Muse are out on tour promoting the release of their latest album Drones, which is pretty good if you haven’t heard. Since I’ll be seeing them in about a week, what better way to get prepared for the show than watching their videos? This collections of Muse videos finds some of their most bizarre, ambitious, and even lame clips to date. So let’s rank their videos from 2006 – 2015 from best to worst. If you’re looking for part 1 of this list, you can find it here.
“Panic Station” (2013)
After teasing Musers for almost a year, the band brought us their craziest, funniest, and best video yet. Panic fucking Station. Muse is loose in Japan dressed in the most outrageous clothes ever dreamed of. The video has everything. Matt Bellamy in a fuzzy coat with platform shoes? Check. Studded baseball caps? Check. Lasers? Check. Dinosaurs and an octopus? Check. Random dancing and monsters? Double check. No matter how many times you watch it, it never gets boring. There’s always something new to catch. It’s so fucking amazing you have to watch it several times just to see if what you just saw actually happened. You can’t help but let a goofy ass grin take over your face as you watch it. It’s so great just because it’s so unlike them to do a video like this and that’s what makes it so much fun.
“Supermassive Black Hole” (2006)
Creepy, weird, and fascinated all explain how you feel while watch the clip for this single. It features slinky dancers in full body, skin tight suits with various designs on them looking like they’re gearing up for a fetish convention. What’s disturbing is while watching the band mime the song you begin to wonder why they look a bit off. That’s when you realize they’re wearing the same skin tight masks, but with their own faces on them. It’s fucked up and crazy, yet you can’t look away. It makes them look so robotic and disturbing. Then again you can’t expect anything different from the director of both “Beautiful People” and “Blue Orchid.” You gotta admit, this won’t be a video to forget. There’s also another version of this video that features the band performing, but it’s not as good as this one.
“Knights of Cydonia” (2006)
One of Muse’s well loved songs gets a bizarre video. In what can only be described as a cyber-spaghetti Western, the video follows one gunman’s journey to Cydonia where he takes out the bad guys and wins over the ladies. Why did I say cyber? While the setting looks like it comes from a Clint Eastwood film, the presence of ray guns, robots, lasers, and even unicorns says otherwise. The whole thing is like a crazy, bad b-movie with dashes of sci-fi, kung-fu, and post-apocalyptic themes. The whole thing is said to take place on a terraformed Mars. The band themselves appear briefly as holographic images miming the song. It’s weird as hell, but because the concept is so creative, it manages to be one of their most memorable videos.
“Undisclosed Desires” (2009)
This is one of Muse’s coolest looking videos. With all the wires attached to Matt and the weird machinery running in the background it makes it seem like the band is playing in some type of Rube Goldberg Machine. There are also several TV screens playing behind the guys showing the lyrics of the song in tune for a Big Brother feel. Whenever the camera pans to Matt there are frames around his face with instructions of “close up” and “mid-shot” written on them. It’s kind of giving viewers a behind the scenes look at the making of a video. The only thing I don’t like is the dancer. She really doesn’t fit in with the vibe and doesn’t add anything to the video or the song. But one question always comes to mind whenever I see the clip: What the hell is Matt plugging into his shoe?
Muse on a boat. That pretty much sums up this video. While there’s nothing special or fancy happening here, it is pretty epic to see the band perform on such a massive vessel. The shots of the band singing at night with the flares firing off is especially cool and surprisingly fits in well with the song. The video is actually a clever play on the lyrics: “Far away/this ship is taking me far away.” And since they never get rescued by the end, they’re left stranded in the middle of the ocean, which plays with the themes of abandonment in the song. Well played, Muse.
Muse doesn’t shy away from political images in their videos, but for this single they get the idea across in a quirky way. The guys travel through the streets of a model town, playing the song in the back of a pick up truck (I have no idea whose driving). This town is disintegrating as a fuse for a bomb is slowly burning. It sounds pretty standard for a political driven video, but things get weird when teddy bears rise up and start destroying the town. They collapse before they can attack the band. It’s kind of weird, but makes for one of their more memorable videos.
I always felt this was one of the weaker Muse songs being a bit too sappy and cliched, but the video is actually really cool. The band perform the song while sitting on a ride that’s It’s a Small World mixed with the boat ride from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It starts out calm and nice with the band passing through miniatures of past and present civilizations. But as soon as Matt reaches the squealing guitar solo all hell breaks loose as they pass by a city in flames being attacked by a robot. There are also allusions to the September 11 attacks, which shouldn’t surprise you if you know anything about Matt Bellamy. The video is so cool I may have to give the song a second chance.
“Dead Inside” (2015)
The videos from the Drones era haven’t been anything special, but this is the best out of all of them. The band, covered in dirt, plays on the sidelines with camera drones filming them, while dancers take center stage. The pair perform an interpretive dance to the song and it’s actually really fitting. The pop-lock moves mesh well with the heavy start-stop beat of the music. There’s something memorizing and haunting to their movement. At least it’s better than the lyric video, which was a weird naked lady in kaleidoscope form.
