Allmusic.com Song Review by Amy Hanson
Light, bright and just slightly off-kilter, ”1979” was a somewhat surprising hit for the Smashing Pumpkins in February 1996. With James Iha’s guitars conjuring up just a hint of down-tuned drone a la My Bloody Valentine, and Corgan winding a clear vocal through a mid-tempo melody with nary a shout or wrenching outburst in sight, the song was the perfect winter wonder. Disaster was lurking around the edges though, as a key portion of the accompanying video was lost when a production crew associate left the only copy on top of his car like the proverbial cup of coffee, or wallet, or important files, and drove away, effectively driving the images into nowhere. Never recovered, a frustrated band managed to recreate the moment, and duly dispatched it to MTV, where it became a heavy hitter. Although this wobble would become one of the earliest in a string of disasters that would eventually unhinge the band, before hindsight shook out its mane, the beauty and tenderness of ”1979”, with the pure poetry in lyrics like “you and I should meet, junebug skipping like a stone” did more to erase the angst and anger of a generation of X-ers with its nostalgia tripping than just about anything else.