and lopped them against a drumbeat.
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