Muse is a really popular band. They’ve been gradually growing over the last decade plus, but sadly their best days are long, long behind them. Beyond that though, the first four albums are all spectacular, and today we’ll be focusing on that as we discuss the top ten songs by one of the most popular bands in the history of Great Britain, Muse.
10. Cave, Showbiz
The very beginning always reminds me of a blender, but immediately following that the guitar howl by Bellamy and the drumming by Dominic Howard find their groove and the song takes off. Matt’s voice hits all the notes you love about him, and even though it’s their first major release, the band seems seasoned and well accustomed to the music they are unleashing on the world. For a band on it’s initial release, you really don’t get the impression that they’re on uneasy footing. Even from very early on, they seem like they very much know what they're doing, which obviously makes the songs better.
9. Map of the Problematique, Black Holes & Revelations
While Muse hasn’t made a good record since this 2006 journey, this song is still full of epic themes, consisting of everything from brotherhood to fighting against the problems of an isolated public controlled by various governments. The drums are signature here, and they bring out an elegantly pulsating effect that heightens everything in the song. Matt Bellamy’s voice often reaches his crooning crescendo, but it really hits as the song hits full stride around the two minute part. When he belts out “Why Can’t We See when We Bleed we Bleed the Same,” the tension and sense of loss is palpable. It’s one of the better songs they ever crafted, and it earns it’s spot on this list.
8. House of the Rising Sun, B Side
Covers are pretty tricky, but one of the best things Muse does is covers, if I’m being honest. They completely take a song and dismantle it, and while it may not come out better than the original, it almost always adds something totally different. Case in point, number seven on on the Top Ten Muse Songs, “House of the Rising Sun,” which is a super cool interpretation of the song made famous the Animals. It’s screeching, thumping quality feels like something you’d see in an intense action sequence, and the swirling effects really get the mood going. Bellamy’s pipes are on full display also, which ultimately makes this good cover great.
7. Knights of Cydonia, Black Holes & Revelations
For me this was the first Muse record were I wasn’t completely sold, but certain songs hit it out of the park and remind us that this band can be as triumphantly awesome as any other arena band. The science fiction opening amid a western set background complete with horses makes you feel like a cross between “Fistful of Dollars” and “2001:A Space Odyssey,” but maybe this strange mix is what makes the track so memorable. The instrumentation is well executed, and while the lyrics aren’t mind-blowing, the scope of the song itself leaves little to be desired. Definitely worthy of it’s spot on this list.
6. Time Is Running Out, Absolution
There’s a pretty good chance a lot of people were introduced to Muse due to the traction this song got. I had admittedly heard some of the earlier records, but “Time is Running Out,” and “Absolution” as a whole really forged them as a band that I could get seriously into. Dominic’s drums are completely insane and totally forceful, while Matt’s voice and the desperation you can sense in that voice only help to propel the song to the places it needs to go to make the song worthwhile and great. Still one of the coolest video’s also, and proves that minimal lighting and an easy set can make a video awesome, especially when it’s all about the band's performance.
5. Citizen Erased, Origin of Symmetry
Played a few years ago in dedication to Julian Assange at a London concert, this song speaks to me in regards to the band's nature and their love of conspiracy theories. The thing is, it’s not really about conspiracies. It touches on human emotion, and how much people in general don’t take others words for truth. That’s dangerous. Musically though, it’s not as hi tech as some of their newer stuff, and honestly thank god for that. I personally wish they’d go back to being the technical, universally questioning band they were on the early records. Having said that, te breakdowns of guitars are unequivocally powerful and help to make this a must on any list of the band's best tracks.
4. Stockholm Syndrome, Absolution
Number four on our list of the Top Ten Muse songs,”Stockholm Syndrome” comes out like a bat out of hell and only gets more intense as it progresses. Sometimes I’m listening to them and I wonder “How do three guys make this much focused noise,” and this is a perfect example of that thought. Another gem off of their breakout, the track offers a little taste of electronically tinged space rock, but it also has epic vocals that put it in a league of it’s own. The drums working in collusion with the guitars at the two minute mark only add to the breakneck pace of the song, and it’s a perfect road song to rock out to. Believe me, I’ve done it.
3. New Born, Origin of Symmetry
The piano forebodes something exciting coming this way, and while it’s elegant and well played, something isn’t completely right. Soon enough though we figure out what it is. The band is introducing themselves on this record in a powerful way, and there’s no other song on this album that could start this record. There simply isn’t. By far their best record to date, the slow build and high energy of the opening tracks lays the framework for the rest of “Origin of Symmetry” and its brilliance. For me it’s a song about realizing things aren’t going well, and forcefully making yourself a new person to escape the turmoil.
2. Take a Bow, Black Holes & Revelations
A great opener without question, it’s full of science fiction, and the lyrical bash at governments is built upon a brilliant world of synthesizers and later on it’s accentuated by roaring drums and bass. When Bellamy talks about how “you will burn in hell for your sins,” you can’t not imagine all the greed in the world feeding out and killing millions. It’s as if he’s asking them to “Take a bow,” and to allow themselves and their types to become extinct and to eradicate the greed they cause. Used in a super cool way in the trailer for “Watchmen” it’s a terrific song and for that reason it lands at number two on the Top Ten Muse songs.
1.Plug in Baby, Origin of Symmetry
And last but clearly not least, is Muses best song. There’s literally nothing I don’t like about this amazing, energetic track. Seeing this song performed live wasn’t only the highlight of my time as a Muse fan, but seeing all the older fans rock out to it was tremendously rewarding. There’s something so satisfactory about belting out a song alongside thousands of others, and for Muse, that song is “Plug In Baby.” At a somewhat brief three minutes and forty seconds, the track starts pretty intently and only accelerates as it goes on. Bellamy murmuring about “exposing your lies,” sets the stage for the giant wembley Stadium chorus which sees the band “Crucify my enemies,” and with that the band and the song are soaring above nearly all straight forward rock bands in England. The number one Muse song, “Plug in Baby.”