Origin of Symmetry

Origin of Symmetry
Origin of Symmetry
Studio album by Muse
Released 17 July 2001 (2001-07-17)
Genre Alternative rock, new prog, space rock, progressive metal
Length 51:41
Label Taste
Producer David Bottrill, John Leckie, Muse
Muse chronology
Origin of Symmetry
Hullabaloo Soundtrack
Singles from Origin of Symmetry
  1. "Plug In Baby"
    Released: 5 March 2001
  2. "New Born"
    Released: 5 June 2001
  3. "Bliss"
    Released: 20 August 2001
  4. "Hyper Music/Feeling Good"
    Released: 19 November 2001

Origin of Symmetry is the second studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, released on 17 July 2001 by Taste Records.[1] In the UK it reached #3[2] and was certified platinum.[3] The title for the album comes from a concept put forward by Michio Kaku in his book Hyperspace.[4]

On Origin of Symmetry, 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". Because of 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.

In August 2011 for the Reading and Leeds Festival, Muse stated that they would perform the whole of Origin of Symmetry to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the album; a special set was designed specifically for the occasion.[5]



Recording took place at Ridge Farm Studios in Surrey and Real World Studio in Wiltshire, and additional recordings were made at David Gilmour's 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.

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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
Drowned in Sound (10/10)[7]
Flak (unfavorable)[8]
NME (9/10)[9]
PopMatters (mixed)[10]
Q 5/5 stars[11]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[12]
Music emissions (favourable)[13]
Prog archives 5/5 stars[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] Kerrang! Magazine placed the album at #20 in its 100 Best British Rock Albums Ever! List, #9 in its Albums of the Year 2001 List [17] and #13 on their 50 Best Albums of the 21st Century. [18]


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.[19] 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.[20] After Nestlé used the song anyway, the band successfully sued Nestlé for £500,000 and donated the proceeds to the charity Oxfam - along with several local charities near Teignmouth, the town where the band formed.[21]

Popular culture

"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. The song was also used in a 2008 advertisement for the Lloyds TSB bank.

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.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Matthew Bellamy, except as noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "New Born"   6:03
2. "Bliss"   4:12
3. "Space Dementia"   6:20
4. "Hyper Music"   3:21
5. "Plug In Baby"   3:39
6. "Citizen Erased"   7:19
7. "Micro Cuts"   3:38
8. "Screenager"   4:20
9. "Darkshines"   4:47
10. "Feeling Good" (Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley) 3:19
11. "Megalomania"   4:38
Bonus Track (Japan CD) and iTunes
No. Title Length
12. "Futurism" (Japan CD and iTunes bonus track ("Megalomania" is track 11 on these versions). It was later featured as a B-side to the "Dead Star/In Your World" single.) 3:27
Bonus Track (Enhanced Digipack CD version)
No. Title Length
12. "Muse TV" (An "enhanced element", that can only be visited once played in a computer, acting as a CD-ROM feature.) N/A



Guest musicians

Additional personnel

  • David Bottrill – production and engineering on "New Born", "Bliss", "Plug In Baby" and "Darkshines"
  • John Leckie – production and engineering on tracks "Space Dementia", "Hyper Music", "Citizen Erased", "Micro Cuts", "Screenager", "Feeling Good" and "Megalomania"
  • Ric Peet – engineering on tracks "Space Dementia", "Hyper Music", "Citizen Erased", "Micro Cuts", "Screenager", "Feeling Good" and "Megalomania"
  • Steve Cooper – additional engineering on "New Born", "Bliss", "Plug In Baby" and "Darkshines"
  • Chris Brown – additional engineering and programming on tracks "Space Dementia", "Hyper Music", "Citizen Erased", "Micro Cuts", "Screenager", "Feeling Good" and "Megalomania"
  • Mark Thomas – assistant engineering on tracks "Bliss", "Hyper Music", "Plug In Baby" and "Micro Cuts"
  • Claire Lewis – assistant engineering on tracks "Space Dementia", "Hyper Music", "Citizen Erased", "Micro Cuts", "Screenager", "Feeling Good" and "Megalomania"
  • Damon Iddins – assistant engineering
  • Mirek Styles – assistant engineering
  • John Cornfield – mixing
  • Ray Staffmastering
  • William Eager – artwork


  1. ^ Beaumont, Mark (2008). Out of This World: The Story of Muse. London: Omnibus Press. pp. 325. ISBN 9781847723772. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats – Muse". Chart Stats. http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=137. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Platinum Awards Content". British Phonographic Industry. http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=30209. Retrieved 2008-11-01. [dead link]
  4. ^ The Making of Origin of Symmetry. Xfm. 7 November 2007
  5. ^ "Muse to play 'Origin Of Symmetry' in full at Reading And Leeds Festivals". NME. http://www.nme.com/news/muse/55776. 
  6. ^ "Origin of Symmetry Overview". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r543920. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Adams, Sean (May 19, 2001). "Origin of Symmetry Review". Drowned in Sound. http://drownedinsound.com/releases/2607/reviews/1116-muse-origin-of-symmetry?search. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Origin of Symmetry Review". Flak. http://www.flakmag.com/music/muse.html. Retrieved 12 May 2011. [unreliable source?]
  9. ^ Morton, Roger (June 12, 2001). "Origin of Symmetry Review". NME. http://www.nme.com/reviews/5220. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Powers, Devon. "Origin of Symmetry Review". PopMatters. http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/m/muse-origin.shtml. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  11. ^ . Q. 2002. 
  12. ^ Fisher, Tyler (14 July 2006). "Muse - Origin of Symetry". Sputnikmusic. http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/8213/Muse-Origin-of-Symmetry/. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  13. ^ Schmitt, Michael (12 June 2007). "Muse - Origin of Symetry". musicemissions.com. http://www.musicemissions.com/artists/albums/index.php?album_id=6600. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Origin of Symetry: Muse". progarchives.com. 11 September 2009. http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=238577. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  15. ^ "Q Greatest Albums of All Time". http://www.timepieces.nl/Top100's/2006Qreaders.html. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Muse". Acclaimed Music. 2009-12-14. http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/Current/Muse.htm. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Kerrang! Lists". Kerrang!. http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/kerrang.html. 
  18. ^ "Muse Message Board Lists". Kerrang!. http://board.muse.mu/archive/index.php/t-63823.html. 
  19. ^ Spin Sep 2009. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1wIe3FI6TI0C&pg=PA53&dq=Origin+of+Symmetry+maverick&hl=en&ei=807oTJeIMYexhAfp0cwP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Origin%20of%20Symmetry%20maverick&f=false. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  20. ^ "Baby Milk Action - Boycott News 33". http://www.babymilkaction.org/boycott/boyct33.html. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Archived NME Articles". http://www.microcuts.net/uk/news/archives/06242003-nme_article.php. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 

External links

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