It Takes a Muscle

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"It Takes a Muscle"
M.I.A. - It Takes a Muscle.jpg
Single by M.I.A.
from the album Maya
Released 20 December 2010 (2010-12-20)
Format Digital download
Genre Dubtronica
Length 3:03
  • Michael Mulders
  • Henri Overduin
Producer(s) Diplo
M.I.A. singles chronology
"Tell Me Why"
"It Takes a Muscle"
"Internet Connection"

"Tell Me Why"
"It Takes a Muscle"
"Internet Connection"

"It Takes a Muscle" is a song by British recording artist M.I.A. from her third studio album, Maya (2010). It is a cover of the song "It Takes a Muscle [To Fall in Love]" by Dutch project Spectral Display and was written by the act's members Michael Mulders and Henri Overduin.[1] It was originally released in 1982 as a single from their debut album Spectral Display.[2]

Production of M.I.A.'s version was handled by Diplo and incorporated reggae elements.[3] The single was released worldwide as a digital download, under license to XL Recordings and N.E.E.T. Recordings, on 20 December 2010. Prior to the official release of the single, Diplo uploaded the song to his SoundCloud account on 26 October 2010.[4] The song served as the sixth single from the album. After audience encouragement, M.I.A. performed "It Takes a Muscle" at Terminal 5, New York City in September and on British TV show Later... with Jools Holland in December 2010.[5] The track received positive feedback from music critics.[6][7][8]

Promo copies of the single announced that a music video for the song, directed by Spike Jonze, would be released.[9] However, the video was never released and it is unknown whether it has ever been filmed.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[10]
  1. "It Takes a Muscle" – 3:03
  2. "It Takes a Muscle" (Pearson Sound Refix) – 5:53
Promo CD[9]
  1. "It Takes a Muscle" (Radio Edit) – 2:38
  2. "It Takes a Muscle" (Original) – 3:00
12" single[11]
  1. "It Takes a Muscle" (Pearson Sound Refix)

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide 20 December 2010 Digital download, streaming XL Recordings, N.E.E.T. Recordings


  1. ^ Radio Netherlands Worldwide (archived page)
  2. ^ "Spectral Display - It Takes A Muscle To Fall In Love (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Maya (deluxe edition liner notes). M.I.A. N.E.E.T Recordings. 2010. XLCD497X. 
  4. ^ "M.I.A - It Takes A Muscle". SoundCloud. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "BBC Two - Later... with Jools Holland, Series 37, Episode 8, M.I.A. - It Takes A Muscle". Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Track by Track: M.I.A.'s // / Y / - FACT Magazine: Music News, New Music." 23 June 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Emily Bick (13 July 2010). "The Quietus | Reviews | MIA". Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  8. ^ Rob Harvilla (13 July 2010). "M.I.A. Is Mad at You". Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  9. ^ a b "M.I.A. (2) - It Takes A Muscle (CDr) at Discogs". Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "It Takes a Muscle - Single". iTunes. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "M.I.A. (2) - It Takes A Muscle (Pearson Sound Refix) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 7 August 2016.