Starlight (Muse song)

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Single by Muse
from the album Black Holes and Revelations
B-side "Supermassive Black Hole" (Phones Control Voltage Mix) (7")
"Easily" (CD)
Released 4 September 2006
Length 4:00
Writer(s) Matthew Bellamy
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Muse singles chronology
"Supermassive Black Hole"
"Knights of Cydonia"
HAARP track listing
"Time Is Running Out"

"Starlight" is a song by English alternative rock band Muse and is the second track on their 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations. It was released on 4 September 2006 in the United Kingdom as the second single from Black Holes and Revelations.[1] The song peaked at #13 on the UK Singles Chart.[2] It was also the second single released in the United States, reaching number two on the Modern Rock Tracks chart.[3] The song was first played live during the Radio 1's Big Weekend festival in summer 2006.[4]


"Starlight" was written by Matthew Bellamy, lead vocalist of the band Muse, and produced by Rich Costey. Bellamy commented that he first wrote the song on a boat in bad weather.[5] Bassist of the band Christopher Wolstenholme commented of the lyrics that it is "a love song about missing someone, friends, family, someone you love".[6] According to the music sheet published at by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Starlight" is an alternative rock song. It is set in the time signature of common time and composed in a moderate tempo of 121.5 beats per minute with the bridge sped up to 122.5 beats per minute.[7][8] It is set in the key of B major with Bellamy's vocals ranging from the note of G3 to the note of B4.[8] When the song is performed live, it is transposed a half step down to B flat major to accommodate Bellamy's deepening voice. It is noticeable during the band's performance at Reading Festival 2006 and during HAARP (album).


Wolstenholme described "Starlight" as the hardest song on the album to record, stating it "was one of the songs we went around in circles with, and we recorded maybe six or seven different versions of it."[9]

Alternative versions[edit]

An alternative mix of "Starlight", known as the "New Mix", "Radio Mix" or "Radio Version" was distributed on promotional media only. This version was presumably created to give the song a sound more suitable for radio broadcast.[10]

Music video[edit]

Muse worked with Paul Minor on Starlight's music video, which was filmed in Los Angeles.[1] In the video, the band perform on the deck of the MS Ocean Chie, a handysize bulk carrier. Band members are also carrying flares, in an attempt to "get rescued," but in the end this fails and they are abandoned.[6] This relates to the song's lyrics, which mentions ships and abandonment.[5]

Bellamy stated in an interview with The Sunday Mail that the band wanted to "create the idea of a band lost at sea because we see ourselves as being outside what's happening in the music scene." He also told the interviewer, Billy Sloan, that "it was an epic feeling playing on a huge platform with the sea all around us."[1]

Commercial use[edit]

"Starlight" was heard in 2006's CBS short lived cult tv series Jericho. The song was also used on clips for the 2009 NFL and NCAA season. It can also be heard during the closing credits of the 2010 film The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. It was also used in the trailer for the 2011 film Crazy, Stupid, Love and the song is used in the title sequence for International football on Sky Sports. The song played in YouTube video "Going Through it !" starring Katy Perry.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

"Starlight" received overall positive reviews. MusicOMH stated that the song was "a track perfectly at home on drivetime radio" while saying it "showcases another side to the band's music and their staggering breadth of appeal."[12] Leeds Music Scene reviewer Maria Pinto-Fernandes gave "Starlight" a glowing review, with a score of 4.5 stars out of 5. In her review, she commented that "the band's musical arrangements on the track do not come into being just by accident." She also stated that the song was just as passionate when performed live as when heard on CD.[13] A harsh review came from NME with the reviewer stating that the song "is a tune so chart-hungry it's virtually dry-humping JK and Joel's legs."[14] However, "Starlight" would become one of Muse's most well-known songs, gaining significant international radio-airplay, and being performed live in practically all of Muse's live shows after its release.

Chart performance[edit]

"Starlight" entered the UK Singles Chart the week of 3 September at number 38 via digital downloads. The following week, and with the physical release in the United Kingdom, the single peaked at number 13. Since then, the single's chart position steadily declined, and it remained in the Top 75 after fifteen weeks, during the week of 11 December 2006. The next week, "Starlight" had fallen out of the Top 75.[15]

It was certified Gold by RIAA for 500,000 paid downloads, but reached only # 101 on the US Hot 100 as a result of lack of airplay.

"Starlight" has also peaked at number two on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, Muse's third highest charting single to date on any major chart in the US. It also charted in at number nine on the Triple J Hottest 100, 2006.[16] It was also ranked at number four on Colombian radio station Radiónica's 2006 top 100.[17]

Track listings[edit]

7" picture disc[edit]

  1. "Starlight" - 3:59[18]
  2. "Supermassive Black Hole" (Phones Control Voltage Mix) - 4:19


  1. "Starlight" - 3:59[18]
  2. "Easily" - 3:40


  1. "Starlight" (video) - 4:07[18]
  2. "Starlight" (audio) - 3:59
  3. "Starlight" (making of the video)
  4. "Hidden Track"*

*The 'hidden track' on the DVD release is a short song. It is sung in a distorted falsetto voice with profane lyrics (largely variations of the word 'fuck' with some instruments in the background). Between fans it is often referred as "You Fucking Motherfucker". The cowbell click-track was left in the song.[citation needed]

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Billy Sloan (27 August 2006). "Shock Muse from the US". The Sunday Mail (Glasgow). Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ "Muse announce new single". NME. 20 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-16. 
  3. ^ "Artist Chart History - Muse". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  4. ^ "Muse make comeback at Radio 1 Big Weekend". NME. 13 May 2006. Retrieved 22 August 2006. 
  5. ^ a b "Starlight (song)". MuseWiki. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  6. ^ a b "Muse Get Stuck At Sea — Without Unicorns — In 'Starlight' Clip". VH1. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Starlight – Muse Digital Sheet Music (Digital Download), Alfred Publishing Co. Inc 
  9. ^ "Interview with Chris Wolstenholme". Tom Wilson, Lara Mathews. MuseLive. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Muse - Starlight: Track review". Michael Hubbard. MusicOMH. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  13. ^ "Muse - Starlight - CD review". Maria Pinto-Fernandes. Leeds Music Scene. Retrieved 2007-08-27. 
  14. ^ "Reviews: Muse: Starlight". NME. 25 August 2006. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  15. ^ "Music Charts - The Official UK Top 75 Singles: Week of Mon 11 December". UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
  16. ^ "Hottest 100, 2006". Triple J. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  17. ^ "Top 100 of 2006". Radiónica. Retrieved 2007-08-23. 
  18. ^ a b c " singles: Starlight (2006)". Retrieved 2006-09-06. 
  19. ^ " – Muse – Starlight". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  20. ^ " – Muse – Starlight" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  21. ^ " – Muse – Starlight" (in French). Ultratip.
  22. ^ " – Muse – Starlight" (in French). Les classement single.
  23. ^ " – Muse – Starlight". GfK Entertainment.
  24. ^ "Chart Track: Week 40, 2006". Irish Singles Chart.
  25. ^ " – Muse – Starlight". Top Digital Download.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Muse search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  27. ^ " – Muse – Starlight". VG-lista.
  28. ^ " – Muse – Starlight". Swiss Singles Chart.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Muse Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Alternative Songs for Muse.
  31. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Muse – Starlight". Music Canada. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  32. ^ "Italian single certifications – Muse – Starlight" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 14 November 2014.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Muse in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  33. ^ "British single certifications – Muse – Starlight". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Starlight in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Muse – Starlight". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]