Muscle Museum (song)

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This page is about the song. For other Muscle Museum releases, see Muscle Museum (releases).

Muse song
Name Muscle Museum
  • 4:22 »
  • 5:29 (full length version)
  • 4:20 (Muscle Museum EP version)
  • 1:21 (Muscle Museum #2)
Alternative titles -
First live performance 19th December 1995 *Earliest known performance
Latest live performance 24th February 2018
Recorded 1999
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer Paul Reeve
Chart position 25 (UK)



This song came from a practice session at Matthew Bellamy's house early in Muse's existence as a band,[1] with the guitar part coming before the bass line and percussion, respectively.[1] Its first recorded release was on the Muscle Museum EP, where it came in two versions. One is close to the later incarnation on Showbiz, and one is a short acoustic with rain effects. The full length version on the single is the two combined, with the latter used as an introduction to the former. The EP version also differs from the Showbiz version as having a different bassdrum figure in the verses and the pre-chorus parts.

Matthew said that the song it's "About how people don't really face up to their inner emotions a lot of the time and they just get on with their mundane life" and that also the song was "about the conflict between the body and the soul or mind. It's how sometimes one element of your being will not allow something to happen. For example, say your body wants to have sex with a girl but your mind reminds you that you have a girlfriend. It's that inner conflict." - the Freudian idea of inner conflict between want and conscience. He also stated in the same interview that the meaning somehow involved people in the future no longer having bodies. This idea came from a book that he had read about cyber-culture.[2]

The title comes from a dictionary that Muse used, which had 'muscle' immediately before 'muse' and 'museum' immediately after.[3][4]

You can hear Matt talking about his hometown in “Muscle Museum”, where Teignmouth still wanted to convince Muse they were doing wrong (to prove I’ve made a big mistake).[5]

Matt actually sings the "guitar" solo. "I wanted to do this big epic guitar solo at the end of the chorus and as soon as I started doing the solo, I missed a chord. So I suddenly found myself singing the guitar solo instead. I ended up singing it into a Marshall amp and it sounded exactly like guitar."[6]

Other releases

As the song featured on four separate release, a wide variety of edits and versions were created, some exclusively on promotional media:


Muscle Museum was played at most concerts from its release until the 2006 tour, during which it wasn't played until the concert at Agora Theatre on September 10th. The song is played twice in 2007, the last one being Moscow on October 15th.

As of January 2010, Howard revealed on TripleJ radio, Australia, he'd like to play the song live again, however, due to Bellamy losing the required (rare) effects pedal for part of the song, it's been left out of rotation so far. In September 2012, being asked whether they will play any Showbiz songs on The 2nd Law tour, a member of Muse tweeted that "I'm routing for Muscle Museum to come back".[7]

The song was printed on the setlist for the Lollapalooza Brazil gig in 2014 but was not played. Yes Please was performed instead.

The song made its comeback during the 2015's Psycho UK Tour in Exeter on March 20th.

More here


She had something to confess to

But you don’t have the time so Look the other way You will wait until it’s over To reveal what you’d never shown her Too little much too late Too long trying to resist it You’ve just gone and missed it It’s escaped your world

Can you see that I am needing Begging for so much more Than you could ever give And I don’t want you to adore me Don’t want you to ignore me When it pleases you And I’ll do it on my own

I have played in every toilet But you still want to spoil it To prove I’ve made a big mistake Too long trying to resist it You’ve just gone and missed it It’s escaped your world

Can you see that I am needing Begging for so much more Than you could ever give And I don’t want you to adore me Don’t want you to ignore me When it pleases you yeah...

So I’ll do it on my own and I’ll do it all by myself And you will never make it

Live variation

The first instance of

And I’ll do it on my own

has occasionally been changed to

So I'll do it on my own

The Plymouth version had the lyrics

I want you to ignore me

in the instance of

Don't want you to ignore me

and had

You will never be right

at the end.


  1. a b Adam Mamo. (2007-12-03). Tales of the Tracks. Rip It Up. [verify]
  2. Channel V (March 2000) (2000-10-03). Retrieved 2015-26-08 from [1].
  3. The Potholey Bible - Melody Maker (december 1999) (1999-00-12). Retrieved 2015-26-08 from [2].
  4. Chris Moyles for Radio X. (2018). Chris Moyles meets Muse. Retrieved 2018-07-12 from Youtube.
  5. The Legendary Matthew Bellamy. Fansite. Retrieved 2008-02-12 from
  6. Guitarist Magazine - I just wanted to excite people. [september 2001]

See also

Go back to Showbiz