Registration with

register

lost password recovery

recover my password

sign in

  • If you registered before August, 2014, you will need to register again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • remember me
sign in

Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the Newsletter

1979 by Smashing Pumpkins

Album: Mellon Collie And The Infinite SadnessReleased: 1995Charted:
12
16
  • 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. (thanks, Susan - Scarsdale, MT)
  • Corgan (from VH1 Storytellers): "Sometimes, when I write a song, I see a picture in my head. For some reason, it's of the obscure memory I have." The memory that goes with this song is from when he was around 18 years old. He was driving down a road near his home on a rainy night, and was waiting at a traffic light. He says that the picture "emotionally connotes a feeling of waiting for something to happen, and not being quite there yet, but it's just around the corner."
  • 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. (thanks, Peter - Greer, SC, for above 2)
  • 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.
  • The video took 3 days to shoot and included a scene where a bunch of kids are at a party, and Smashing Pumpkins are the house band. The original tape of this scene was lost after a crew member forgot that had placed it on top of his car and drove away. A new video was cobbled together with unused footage, plus new footage shot by the group. The production assistant who drove off without the tapes was sentenced to stand in the city center with a sandwich board that said: "Lost Tapes, reward for return" on it. (thanks, Alex - Oxford, England)
  • This was nominated for 2 Grammys - Record Of The Year and Best Rock Performance.
  • Billy Corgan once joked, "We wrote this song for Michael Jackson, but found he couldn't do the Moonwalk to it." (thanks, BONES - New Plymouth, New Zealand)
or Register to post comments

Comments: 50

This song always reminded me of this day in 2005, in a winter morning sitting in English class. I like this song cos it reminds me of being young, restless, and being able to bounce back. Every time I listen to this song I just remember the winter sunshine that morning in 2005Si - Auckland, New Zealand
before my time but this is hands down one of the best songs i have ever heard!Shelby - Westerly, Ri
I could say alot about this song, the way it just feels like 1979, feels just like the way things were so relaxed then, feels like being a teenager again, being too cool to care about much but so ready to see where everything could end up. I don't pretend to understand some of the lyrics but I can explain the junebug skipping like a stone. Anyone who's ever been out late on a humid summer night, maybe close to a streetlight has see them. Junebugs are really clumsy fliers.. if they are taking off from the ground they will fly, crash land, immediately take off again, immediately crash again, rinse repeat until they get away from the ground. The result is they look like they are skipping along, just like a stone skipped on the water. This is an amazing song.Ryan - Cary, Nc
This song brings back great memories....the first time I ever heard it was on the radio, driving home after a party at which I had just met the love of my life. Nothing but love for this song.Kayla - Carmel, In
ashley from moncton canada. i don't know how but you basically said exactly what this song means to me too. i was born in 1990 and my dad was my greatest musical influence. we had it pretty s--tty back then but everytime i was in the car with my dad and he had the cassette tape with this song on it, everything just seemed fine. i remember being like 4 or 5 and smashing pumpkins being the only thing i wanted to listen to because of this song. and i everytime i hear it i can't help but have the most vived memories of that time in my life and it almost brings me to tears everytime.Cody - St Joe, Mo
i always thought that it was about the good and bad memories surrounding loosing someone very close to you to drugs at young age...but not necessarily lost forever. the near Wrecklessness of youth, invincible feelings while partying.

Derek from Qld or anyone, what do you mean by "cop with the 'mo" is that Aussie for mustachio?
Mo - Chicago, Il
i always thought that it was about the good and bad memories surrounding loosing someone very close to you to drugs at young age...but not necessarily lost forever. the near Wrecklessness of youth, invincible feelings while partying.

Derek from Qld or anyone, what do you mean by "cop with the 'mo" is that Aussie for mustachio?
Mo - Chicago, Il
i always thought that it was about the good and bad memories surrounding loosing someone very close to you to drugs at young age...but not necessarily lost forever. the near Wrecklessness of youth, invincible feelings while partying.

