From SPCodex, The Smashing Pumpkins wiki
US/UK CD1 cover
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedSeptember 7, 1998
FormatCassette, CD
Studio sessionsNovember 1997-March 1998 – Sunset Sound
Songwriter(s)[[Billy Corgan]]
Producer(s)Billy Corgan, Flood, Brad Wood
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"Ava Adore"
Alternative cover
UK CD single 2
UK CD single 2

"Perfect" is the second single from The Smashing Pumpkins' fourth album, Adore (1998). It was the final commercial single from the album, although "Crestfallen" and "To Sheila" were subsequently released as promotional singles. The song received remixes from Nellee Hooper and Paul Oakenfold.

Billy Corgan wrote the song in Los Angeles during the November 1997-March 1998 – Sunset Sound sessions, as a late addition to the album. He explained that lyrically, the song was inspired by the breakup of a couple that he knew, and that "the lyric is meant as ironic, as little in love's affairs can be quantified as perfect."[1]

Critical reception[edit | edit source]

Upon release, the song received positive reviews. Rolling Stone notes that the song "picks up on the synth-pop echoes of the 1996 Pumpkins hit 1979."[2] Feldman of website called the single "an irresistible slice of candy-coated pop"[3] while website praised it for its "glimmering shine."[4]

Music video[edit | edit source]

The music video debuted on MTV's 120 Minutes on September 16, 1998. To expand on the musical similarities between "Perfect" and "1979", the band made the video continue the story of the characters in the "1979" video. They were able to find and use four out of the five original actors from the "1979" video, including Giuseppe Andrews. The fifth was in jail.[5] The same crew of directors was hired, which consisted of husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. It was the fifth and final collaboration between the two and The Smashing Pumpkins.

The conclusion of the video, in which a tape falls off a car and is crushed, is probably a reference to the fate of the first tapes of the "1979" music video, which had to be re-taped because they were left on the roof of a car and destroyed when the car drove off.[6]

The video also contains footage of the band performing at The Masque in L.A. for selected fans,[7] featuring touring drummer Kenny Aronoff. The taping took place on July 26, 1998. The set played included heavier songs the band was not performing during regular concerts at the time, such as "Where Boys Fear to Tread", "Bodies", and "Pug".

Corgan considered the video "disappointing". He wrote that he regretted his decision to lip sync the vocals from atop a 150 foot crane, which revealed his fear of heights. "As I tried to sing I found I couldn't stop shaking. Affecting what became a tremulous, unfortunate delirium that would last a week."[1]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

i know
we're just like old friends
we just can't pretend
that lovers make amends

we are
reasons so unreal
we can't help but feel
that something has been lost

but please
you know you're just like me
next time
i promise we'll be perfect

strangers down the line
lovers out of time
memories unwind

so far i still know who you are
but now i wonder who i was

you know it's not the end
we'll always be good friends
but the letters have been sent on

so please
you always were so free
you'll see
i promise we'll be perfect

strangers when we meet
strangers on the street
lovers while we sleep

you know this has to be
we always were so free
we promised that we'd be

Track listing[edit | edit source]

All songs written by Billy Corgan, except "Summer", written by James Iha. Drums provided by Joey Waronker.[8]

UK CD1 / Cassette
3."Perfect" (Nellee Hooper Mix)4:14
2."Perfect" (Perfecto Mix)7:00
3."Daphne Descends" (Kerry B. Mix)3:53
UK and US Maxi-CDs
2."Perfect" (Nellee Hooper Mix)4:14
3."Perfect" (Nellee Hooper Instrumental)4:12
4."Perfect" (Perfecto Mix)7:00
5."Perfect" (Electro Breakbeat Mix)6:02
6."Perfect" (Perfecto Dub)7:04
US CD single
3."Daphne Descends" (Kerry B. Mix)3:53

Release history[edit | edit source]

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country External sites
September 7, 1998 Virgin • Hut Recordings 7243 8 95358 2 2 • HUTCD 106 CD UK Discogs MusicBrainz [1]
September 7, 1998 Virgin • Hut Recordings 7243 8 95358 4 6 • HUTC 106 Cassette UK Discogs [1]
October 1998 Virgin • EMI 7243 8 95358 2 2 • 8953582 CD Australia Discogs MusicBrainz [1]
September 7, 1998 Virgin • Hut Recordings 7243 8 95361 2 6 • HUTDX 106 CD UK Discogs MusicBrainz [2]
September 7, 1998 Virgin • Hut Recordings 7243 8 95360 2 7 • HUTCDF 106 CD Europe Discogs MusicBrainz [3]
October 6, 1998 Virgin V25F-38650 • 7243 8 38650 2 4 CD US Discogs MusicBrainz [4]

More releases: DiscogsMusicBrainz

Charts[edit | edit source]

Additional personnel[edit | edit source]

  • Joey Waronker – drums

Production[edit | edit source]


As Featured on MTVVideo • Promotional • Live
AdoreMain releaseStudio
PerfectUK CD1 / CassetteSingle
SummerUS promo cassettePromo
The Smashing Pumpkins 1991–1998Promotional CDPromotional • Compilation
The VideosVideo • Promotional
Rotten ApplesNorth American versionCompilation
Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991–2000)Video
Rarities and B-SidesCompilation
American GothicUK Tour Edition bonus tracksEP
Live at the Viper Room 1.15.98Billy Corgan acoustic setLive

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 2014 Adore reissue liner notes
  2. "Smashing Pumpkins Adore Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  3. "Smashing Pumpkins - Adore - Album Review @ : the source for music reviews, interviews, articles, and news on the internet". Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  4. "Smashing Pumpkins - Adore / Album Review / Rock Music Review". Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  5. Band commentary, "Perfect". Greatest Hits Video Collection.
  6. "Another Round: The Smashing Pumpkins – "1979"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  7. Smashing Pumpkins - The Making of 'Perfect' (With Commentary). YouTube. January 14, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  9. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (PDF ed.). Mt Martha, Victoria, Australia: Moonlight Publishing. p. 257.
  10. "Top RPM Singles: Issue 7039." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  11. "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 6976." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  12. "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 7919." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  13. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Canadaian Digital songs)". Billboard.
  14. "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (30.7.–6.8. 1998)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). July 31, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  15. " – The Smashing Pumpkins – Perfect". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  16. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  17. "Smashing Pumpkins: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  18. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  19. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  20. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  21. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  22. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  23. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Active Rock Songs)". Billboard.
  24. "RPM's Top 100 Hits of '98" (PDF). RPM. Vol. 68 no. 12. December 14, 1998. p. 20. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  25. "RPM's Top 50 Alternative Tracks of '98". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved October 3, 2019.

External links[edit | edit source]