Rank the Videos: Muse 1999-2004 Pt. 1

Muse have been together for 20 years now. What better way to celebrate than to look at some of their past videos? They may not have the most iconic videos around, but they have some of the strangest. While some of their later videos are a bit heavy, their earlier ones range from simple to what the fuck is going on. With so many videos in their catalog, especially if you count all the alternate versions, these are their earliest videos ranked from best to worst. Stay tuned for part two.

Bliss

Though the special effects are a bit dated, it still remains their coolest video. Okay, so I may be a little biased because this is my favorite Muse song and Matt looks extremely hot here, but there’s something about the way he’s spinning around and the intense look of it that makes it memorable. The concept is simple enough: Matt Bellamy falling until he reaches space (seems like the place he would end up). There’s something about the space scenery that ends up being really pretty and seems to match the vibe of the song. It may not be much, but it’s something that sticks in your mind whenever you hear the song.

Stockholm Syndrome

There are two different videos for this single and while both are good, it’s the international one that’ll catch your eye. Muse turns a regular performance into a horror show by filming the entire thing with a thermal camera. Every part of their body is illuminated with various colors. It looks psychedelic at first, but as the video progresses things get creepier. Many of the members begin to look alien while some appear to be cutting themselves open. There are also some shots of Matt with smoke rising behind him that makes him look like he’s in Hell. It’s one of those clips that works on not being able to make out what’s happening, which creeps you out. The alternate version mocks late night television shows with the band’s performance bringing on a heavy windstorm. Chaos erupts as people are blown away and animals run loose. All the while the band plays on. It definitely captures the feel and power of the song. Why the States got the latter version is not really known.

Plug in Baby

This is another one where the graphics are a little questionable but the tentacled girls will make you forget all about them. It’s a weird video for a weird, yet awesome song. Seemingly sexy women pose in suggestive positions until they are revealed to be some tentacle spawn creatures. It’s even worse when you start seeing pairs of legs sitting on the couch with no body attached. It’s creepy as hell, but it’s another one of the videos their known for. After watching it you have one question in mind: Is the song really about octopus women or robots?

Feeling Good

This clip mixes the ugly with the beautiful. Matt Bellamy’s sweet falsetto is paired with raining cherry blossom petals. Slowly coming forward are disfigured individuals who do nothing but surround the band. The faces look like they were distorted with a pinching technique in Photoshop, but it’s still unsettling especially the shots at the end that linger on some of the faces. The best part is when the lights go out and Matt is left with the megaphone. What makes it look so cool is how he moves like an android while singing the bridge. If the setting looks familiar it’s because it was filmed the same day the “Hyper Music” video was shot.

Hyper Music

If you want to see a waif like Matt Bellamy sing out his pain while the camera quivers like an earthquake, then this is the clip for you. Aside from the aforementioned shakey cam, there are not special effects or fancy tricks. But it’s the band energetic input and Matt’s fantastic spins that makes the video so entertaining. It’s definitely not their best, but it’s one of their most satisfying. The chaotic vibe of the clip also matches perfectly with the violent and intense tone of the song. It also appears that the same extras from “Feeling Good” are moshing around at the end of the video.

Time Is Running Out

The video loosely based on the film Dr Strangelove, shows a secret government that’s in charge of running the world. But they spend their precious time dancing in tune to the song and putting on little strip teases. Muse spends the entire time performing in the middle of their table. Not only is the clip entertaining, but some of the faces Matt pulls off while singing makes it worth noting at all. As if reading fans’ minds the U.S. Version uses more close up shots of Bellamy’s face. It doesn’t hurt that he throws in some of his fancy stage moves. It’s one of those videos where you forget how good it is until you sit down, watch it, and try to take it all in.

Dead Star

The video for this massive Muse song may be simple, but it’s oh so satisfying. This is a major fan favorite and since it’s nothing but the band performing with some gritty camera shots it makes sure you can catch the track in all it’s glory. It’s far from their greatest video, but seeing their energy and Matt’s shredding skills is impressive enough. Fun fact: it was filmed in Winston Churchill’s home in Brighton and only cost 50 to make. It’s not much but at least it gives you something to cool to look at while listening to the kick ass song.

New Born

Muse performs while standing sideways on a building. People freak out below. That’s pretty much what happens in this video. Sure, there’s some weird, evil looking girl that causes a bad windstorm for the guys, which then causes it to snow but that’s pretty much it. While it’s not a bad clip and even looks pretty cool, the gold tinted make up Muse wears is distracting. It’s noticeable enough to bother you during the whole thing. I’m not sure why they’re wearing, it adds nothing to the clip, and makes them look weird. You would think such an awesome song would have a better video, but this is young Muse we’re talking about after all.

