Origin of Symmetry
|Origin of Symmetry|
|Studio album by Muse|
|Released||17 July 2001|
|Genre||Alternative rock, new prog,
space rock, progressive metal
|Producer||David Bottrill, John Leckie, Muse|
|Singles from Origin of Symmetry|
Origin of Symmetry is the second studio album by English alternative rock band Muse, released on 17 July 2001 by Taste Records. 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.
On 26 and 29 August 2011, Muse designed and performed a special set at the Reading and Leeds Festivals to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Origin of Symmetry. The album was played from start to finish, marking the first time certain songs (such as Darkshines and Hyper Music) have been played in several years.
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.
The album saw the band experimenting with new instruments and dynamics. 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. Critics also noted that the album contains a heavier, more confident sound than predecessor Showbiz. In this album, Muse began to clearly display the classical music influences for which they are now known. For example, in the opening piano section and melody of "Space Dementia" one can clearly hear echoes of Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto.
|Drowned in Sound||10/10|
The album was met with positive reviews. The BBC stated in their restrospective review that the album "shows a band with the drive and unfettered ambition to create a standalone marvel which not only awakens the ghosts and clichés from prog's pompous past, but entirely adds its own voice", adding that many elements of the band's later sound on albums such as Black Holes and Revelations could be traced back to this album. In her 2011 work Revolution Rock: The Albums Which Defined Two Ages, author Amy Britton argued that on Origin of Symmetry Bellamy "progressed [his band]'s sound so much that he earned a new title – this generation's guitar hero," highlighting "Plug In Baby" and "New Born".
The album has made appearances on lists of the greatest rock albums of the 2000s, both poll-based and on publication lists. 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. 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  and #13 on their 50 Best Albums of the 21st Century.
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 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.
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 former girlfriend. 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.
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.
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.
Track listing 
|5.||"Plug In Baby"||3:39|
|Bonus Track (Japan CD) and iTunes|
|12.||"Futurism" (Japan CD and iTunes bonus track. It was later featured as a B-side to the "Dead Star/In Your World" single.)||3:27|
|Bonus Track (Enhanced Digipack CD version)|
|12.||"Muse TV" (An online "enhanced element", no longer available, that could only be visited once played in a computer, acting as a CD-ROM feature.)||N/A|
|UK Albums Chart||3|
|Australian Albums Chart||22|
|Dutch Albums Chart||19|
|French Albums Chart||2|
|German Albums Chart||17|
|Japanese Albums Chart||20|
|US Billboard 200||161|
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- Britton, Amy (2011). Revolution Rock: The Albums Which Defined Two Ages. AuthorHouse. p. 306.
- "Q Greatest Albums of All Time". Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "Muse". Acclaimed Music. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
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