For this video Muse held a competition and allowed people to submit their own idea for what it should look like. The winners, Ines Freitas and Miguel Mendes, made an eerie animated clip that perfectly fits with the song. In it looming dark figures keep hounding the small, less fortunate people to get more money out of them. Greed takes over and they begin literally taking arms and legs to get more money out of them. When it isn’t enough profit to get them out of debt, the looming figures begin turning on each other and the whole thing ends in chaos with the little guys coming out as the victors. It manages to be gritty, haunting, and depressing with only some simple animation. Maybe Muse should hold video competitions more often.
“Follow Me” (2012)
I’m usually not a fan of the standard “live-experience” videos, but this one manages to be engaging. It’s filled with clips of the band from their 2nd Law tour, but the footage is manipulated with effects, quick jumps, and edits that follow with the beat and drop of the music. It also features a glimpse at their stage set-up, which is breathtaking. Giant screens, a pyramid of televisions, and a freaking laser show! After seeing this video, I was determined to see the band live and looking back at the clip now, it puts me back at that concert. At least they did fans a favor left off any cheesy slo-mo shots that seems to plague live clips.
“The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” (2012)
When this clip first came out before the release of the band’s sixth studio album fans lost their shit. With the new sound, many were appalled that Muse was actually doing dubstep. It turns out they weren’t, but this clip perfectly fits the entire album. While it does feature the guys shredding on stage during certain intervals, it’s mainly news reports of the downgrade of the economy and the depletion of energy. Various images of brain scans and a looming robot are also seen, but that’s about as interesting as the video gets. While it’s not completely boring, it’s not something to watch over and over again.
Such a good song gets a lackluster video. I’ve said it many times how I’m not the biggest fan of live music videos and it’s no different here. Even though Muse is one of the most amazing live bands around, for some reason this clip doesn’t do them justice. It’s pretty much highlights from the Resistance tour including those cool towers they performed on. But otherwise I don’t think it gives you the right feel for the band live. It shows off some of their cool effects, but that’s pretty much it. While it can be entertaining to watch one or two times, this is one you’ll pass up often.
In case you missed it, themes of uprising and revolt come up a lot in Muse’s clips and this one is no exception. Shots of the band performing the sultry single are mixed with footage of rioters fighting heavily armed police. In the midst of all this craziness, or should I say madness, two people find time to love each other. It’s a pretty sleek looking video for this slick track and actually fits in well with the song’s lyrics. It’s not their best video, but since the imagery works so well with the lyrics it makes it one of their notable clips.
Trying to stick with the Drones concept story, this video shows one bionic woman training while men in lab coats watch her. Just as you would suspect there’s some foul play going on as she is taken advantage of and discovers her clones. Tired of being a submissive pawn she fights back and makes her escape. Footage of the band miming the song in the shadows is featured throughout. It’s not a bad video, but it’s a concept that’s been done before by other artists. By the time we get to this entry from Muse, it’s a little tired and dull. It’s also pretty predictable for the band keeping in mind their past videos and the so-called concept album, which they seem to be pushing really hard.
When I first saw this video, I thought of Green Day’s “Know Your Enemy,” which features the guys performing while cameras capture their movement. The idea is similar here, but there’s actually rioting going on behind the Muse guys. What makes this clip so interesting is not the concept, but rather its interactivity. The video was filmed with multiple cameras to allow viewers a 360 degree experience. This means while you’re watching the clip you see everything that’s going on all around the chaos. Turn this way and there’s Matt. Turn the other and there are the police. It’s actually really cool and makes the video immersive for viewers. But without this gimmick, the clip would be pretty forgettable.
Ever think black metal fans weren’t Satanic, just really good athletes? Well, apparently Muse thinks they are. This clip features the band rocking out on the beach while a gang of people in corpse paint attack the waves. There are also scenes of them skating and pulling off some sweet BMX moves. How does this relate to the song? No idea. Maybe Muse are trying to send a message to not make assumptions or expect the unexpected. Still, the video is kind of flat unless you like watching footage of extreme sports.
“MK Ultra” (2010)
This a completely different video for the band. Rather than being a promotional clip for the song itself, it was made as part of MTV’s campaign to end human trafficking. In it we see several people taken and forced to work in sweatshops, strip clubs, and escort services. It gets pretty dark and depressing. The clip then ends with the message “some things cost more than you think.” It’s one of those videos meant to make you think twice about the businesses you support and to make viewers more aware of the issue. It’s pretty effective, but it does remind you of the guilt ridden animal shelter commercials with Sarah McLachlan wailing in the background.
“The 2nd Law: Isolated System” (2012)
This clip is nothing but people running away from an invisible force that’s destroying the world set to this somber instrumental from the band’s sixth album. There’s really nothing else to this one aside from it being used as an intermission for their live shows at the time. Pretty boring, next.
“Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)” (2010)
Muse writing a song for this Stephanie Meyers movie because she was a fan is really sweet, but it’s one of their weakest singles. The video itself is your standard movie soundtrack clip: the band plays while footage of the movie is shown behind them. That’s pretty much it. The silhouette effect does look pretty cool against the red and blue backgrounds, but it’s hard to justify watching this video for a second time.
Since this was the official song for the 2012 Olympics in London, it’s so surprise the video is sports heavy. The entire clip is footage from past Olympic ceremonies of athletes fighting for the gold. The intro is the best part since it shows footage from the 1900s. But unless you’re a sports enthusiast the video is really boring especially since the band never make an appearance.
Which Muse video is your favorite? How would you rank these clips? Let me know in the comments!