Derek from Qld or anyone, what do you mean by "cop with the 'mo" is that Aussie for mustachio?
Mo - Chicago, Il
Love the line - "cool kids never have the time." The video is awesome and so is the song, aww memories.Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
The song was used in the movie "Clerks 2".Austin - Smallsville, New England
I can't believe this song was finished off "overnight" just to make the album when you bear in mind how much production and recording work went into not only the 28 songs that made the double-album, but also a heap of songs that didn't make it. I love the overdriven, distorted beasts, and the 9-10 minute epics on this album, but this great pop song still fits into to it all beautifully. Can't remember 1979, I was 3, but I can remember 95/96 and how good the music was.Doc - Mittagong, Nsw, Australia
This was released as a single on the very day I was born.Whenever I hear it, I feel like someone is looking after me and sculpting my passage through life.Sort of like a memento or a good-luck
charm.
Matt - Houston, Tx
If you look very closely at the video, you'll notice that a young Vince Vaughn plays one of the cops.Brian - Richmond, Va
I WAS 16 IN 1979! THIS SONG/VID R EXCELLENT!!!
PROPS TO BILLY FOR CAPTURING LIFE OF A TEEN
IN THAT YEAR! IT HARDLY MATTRES HE WAS ONLY 13, HE NAILED IT...OF COURSE...HES BILLY CORGAN!
Music Junkie - In Hell In, Sc
unexplainable nostalgia ... i wasn't born yet in 1979 but it conjures feelings of a carefree adolescence. if you're reading this and you're a teenager relish your times with firends and family. those are the years of your life you're gonna look back on. when you become a "grown up" everything changes.Jcooltrane - Philadelphia, Pa
fav song ever! billy is so bloody tallenteddd.

He was given 1 night to write this song before mellin collie was produced, it was the last song on the album
Sam - Adelaide, Australia
I first heard this song from the soundtrack of GTA 4 (the car radio). I liked it and am now getting into the smashing pumpkins.Corey Maller - Roslyn Heights, Ny
This is called 1979 because it was released in 1995 along with Mellon Collie. This is significant because anyone born in 1979 would be 16 in 1995 and the song is about the transition into adulthood ie adolescence. Makes sense.Conor - Belfast, Ireland
In [b] Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness [b], an expansive double album dedicated to down emotion, "1979" is almost perky. However, it's gentle sense of nostalgic reverie works well with the year's mood of inward contemplation.Bertrand - Paris, France
masterful song. a song that can definately relate to kids in college taking that first step towards adulthood but still being a kidChris - New York, Ny
This song is so great. I grew up in the 90's when this song was made and hearing it today just makes me think about the past and my childhood, wishing to go back again. I love 90's music, it takes me back.Dana - South Range, Wi
AstroZombie asked what Zipper blues means. It is a state of depression caused by moving around a lot and not being able to settle down. Its a term that is commonly used by kids that have parents in the forces and are frequently relocated.Chris - London, England
I like listening to this song cause i had the album when i was about 11, im 22 now but its really trippy to hear this song again, this song makes me think of being a kid and a girl from high school, this song brings me back to what seems like a million years agoBrian - Vancouver, Canada
it's "i'm 12 again" like somebody said before..cool eh. can anyone explain zipper blues??? not quite understandingAstrozombie - Chch
But WHAT is the phrase he keeps repeating after the guitar riff, that is flanged and unintelligible ... sounds to me like "Dead Man..."Gooup - Houma, La
Billy Corgan...is the best poet and this song takes me back to the day when i went to my friends house (he didn't know i liked him at the time) to visit him (he was kicked out of school) and it had been raining outside and i hadn't seen him for 2 weeks and i went up to his front door to drop out a package (it was christmas time) and in the package was the pumpkins cd with this song on it...we shared a love for the smashing pumpkins and everytime i hear this song i think of him and how i wish he could be back in my life for just one more day.Madalyn - Greensburg, Pa
Never thought this was an amazing song, but the prominent play in gets during a serious montage in Clerks II is not only one of the best montages ever, but it transcended the song.Michael - Oceanport, Nj
Totaly on the some page Ashley,Moncton,Canada.Jon - Oakridge, Or
This song has always affected me. I guess I heard it when I was maybe 6 or something. I think I can remember that. But when I was maybe 9 or 10 I heard it again, and it stirred something inside me- a spirit of youth or something like that. Reminds me of friends and spring and somewhat cloudy days, and uncertainty of the future. These days when I listen to it, it just makes some inner part of me want to be a kid forever. One of my favourite songs ever. 90s songs have this amazing atmosphere to them, like it takes me back to childhood. That's why I listen to 90s music too much, I don't like this over-materialized pop culture crap decade.Ashley - Moncton, Canada
I remember the first time I heard this track and the later album truly changed my life and the way I view the world. I was always a fan of the Pumpkins but I truly loved this album it went in a totally different direction musically than anything else around at the time (as the Pumpkins always have done). I also loved the world they/Billy created for this album and the artwork, and the way it seemed to take you on a journey musically. Remembering back I almost totally missed this album, I remember commenting how cool I thought 1979 was to my girlfriend at the time and who consequently went out and bought it for me for Valentines day, which was mega, mega cool, as I'm not entirely sure if I would have bought it myself. And as I mentioned I totally loved it, esp. 1979, Here Is No Why and Beautiful. In fact this album became the soundtrack for one of the most memorable, beautiful and painful periods of my life, and if I was to be honest the album title totally and correctly estimated how I would fell when myself and the afore mentioned girlfriend parted ways (and still do really!)
So now I'm just past 30 and over ten years have passed since those lazy days at school and when all there was to do was to hang out with those treasured few and do what kids that age do, maybe that?s why I loved 1979 so much then, and when looking back do still. And so while I?m thinking about it, and if I may, Billy, or Mr. Corgan maybe, thank you so much for this wonderful gift.

