Narcotic, yes - I must admit
beneath the everlasting dusk
the title is a perfect fit.
You fairly reek of angst's rank musk.

Addictive? Yes, your hordes enthralled
to find the flavour of the day
have found your nails nine times dulled;
their biting points were thrown away.

The highway of integrity
you ride - success exacts its toll.
Cold cash conceals inequity -
you've sold away your lack of soul.

You've now been fixed - incapable
of further fright or more offense.
This sad end was escapable -
with public's eye you chose amends.

Dance now for me, my boy in black -
we've paid you well, you charming thug.
The crowds have found it in your lack;
for them, that is the perfect drug.

yes, inequity really isn't the right word, but it rhymed which was good enough for me at the time.)

Trent Reznor, from an interview in Raygun magazine's February, 1997 issue:

"The Perfect Drug" lyrically and thematically was inspired by the film, but musically the way it happened to come out...It was one of those: One week. Write a song. Mix it. Done. I don't like to work that way. But I reached the stage where I was excited about it, yet it wasn't necessarily appropriate for [Lost Highway]. And at the end of the day I am Nine Inch Nails and I have to do what's right for me. So I gave it to [David Lynch] and said, 'I don't know if this is the right thing for your film sonically, but this is the song I had to write now and I had to be true to myself.'

"The Perfect Drug" is a song by Nine Inch Nails (lyrics noded earlier by 7Ghent) created by Trent Reznor and Danny Lohner for the Lost Highway soundtrack. The song is characterized by frantic complex percussion for the first four minutes of the song, followed by an almost ambient, relaxed mood for the remainding minute plus. The song's lyrics could be interpretted as being about an actual drug or a significant other that's as important as a drug is to a junkie (or both). As "The Perfect Drug" was the only new material put out by Nine Inch Nails between The Downward Spiral (1994, Nothing/Interscope Records) and The Fragile (1999, Nothing/Interscope Records), many NIИ fans speculated that the next album would sound similar to this song. Aside from "Starfuckers, Inc." though, The Fragile's styles don't have much in common with "The Perfect Drug."

The song was first officially released on the film's soundtrack in 1997 (though it had been leaked to Los Angeles radio station KROQ and then to other stations, likely via the Internet, late the previous year). After that, "The Perfect Drug" also appeared on the Nine Inch Nails releases "The Perfect Drug" Versions (The song itself appeared only on the German version. Other versions contained the remixes but not the original song.), Closure (in the form of its music video), and the third disc of the UK single for "We're In This Together." The version on We're In This Together is two seconds longer than original as it fades out at the end rather than abruptly cutting off.

The music video for "The Perfect Drug" is Nine Inch Nails' most expensive yet. It features various scenes throughout a huge Victorian style mansion complete with large statues, lavish rooms, and a hedge maze. In it, Reznor sports a goatee and is wearing a large, dark green coat as he appears throughout the mansion singing, screaming, pointing a sword, etc. at the viewer. At one point the video displays Reznor with a glass of a glowing, bright green absinthe, which he prepares and then drinks. Others in the video briefly are a child with a look of longing, a couple Asian women heavily covered in black dresses and veils, and Reznor friends/live bandmates Charlie Clouser, Danny Lohner, and Chris Vrenna. The video was directed by Mark Romanek, who also directed Nine Inch Nails' video for the infamous "Closer," videos of other famous musicians (David Bowie, Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, etc.), the film Static, and more. The clothing and setting of the video was heavily influenced by the artwork of Edward Gorey. In a video interview* on his website, director Mark Romanek discusses the difficulty in doing close-up shots in the music video since Gorey's imagery contained no close-ups.

Music Video Production Information:
Director: Mark Romanek
Executive Producer: Danielle Cagaanan
Producer: June Guterman
Cameraman: Jeff Cronenweth
Production Designer: Tom Foden

* (Quicktime required)

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