Citizen Erased (song)

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Muse song
Name Citizen Erased
Album/single
Length 7:21
Alternative titles -
First live performance 12th February 2001
Latest live performance 6th December 2013
Recorded Real World Studio Wiltshire, 2000/2001
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer John Leckie
Chart position 122

Description

Matthew Bellamy: "It's an expression of what it feels like to be questioned. I spend more time than most people being asked about purpose, and it's a strange feeling. I don't really have the answers and I have to respond on the knowledge I have obtained so far, but the problem is that it gets printed, and something else has come along that's made you completely disagree with what you said".

The song could also be a reference to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four in which citizens are erased and lies control society. It was written around a drum beat that Dominic Howard composed, matt said: "On Citizen Erased, Dom came in one day with this funky James Brown beat and Chris just started playing along. I then applied the chord structure that I already had and it suddenly became a full-on metal track out of nowhere. Because it was so heavy for so long we decided to add another song on to the end of it." [1]

Live

The first live performance of Citizen Erased had the outro played on guitar rather than keyboard. The keyboard outro was introduced at least as early as the 12th April 2001 - no recording exists between the first performance and then.

A different riff replaced the guitar solo towards the middle of the song during the Absolution tour. During the 2006 tour, the vocals of the instrumental between the final chorus and final verse were removed. These returned partially by Paris-Bercy, 15th December 2006, or possibly sometime prior on the late 2006 European tour. Additional drumming was added during this interlude on the aforementioned date.

Citizen Erased is the only song where the 7 String E Guitar is used. Coincidentally, it is assumed a six-string was used to record this song, thought to be the Delorean, as a Fuzz Factory is featured in the solo, and early photos of said guitar show a bass string in place of the low E string, in order to accommodate drop A tuning. Matt owned both guitars at the time of recording, so it can't be said for sure which guitar(s) he used.

Music trivia

For the week starting 9th July 2007, some members of Muselive.com and other fan-sites attempted to get Citizen Erased into the UK charts. It eventually reached position No 122. Jesting about the song's popularity three years later, Matthew Bellamy commented "[...] so we've got to change our website I think to uh— from Muse.mu to CitizenErased.com", before performing it within Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

During the Resistance tour in Sydney on the 9th of December, Bellamy dedicated "Citizen Arrested" to Julian Assange, the Australian WikiLeaks founder who had been arrested in Sweden regarding alleged sexual offences just days earlier before the song.

Lyrics

Break me in,

Teach us to cheat And to lie, and cover up What shouldn't be shared

And the truth's unwinding Scraping away at my mind Please stop asking me to describe

For one moment I wish you'd hold your stage With no feelings at all Open-minded I'm sure I used to be so free

Self-expressed Exhausting for all to see and to be What you want and what you need And the truth's unwinding Scraping away at my mind Please stop asking me to describe

For one moment I wish you'd hold your stage With no feelings at all Open-minded I'm sure I used to be so free

For one moment I wish you'd hold your stage With no feelings at all Open-minded I'm sure I used to be so free

Wash me away Clean your body of me Erase all the memories They'll only bring us pain And I've seen all I'll ever need

Alternatively, the line:

Exhausting for all to see and to be

is sometimes be changed to:

Exhausting for all to see I still want to be

References

  1. Guitarist Magazine - What all the Hullabaloo is about. [september 2002]


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