Top 10 Deep-Cut Muse Songs
I’ll be listing 10 songs that are considered deep-cuts or obscure and recommend that people listen to them to get a better understanding of the band.
Here are 10 songs you definitely should listen to if you want to get a better understanding of the band Muse.
Muse is one of my favorite bands of all-time, and the one who helped me grow as a musician. I’ll try to stray away from singles and hit songs, as many already know the hits and share the same views of the band because of those hits. If I feel a hit song greatly defines a band, I’ll put it in!
1) “Nature_1” - Hullabaloo Soundtrack (Released 2002)
This song is one of my favorites by Muse overall. The Hullabaloo Soundtrack is a compilation album, with the first half being previously-released B-Sides and the second half being a live set at Le Zenith in Paris.
It starts off with an acoustic guitar with a faint Spanish style of strumming. For the majority of the song, the bass, played by Christopher Wolstemholme, and drums, played by Dominic Howard, only add a layer of power to support the main riffs.
At the end, everything comes together as an electric guitar plays a finalizing solo. This song was intended to be released on Muse’s second album Origin Of Symmetry, but was written a while back, when the band didn’t even release their first album Showbiz. It really expresses the Spanish influence on Matthew Bellamy’s guitar work.
There are six different interpretations of the song on the band’s wiki. My interpretation is very similar to the first explanation.
2) “Spiral Static” - Showbiz (Released 1999)
This is a bonus track off Muse’s first album. One of the darker tracks from Muse’s beginnings, it got included on the Japanese edition of Showbiz.
You can definitely see the direction they were heading with this song alone. Matt displays his amazing vocal range on this song, having his lowest note sung to date in the verses. The song goes through nearly 3 octaves (A2 to G5).
I have no interpretation of the song, but by looking at the lyrics, I agree with the main thought:
“Spiral static is the calm before the storm that swells and explodes. Matt revealed the meaning of the song has something to do with giving birth.”
3) “Megalomania” - Origin Of Symmetry (Released 2001)
This song is very phenomenal. The instrument that sticks out prominently is the pipe organ, with Matt’s various backing vocals being overlaid towards the end. The verses prepare you for the rush you’ll feel during the chorus.
The chorus is such a powerful one, evoking Matt’s emotions that he had at the time.
“Bellamy has described the recording of this anti-church song, using the organ at St. Mary's Church, Bathwick, as a "dark moment" in his life. The vicar of the church insisted on seeing the lyrics to the song before allowing them to use the organ, although none had yet been written for the song. Bellamy proceeded to write out some "positive", "nice" lyrics for him and he allowed them to record the song.
"When requesting permission to play one of the biggest church organs in Europe in order to finish recording the song, the priest at the church asked to see the lyrics to the song to ensure the band weren't devil worshippers.”
I feel this dark track is definitely overlooked when describing Muse’s sound. One of my absolute favorite songs by Muse.
4) “Fury” - Absolution (Released 2003)
The song is a bonus track, added on the Japanese album edition. The gist about the song is basically religion and God. It’s pretty heavy, considering it’s also a bit dark in terms of lyricism.
Growing as a catholic and questioning my beliefs, this song helped a bit to put a nail in the coffin. The chorus influenced me to start questioning more, which is the power of music.
“Breathe in deep, and cleanse away our sins, and we'll pray that there's no God, to punish us and make a fuss”.
The irony in the lyrics is pretty funny. I’m not saying that this song will make you lose your beliefs if you are religious, but that the band itself doesn’t follow a religion (that I know of).
It’s a pretty slow, rocking jam of a song, with nice guitar effects giving that “Doubting oneself” vibe. Matt himself preferred it to be released on the album, but Chris and Dom both opted for “The Small Print” instead.
5) “Soldier’s Poem” - Black Holes And Revelations (Released 2006)
I would consider this as one of Muse’s best songs ever written. It captivates their overall aesthetic of politics wrapped inside a slow, militaristic rhythm. The vocals on this song is reminiscent of barbershop quartets. It’s one of Chris’s favorite songs off this album.