Lol, apologies, not a musical fact really, more over a semi emotional rant really!
Stephen - None, Ireland
Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols died in 1979. Morphine city slippin dues down to see. Could be taking about when Sid was high on herione, which is like morphine, and killed Nancy, and then he killed himself later. Just an observationMaurice - Philly, Pa
One day I was walking home from my high school and listening to this song. It really made me think. I just couldn't believe it, everyone I knew was growing up. We were all getting cars and jobs and doing things for ourselves. We were becoming independent and resonsible. It was a wierd feeling, but it felt really good. I think this song illustrates perfectly what I was feeling. This happened before I knew what the song was about, I didn't know the lyrics or anything. It was the just the sound and feel of the song that triggered those emotions. Its just so amazing.Yolanda Morphinite - Bountiful , Ut
If you listen closely you will notice that Billy repeats the line "I'm 12 again" during the verses. He was 12 in 1979. I used to think it was a guitar noise or some weird effect but it's actually Billy. Pretty cool when you realise it.Orangebeaker - Edinburgh, Scotland
i think the "junebug" line might be a reference to a song by the punk band The Melvins, who had a song called Junebug.Matt - Millbrae, Ca
billy corgan is also meant to be an expert in martial artsMarlow - Perth, Australia
I love this song and agree with the comments above. This is my fave from The Smashing PumpkinsJill - Warren, Pa
sometimes when i need to recollect my thoughts and unwind after a long day, its a good kick start .Melissa - Mission Viejo, Ca
For those who didn't realise, the cop with the mo' in the convenience store is Jimmy Chamberlin.Derek - Qld, Australia
The song Perfect off of Adore is described as the sequel to 1979 by Corgan ( check out commentary on SP singles DVD ). Also there is a part with a videotape being destroyed which I think ties in with an earlier comment.

"IF YOUR GIVING IN, THEN YOUR GIVING UP!"
Marcos - Stevenage Uk, United States
Is it me, or do the fourth and fifth facts here conradict each other?Iscariot - Tempe, Az
this is a beutiful song with an awesome video. I don't think that there could have been a better video for this song.Elliot - Toronto, Canada
i love this song...everything about it fits so well together, and it's just beautiful.Brian - Mayfield Heights, Oh
This is the one Smashing Pumpkins song that I like.Peter - Carmel, In
this song has an awesome video. it reminds me of what me and my friends do on a daily basis. maybe not the part where they rob the gas station or whatever that is.Heather - Mead, Ne
I have no idea why but this song just has an excellent mood which makes me think about what its going to be like having the transition to total adulthood.Craig Macdonald - Blair, Scotland
Its not about the "punk revalation".Andrew - Seattle, Wa
billy says that the song is about growing up and teenagers in suburbia, a childhood that he wished he had. billy was born in 1967, in 1979 he would have been on the eve of becoming 13 years old, the first year of his teenagehood.Bobby - Sydney, Australia
Also it is said that Billy wrote this song very early in the morning in Chicago, at a stop light, but kept writing even when the light turned green. Nobody was around, so he kept writing and came up with 1979.Ingrid - Huntington, Wv
Billy said it was just about growing up in general. He also said the year 1979 was chosen just because he thought it went well with the lyrics.Edwin - Toronto, Canada
It is about the punk revalation which was 1979Matt - Amarillo, Tx