Madness (Muse song)

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Single by Muse
from the album The 2nd Law
Released 20 August 2012 (2012-08-20)
Format Digital download
Recorded October 2011 – July 2012
Length 4:39 (Album version)
3:34 (Radio edit)
Writer(s) Matthew Bellamy
Producer(s) Muse
Muse singles chronology
"Follow Me"
The 2nd Law track listing
Music video
"Madness" on YouTube
"Madness" (Lyric Video) on YouTube

"Madness" is a song by English alternative rock band Muse. It is the second track on the band's sixth studio album, The 2nd Law and is the second and lead single to be released from the album. It has spent 19 weeks on the summit of Billboard's Alternative chart, making it the longest running #1 on the chart, and beating out the previous record by Foo Fighters' "The Pretender".

The song was released on 20 August 2012 after its premiere on BBC Radio 1 and NRJ. The music video premiered on 5 September 2012.[3][4] The song earned a nomination in the Best Rock Song category at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

The band performed the song on Turner Broadcasting's promotions for the 2013 March Madness games on TBS and TNT.

"Madness" has been featured in several television programs including CSI: NY and Criminal Minds.

Background and writing[edit]

According to NME, "Madness" draws influences from Queen's "I Want to Break Free", George Michael's "Faith" and some instrumental elements of his other hit "I Want Your Sex".[5]

During a preview on French site Jeuxactu, the song was said to resemble Depeche Mode and described as "calm, languid and sweet".[6]

Matthew Bellamy stated that the song started as a personal reflection after a fight with his girlfriend Kate Hudson, and how, after she had gone to her mother's house, he began to realise "yeah, she was right, wasn't she?"[7]

In a separate interview, Bellamy stated the song was the band's attempt to strip down the sound of the album, and that the song has its roots in 12 bar blues with gospel, soul and R&B influences. He went on to conclude that, "It's the song I'm probably most proud of on the album for sure."[8]

Music video[edit]

This video saw the second collaboration between the band and director Anthony Mandler, who previously directed the music video for "Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)". It was edited by Jacquelyn London.[9][10] The director of photography was David Devlin. Devlin's work on "Madness" was nominated for a 2012 Best Cinematography Award at Plus Camerimage.[11] The video was filmed on the Red Line platform at Los Angeles Union Station.[12] The two main characters are played by models Erin Wasson and Max Silberman.

The video begins with Wasson and Silberman sitting behind each other smoking cigarettes while authorities and dogs swarming outside their train attempt to stop a riot in full swing. Throughout the video, the camera flashes to the band playing outdoors at night, among many strobelights and psychedelic effects. Though the chronological order is unclear, Wasson and Silberman are then seen walking through and then wandering among the subway station, at first alone and then amid a violent riot (though it seems they are untouched by the violence occurring around them). The physicality of the models (Wasson occasionally standing above or walking away from Silberman; other times following him and reaching for him) could suggest a parallel to the subject matter of the song: the emotional phases of conflict in a relationship.[13] Eventually, as the song builds to a climax with the lines I have finally realized (realized) / I need your love / I need your love,[14] Wasson grabs Silberman forcefully by his collar and shakes him, screaming soundlessly. This again parallels the simultaneous emotional release and musical catharsis in the song, as well as the long-awaited progression and revelation in the lyrics as Bellamy at last sings of what he has realized. The characters then kiss and end up seated on the train, seemingly back to their original positions. This could also signify that this emotional exchange is repetitive.

Release and reception[edit]

The song was released after its premiere on BBC Radio 1 at 19:30 GMT on 20 August 2012. An accompanying lyric video from the band was uploaded shortly after.[15]

NME described the song as "taking the defining noise of 'bass music' and using it to create slinky, soft rock sex music."[16] The track review goes on to call it a brilliant single and jokingly states that Muse have tamed the shark (following their declaration that Muse had jumped the shark with "Survival").[17] noted that the single "doesn't sound like the Muse that established itself as one of the worlds biggest rock bands" but that "the unusual blend of sounds works far better than it probably should"; giving the track 8/10.[18] Rolling Stone stated that the single sees Muse "swap bombastic bass brutality with wubby subtleties as Matthew Bellamy croons over a surprisingly gentle pop track."[19] Radio Times described it as "like George Michael's Faith underwater". In a negative review of the song, Robert Myers of The Village Voice wrote that "the band's U2 imitation has finally caught up to Achtung Baby and Zooropa". He further added that Muse "gets the surface details right but lacks the emotional and intellectual foundation to get at their inspiration's essence."[20]

