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Post  The Commander on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:59 am



Last edited by The Commander on Mon May 10, 2010 9:24 am; edited 8 times in total

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Muse - Showbiz

Post  The Commander on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:16 pm



Muse - Showbiz


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Showbiz is the debut studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, released in the United Kingdom on 4 October 1999. Recorded between April and May at RAK Studios and Sawmills Studio, respectively, the album was produced by John Leckie and Paul Reeve in conjunction with the band. Showbiz was a minor commercial success, reaching number 29 on the UK Albums Chart.

Showbiz was released in various regions around the world through the band's different regional labels: Naïve in France; Motor in Germany, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine; Maverick in the United States; Play It Again Sam (PIAS) in Benelux; and Avex Trax in Japan. The album was also released earlier by some labels; in France it was released on 6 September, the Motor edition was sold from 20 September and the album entered American stores on 28 September. A bonus CD was released in Benelux, which contained the same content as the Random 1-8 extended play, without the hidden remixes of "Sunburn".

Upon its release, many critics were quick to dismiss the album for sounding too similar to the band Radiohead. However, in 2009, the album was placed in the top 20 albums of the last 20 years by MSN Music Editor James Hurley; describing the album as: "Despite the obvious Radiohead comparisons which even attracted criticism from Thom Yorke himself, Muse announced themselves as formidable, if not yet entirely original, talents with this album."

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Muse - Origin of Symmetry

Post  The Commander on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:27 pm



Muse - Origin of Symmetry


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Origin of Symmetry is the second studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, released on 17 June 2001 by Mushroom Records. Recording took place at Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey and Real World Studio in Wiltshire, and additional recordings were made at Astoria Studios, Richmond Studios and Abbey Road Studios in London and Sawmills Studio in Fowey, Cornwall. The album was mixed at Sawmills and mastered at Sony Music Studios in London. Origin of Symmetry was produced by David Bottrill, John Leckie (who previously worked on the band's first album, Showbiz) and the band themselves. In the UK it reached #3 and was certified platinum. The title for the album comes from a concept put forward by Michio Kaku in his book Hyperspace.

The album was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews and in 2006 earned the spot of 74 on Q Magazine's 100 Greatest Albums of all Time. Later in February 2008 a Public Vote for Q Magazine placed the album in #28 of the Best British Albums of all time. Acclaimed Music ranks Origin of Symmetry as the 1,247th greatest album of all time.

Origin of Symmetry is seen as a departure from the alternative rock sound of Showbiz, as the band experimented instrumentally throughout the album. Dominic Howard (drums) augmented the standard rock drum kit with various other items of his own, and Matthew Bellamy uses a pipe organ at St Mary the Virgin's Church, Bathwick on "Megalomania". Due to the requirement of a pipe organ, this song is rarely played live by Muse, perhaps the most notable occasions being at Muse's charity gig at the Royal Albert Hall and during the Hullabaloo concert in Paris.

Throughout the album, the bass line is used as the driving force, often with the guitar providing only an extra layer to the song rather than carrying the melody. The bass has distortion and other effects applied to it to achieve a greater weight, allowing the guitar to digress from the main chord progression and play higher notes.

Maverick Records, who previously released Showbiz in the United States, asked the band to remove the falsetto vocals for the album's release, claiming that their presence would discourage radio play. Muse's refusal saw them part ways with the label, meaning that the album was not released in the US until 2005. However, the album did not chart on the Billboard 200 until February 2010, when it "debuted" at number 161.

Nestlé tried to use the song "Feeling Good" in a coffee commercial, though the band refused to give the company permission to do so. After Nestle used the song anyway, the band successfully sued Nestlé for £500,000 and donated the proceeds to the charity Oxfam.

"Feeling Good" is a cover of a song written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse originally for the 1965 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd. Bellamy decided to include it in the album because Nina Simone's version of the song is a favourite of his mother's. Later the song was used to advertise Eden, a new channel launched on 26 January 2009, that was previously known as UKTV Documentary, as well as being used in the 2008 feature film Seven Pounds.

American Idol 2009 finalist Adam Lambert covered "Feeling Good", replicating the arrangement of the Muse version.

The song "Space Dementia" has been used for the advertisement of the fragrance Midnight Poison by Christian Dior, released in 2007. The advertisement features Eva Green in a blue dress, directed by Wong Kar Wai.

