The double-album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was actually the third album from The Smashing Pumpkins, even if it is the only one most people ever heard. They’d had a few singles before it came out (notably I Am One and Today), and were recognized as talented alt-rockers, but it was this record that blew apart the mainstream and helped redefine the alternative genre. 1979 was a simple song, and short, and started with a strange bump. It had a mournful hook and almost felt like the alt-rock version of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” as it remembered back to Billy Corgan’s days as a pre-teen—restless as he was.
Here’s some commemorating cover versions, followed by a few more tasty Pumpkin covers, after the break.
Covers of 1979: