Saturday, 15 October 2011

RS - The History of Muse

Muse - Dom, Matt and Chris (left to right)
Muse are a three piece band formed in 1994, in Teignmouth, Devon. Muse consist of Matt Bellamy, (guitar, piano, keyboard, keytar and lead vocalist) Chris Wolstenholme (bassist, backing vocals, keyboard and guitar) and Dom Howard (percussion, synth and human bones) and have kept the same line up since they began. Since 2006 Muse have been joined on stage by Morgan Nicholls to help play some rhythm guitar, bass, piano and extra vocals on some songs. Muse are known for putting on exhilarating live performances and have been named "best band in the world" and "best live band" on multiple occasions. They have released songs/albums from a wide range of different genres such as space rock, new prog, electronica, heavy metal, prog rock and classical to name a few however they are most commonly labelled as Alternative Rock. To date they have released five studio albums. Showbiz (1999), Origin of Symmetry (2001), Absolution (2003), Black Holes and Revelations (2006) and The Resistance (2009) And another album in the works rumoured to be released some time in spring/summer next year. Muse have also released three live albums, Hullabaloo (2002), Absolution Tour (2005) and H.A.A.R.P (2008).

Reading 1992 line-up
1992 - 1992 is a key year for Muse. As it was the first time they all attended the Reading Festival together and saw bands such as Nirvana perform a spectacular set and is said to be one of the best of their career. (Reading 1992 was very important to Nirvana as well, as it was their last UK concert due to Kurt Cobain's death) From the festival the three saw what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives and be like Nirvana on that stage at some point. From that they thought they would give it a go and atleast see what happened. They had all seen each other play around school and thought it wouldn't be a bad idea. They were in different bands over the years/months prior to this but found that something special sparked when they played together. This is where their journey began.

Muse - 1994
1994 - Saw the "proper" start of Muse in a small retirement village in Devon. It is also a key time as it was their first performance and at the time they were known as the "Rocket Baby Dolls" with a goth/glam image and they entered a local "battle of the bands" competition smashing all of their instruments in the process of the gig. Bellamy said "It was supposed to be a protest, a statement"..."so, when we actually won, it was a real shock. A massive shock. After that, we started taking ourselves seriously" After that they got rid of the current name and came up with Muse due to it "looking good on gig posters" and because someone suggested that the reason that a lot of bands were forming around Teignmouth was due to a muse hanging around the town.

£4,214 for four songs!
1995 - 1995 is a key event for a rather strange reason. It is because of a cassette recording of "This is a Muse demo" which contains four songs all composed and written by Matt. The demo was recorded in Chris' house and the songs were never released. However on the 23rd of May 2011 a recording of the tape was surfaced on Youtube and the demo was posted on ebay and later sold for £4,214 to a Muse collector...that's only £1,053 per song, what a bargin! The cover of the tape says "Geobell Music" It is thought that Geobell is short for George Bellamy, and that he helped record the demo. Matthew Bellamy either spelt his name wrong or 'Mat' was how he spelt his name at the time.

The Newton Abbot Demo (1997
1997 - An occurance similar to 1995 happened in 1997 with the release of the "Newton Abbot Demo" which was again written and composed by Bellamy and recorded in Newton Abbot Studios in 1996/7. This tape went through a similar process to the last however it was put on ebay in 2008 and Muse fans all donated money together to purchase the tape. Around £2,500 was raised and then digital copies were released and shared for free.

Muse (EP) - 1998
1998 - 1998 saw the debut EP for Muse called...."Muse (EP)" 999 hand-numbered copies were made and it was released on 11 May 1998 by Sawmills Studio label Dangerous Records. Three of the EP's four songs – "Overdue", "Cave" and "Escape" – were re-recorded for the band's full-length debut album Showbiz, while the song "Coma" turned into a B-side of the "Cave" Single. On the cover of the EP is a distorted and re-arranged image of the band's drummer, Dominic Howard. 

Showbiz - Muse's debut album (1999)
1999 - 1999 marks the release of Muse's debut album Showbiz. Upon its release, many critics were quick to dismiss the album as "promising" yet derivative of other alternative rock bands of the 90s and many critics drawing comparisons to Radiohead, some even pointing out that this album is produced by John Leckie, who also worked on said band's The Bends album.  

The album seems to have drawn something of a following since its release however, as in 2009 the album was placed in the top 20 British albums of the last 20 years by the UK edition of MSN. As well as this, several songs from the album appear to have had lasting appeal among fans, such as the title track, which was one of the band's most requested songs during The Resistance Tour in 2010, when the band staged a fan vote for songs to be played during that tour's stadium leg.The song was not played; however, Unintended and Cave were played several times throughout the tour, with Sunburn being introduced during later performances of the tour. Sourced from Wikipedia

Album No. 2 - 2001
2001 - Marks the release of Muse's second album Origin of Symmetry. "Origin" features Muse's best known song Plug in Baby. Plug in Baby has won countless awards but most recently the "riff of the decade" and is named by fans as one of the main highlights of their live sets.

Origin of Symmetry came first about through the changes Muse underwent during their intensive touring in promotion of Showbiz, with a lot of material written whilst touring. However, this album is more riff orientated and slightly darker than Showbiz, containing several songs which use piano or organ. Origin of Symmetry was intended as a more progressive rock-styled album, with different vocal styles than that of Showbiz. The ambition behind the album was to show the harder rock and eccentric elements of the band, that they felt had not been seen so far. This included bringing back a lot of music "filtered out" from Showbiz. The bass in the album is also more prominent and distorted. Some of the songs of the album draw influence from the band members' relationships suffering from the effects of them being on tour. Sourced from Musewiki.

The 10 year anniversay of Origin of Symmetry occured this year and for the celebration of the album the band decided to play the entire album from start to finish at this years Reading and Leeds Festivals. Something they had never done before, for this they had to rehearse some songs they hadn't played since around 2001 however some of the songs such as Plug in Baby and New Born had stayed on the set list since the release.

2003 - 2003 marks the release of Muse's third album Absolution.  

Absolution is Muse's third album and was released worldwide during September 2003, with the first single, "Stockholm Syndrome", being released on the 14th July 2003. The album was recorded at Grouse Lodge Studios in Ireland and AIR Studios on London during 2003. The songs featured on Absolution were written whilst Muse toured in support of Origin of Symmetry and Hullabaloo, with some songs such as " Fury" originating as early as early 2000. Rich Costey began producing Absolution after a the tracks " Blackout" and " Butterflies & Hurricanes" were recorded with Paul Reeve, who co-produced Showbiz and John Cornfield, who engineered Showbiz and Orgin of Symmetry. Like the previous Muse album, Orgin of Symmetry, Absolution is influenced by classical composers such as Sergei Rachmaninov and Samuel Barber, whilst "Endlessly" introduces a more electronic sound with songs such as " The Small Print" and " Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" being guitar-led. 
Absolution (3rd album) - 2003

The songs " Fury" and " Soldier's Poem" were originally intended to appear on Absolution. Whilst Matt wanted to keep "Fury" on the album, it was dropped in favour of " The Small Print" as per Dom and Chris's preference, and it became the Japanese bonus track and B-side to "Sing for Absolution". Matt suggested in 2008 that this was because the band did not like "Fury" as much after playing it live before the album's release. "Soldier's Poem" was ultimately reworked for the follow-up to Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations

Sourced from Musewiki.

Matt at the end of "Blackout"
2004 - 2004 marks a key mile stone in Muse's career as it was the first time the band headlined Glastonbury Festival. At the time Muse were fairly unknown and it was a big risk by festival organiser Michael Eavis however he believed they could pull it off. For being unknown at the time they were an instant sucess and Eavis said they were the perfect booking and it couldn't have gone any better. From Glastonbury Muse were on a spiral up and up to greatness and nothing was going to stop them...however after Stockholm Syndrome, the final song of the set at Glastonbury, Dom Howard's father collapsed to the floor from a heart attack and died on site. With Dom completley unaware on stage they continued and it wasn't until he walked off the stage until he recieved the sad news after the "best gig of our lives"..."Thank you Glastonbury... you've been f**king amazing, cheers, take care and good night" said Howard. Shortly after Howard considered quiting the band alltogether however he thought that his dad would want him to carry on with it and so he did.

