Knights of Cydonia (song)

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Muse song
Name Knights of Cydonia
Album/single
Length
  • 6:06 »
  • 4:42 (radio edit)
  • 3:59 (edit 3'59)
Alternative titles -
First live performance 13th May 2006
Latest live performance 19th April 2014
Recorded New York Avatar/Electric Lady Studios - 2005
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer Rich Costey
Chart position 10 (UK), 10 (US Modern Rock), 72 (UK Download)

Description

Taking its cues from Mariachi bands and the 'Doctor Who' theme tune, the track sounds like a soundtrack to a spaghetti western set in the far reaches of the galaxy and features a chain-smoking trumpeter called Franco. The intro features sounds of horses neighing and galloping, as well as laser guns firing. Standard set opener and closer during the Black Holes and Revelations tour and standard set closer during The Resistance tour too.

Additional information

Howard: Matt was at the back of the bus in Arizona, repeating the jerky riff to death, outside we could see the desert rolling...all that went very well together. Galloping horses, Texas, trumpets etc. We wanted to depict a journey, to make it sound like Joe Meek.

The intro of the song, especially Bellamy's guitar, is significantly influenced by the sound of The Tornados' hit single, Telstar, of which Bellamy's father, George Bellamy, was the rhythm guitarist. Bellamy has even stated, regarding the similarities, when asked about them: "Absolutely... in the guitar sound. We were aware of that when we were making the album. My dad's band mainly played instrumental music, and I always wanted to bring some more instrumental elements into our albums, to have more abstract moments. On the opening part of that song, we made a conscious effort to make the guitar sound like a 1950s synth, one of the first synthesizers around, that they'd used for the sound of the 'Telstar' bit. That was deliberate."

Wolstenholme has described the song as "40 years of rock history in six minutes".[1]

First aired on KROQ radio on the 7th June, 2006.

The percussion bears similarity with I Want to Break Free, which they covered as an instrumental before Knights of Cydonia in Rolling Stone 2006.

The song has been featured in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, 2 and the Wii. The Game was released in Autumn 2007.[2]

The song has been featured in commercials for the DVD of the movie 300. The 300 DVD Trailer can be seen here. It was also used, around the same time, on E4, for the E4 showing of the film A Knight's Tale which aired on Tuesday 9th October 2007.

Knights of Cydonia was voted number 1, defeating second place by only 13 votes in Australia's Triple J hottest 100 for 2007.

On Tuesday 24th June 2008, Knights of Cydonia become the first ever song played on NME Radio. The band won a fierce online poll which saw fans of acts like The Killers, Oasis, The Strokes and more all voting in an online poll to choose the first song played as the station went live at 11am (BST).

Has recently been played at the New Yankee Stadium as a "pump up" song.

Was used during Super Bowl XLV during the team introduction for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

An anagram for Knights of Cydonia is "Fancy Kid Shooting".

Live

From on the 24th of June, a guitar adaption of the Space Dementia ending has been used as an outro for Knights of Cydonia. The playing of this outro was ceased between sometime in late October 2006 and 17th November 2006.

Since 22nd August 2006, a different riff has been used towards the end of the song.

Since 4th November 2006, a new guitar part has been used before the first vocal segment.

During the latter half of the Black Holes and Revelations tour, Matt has played the Close Encounters riff as an intro to Knights of Cydonia. In August of 2008, the band began to play Man with a Harmonica intro with Chris on the harmonica. They have since included it in most performances of Knights of Cydonia.

Alternating with Take A Bow as gig openers and closers from 2006-2008 (typically as the opener), Knights of Cydonia was the standard set closer during The Resistance Tour. For the first half of The 2nd Law Tour, it typically closed the first encore (occasionally alternating with Survival as gig closer), before being moved to the middle of the first set from 18th December 2012.

Cydonia

Cydonia is a place on Mars, where the controversial rock formation shaped like a human face can be seen. Doing some further research, there are conspiracy theories that Cydonia is actually a NASA cover up, because there's more than one "human" face there, and evidence of pyramids and a city. Martians may have existed there. Certainly something Matt would be interested in, having said this - there are beliefs in a great war that destroyed Mars, and the inhabitants had to move elsewhere... to Earth.

"...A great war was fought once in our solar system. One of our planets was devastated because of it. But by the end of it the aggressor was beat back and they were able to rebuild here on Earth." "The enemy in the war, devastated Mars..." [1]

However, more recent pictures of Cydonia reveal that the apparent 'faces' look nothing like faces at all, and the older images were the result of shadows across the hill.

Lyrics

Come ride with me

Through the veins of history I'll show you a god who falls asleep on the job How can we win, when fools can be kings? Don't waste your time or time will waste you

No one's gonna take me alive The time has come to make things right You and I must fight for our rights You and I must fight to survive

No one's gonna take me alive The time has come to make things right You and I must fight for our rights You and I must fight to survive

No one's gonna take me alive The time has come to make things right You and I must fight for our rights You and I must fight to survive

References

  1. Craig Rosen. (2007-04). Muse: A Brief History. Los Angeles Times. [verify]
  2. Oli Welsh. (2007-05-23). Guitar Hero III shows its chops. Eurogamer. Retrieved from www.eurogamer.net.

See also


Go back to Black Holes and Revelations