"The Perfect Drug" Versions is a collection of remixes of Nine Inch Nails' "The Perfect Drug" (which originally appeared on the soundtrack to Lost Highway) released in 1997 on Nothing/Interscope Records. This is by far Nine Inch Nails' most technoish release to date with most of the mixes breaking away from the usual experimental sound most NIИ remixes have in favour of a much more danceable feel. Not to say that these mixes aren't somewhat weird; they're just not the usual NIИ weird.
The digipak the disc is packaged in is a harsh mesh of varying shades of magenta, green, and purple with all the text appearing entirely in capital letters (a first for an Nine Inch Nails release). The package was designed by Gary Talpas, who also designed all of NIИ's releases up to the Closure video set. The track list of "The Perfect Drug" Versions is display on the front and back of the digipak, stating only the artist who created the remix in large capital letters, rather than titling (or subtitling in parentheses) each new mix.
- The Perfect Drug (Meat Beat Manifesto remix) - 7:39
Looped pieces of bass and percussion are the only constants in the first half of this dizzying, chaotic mix by Meat Beat Manifesto centrepiece Jack Dangers. The second half is held together by the plucking strings from the beginning of the original mix as out-of-place drums bang around in the background, lyrics are moaned, and strange samples of words like "ANNIHILATE" appear during momentary pauses in the music.
- The Perfect Drug (Plug remix) - 6:59
The previous mix, chaotic as it is, somehow manages to smoothly slip right into this mix by Plug's Luke Vibert. Vibert's mix is much easier to swallow than Dangers', starting off somewhat calming and, were it not for the inclusion of the original song's manic drumming, may have remained that way. Reznor's vocals appear warped to notes far higher than they originally hit. This is "The Perfect Drug" swirling through space, destination unknown (especially the last minute and a half).
- The Perfect Drug (Nine Inch Nails remix) - 8:25
Beginning with a slowed-down, mechanically altered version of Reznor whispering "you are the perfect drug," detached beats soon come in and multiple samples of the vocals layer over one another. While various other instruments chime in over the course of the song, even helping to make the song feel faster, this mix is dominated by the layered and faded vocals. This remix, blended together by NIИ's own Trent Reznor along with Keith Hillebrandt, can be said to sound the darkest on the release.
- The Perfect Drug (Spacetime Continuum remix) - 5:48
If this remix by Jonah Sharp (Spacetime Continuum) sounds amazingly different from the original song, it's likely because some of the sounds were no doubt created by Sharp, rather than taken from the original. This mix isn't credited as being "remixed" by anyone but "recreated" by Sharp. The song has a very trance-like sound to it (trace, as in the electronica subgenre, not the mental state) which, while enjoyable, does make the mix sound somewhat generic (as far as electronica goes) at times.
- The Perfect Drug (The Orb remix) - 6:17
Admittedly, I haven't heard all that much from The Orb (a few songs here and there) but this, in addition to other material I've heard, has convinced me of something: The Orb is fucking weird (in a good way). Pretty much every sound that appears in this remix, including the vocals, has been manipulated to sound like it's being slowed down, sped up, and/or tuned in either of those directions. Manipulation of the vocals has Reznor sounding like he's repeating the words "You are... drugged! Drugged. Drugged." in a manner that would suggest you, the listener, have indeed been drugged. It may or may not be the soundtrack to an experience with shrooms but it's certainly enjoyable in a acid-burnt-smurf sorta way.
- The Perfect Drug - 5:16
The original version of the song, written by Trent Reznor and Danny Lohner, for the Lost Highway soundtrack, which it also appears on. "The Perfect Drug" is dominated by frantic percussion and rushed vocals until it flows into an incredibly ambient mood towards its end. The only version of "The Perfect Drug" Versions to include the original version was the one released in Germany (though it can be found elsewhere as an import).