2006 - 2006 marks the release of Muse's fourth studio album, Black Holes and Revelations.

Muse's fourth album - 2006
Black Holes and Revelations is Muse's fourth studio album, released three years after previous album Absolution, in July 2006. The album is less classically orientated than Origin of Symmetry and Absolution, while introducing new influences including jazz, soul and R&B. The album contains elements of these genres. The varied influences on the album can be traced to the intial demos and recording made in the Château Miraval studio and the later recordings in New York City, where Matt DJed in a club and the band recorded the remaining songs in the Electric Lady Studios. Inspiration for the album was taken from a wide variety of other artists, from contemporary acts such as Lightning Bolt[6] and Rage Against The Machine, to composer Ennio Morricone and jazz singer Nina Simone.
The album is dedicated to the memory of Helen Kirk.

Muse - Wembley (2007)
2007 - 2007 marks a massive event for the band, the first time playing Wembley Stadium...twice! Yes 2007 was the year that Muse first played at the recently finished Wembley Stadium for the first time and also being the first band to actually play there (George Michael was the first act who played there on the 9th June, beating Muse to that title!). 90,000 tickets were sold in less than 45 minutes so they released a second date the day after because of its success, which then went on to do the same thing but in a little shy of an hour. Muse's live DVD H.A.A.R.P was filmed at Wembley over the two days and a CD was released to accompany it which was released in 2008. Muse's H.A.A.R.P appearance was named Wembley's "Greatest Ever Event" from 1923-2010 by fans beating the likes of Queen's appearence along with Michael Jackson's "Bad" tour and even the 1966 England world cup win. It is rumoured that a statue is being created of the band and will be showcased at Wembley Stadium for generations to come.

2009 - 2009 marks the release of Muse's most recent and fifth studio album, The Resistance

The Resistance - 2009
Muse's fifth studio album, The Resistance, was released on September 14th 2009. Like previous Muse albums it draws from a wide range of genres and influences, including glam rock, R&B, disco and classical. The Resistance sees the return of instrumentation previously used on Origin of Symmetry, including a church organ (Unnatural Selection) and llama toenails (United States of Eurasia). Matthew Bellamy summarised the album as having "an emphasis on rhythm and contemporary R&B at the start. Then it gets epic and strange, then it becomes contemporary classical music."
The band won the Grammy for Best Rock Album with The Resistance in 2011.

Sourced from Musewiki.

A Seaside Rendezvous - 2009
2009 is know for another special event which took place in Teignmouth, Devon. For the celebration of their new album Muse returned to their hometown to play two shows with songs from their new album along with the classics. 20,00 fans turned up along with the locals to showcase two fantastic evenings. The shows created a massive buzz for the local community and is the latest big thing to happen there since The Beatles stayed in a hotel there over 40 years ago.

The Edge with Muse - 2010
2010 - 2010 saw the return of Muse to the pyramid stage for the second time. Headlining Glastonbury for the second time and being joined by a very special guest...The Edge!!! best known as the guitarist of Irish rock band U2 (who had to cancel their appearence at the festival the same year due to Bono's injury). The Edge named Muse as "the power trio of our century" during an interview at the festival and thought they were the perfect band to headline the festival once again.

Gig in space - 20??
The future - Muse are currently in the process of recording a new album and rumours are that it is expected to be released on the 3rd of May 2012. No gigs have been arranged so far so we don't expect to hear much about them until May next year. 

In January this year reports said that Muse are planning to play a gig in space and Bellamy said "I do think it will be possible in the future and I'm sure it will happen in my lifetime. We'd love to be part of that."

So we do have alot to look forward to!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic, simply exemplary work Rob.
    The one thing I'd suggest, and I don't mean to redo any of THIS post, is to cast the net wider for sources
    When posting on Muse vids, and Muse in Cyberspace, try non-wiki sources!


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