Fragments of the song "New Born" have been used in an advertisement for Oxfam. The advertisement uses part of the piano intro and the first driving guitar riff.

A fragment of the song "Micro Cuts" has been used for the Italian version of the advertisement of Roberto Cavalli Profumo in 2003, featuring Spanish model Nuria de la Fuente.

The song "New Born" has been used in the film Haute Tension (also known as Switchblade Romance in the UK and High Tension in the US) and a remix by Paul Oakenfold was used in Dominic Sena's film Swordfish.

"Plug In Baby" is a playable track in Guitar Hero 5, with Matthew Bellamy having provided motion capture on the song and appearing as a guest musician whenever it is played in Career mode.

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Muse - Absolution

Post  The Commander on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:52 pm



Muse – Absolution


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Absolution is the third studio album by English alternative rock band Muse. It was released on 21 September 2003 in the UK and on March 23, 2004 in the U.S. by Taste Music Limited. The album yielded the band's first American hits – "Time Is Running Out" and "Hysteria", the former becoming their first UK Top 10 single. In 2006 it was voted the 21st best British album ever. The album was placed in at #23 after a public vote for Q magazine in February 2008 for the Best British Albums of All Time. In 2009 it was voted by Kerrang! as the second-best album of the 21st century (thus far).

The band spent much of 2002 recording Absolution with producer Rich Costey. The album was recorded in studios in both Los Angeles and London. Bellamy said that the band made a "conscious decision" to "get together in a room and make music", setting aside time to record the album, as previous albums' recording sessions were 'hastily arranged' and rushed.

The album incorporates themes of fear, mistrust, personal achievement and joy. Bellamy said that the beginning of the Iraq War had an effect on their songwriting.

The track "Blackout" featured an 18-piece orchestra.

Absolution was released on 23 September 2003 on CD and double vinyl. It was their first album released on the A&E Records label. There were six singles, of which the first, "Stockholm Syndrome", was download only. Because of contractual obligations, the band couldn't allow the song to be downloaded for free, so the fee was set at $0.99 and it was downloaded more than 20,000 times.

The album and each of the singles except "Stockholm Syndrome" were distributed as promotional CDs housed in Anti-Static Bags.

Absolution was Muse's first album to chart in the US, and is credited with establishing the band a fan base there. The album reached #1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and #107 on the Billboard 200. Absolution was certified gold by the RIAA in March 2007, becoming the group's first album to be certified in the United States.

The album was largely well received by critics. Both Q and The Guardian gave it four out of five stars, with three out of five stars being awarded by Allmusic and Rolling Stone. As with previous albums they were compared to Radiohead, with Tim DiGravina of Allmusic calling Bellamy's vocals a "Thom Yorke vocal impersonation". However, DiGravina also said that the album still "struck a nerve" with the band's more alternative hard rock fans, a view that was agreed with by The Guardian's Alexis Petridis.

Initial copies of the CD featured inlay errors, where the songs "Interlude" and "Hysteria" switched places on the track listing. Cover art by Storm Thorgerson and Dan Abbott.

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Muse - Black Holes and Revelations

Post  The Commander on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:24 pm



Muse – Black Holes and Revelations


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Black Holes and Revelations is the fourth studio album by English rock band Muse, released on 3 July 2006. Recording was split between New York and France, and it was the first time Muse had taken a more active role in the album's production. The album was a change in style from Muse's previous albums, and the band cited influences that included Queen, Millionaire, Sly and the Family Stone, Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand and music from southern Italy.

Black Holes and Revelations was placed at #34 in a public vote by Q Magazine for The Best British Albums of all time in February 2008.

The album has political and sci-fi undertones, with the lyrics covering topics as varied as political corruption, alien invasion, New World Order conspiracies as well as more conventional love songs.

The album sold 115,144 copies in its first week in the UK, which was more than the first week sales of Muse's previous album, Absolution. The album is also a BPI double platinum album, and was nominated for a Mercury Prize. Five singles were released in the UK, of which three were released in the US. A world tour followed the release of the album that included dates in the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and most of Europe and Asia.

Muse's previous album, Absolution was released in 2003 to critical acclaim. Absolution had brought the band mainstream exposure in the United States for the first time.

The band retired to an old château in France to write for a new album. Lead singer Matthew Bellamy said that this was because the band wanted to be free from distractions so that they could "concentrate, spend time and be surrounded by different musical influences". The album was partially recorded in the same studio in France as Pink Floyd's album The Wall, which Wolstenhome said was a "great feeling to know that something big had been done [there]". However, the band found recording there very slow and had difficulties deciding which songs to include on the album. They travelled to New York to finish the recording.

Bassist Chris Wolstenholme considered writing and recording for Black Holes and Revelations more relaxed than it had been for previous albums, as the band did not have a deadline to work to. It was the first time they had learned about the technology in the studio, having previously left the use of it to the sound engineers. Bellamy said that this was the first time Muse made an album without being concerned about how they would play it live.

"Soldier's Poem", stood out as being "quite unlike anything [they'd] ever done before". Drummer Dominic Howard said they were originally going to record it with a "massive, epic" approach, but then decided to strip it down and record it in a small studio with vintage equipment and a few microphones. Muse were pleased with the result and Howard described it as a "real highlight", describing the vocals as "some of the most amazing vocals I've ever heard Matt do".


Black Holes and Revelations was said by some reviewers to carry a political message. The album begins with the track "Take a Bow", which is an "attack on an all but unnamed political leader", incorporating lyrics such as "Corrupt, you corrupt and bring corruption to all that you touch". These themes are carried through the album in the tracks "Exo-Politics" and "Assassin". The album often touches on controversial subject matters, such as "The New World Order conspiracy, unjustifiable war, abusive power, conspiratorial manipulation and populist revolt," and is influenced by the conspiracy theories that the band are interested in. Matt Bellamy stated that he finds "the unknown in general a stimulating area for the imagination", and this interest is reflected throughout the album, which features alien invasion (in "Exo-Politics") and rebellious paranoia (particularly during "Assassin"). The album also includes more emotional themes, including regret, ambition, and love.

The title "Black Holes and Revelations", taken from lyrics in "Starlight", is explained by Matthew Bellamy in his September 2006 interview for Q magazine: "Black holes and revelations -- they're the two areas of songwriting for me that make up the majority of this album. A revelation about yourself, something personal, something genuine of an everyday nature that maybe people can relate to. Then the black holes are these songs that are from the more ... unknown regions of the imagination."

The album was released on 3 July 2006 in the UK, followed by releases in the USA, Australia, Taiwan and Japan. The album was also available as a limited edition CD/DVD combination, that featured videos and live renditions of the band playing "Supermassive Black Hole", "Knights of Cydonia" and "Starlight". In addition, the album was re-released in the USA on vinyl on August 18, 2009. The album received double platinum certification in the UK on 22 December 2006. Singles were released in both the UK and the US, though they were released in different orders in each country. All singles excepting "Map of the Problematique" were available on vinyl, CD, DVD (containing the music video for the single) and as a digital download.

In the UK, the first single from the album was "Supermassive Black Hole" and it was released prior to the album, on 19 June 2006. The single reached number four in the UK Singles Chart, making it the highest charting single in the UK for the band to date. The single was followed by "Starlight", "Knights of Cydonia", "Invincible" and "Map of the Problematique", the only one of which to reach the top 10 was "Knights of Cydonia" at number ten.

The first single released in the US was "Knights of Cydonia", on 13 June 2006, which peaked at #10 Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. It was followed by "Starlight" and "Supermassive Black Hole". "Starlight" was their most popular single in the US reaching #2 on the Modern Rock Tracks.

Black Holes and Revelations was met with generally positive reviews from critics. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating based on a range of reviews from mainstream critics, aggregated the album's average review score to 75%, based on 35 reviews. The album received top ratings from Observer Music Monthly, Q, and Alternative Press. Planet Sound named Black Holes and Revelations their Album of the Year for 2006 and the album was placed third in the NME Albums of the Year list for 2006, as well as being named Q's second best album of the year. The album also received a Mercury Prize nomination. It was featured in the updated 2007 version of the music reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, edited by Robert Dimery. The album was named as one of Classic Rock‘s 10 essential progressive rock albums of the decade.

