|Length||4:38, 4:39 (XX Anniversary RemiXX)|
|First live performance||12th April 2001|
|Latest live performance||28th August 2011|
|Recorded||Real World Studio Wiltshire and St Mary the Virgin, Bathwick 2001|
|Showbiz (1999)||<||Origin of Symmetry (2001)||>||Hullabaloo (2002)|
An overblown anti-religious album closer using a Gothic-style church pipe organ. Matt once described recording this song as being difficult, saying that the reason why recording the song was difficult is because of its meaning, that it's about "deconstructing the Church". Saying how "it's a relic of the past, and how it's basically just something to empower man to give manpower to, you know, to take money from people, stuff like that. Well I suppose there are some good things behind it, but the Pope is corrupt." He also stated in the same interview that the organ was the only thing worth going to Church for. A megalomania is "a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness, wealth, etc." or "an obsession with doing extravagant or grand things".
Matt described the song as; "This is directed at what would be God, asking why we should go forth and multiply? What's the point?" Matt wrote the song on holiday in the Maldives, whilst learning to dive, and it was inspired by his pessimism towards the relationship he was in at them time.
Megalomania is a song driven by pipe organs. Written mostly in E harmonic minor with some elements of E melodic minor, it moves at a loose tempo of 73 BPM. The outro is noteworthy for its use of the chromatic mediant technique: the chords alternate between D and F# (the latter's root note being the major third of the former) until resolving to the F#.
Bellamy's lead vocal range spans from D♯3 to B4, and reaches up to G5 in the prominent backing vocals.
Bellamy has described the recording of this anti-church song, using the organ at St. Mary's Church, Bathwick, as a "dark moment" in his life. The vicar of the church insisted on seeing the lyrics to the song before allowing them to use the organ, although none had yet been written for the song. Bellamy proceeded to write out some "positive", "nice" lyrics for him and he allowed them to record the song. When requesting permission to play one of the biggest church organs in Europe in order to finish recording the song, the priest at the church asked to see the lyrics to the song to ensure the band weren't devil worshippers.
Megalomania (XX Anniversary RemiXX)
On May 19th, 2021, it was announced that Muse will be releasing a remixed and remastered version of Origin of Symmetry, titled "Origin of Symmetry (XX Anniversary RemiXX)". Megalomania was the second single released ahead of the album on June 5th, 2021.
Matt considers the remix to be the most radical improvement over the original on the album. Similar to Citizen Erased, all the additional phaser effects were removed from the strings and are mixed more loudly, thus making them sound more prominent and symphonic than the original which sounded more vintage and synthy. Matt's falsetto backing vocals during the last chorus and outro are also much more prominent in the remix. Other alterations include more distortion on the bass during the chorus and the removal of the subtle percussion heard on the final chord of the song.
The song was first played in 2001 on the Origin of Symmetry Tour with it continuing to make regular appearances throughout 2001. It got a few plays the following year before getting dropped in May 2002. It wasn't played again for 6 years until the 2008 Royal Albert Hall gig where it was played on the massive organ featured in the hall. It was played a handful of times in 2011, the most notable at the Reading and Leeds gigs where the band played Origin of Symmetry start to finish, before getting dropped yet again.
Paradise comes at a price
That I am not prepared to pay What were we built for? Could someone tell me please
The good news is she can't have babies And won't accept gifts from me What are they for? They'll just grow up and break the laws you've loved
Take off your disguise I know that underneath it's me Who are you oooh
Useless device it won't suffice I want a new game to play When I am gone - it won't be long Before I disturb you in the dark
And paradise comes at a price That I am not prepared to pay What were we built for? Will someone tell me please
Take off your disguise I know that underneath it's me