Plug In Baby (song)
|Name||Plug In Baby|
|Length||3:38 (studio version), 2:45 (1997 demo)|
|Alternative titles||Virtual Reality|
|First live performance|| June 1996 (Demo version) |
6th January 2000 (first known performance)
|Latest live performance|
|Recorded||Ridge Farm Studios Surrey, 2001, January 1997 (Newton Abbot demos)|
|Hyper Music||<||Plug In Baby||>||Citizen Erased|
|Showbiz (1999)||<||Origin of Symmetry (2001)||>||Hullabaloo (2002)|
"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.
According to Matt, he wrote the song above a sex shop, "It sounds made up, but it was written above a sex shop." so, it's more likely that song talks about a sex toy. 
Matt and Dom came up with the title while flicking through a catalogue, Matt found something about plug-ins and decided to name the song like this, according to Matt 'it just sounded cool for a song'. 
It was planned to be released on Showbiz but they ended rejecting it, later, they decided to 're-invent' it and later they released it on Origin of Symmetry.
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"
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.
Origin of Muse box set features the 1997 demo, but re-recorded, that is to say that it's not the demo we used to know before the box set release. This version has synths coming through the intro with the bass, joining the guitar and voice. We can also hear the synths through the chorus, which gives 80s vibes to this version of the demo.
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-
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."
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.
As of 2019, Plug in Baby is the most played live Muse song with it being played over 1000 times. Since the Absolution tour, Matt has been introducing the song by fuzz noises with the fuzz knob under bridge of his guitar. It is currently used to tease the audience before the song, as the crowd reproduces the fuzz noises.
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. 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.
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
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
This version can be listed to over on YouTube.
I was bored and lonely
And they pinned me to the floor You're the only
I was tired and rusty 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
- MUSE: "Plug In Baby Was Written Above A Sex Shop" (2017-07-06). Retrieved from http://www.radiox.co.uk.
- Radio X: Chris Moyles meets Muse (2018-04-30). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com.
- John Kennedy for Radio X. (2018). John Kennedy - Radio X in conversation with Muse. Retrieved 2018-07-12 from Youtube.
- Rock Sound - 2001
- Muse: The Making of Origin of Symmetry (2007-10-07). Xfm. Retrieved from www.muselive.com. [verify]
- arraggiatus. (2008-08-10). Muse & The Olympics. Retrieved from www.muselive.com.
- Gigs and USA (2002-02-15). Microcuts. Retrieved from microcuts.net.