Supermassive Black Hole (song)

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"Supermassive Black Hole"
Single by Muse
from the album Black Holes and Revelations
B-side"Crying Shame"
Released19 June 2006
Songwriter(s)Matt Bellamy
Muse singles chronology
"Butterflies and Hurricanes"
"Supermassive Black Hole"
DVD Single
7" Single
Supermassive Black Hole 3.jpg

"Supermassive Black Hole" is a song by English rock band Muse. Written by Muse lead singer and principal songwriter Matt Bellamy, it was released as the lead single from the band's fourth studio album, Black Holes and Revelations (2006), on 19 June 2006, backed with "Crying Shame".

The song charted at number four on the UK Singles Chart, the highest singles chart position the band has achieved to date in the United Kingdom. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 74 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[1] It was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.

Composition and influences[edit]

"Supermassive Black Hole" has been described as alternative rock,[2] dance-rock,[3] and funk rock.[4] Bellamy said that the song was "the most different to anything we've ever done." Influences included bands such as The Beatles, and several Belgian bands; Millionaire, dEUS, Evil Superstars and Soulwax. Bellamy said that "these groups were the first to mix R&B rhythms with alternative guitar. We've added a bit of Prince and Kanye West. The drumbeat isn't rocky, with Rage Against the Machine riffs underneath. We've mixed a lot of things in this track, with a bit of electronica; it’s different, slow, quite funky."[5] In an interview with NME, Bellamy said "I was going out dancing in clubs around New York. That helped create tracks like 'Supermassive Black Hole'. Franz Ferdinand would have done it very well, with that dance type beat going on mixed with alternative guitar and I've always wanted to find that."[6]

Music video[edit]

The single's accompanying music video shows the band playing in a small furniture shop, clad in masks. This is intercut with images of dancers in Zentai suits which are then unzipped at the end to reveal beings made of space. The video was directed by Floria Sigismondi, who has directed videos for alternative bands such as Marilyn Manson, The White Stripes, Interpol, Incubus and The Cure. Sigismondi described the video as replicating a recurring dream she has experienced, in which dancers wearing masks of their own faces or mirrors and full body suits fill a dark mirrored room. There are also flashes of a black circle, a depiction of a supermassive black hole.

Usage in media[edit]

On 8 May 2008, the song was released as downloadable content for the rhythm game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, along with "Stockholm Syndrome" and "Exo-Politics". The song was also used in the 2008 movie Twilight in the baseball game sequence, and subsequently was used in the soundtrack. A version of the song was also featured on the soundtrack for the video game FIFA 07, by EA Sports. In 2006, it featured in the Supernatural episode "Hunted". It was also featured at the beginning of the Series 6 Doctor Who episode "The Rebel Flesh".[7] It was used on a trailer for the television series Castle. It was also used as a wake-up for Space Shuttle Atlantis astronauts on the vessel's presumed final day in space, 26 May 2010.[8] It also appeared in The Sopranos episode "Walk Like a Man", while Tony was talking with two boys at the Bada-Bing. The song is available to play on Rocksmith 2014 as part of a Muse 5-song pack.[9] The song was covered by UK progressive metal band Threshold on their 2007 album Dead Reckoning, as a bonus track. In 2013, the instrumental group 2CELLOS performed a cover of the song for their album In2ition, with Naya Rivera performing guest vocals.


NME gave the song a score of 8.5 out of 10, describing it as "dirty funk guitars rub[bing] saucily against a Prince-ish falsetto over a pink leather couchette".[10] A reviewer on Blogcritics commented that the song has "a bit of a 'disco' feel that some fans may not be expecting".[11] Andrew Perry of The Observer wrote that the song "thunderingly mixes Automatic-era Jesus and Mary Chain with a Prince-like funk, and boasts lyrics like, 'Oo, baby, I'm a fool for you' - not the doings of a gothy navel-gazer."[12]

The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2015.[13]


"Supermassive Black Hole" was the first single released from Black Holes and Revelations available on vinyl, CD, DVD and digital download formats. It peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart, making it their most popular single released in the UK to date. In the US it was the third single to be released, on 23 April 2007. The single reached #6 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart, making it the eighth highest-charting Muse single in the U.S. behind "Madness", "Starlight", "Uprising", "Resistance", "Panic Station", "Undisclosed Desires", and "Dead Inside".


The single's B-side, "Crying Shame", was first performed on 19 December 2004 at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The key was changed during the 2005 tour, and the studio track omits the riff found in the earlier live version. The lyrics also appear to have changed, and this is the first studio release in which lead singer Bellamy uses profanity.

Track listings[edit]

All tracks written by Matthew Bellamy.

7" vinyl (HEL3001); CD single (HEL3001CD)
1."Supermassive Black Hole"3:29
2."Crying Shame"2:38
Total length:6:07
DVD single (HEL3001DVD)
1."Supermassive Black Hole" (music video)3:29
2."Supermassive Black Hole"3:29
3."Supermassive Black Hole" (making-of video)12:04
Total length:18:05

Charts and certifications[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[29] Gold 40,000*
Italy (FIMI)[30] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[31] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[13] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ 150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years | NME.COM
  2. ^ Sagers, Aaron (14 December 2008). "When only a gift with an inside joke will do". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  3. ^ Hogan, Marc (18 May 2007). "Fields - Everything Last Winter review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  4. ^ East, Ben (30 June 2006). "MetroLife: CD Reviews". Metro. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Supermassive Black Hole". Rock Mag (65). 3 March 2006.
  6. ^ "Muse reveal all about new album". NME. 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2008. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  7. ^ Marin, Dan (21 May 2011). "Doctor Who: The Rebel Flesh – Series 32, episode 5". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Atlantis bows out with Kennedy touchdown". The Register. 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Muse: Supermassive Black Hole". NME. 26 May 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  11. ^ JP (13 May 2006). "Single Review: Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole"". Blogcritics. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  12. ^ Perry, ANdrew (18 June 2006). "Muse, Black Holes and Revelations". The Observer. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  13. ^ a b "American single certifications – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  14. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  15. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  16. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in French). Ultratip.
  17. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Tracklisten.
  18. ^ "Muse: Supermassive Black Hole" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in French). Les classement single.
  20. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Top Digital Download.
  21. ^ "Chart Track: Week 26, 2006". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  24. ^ " – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  26. ^ "Official Rock & Metal Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Muse Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  28. ^ "End of Year Singles Chart Top 100 - 2006". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Music Canada.
  30. ^ "Italian single certifications – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 16 April 2018. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Supermassive Black Hole" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  31. ^ "British single certifications – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Supermassive Black Hole in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]