Rolling Stone named the song the 37th best song of 2012.[21]

Chris Martin of Coldplay described the single as "Muse's best song yet".[22]

The song re-entered and peaked at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its 27th week. It topped the Alternative Songs chart for 19 weeks, making it the song with the most weeks at number one ever on that chart.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Madness"   4:39
UK promotional single
No. Title Length
1. "Madness" (radio edit) 3:34
2. "Madness" (album version) 4:39



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[63] Platinum 80,000^
Italy (FIMI)[64] Platinum 30,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[65] Gold 15,000x
United States (RIAA)[66] 2× Platinum 2,000,000[67]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sperounes, Sandra (1 October 2012). "Album review: Muse, The 2nd Law". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Newman, Melinda (1 October 2012). "Album Review: Muse holds nothing back on 'The 2nd Law'". HitFix. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Madness video coming tomorrow, sneak preview here". Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  4. ^ "Watch Muse new video Madness". Rekwired. Retrieved 2012-09-05. 
  5. ^ "The 2nd Law - Album Summary - News". Muselive. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  6. ^ "Muse : on a écouté The 2nd Law en avant-première". Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  7. ^ "Muse reveal new single Madness inspired by fight with Kate Hudson". 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  8. ^ "Muse The 2nd Law Interview | Madness". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  10. ^ "Sunset Edit - 323-467-8550". 
  12. ^ Chan, Anna. "Muse music video: "madness" on the subway". 
  13. ^ "Muse unveil new single Madness inspired by fight with Kate Hudson". Metro. 
  14. ^ "Muse - Madness Lyrics - MetroLyrics". 
  15. ^ "Muse - Madness (Lyric Video)". YouTube. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  16. ^ "NME Track Reviews - Muse – ‘Madness’". Nme.Com. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  17. ^ "Have Muse Jumped The Shark With Their Olympics Track?". NME. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  18. ^ "Muse, ‘Madness’ – Song Review". Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  19. ^ "New and Hot Video: Muse Unveil Subtle New Single 'Madness'". Rolling Stone. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  20. ^ Myers, Robert (30 August 2012). "Hot 100 Roundup: Eric Church And Luke Bryan Milk It, Eminem Gets Silly, And More". The Village Voice. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ NME website (22 August 2012). "Chris Martin: 'Muse's new single 'Madness' is their best song ever'". NME. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Chartifacts". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
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  35. ^ "Top Digital Download - Classifica settimanale WK 40 (dal 01/10/2012 al 07/10/2012)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  36. ^ "Chart Search Results - Japan Hot 100 Singles 2012-10-13". Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  37. ^ " – Muse – Madness" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  38. ^ "Portugal Digital Songs - Peak". Billboard. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  39. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-10-13". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  40. ^ "Search: Gaon International Download Chart - Issue date: 2012.08.19 - 2012.08.25". Gaon Chart. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  41. ^ " – Muse – Madness" Canciones Top 50.
  42. ^ " – Muse – Madness". Swiss Singles Chart.
  43. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-10-13" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  44. ^ "Official Streaming Chart (Pre-July 2014) Top 100". 
  45. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  46. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  47. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Rock Airplay for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  48. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  49. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  50. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  51. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  52. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Muse. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  53. ^ "Nuevas Esta Semana]]". Record Report (in Spanish). R.R. Digital C.A. 2013-02-02. Archived from the original on 2012-02-01. 
  54. ^ "Annual 2012 - Singles". Retrieved 2012-12-24. 
  55. ^ "Hot Rock Songs: Year End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  56. ^ "Triple A Songs: 2012 (Year-End)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 December 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  57. ^ "Alternative Songs: Year End 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  58. ^ "Hot Rock Songs: Year End 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
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  61. ^ "Adult Pop Songs: Year End 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
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  63. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Muse – Madness". Music Canada. 
  64. ^ "Italian single certifications – Muse – Madness" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Muse in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  65. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Muse; 'Madness')". Hung Medien. 
  66. ^ "American single certifications – Muse – Madness". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  67. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - May 12, 2015". 

External links[edit]