Plug In Baby (song)

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Muse song
Name Plug In Baby
Album/single
Length 3:40
Alternative titles Virtual Reality
First live performance 17th December 1999
Latest live performance 12th April 2014
Recorded Ridge Farm Studios Surrey, 2001; 1997 (1997 demo)
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer David Bottrill
Chart position 11

Description

"Plug In Baby" was Muse's then most successful song when it was released as the lead single to Origin of Symmetry in 2001. The song has remained popular and widely recognised ever since its release, and has been played at almost every Muse concert since it was premiered in 2000. Originating before the release of Muse's debut album Showbiz, it was the only song to be latterly revisited from Muse's large repertoire of early demos for recording, after undergoing some significant changes.

The song was originally about a protagonist's interaction with virtual reality, though the lyrics later became abstracted such they no longer explicitly explored this theme, leaving the song open to a wider interpretation, as indeed the band themselves have taken.

Matthew Bellamy definition of Plug in Baby

From a 2001 Interview:

"Again, that's about the path evolution can take like ‘New Born’. There's the good side and the bad side; abandoning all individuality, becoming a collective whole via cables, and genetically engineering bodies that can exist out in space, or the loss of individualism"[1]

Composition

Plug In Baby is an electronic rock song written in B minor. It's guitar-driven, and moves at a fast tempo of 135 bpm. The guitar riff is heavily based upon the B minor harmonic scale, with a few accidentals. Similar to Showbiz, the song begins with a simple rhythm and builds, before climaxing with a very high vocal note.

Bellamy's vocal range spans from C♯3 to F♯5, one of the wider ranges in a Muse song.

Additional information

In an interview with James Matheison at the [V]HQ, Bent St, Sydney, in 2004, Matt momentarily forgets the meaning of Plug In Baby.

Fan: Umm, hi. This is going back a bit, but the song "Plug In Baby" - what is that about?
Matt: Ah, shit. (laughs)
Dom: You're on now.
Matt: Umm... (laughs) Uh, I can't remember now. (Dom and Chris laugh at Matt) Umm, what is it? I read- I read some book about like- uh, I don't know what it was. Something to do with, umm... co- like, uhh... bo-bots, kind of... dunno, can't remember anymore, hold on. What was it? My plug in baby, uhmm... I'm so- I'm sorry, I don't know. I can't remember. Sorry.
James: Was it about you, uh, travelling around the world, and you've got-?
Matt: It's- It's all random, it just comes out- I mean, it's random, I've got no idea what I'm singing about at all, sorry. It's just like- It's just kind of like, write a few chords and that, and then just... improvise a few words, and just hope it means something. It does mean something! Trust me. But I can't work it out myself. 'Cause I'm subjective, you see. So I can't actually quite work it out, that's for you lot to work out. (laughs)
James: It doesn't have anything to do with when you're travelling the globe and you have trouble, uh, finding powerpoints-
Matt: (laughs)
James: -that'll fit your walkman, or the like?
Dom: If you want it to be. (smiles)
James: Well, it is for me, then, I guess!
Dom: (nods and grins) Cool.

Howard: "That song’s about putting emotion into something that has no soul - like a child’s teddy bear or a computer. And also what it would be like if we could genetically engineer puppies that never grow old."

Bellamy: "I think the chorus is probably referring to some kind of analogy of the touring lifestyle, of what it feels like being on stage playing or whatever it might be, but kind of saying that really, I'm prepared to pretty much sacrifice everything in my personal life for the sake of playing music."[2]

Due to the multiple - and often contradictory - interpretations of the song's meaning, fans generally interpret it subjectively.

Although on the album Origin of Symmetry the song begins with a crossfade from the end of previous track "Hyper Music", the version found on the single contains a 'clean' introduction. Likewise, the single version of "Hyper Music" has a clean ending.

Italian fencer Matteo Tagliarol suggested the song aided him in the attaining a gold medal during the 2008 Olympics, stating "I listened to 'Plug In Baby', of Muse, just before entering the field. I'm going to put the disc close to the medal!" in an interview minutes after winning.[3]

Recording

The band were apparently on hallucinogenic mushrooms when they recorded it. The 1997 studio demo of "Plug In Baby" lacked the main riff of the song although there were numerous similarities in the lyrics and structure of the song. "Plug In Baby" was to be re-recorded under the wishes of Maverick to coincide with an US tour promoting Origin of Symmetry.[4] As Maverick wished Matt to tone down the falsetto on the song, Muse left the label and "Plug In Baby", as well as the rest of the album, remained unreleased in the US. It is unknown if Muse did re-record "Plug In Baby" and whether this version still exists.

Lyrics

I've exposed your lies baby

The underneath's no big surprise Now it's time for changing And cleansing everything To forget your love

My plug in baby Crucifies my enemies When I'm tired of giving, whoa My plug in baby In unbroken virgin realities Is tired of living oooh

Don't confuse Baby you're gonna lose Your own game Change me Replace the envying To forget your love

My plug in baby Crucifies my enemies When I'm tired of giving, whoa My plug in baby In unbroken virgin realities Is tired of living Oooh And I've seen your loving Mine is gone And I've been in trouble Wooaahhhh

Early versions

An early live version can be watched here or here

In early live versions, Bellamy would sing something similar to this:

You closed your eyes, yeah baby (or: I have exposed your lies, yeah baby)

You're gonna break my compromise (or: Don't wanna make no compromise or You're gonna break my big surprise) Don't you know That I'm changing And cleansing everything To forget your love

My plug in baby Crucified my enemies When I'm tired of living(or giving) Woah, God was in me(or: God is in me) In unbroken virgin realities(or: I've broken virgin realities) I'm tired of living Oooh ...(or: Yeah yeah yeah)

Don't confuse 'cause baby you're gonna lose Your own game Change me Replace the envying To forget your love

My plug in baby Crucified my enemies When I'm tired of giving Woah, the cause within me(or: God is in me) In unbroken virgin realities(or: I've broken virgin realities I'm tired of living Oh ... (x3)

Your truths Are coming in And I feel broken Next to you And I've been in trouble (Baby It's Right)(?)

Oh And I've seen your loving And mine is gone And I've seen your loving Wooaahhhh

1997 Demo

When I was poor and lonely

They give me to the floor You're the only

I was tired of resting But I'm not even afraid 'Cause you're the only

God is in me and I'm in virtual reality I'm tired of living

They come anywhere here Anywhere in my head 'Cause I'm tired of thinking

I never meant to love these machines But they obey my commands adeptly I will never ever die In their circuits I can survive Can you hear me? Cause I am leaving

Electric love screens Have tempted me to jack it in Living lively

They come anywhere here Anywhere in my head I'm tired of thinking

I never meant to love these machines But they obey my commands adeptly I will never ever die In their circuits I can survive Can you hear me Cause I am leaving

References

  1. Rock Sound - 2001
  2. Muse: The Making of Origin of Symmetry (2007-10-07). Xfm. Retrieved from www.muselive.com. [verify]
  3. arraggiatus. (2008-08-10). Muse & The Olympics. Retrieved from www.muselive.com.
  4. Gigs and USA (2002-02-15). Microcuts. Retrieved from microcuts.net.

See also


Go back to Origin of Symmetry