Sunburn

The story of a teenage girl being tortured by Muse. That’s the easiest way to explain what happens in this video. It starts out with a pissed off looking babysitter and an adorable little boy watching TV. Girl gets huffy, goes upstairs and starts stealing stuff. She opens the closet and – boom – Muse are in the mirror. As she begins to realize they are not in the room with her she begins freaking out and crying as Matt continues singing and looking sultry. Finally, she loses it and breaks the mirror which causes the little boy to check out the commotion. He doesn’t find her. Then it’s revealed she’s stuck in the mirror. According to sources, the band is supposed to represent her guilt apparently. At least they look good?

Hysteria

There are two versions of this clip. The alternate one is a simple performance vid with the band playing while cool effects go off around them. The official one stars Justin Theroux waking up in a trashed hotel room not knowing what happened. He finds his camera and looks at footage he shot of a prostitute. He comes off as a stalker since there are several shots of her walking around seemingly without her knowing she’s being filmed. Finally, we see them in bed together but he ruins the moment when he slaps her and she runs away. He trashes his hotel room in anger since he can’t be with her. It’s not their greatest video, but all the drama makes you stick it out til the end.

Butterflies and Hurricanes

This is the first of many concert videos for Muse. This one is slightly more interesting than the others. It takes footage from their 2004 Glastonbury set and overlays several computer effects over it. There are some shots that make the band float over the crowd while other construct the entire arena right over their heads. There are also a lot of bright colors shining on the guys and crowd making it visually pleasing to the eye. There still isn’t much else to it, but compared to other live music videos it at least looks cool.

In Your World

This video is filled with live footage found on the Hullabaloo DVD. It’s just like other live music videos; shots of the band onstage with some occasional scenes of the crowd. The only thing that makes this one remotely interesting are some of the effects used, such as having Bellamy’s partially see-through face with the rest of the video playing behind it. The one saving grace here is that the clip is only a little over two minutes long, so it’s over before it can get dreadfully boring. If only all live music videos can do the same.

Sing for Absolution

MUSE IN SPAAAAAAACE. That’s pretty much what the entire video is. The boys don space suits and travel through the galaxy as debris and billboards fly past them. On the way they do their best to avoid asteroids, so they can make it to their destination, which is a post apocalyptic Earth. As they get closer to it, the ship catches fire and everything is bathed in orange. But they make it there safely, hooray! Then they all stare at the planet in awe. There’s a good chance the concept was created by Matt himself. When you learn more about the concept and match it with the song, it’s actually pretty depressing, but not that satisfying visually.

Muscle Museum

The video is nothing but people crying in some odd situations. In the pool, on the toilet, eating, while getting a haircut. Meanwhile, Muse plays to an empty ballroom. I’m not really sure what message it’s supposed to convey. That everyone experiences sadness? That sadness can hit you at the most unexpected moments? After watching it, you feel uncomfortable and wonder why such a great song gets a shoddy video. Director Joesph Kahn admits that everyone hated it, including the band, but states it’s one of his favorite videos. No matter what he says, it still really sucks. There is an alternate version floating around, but it’s just features live moments of the band.

Unintended

This video takes the human body and turns it into something ugly and horrifying. An effect is used that makes the extras’ bodies stretch out and twist and turn in the most unnatural way. Arms and legs twist and spin like a spiral staircase. It gets even freakier when people start making out and their bodies morph together. I’m not sure what these images have to do with the song, but I wish they would go away. It’s like an experiment gone wrong. No wonder Matt called it a weird video when he saw it years later.

Uno

No matter which version of this vid you choose to watch it still sucks. While it is funny to see a really gaunt, spiky haired Matt, all of the clips shot for the band’s first single are either boring or terribly corny. The first version mixed footage of the guys at soundcheck and of them standing on London Bridge. Not only is it boring but the director decided to use awful effects, like making Dom and Chris fall forward and then remixing it to make it look like they’re dancing. Also used are slowing effects and fast forward, and sticking Matt in the most unattractive silver shirt possible, to make it more interesting. Instead it makes you laugh really hard. Seriously, it looks like the worse amateur video ever found on Youtube. There’s even one part where he has them walking around in circles. The second version has the band playing in a locked room while a girl runs around trying to find them. Yawn. While it’s slightly more interesting than the first version it’s still fucking awful. No wonder the guys never talk about it.

Which one of these is your favorite or least favorite Muse video? Let me know in the comments!

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