Our top 10 A Perfect Circle songs list presents the best A Perfect Circle songs like “Judith,” “3 Libras,” “The Doomed” and many more. The man behind the band’s inception was Billy Howerdel, known by some for his interactions with The Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, and Fishbone. Billy became friends with singer Maynard James Keenan in the early ‘90s after the two met when Tool was an opening act to Fishbone. Years later, Billy played his demo music to Keenan, who was pleased and wished to have his vocals on these songs.
The initial idea by Billy was Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins to be the lead vocalist for his ensemble, A Perfect Circle. However, due to her unavailability, he was willing to offer his friend Keenan the chance to be the band’s lead artist. Billy and Keenan tagged Troy Van Leeuwen (former guitarist to Failure), Tim Alexander (former drummer to Primus), and bassist and violinist Paz Lenchantin to the band’s lineup.
The band made its appearance at the Coachella Festival in October 1999. After the festival, A Perfect Circle went on to sign a recording contract with Virgin Records where the band released its debut album Mer de Noms (2000). However, Tim Alexander didn’t stick with the band having him only record “The Hollow” with the band. His position was taken by Josh Freese, who is known to have interacted with other ensembles, including Guns N’ Roses, 3 Doors Down, The Vandals, and Paramore.
Mer de Noms (2000), which is French for Sea of Names (2000), saw the band make a grand entry in the rock scene. The album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Mer de Noms (2000) was certified platinum with over a million album copies sold. The band embarked on tours all over the world to promote the album. Some of the best hits from the album include “Judith,” “The Hollow,” and “3 Libras.”
With Keenan returning to Tool for recording the album Lateralus (2001), the band was not as active as it ought to have been. This saw Troy tour with Queens of the Stone Age while Lenchantin joined Billy Corgan’s Zwan. Their positions were occupied by Danny Lohner and former Marilyn Manson’s bassist Jeordie White respectively. When Keenan returned, A Perfect Circle would take a new musical direction thanks to his influence and the band’s new lineup. The result was a sophomore album, Thirteen Step (2003), which performed even better than the band’s debut album.
Thirteen Step (2003) debuted in the second position on the Billboard 200 albums chart selling over two hundred thousand copies in the first week. Songs on the albums bring out a tense and moody vibe compared to hits in the debut album. After the band returned from a tour in support of their sophomore album, A Perfect Circle released its third studio album Emotive (2004). However, the band entered a lengthy hiatus after the release of this successful album. During this time, Keenan returned to Tool while Billy Howerdel took on a solo career under the name Ashes Divide.
A Perfect Circle would reunite in 2010, marking its re-entry to the rock scene with a string of tours. Eight years after its reunion, the band released its fourth studio album, Eat the Elephant (2018). Like its previous albums, Eat the Elephant (2018) performed great on the charts, reaching number three on the Billboard 200. Despite having the band’s sound and lineup changing, A Perfect Circle remains a darling for many in the rock scene to date. Here are the top 10 A Perfect Circle songs from the band’s four studio albums.
#10- The Hollow
Opening up our top 10 A Perfect Circle songs is the charming hit “The Hollow.” The song is featured on the band’s debut album Mer de Noms (2000). “The Hollow” is hailed for its extraordinary composition that finds the song balancing between alternative rock and alternative metal sounds. Its lyrics allude to filling a void with pleasure-seeking visceral desires. Tim Alexander from Primus played the drums on the song. The song peaked at number seventy-two on the Billboard Hot 100.
#9 – By and Down
Also called “By and Down the River,” is an alternative rock single that reached number eight on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts. However, the song features some progressive rock and art rock spiced up with some psychedelic guitar licks. In addition, its orchestral chimes and piano tunes on the intro add some melodic vibe to the song. The song was released three years after the band reassembled.
#8- So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
After the band came together in mid-2010, its members took quite some time before releasing an album. However, eight years later, A Perfect Circle released Eat the Elephant (2018), which performed quite well on the Billboard 200. “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” is a sarcastic song from the fourth album that laments modern materialism. The song pays tribute to legends who passed away in 2016, including Prince, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, and Muhammad Ali. “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” peaked at number forty-three on the Billboard Hot Rock and Alternative Songs chart.
“Disillusioned” is an atmospheric and ethereal hit from the album Eat the Elephant (2018). The song alludes to addiction to instant gratification by modern generations. Through this, the song brings out the theme of societal failures to light. The song rose to number twenty-one on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs Chart.
#6 – Passive
Coming in at number six on our top 10 A Perfect Circle songs is the hit “Passive.” The song is featured on the band’s third studio album Emotive (2004). “Passive” was remade from Tapeworm’s “Vacant.” Critics have mentioned that the song may be Keenan’s feelings about his deceased mother, who passed on after many days of being paralyzed. However, others have seen the song to be metaphoric for an ended relationship. The song peaked at number fourteen on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs Chart.
#5 – The Outsider
“The Outsider” is one of the musical gems from the band’s sophomore studio album Thirteen Step (2003). The song was penned by the band’s lead vocalist Keenan. It is penned from the perspective of someone who fails to understand what suffering from depression feels like. The song was inspired by his friendship with the late Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. “The Outsider” peaked at number seventy-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
#4- The Doomed
After the band released its standalone single “By and Down” in 2013, A Perfect Circle took more than four years without hitting the studio for a new recording. During this time, the band penned several songs for the forthcoming album Eat the Elephant (2018). The first release from the album was the anger-filled hit “The Doomed.” “The Doomed” takes a pessimistic twist on the Sermon on The Mount by Jesus Christ. Its title is a direct appropriation of the phrase “The Blessed,” which is captured on all of the beatitudes. The song rose to the sixteenth position on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart.
#3 – Weak and Powerless
Coming in at number three is the hit “Weak and Powerless,” which was the band’s first number-one song on the Billboard Alternative Songs and Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Charts. The song is featured on the band’s sophomore album Thirteen Step (2003), which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. “Weak and Powerless” alludes to drug addiction, with some of the lyrics making reference to heroin. The song rose to number sixty-one on the Billboard Hot 100.
#2 – 3 Libras
Number two on our top 10 A Perfect Circle songs list is the hit “3 Libras.” The song is featured as the second single on A Perfect Circle’s debut album Mer de Noms (2000). “3 Libras” was penned by Billy and Keenan, with its lyrics alluding to being overlooked. The song’s melodic sound is majorly credited to the violin and acoustic guitar. “3 Libras” peaked at number forty-nine on the UK Singles Chart.
The band’s debut album Mer de Noms (2000) was a successful release, rising to number four on the Billboard 200. It featured several big hits, including “Judith,” its lead single. The song alludes to Keenan’s mother, Judith. Keenan’s mum suffered a stroke, becoming paralyzed and confined to her wheelchair until her last breath. The artist expresses anger at the situation that befell his mum despite her being a staunch Christian. One of the notable elements of this hit is its unrelenting guitar riffs presented over multifarious rhythms and breakdowns.
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