The Smashing Pumpkins' 1998 release, Adore, was the band's ode to dark New Wave music, where electronic beats (and Joey Waronker) took over for departed drummer Jimmy Chamberlin; it was also the last to feature any member of the classic line-up save for leader Billy Corgan, as guitarist James Iha left for A Perfect Circle and bassist D'Arcy Wretzky had just had enough (of everything, Corgan in particular).
A lot of people loved the song Perfect - I didn't, feeling that it was an easier-to-listen-to rehash of 1979 - and almost no one understood the The Cure reference of 17; Ava Adore, however, was liked by almost all fans, in the same vein as Eye from the Lost Highway soundtrack, but more radio-friendly and with its own themes and structure. Its video, directed by Dom & Nic (a.k.a. Nic Goffey and Dominic Hawley), was heavy on the "heroin chic" visual theme, one the Pumpkins had been flirting with since 1995 (Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Zero) but hadn't fully embraced yet:
With Adore considered a flop, Corgan followed it with the extremely hard rocking two-part release Machina: The Machines Of God and Machina II: The Friends And Enemies Of Modern Music, thought at the time to be the band's curtain call.