Pitchfork Media's Sam Ubl was amongst the most critical reviewers and gave the album a very poor 4.2 rating, citing the lack of progression the band had made in 4 albums, and their reliance on "tired sounds and genres, saying that Muse, "always loveably lame [...] managed to take a turn for the lamer." Several critics called the album "overblown", including Radio Telefís Éireann's Bill Lehane, NME's Anthony Thornton, and Rolling Stone's Chris Hoard. Hoard went on to describe "Knights of Cydonia" and "City of Delusion" "ridiculous", but concluded that although it was "surprising", the album worked. The A.V. Club, on the other hand, gave the band credit for reworking themselves, but called the album a "nightmare". The album also garnered some crossover appeal, with Oakland hip hop group Zion I releasing a notable remix of Knights of Cydonia in 2008.

In July 2006 the band announced that they would be going on their "biggest ever tour" in support of the album. The first shows included the Leeds and Reading Carling Weekend festivals, followed by a tour that visited most of the world's major continents. The tour saw them travelling over most of the world, including countries such as the UK, most of Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, China and Korea. Some dates that were booked to play in support of My Chemical Romance in the USA were cancelled after members of their entourage were affected by food poisoning. The USA stretch of the tour included dates at Madison Square Garden and a headlining slot at Lollapalooza.

The biggest concert of the tour was the two nights that they played in the new Wembley Stadium on 16 and 17 June 2007. They were the first band to sell out the newly built stadium and play there. The show incorporated extensive special effects that included huge satellite dishes, "futuristic" antennas, giant white balls and thousands of lights. The encore featured two acrobats that floated high above the crowd suspended on floating white balloons. Footage of the latter concert was released on DVD whilst a live CD album contained a selection of recorded tracks from the two nights. Both discs were released as a joint package under the title HAARP.

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Muse - The Resistance

Post  The Commander on Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:59 pm



Muse – The Resistance


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The Resistance is the fifth studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, released in Europe on 14 September 2009, and in North America on 15 September 2009. On its release, it topped the album charts in 19 countries. It also debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 128,000 copies. It also beat its predecessor, Black Holes and Revelations, in relative album sales in its debut week in the UK with approximately 148,000 copies sold. Critics were mostly positive about the album, with much of the praise directed towards its ambition and classical music influences. The album was produced by the band and mixed by Mark Stent. The album's first single, "Uprising", was released on 7 September 2009, with the album's second single, "Undisclosed Desires" released on 16 November 2009. In January 2010 it was confirmed that "Resistance" would be the third single from the album.

The talk of a follow-up to Muse's 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations began in 2007, during touring and promotion for the said record. In October, music magazine NME reported that Muse were "planning [an] 'electronic' album" and that the band "[had] 'loads of ideas' for their fifth record already." As touring came to a close, ideas and rumours began circulating more frequently – common themes were the inclusion of a "15-minute space-rock solo" song, the rejection of the 'conventional' album format and a possible series of singles; on 22 May 2008, NME reported that the band had begun writing songs for the new album, quoting frontman, vocalist, guitarist and pianist Matthew Bellamy as saying "What will come out of that is impossible to say."

The move away from releasing a conventional album was further discussed, with drummer Dominic Howard quoted as saying "[it is] not that we're against the concept of releasing an album in the traditional format at all. It's just the way the world and technology is evolving, it's presenting a canvas to do whatever you want and just release music as and when it is ready to release. It can happen much more organically." Rumours of a similar release to the free digital download of Radiohead's In Rainbows or Nine Inch Nails's Ghosts I-IV and The Slip, however, were silenced. As of mid-2008, it was revealed that Muse had been writing a number of tracks, with more on the way in September. Despite this, Muse "warned fans not to expect a new album too soon," with bassist Christopher Wolstenholme quoted as explaining "I don't think there's anything that we're ready to record yet. We just wanted to get started this year, to get the ball rolling a little bit rather than wait for a year doing nothing then get in the studio, and go, 'What do we do now?'." The previously mentioned "15-minute space-rock solo" was discussed further late in the year, as Bellamy explained, "There is a new song in three parts, more of a symphony than a song, which I have been working on sporadically for many years."

