The Everlasting Gaze

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"The Everlasting Gaze"
Cover of the promo CD
Single by The Smashing Pumpkins
ReleasedDecember 9, 1999
Studio sessionsNovember 1998-September 1999 – Pumpkinland
GenreAlternative rock, alternative metal, industrial metal
Songwriter(s)Billy Corgan
Producer(s)Flood, Billy Corgan
The Smashing Pumpkins singles chronology
"The Everlasting Gaze"
"Stand Inside Your Love"
Alternative cover
VHS single cover
VHS single cover

"The Everlasting Gaze" is the first single from The Smashing Pumpkins' 2000 album Machina/The Machines of God. The song was released as the lead North American single on December 9, 1999. It was also originally going to be released internationally in January 2000 but despite the heavy rotation of the Jonas Åkerlund-directed music video, it was rejected in favor of "Stand Inside Your Love".

While planning the Machina reissue, it was discovered the master reels of the recording have been lost. However, Alan Moulder's original mix from a two-track analog tape was still in possession and will see a modern conversion for the reissue.[1]

Song information[edit | edit source]

The unique guitar sound in the song was achieved by using a small Crate practice amp.[2] Corgan has said that this song "has a lot to do with spirituality and trying to find my place in the universe and sort of humbly accepting limitations and the things I've been graced with. It's more of a humanistic world view. I'm not writing anymore for the tortured teen—both me and whoever was listening. I'm writing with the idea that everybody's experiencing these things all the time, and even if they're not experiencing them personally, they're affected by them. You can live in the street and write about the garbage, or you can try to get up a little higher and look down and try to see the bigger picture."[3]

During the recording of Machina/The Machines of God, an early version of this song with very different lyrics had the working title of "Disco King". There were around four other versions with varying lyrics and chord structures. The final version of the song retains Chamberlin's consistent use of offbeat hi-hat beats. The final chorus was cut, though an a cappella section was added.

The song was originally not intended to be a single, but after a desperate call from executives at Virgin, Corgan agreed to release it as the lead single in the US because of the growing popularity of nu metal at the time, saving the release of the softer "Stand Inside Your Love" for a later date.[4]

Lyrically, the song has a place in the story of Glass and The Machines of God, of which the Machina album was originally planned to depict. The character "Glass" is singing about his transformation from "Zero" (the character behind Mellon Collie). The line "you know I'm not dead" is meant to say that on a personal level, Zero is still the same person as the new character, Glass.[4]

Music video[edit | edit source]

The music video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund and is a performance-based music video, the first to feature Melissa Auf der Maur, playing bass with the band after the departure of D'arcy Wretzky. Originally, the band had considered Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris to direct the video.

The video was recorded at an abandoned office building in London on a low budget while the band was on tour. The location was chosen solely as the band was asked to rush to film it to ensure the song's release as the lead single in the US. Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin received a three hour massage before recording commenced, causing him to develop a fever. Combined with the bright florescent lights, and the chaos of the set that resulted in his hand being hurt, he described the experience as less than pleasant.[4]

Corgan historically was against the idea of music videos simply depicting the band performing live, as evidenced by all the previous videos released by Smashing Pumpkins. This format was likely chosen because of the time constraints and budget. In an effort to at least do something different, Corgan insisted the video end with destruction of the equipment. To make the scene more prominent, there were upwards of eight guitars, four basses, and one drum set, with each band member being repeatedly filmed destroying their gear. Corgan, who knew the building was abandoned, took a "chance at getting electrocuted or possibly setting the building on fire" by throwing his guitar through the roof.[4]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

you know i'm not dead
you know i'm, you know i'm not dead
you know i'm not dead

now you know where i've been
as you sleep, torn i am
weighted down patiently
born of love

you know i'm, you know i'm not dead
i'm just living in my head
forever waiting on the ways of your desire
you always find a way
and through it all, into us all you move

forgotten touch
forbidden thought
we can never have enough

you know i'm not dead
you know i'm, you know i'm not dead
you know i'm not dead

found below, the creatures scream
stranglehold, a god machine
begin to tear us out
what is hell

you know i'm, you know i'm not dead
i'm just the tears inside your head
forever waiting on the ways of your desire
you always find a way
and through it all, into us all you move

forgotten touch
forbidden thought
we can never have enough
you know i'm not dead

we all want to hold in the everlasting gaze
enchanted in the rapture of his sentimental sway
but underneath the wheels lie the skulls of every cog
the fickle fascination of an everlasting god

you know i'm not dead
i'm just living in my head
forever waiting
forever waiting a cruel death
you know i'm not dead
i'm just living for myself
forever waiting

you know i'm not dead
you know i'm not dead
you know i'm not dead
you know i'm not dead

Track listing[edit | edit source]

Promotional single
1."The Everlasting Gaze"4:01

Release history[edit | edit source]

Released Label Catalog ID Format Country External sites
December 9, 1999 Virgin CD US MusicBrainz [1]
2000 Virgin Betacam SP UK Discogs [1]
2000 Virgin CD Europe Discogs [1]

Charts[edit | edit source]

Chart (2000) Peak
Canada Rock/Alternative (RPM)[5] 11
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[6] 14
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[7] 4
US Active Rock Songs (Billboard)[8] 13


Machina/The Machines of God (premaster)Promotional
The Everlasting GazePromotional singleSingle
The VideosVideo • Promotional
The Smashing Pumpkins (Machina promo)Promotional
Stand Inside Your LoveUS promotional releaseSingle
Machina/The Machines of GodMain releaseStudio
Rotten ApplesNorth American versionCompilation
Greatest Hits Video Collection (1991–2000)Video
The Original F.E.M.M TapeBootleg
The Killer in You: A Tribute to Smashing PumpkinsTribute
Guitar Hero World TourGuitar Hero Download PackageCompilation

Tour stats

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Billy Corgan. November 24, 2020 Instagram Q&A
  2. Thomas, Richard. "Signal to Noise: The Sonic Diary of the Smashing Pumpkins". EQ Magazine. October 2008.
  3. DeRogatis, Jim. "Corgan speaks truth: He's grown up". Chicago Sun-Times: April 11, 2000.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Corgan, Billy. "Good in Goodbye (with Jimmy Chamberlin)". iHeartPodcasts. Retrieved October 4, 2022.
  5. "Top RPM Rock/Alternative Tracks: Issue 9709." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  6. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  7. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  8. "The Smashing Pumpkins Chart History (Active Rock Songs)". Billboard.

External links[edit | edit source]