The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails was specifically written for the neo-noir horror movie Lost Highway. The Perfect Drug has never been performed live by Nine Inch Nails. It has been suggested that the complex drum solo in The Perfect Drug would be arduous for Jerome Dillon (NIN’s drummer at the time of The Perfect Drug’s release). However, Trent Reznor, front-man of NIN, has admitted his distaste for The Perfect Drug. In an interview, Reznor said of The Perfect Drug, “It was one of those things where you have a week to do a track for a movie… And I think what came out of it, married with a bloated, over-budget video, feels like … the least thing that I would play to somebody”.
The Perfect Drug is analogous to, but not idiosyncratic of, Nine Inch Nails’ music. The Perfect drug is more synthesized, less Industrial and more in line with Pop, and (I personally find) is reminiscent of Marilyn Manson. In this sense, The Perfect Drug is noticeably manufactured to suit both Lost Highway and a broader population of consumers. The fact that Nine Inch Nails were sought out to contribute a song to Lost Highway suggests that the unique sound of NIN was chosen, perhaps to add particular element, but The Perfect Drug exhibits a ‘global’ music voice with a NIN flavour.
Despite this, or perhaps because of it, The Perfect Drug enjoyed fast-moving worldwide success. It peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard.