Survival (Muse song)

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Single by Muse
from the album The 2nd Law
Released 27 June 2012 (2012-06-27)
Recorded 2012
Length 4:17 (Single version)
5:15 (with "Prelude")
Writer(s) Matthew Bellamy
Producer(s) Muse
Muse singles chronology
"Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)"
The 2nd Law track listing
Music video
"Survival" on YouTube

"Survival" is a song by the English alternative rock band Muse. The track is the first single from the band's sixth studio album, The 2nd Law. It was announced on 27 June that "Survival" would serve as the official song for the London 2012 Olympics and was released following its premiere on BBC Radio 1.

Background and writing[edit]

"It's a huge honour to have the track chosen as such a major part of the London 2012 Olympic Games."

Matt Bellamy on the song "Survival".[1][2]

In 2011, Matthew Bellamy was asked to compose a song for the London 2012 Olympics. According to him, the project then "went away," though a song was written regardless. Bellamy and his fellow band members brought the song to Olympic staff, who "said they'd love to use it as the official tune." The track, Bellamy noted, "expresses a sense of conviction and determination to win."[3]

"Survival" was played as the athletes entered the stadium and in the period before medal ceremonies; international broadcasters played it while reporting on the Games. In addition, the song was featured on the album London 2012 Rock The Games.[2][3] The song was also premièred live during Muse's live set for the London 2012 closing ceremony. However NBC, the channel that broadcasts the Olympics in the USA, did not broadcast their set.


"Survival" premiered on BBC Radio 1 on 27 June 2012.[4] It is the first single from the band's 2012 album The 2nd Law, which was released in October.[5] The official music video was released on 4 July 2012. It features a montage of past Olympic events, including both celebratory and disappointing experiences for certain athletes.[6]


'Survival' has received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. The Associated Press called the song "a thundering rock anthem".[4] NME columnist Mark Beaumont was perturbed that the band's latest track was "assimilated into something as annoying" as the Olympics. He continued that "'Survival' might be amongst the most ear-scorchingly, arse-burstingly, aneurysm-inducingly brilliant songs in Muse’s canon, but it’ll forever be deemed corny by its association with one long-past sporting event."[7] Adam Boult of The Guardian referred to the track as "a hilarious five-minute onslaught of camp, falling somewhere between Queen, Gloria Gaynor and a Monty Python sketch. Swelling strings, battle drums, ludicrous falsetto shrieking and chugga-chugga guitar channelling the Little Engine That Could. It's as insanely overblown as the Olympics themselves."[8] Meanwhile, Jon Holmes of BBC Radio 4's The Now Show described it as an "Epically proportioned cacophany of enormous noise" that was like "the sound of an orchestra falling down some stairs" created by "throwing a hand-grenade into a music cupboard and recording the results". He depicted the drumkit as like "the noise of a rhino knocking a wall down" and memorably stated that "This is the song I want to hear when the world ends".[9]


The vocal melody of the opening verses, in the context of its repeated harmonic progression, has been shown to "lead" the other notes in the chords, which well matches the lyrics' first-person account of victory.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Survival"   4:17
UK promotional single
No. Title Length
1. "Survival" (Radio Edit) 4:17
2. "Survival" (Album Version) 5:15


Chart (2012) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[11] 72
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[12] 22
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[13] 13
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[14] 90
Canada Alternative Rock (America's Music Charts)[15] 31
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[16] 76
France (SNEP)[17] 18
Germany (Official German Charts)[18] 87
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 68
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[20] 24
Lebanon (The Official Lebanese Top 20)[21] 17
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 12
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[23] 32
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[24] 25
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[25] 40
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[26] 22
US Rock Songs (Billboard)[27] 39

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide 27 June 2012[28] Digital download Warner Bros. Records
United Kingdom 6 August 2012 CD-R (Contemporary hit radio, BBC Radio 1 rotation)


  1. ^ "Update: Listen to Muse's 'Survival' Song for 2012 London Olympics". Rolling Stone. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Muse song "Survival" unveiled as the official London 2012. Olympic theme tune". The Daily Telegraph. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  3. ^ a b "Muse unveil official Olympic song". BBC. 2012-06-28. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  4. ^ a b "Muse's "Survival" becomes official song of the London Olympics". CBS News. Associated Press. 2012-06-27. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  5. ^ "Muse open up about the creation of new single 'Survival'". NME. 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  6. ^ Marcus, Stephanie (2012-07-04). "Muse, 'Survival': Video Released For Official Song Of 2012 Olympic Games (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-07-23. 
  7. ^ Beaumont, Mark (2012-06-27). "Muse - 'Survival'". NME. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  8. ^ Boult, Adam (2012-06-28). "New music extra: Muse – Survival". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  9. ^ The Now Show: A Week of Splits, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 2012-07-06
  10. ^ "Muse's Voice Leading at the Olympics". Musicellanea. 2016-06-27. Retrieved 2016-06-27. 
  11. ^ "Chartifacts". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 30 August 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  12. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201413 into search.
  17. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games" (in French). Les classement single.
  18. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  19. ^ "Top 100 Singles - Week ending 16th August 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Chart Search Results - Japan Hot 100 Singles 2012-08-11". Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "The Official Lebanese Top 20". Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  22. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-07-07". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  24. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games" Canciones Top 50.
  25. ^ " – Muse – Survival - Official Song Of The London 2012 Olympic Games". Swiss Singles Chart.
  26. ^ "Archive Chart: 2012-08-25" UK Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Chart Highlights: Maroon 5 Tops Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  28. ^ "Muse - 'Survival' - Digital Download". iTunes (UK). Retrieved 2012-06-28. 

External links[edit]