Muse are a Grammy-Award winning alternative rock band from Devon, England. With seven studio albums, two live albums and 31 singles, the trio have won countless awards and sold over 20 million albums worldwide.
The band’s lineup has remained the same for over 20 years: Matthew Bellamy on guitars and lead vocal, Christopher Wolstenholme on Bass and Dominic Howard on Drums.
In 1998 the band signed with Sawmills Studios’ record label Dangerous and released their first EP simply titled ‘Muse ’. Their second EP ‘Muscle Museum’ launched the following year and got the attention the record label Taste who would go on to release their first three albums. Their first album ‘Showbiz’ 1999 was met with a lukewarm reception, only reaching 29 in the UK Album Charts.
Their second album ‘Origin of Symmetry’ was met with a much warmer welcome, peaking at number 3 in the album charts and gaining them mainstream success. The opening to the album’s first single ‘Plug in Baby’ was iconic and instantly made the song a favourite among fans. NME’s Roger Morton said in his review: “It’s amazing for such a young band to load up with a heritage that includes the darker visions of Cobain and Kafka, Mahler and The Tiger Lillies, Cronenberg and Schoenberg, and make a sexy, populist album.”
While the album was a success in the UK, at the time the album was not released in the United States. The band’s label in the states, ‘Maverick’ were not happy with singer Matt Bellamy’s vocal tracks and asked them to re-record them to suit a US market. The band refused and left the label, it wasn’t until 2005 when the group signed with Warner Brothers that the album was released stateside.
In 2003 the band released ‘Absolution’, their first album to reach number 1 in the charts and garner mainstream success in the Unites States. Muse took their sound from their previous album and expanded on it, infusing symphonic rock and orchestral elements. Dan Martin said in his review for NME: “Muse have widened the goalposts and re-established what rock is allowed to stand for.”
Following this success in 2005 the group started work on ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ which was release the following year. The band, now known for always expanding on their influences, used electronic rock/pop elements inspired by bands such as Depeche Mode. The album included the singles: ‘Supermassive Black Hole’, ‘Starlight’ and ‘Knights of Cydonia’ among others.
In 2009 ‘The Resistance’ was released, again garnering worldwide success by charting in 19 countries. This led to the band’s first Grammy Award nomination. In 2011 the single ‘Resistance’ was nominated for ‘Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal’ and ‘Best Rock Song’. While the single didn’t win, the album did win a Grammy for ‘Best Rock Album.’
In 2011 the band began working on a sixth studio album, ‘the 2nd Law’, which was released in 2012. The single ‘Survival’ was chosen as the official song of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the follow-up single ‘Madness’ spent 19 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Alternative Song Chart, a record previously held by Foo Fighter’s ‘the Pretender’.
Over the years the band has accumulated 16 NME awards, having received 43 nominations. Their first nomination for an NME award was in 2000 for ‘Best New Band’ which they won. As of 2016 they have won ‘Best Live Band’ three times and they’ve won ‘Best British Band’ three times. Matt Bellamy and Dominic Howard have each won ‘Sexiest/ Hottest Male’ twice.
The band’s latest album ‘Drones’ which was released in 2015 was ranked 41 on NME’s Albums of the Year 2015 and it won a Grammy for Best Rock Album in 2016.
Muse headlined Glastonbury 2016 which will be the third time the band had done so.