Butterflies and Hurricanes
|"Butterflies and Hurricanes"|
The "Butterflies and Hurricanes" CD cover.
|Single by Muse|
|from the album Absolution|
|Released||20 September 2004 (UK)|
|Genre||New prog, symphonic rock|
|Length||5:01 (Album Version)
4:48 (Single Version)
4:10 (Radio Edit)
|Label||Mushroom ATUK003CD (UK)|
|Producer||John Cornfield, Paul Reeve, Muse|
|Muse singles chronology|
"Butterflies and Hurricanes" is a song by English alternative rock band Muse from their third studio album, Absolution, and was the last single released from the album. It was one of two songs recorded with a studio orchestra during the initial stages of production. The song is also notable for its Rachmaninoff-esque piano interlude.
The title and theme were mainly inspired by the butterfly effect of chaos theory. The theory describes how even the smallest of changes in present conditions, like the flapping of a butterfly's wings, can cause a chain reaction and have a significant effect in the future, like a hurricane.
Background and composition
Some parts of the song have been around at least as early as 1999. Matt Bellamy had suggested a piece featuring the band and an orchestra playing over a "mechanical paradiddle" to Dom Howard, the band's drummer. According to Bellamy the song really took shape when he spent a few hours fiddling around on a Steinway piano he found at a hotel he was staying in:
|“||"I found myself playing this paradiddle, that goes [imitates paradiddle] like that over and over again. And I started playing that on just two notes, constantly playing it, over and over again until I got to a point where extra notes were sort of finding their way in there, do you know what I mean? And it ended up building up to the point where I was playing five-note chords with each hand and playing these massive chords on the piano and it was sounding really fucking heavy, do you know what I mean? And a chord structure started to come out of that, and I was thinking, "This could be something"".||”|
Matthew Bellamy also declared about the song: "It's about hope, about trying to find the strength to get through any given situation. I was trying to find a classical type of piano style that would be heavy and work with bass and drums. It had that sort of mechanical paradiddle thing all the way through, and then it breaks down into this kind of romantic, flowing weird bit in the middle".
There are several versions of "Butterflies and Hurricanes". For the original studio recording, the songs introduction, verse and choruses were harmonically driven by piano and keyboards. The single version contains both guitar and keyboard, but loses the guitar solo, and the interlude is slightly shorter, reducing the song from 5:01 to 4:48. The vinyl single includes a full-length version with guitars in the mix. Finally, the radio edit of the single goes further by omitting the entire piano interlude, bringing the song down to 4:10.
The song was reworked with a more prominent electric guitar sound during the Absolution tour, including some extended guitar solos before the piano interlude (and a bass fill to segue Matt Bellamy's transition from guitar to the piano). This version was also performed live during the Black Holes and Revelations tour, and can be heard in the Wembley Stadium concerts.
The promotional video comprises stock footage of the band playing "Butterflies and Hurricanes" at different venues during their Absolution tour with some effects added, and images of the Colosseum in Rome serving as the main backdrop.
Butterflies and Hurricanes was used in ITV4's coverage of the 2008 Tour de France when they produced an hour long program showing the greatest moments of the race. This song was used in a montage at the end of the program.
The song has also been featured in several BBC sports programmes. Most notably an orchestral version of the song was used as the main theme for the BBC's Sports Personality of the year award back in 2005, and also on the BBC's 2010 Six Nations championship coverage.
The song is also featured in the soundtrack to Criterion Games open-world racing video game Need For Speed: Most Wanted. It is especially used in the demo version and the opening of the game. An edited version is also used featuring less vocals and more strings. It is referred to in-game as "Intro Version"; though this version has never been released. Also, the song is featured in the new trailer for DreamWorks' film adaptation of Need for Speed.
The song appeared in the Philippine based cargo, courier and money remittance provider LBC Express, a 24-hour air cargo delivery service also known as HARI NG PADALA! In November 2013, LBC Express launched the new logo and tagline, We like to move it.
It also appeared in Thailand as the backing track for the TV channel SciFi.
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes (Remix With Additional Guitars Full Length)" - 5:02
- "Sing for Absolution (Live Acoustic Radio 2)" - 4:28
Clear Vinyl 7"
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes (full length)" - 5:01
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes (Glastonbury 2004)"
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes" - 4:48
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes video" - 4:48
- "The Groove in the States video" - 9:51
- "Raw video footage"
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes (radio edit)" - 4:10
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes"
LBC Express Hari ng Padala version
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes (full length)" - 5:01
- "Butterflies and Hurricanes (Intro Version)" - 4:18