In 1998, there were few musicals acts bigger in their respective genres than the Smashing Pumpkins and Diddy—then known as Puff Daddy. And as Jay Z and Linkin Park—and, many years before, Run-DMC and Aerosmith, among others—have proven, these are two genres that mesh surprisingly well. So it sort of made sense when MTV reported, way back then, that Puff Daddy had remixed two songs from the Smashing Pumpkins’ fourth album, Adore.
These remixes weren’t the first time Diddy dabbled in rock. The year before, he released a rock remix to his 1997 hit “It’s All About the Benjamins” that featured Dave Grohl, Rob Zombie, Tommy Stinson, and Fuzzbubble—its Spike Jonze–directed video got nominated for Video of the Year at the VMAs. He’d even collaborated with Jimmy Page and Tom Morello for a reworking of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” called “Come With Me” that appeared on the soundtrack to the 1998 version of Godzilla.
But neither of the Smashing Pumpkins remixes saw the light of day until just a few years ago, when one of them, a remix of “Perfect,” popped up online. The other, a remix of “Ava Adore,” will appear on the band’s “super deluxe” reissue of Adore, which comes out Sept. 23, and Rolling Stone premiered the track today.
Unfortunately, it’s not hard to surmise, after listening, why the remix might have been kept in the vault all these years: It doesn’t really work. The remix dials back the Nine Inch Nails-influenced electronic beat that made for such an effective backdrop to Billy Corgan’s emotional yet twisted lyrics (“You’ll be a lover in my bed/ And a gun to my head”) and adds a lot of unnecessary and overly dramatic strings that render the song much cheesier than you may remember.
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