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" (7", CD)
Released 17 June 2006
Format
Genre
Length 3:29
Label
Writer(s) Matthew Bellamy
Producer(s)
Muse singles chronology
"Butterflies and Hurricanes"
(2004)
"Supermassive Black Hole"
(2006)
"Starlight"
(2006)
DVD Single
7" Single
Black Holes and Revelations track listing
"Starlight"
(2)
"Supermassive Black Hole"
(3)
"Map of the Problematique"
(4)
HAARP track listing
"Hysteria"
(3)
"Supermassive Black Hole"
(4)
"Map of the Problematique"
(5)

"Supermassive Black Hole" is a song by English band Muse, featured on their fourth studio album Black Holes and Revelations. It was written by Muse lead singer and principal songwriter Matthew Bellamy. It was released as the lead single from the album in 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".[4] It was nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single.

Influences[edit]

Bellamy said that the song was "the most different to anything we've ever done." Influences included bands such as The Beatles, 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. 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 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.

Reception[edit]

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]

Release[edit]

"Supermassive Black Hole" was the first single released from Black Holes and Revelations in the UK on 19 June 2006, 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".

B-side[edit]

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 songs written and composed by Matthew Bellamy

7" vinyl (HEL3001); CD single (HEL3001CD)
No. Title Length
1. "Supermassive Black Hole"   3:29
2. "Crying Shame"   2:38
Total length:
6:07
DVD single (HEL3001DVD)
No. Title Length
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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sagers, Aaron (14 December 2008). "When only a gift with an inside joke will do". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved 29 August 2015. 
  2. ^ East, Ben (30 June 2006). "MetroLife: CD Reviews". Metro. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Hogan, Marc (18 May 2007). "Fields - Everything Last Winter review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  4. ^ 150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years | NME.COM
  5. ^ "Supermassive Black Hole". Rock Mag (65). 2006-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Muse reveal all about new album". NME. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  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 2010-05-27. 
  9. ^ http://www.joystiq.com/2013/12/21/rocksmith-2014-opens-supermassive-black-hole-with-muse-dlc/
  10. ^ "Muse: Supermassive Black Hole". NME. 2006-05-26. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  11. ^ JP (2006-05-13). "Single Review: Muse - "Supermassive Black Hole"". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  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. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in French). Ultratip.
  17. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Tracklisten.
  18. ^ finnishcharts.com - Muse - Supermassive Black Hole
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole" (in French). Les classement single.
  20. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Top Digital Download.
  21. ^ "Chart Track: Week 26, 2006". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Muse search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  23. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Swiss Singles Chart.
  24. ^ "Muse: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  25. ^ "Muse – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Muse.
  26. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". Music Canada. 
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Muse – Supermassive Black Hole". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Supermassive Black Hole in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search

External links[edit]