The news of the possibility of a three-part 15-minute song also came with the revelation that the band had begun recording and were loosely aiming for a late-2009 release. In 2009, an "insider close to [...] Warners" revealed that Muse would release their new album in September and begin touring shortly afterwards. In March it was reported that the record was "about halfway there," with Bellamy describing it as "A symphonic album" and joking that "We'll be knocking on Classic FM's door, you know?" The band subsequently progressively released three videos of recording footage, including a session in a lavatory. In March it was confirmed that Muse were to tour in the autumn, as well as with Irish band U2 in the nited States in September, suggesting that the recording process was moving toward a conclusion.

The title of the album was revealed as The Resistance on the band's Twitter page on 22 May, while the first song was officially announced as "United States of Eurasia" on the official band website, deciphered by fans from a picture of a piece of sheet music held by Bellamy in a photo uploaded on the Twitter page. Following this news, Howard posted a blog on his MySpace account detailing the progress made by the band by saying "Yes, The Resistance is on its way. Out in a few months hopefully. We've just started mixing some tracks and it sounds wicked. Still got a bit more work to do but it's coming along nicely." The album was mixed by Mark Stent at Muse's studio. On 1 June, news began to spread online, originally revealed on BBC Radio 1 of the band's upcoming promotional tour for The Resistance;[citation needed] the tour dates were later written on the band's official website.

On 16 June 2009 it was confirmed on the band's official website that the album would be released on 14 September 2009. In a Twitter update by Wolstenholme on 23 June, it was revealed that the band had completed the album, with only mastering left to complete in New York. On 3 July, the band began updating their Twitter profile with the track listing for The Resistance, which was completed by the end of the day. On 14 July, Muse confirmed via Twitter that the first single from the album would be "Uprising".

On August 17, 2009, iTunes gave 30-second previews for each of the songs on the album.

On 7 September 2009, "Undisclosed Desires" was uploaded to Muse's official website for streaming by website members. From 10 September, the album will be free to listen to on the official website of English newspaper The Guardian.

On 9 September 2009, it was announced that The Resistance would be released on iTunes as one of the first iTunes LPs. It will contain the album, and added extras such as animated artwork and behind the scenes videos. It was also announced in September that a New Moon remix of "I Belong to You" would be included on the soundtrack to New Moon, the second film in the Twilight Saga film series. The soundtrack to the first film had featured another song by Muse: "Supermassive Black Hole". The New Moon remix has additional guitars added, and omits the 'Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix' section.

An instrumental version of the album has been professionally mixed, and is available on the internet.

In January 2010, it was confirmed that "Resistance" would be the third single from the album.

Since its release, The Resistance has received generally favorable reviews. Currently it has an aggregate score of 72 on Metacritic based on 23 reviews.

Allmusic praised the album highlighting "Guiding Light", "United States of Eurasia", and "Exogenesis" calling it "by and large a fantastic record". In an interview with The Sunday Times, Dan Cairns mentions that "Muse have made an album of genius, brilliance and beauty".

Much of the album's praise has been directed towards the three-part "Exogenesis," which used over 40 musicians in the recording process. The Fly awarded The Resistance two scores: 5 out of 5 for the three-part "Exogenesis," stating that "Exogenesis... is a streak of utter brilliance across The Resistance's beguiling, inconsistent sky," and 3.5 out of 5 for the rest of the album.

Pitchfork Media gave the album a mixed review, stating that the songs were "an outgrowth of wanting to make the music as big, inclusive and as singalong as possible, rather than any inchoate political impulses," criticising Bellamy for "constantly tossing out mass-shout-along-ready lyrics". However, the review went on to conclude that "Judged on its own terms – out of control scale, genre-smashing ambition, musical and vocal virtuosity-- The Resistance is a success."

Multiple reviews criticized the album for lacking originality, in some instances commenting that it was a caricature of progressive rock. Rolling Stone lauded "Uprising" as an "industrial-flavored" song that proved that Muse could still "whip up an almighty roar," but dismissed the album as a whole as cliché and borrowing shamelessly from rock band Queen. NME felt that the album was genius in parts, but criticised the album for producing something "conceptually impressive but musically all too familiar".

Queen guitarist Brian May praised the Queen-influenced sound that Muse incorporated into the album. "I love it, I think it's great stuff," May told the BBC. "I think they're very good boys and extremely talented, and like us they have their tongue in cheek a lot of the time," May said. He described the track "United States of Eurasia" as "brilliantly done".

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The Resistance Tour - Live in Seattle

Post  The Commander on Mon May 10, 2010 9:21 am


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