Originally supposed to be released on the Absolution album, it was put aside for further work. It had a more grandiose and huge sound before it was stripped down and reworked into the masterpiece it is today. The last two lines are beautiful although one can see it as depressing,
“There's no justice in the world, and there never was”.
It’s a shame that the song is so short.
6) “Take A Bow” - Black Holes And Revelations (Released 2006)
There are three integral parts of the song you will notice. The beginning is basically mashing electronic arpeggios, similar to The Who ’s “Baba O’Riley” and some classical styles played on violins. The song,
“Calls on world leaders to take responsibility for their actions”.
The middle is a techno buildup, creating more pressure until the last part, a heavy rock anthem of anger. The arpeggios are filling up the background along with the chorus vocals and lead guitar parts. Dominic plays in ¾ time signature, giving us crazy fills in between the slow jazzy sections.
This song is one of my favorites off this album. Even though their previous two albums did touch upon the same sci-fi and political tones, this album had a more prominent touch, showing the varied topics relating to alien invasions, corruption, conspiracies, and war.
7) “Madness” - The 2nd Law (Released 2012)
Yes, this is a lead single off this album, but hear me out. This album had more electronic influences take over, and helped create this beauty of a song. It is a very sweet, radio-friendly song by the band that is just soothing to listen to.
When the solo kicks in, it’s apparent that Muse still knows how to appeal to their same old fans. The ending is such an experience, especially when one can hear Matt’s feelings pour through the final shouts and falsetto lines.
“You've had a fight with your girlfriend and she goes off to her mum's house for the day and you're on your own going: ‘What did I say?’”
“I'm sure a lot of blokes have that experience in the early stages of relationships where you go, 'Yeah, she's right, isn't she?’”.
8) “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” - The 2nd Law (Released 2012)
If some die-hard Muse fans ask why this is here, they should know by now. Whether you hate this track or love it, you cannot deny how Muse is able to warp genres and still make it sound like themselves constantly evolving.
When I first heard this song as a single, I was genuinely disappointed as I didn’t like brostep and stuff that sounded like Skrillex. However, I came to understand and enjoy the song as I listened to more electronic music.
This song was a bridge connecting me to other genres. Muse was able to make electronic music or least something very close to it with real instruments. It’s a good track to head bang too, I’ll tell you that.
The only “lyrics” in the song is a definition of The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, narrated by Katie Razzall, a channel 4 news reporter.
9) “Dead Inside” - Drones (Released 2015)
This concept album was a “going back to our roots” album, and the band did so. It had more rock than their electronic influences. The only flaw I saw with this album is the lack of really good lyricism. I give them a pass since it’s their first and ONLY concept album about,
“The journey of a human, from his abandonment and loss of hope, to his indoctrination by the system to be a human drone and eventually defection from his oppressors”.
That being said, this first song is a huge surprise. A catchy one at that too. A funny comment I read about that song stated that it’s a Britney Spears influenced track. It really did sound like that to me when I first heard it. The prominent synth riffs made me question if they actually returned to their roots.
Towards the end, it becomes this majestic rocking song that never gets out of my head. The bridge (and/or pre-chorus) is my favorite part of this entire song.
Now everytime I hear someone say the words “Dead Inside”, I think of the song and sing it with no remorse.
10) “Hidden Track” also known as “You Fucking Motherfucker” – Starlight DVD (Recorded 2005)
I’m including this, not because it’s a bonus track off the Starlight DVD single, and not because of the title, but because of the track itself.
It’s about 32 seconds long and if you’re a casual fan of the band, this song will open doors to the fandom for you. This song is one of my absolute favorites, because it actually sounds like a legitimate song that could have been released as a B-Side instead of being a hidden track.
The band never played it live, but I hope they actually do for fun. This song and other bonus/hidden early Muse tracks showcase that Muse isn’t all about the dark aspects of relationships or crazy conspiracy theories.
This song expresses their personalities as friends since high school, being together since 1992 and with the band since 1994.
Hope any of these songs allow you to appreciate the band Muse more! Thanks for reading!