20. Muse – Knights of Cydonia

And how can we win when fools can be Kings?
Don’t waste your time or time will waste you.

I received my copy of the 2007 Triple-J Hot 100 video from Australia, unwrapped it and put it in the region-cracked DVD player. The first song was Knights of Cydonia by Muse. Forty minutes later we were watching the video for the seventh time. I wanted to move on to Silverchair, Daft Punk and The Chemical Brothers but my five year old daughter wouldn’t let me move past Muse.

What is so addictive about the clip? It’s a Sci-Fi/Martial Arts story filmed as a Spaghetti Western with a rip-roaring tune – that gets me hooked, but there has to be something more for Lucy. The song does have a fun beat; it could be a kids song. So I asked Lucy and she said it was, “The fighting, the shooting, the magic CD and the strong boy and pretty girl.” She said it was cool.

The video is loaded with interesting things to watch. You see the hero doing his martial arts posing at the start. There’s a bar scene that crosses cowboy chic with Blade Runner.  You get peasants, robots, ray guns, stocks, a hanging, a desert, holograms, endless brawling and a headbanging Wayne’s World moment when the instrumental part starts. It’s not a song, it’s a postmodern cinema.



My favourite part is when the girl poses and shoots at the end. It’s so glam. Do you get the impression I’ve watched this a few too many times? Blame Lucy, it’s her fault.

After this extravaganza of Romanian video I’m left thinking of Mae West – it costs a lot of money to make it look this cheap.

I’ve liked Muse ever since their Origin of Symmetry album a couple of years before. Their songs are dramatic and operatic and could end up sounding silly except they get away with it because they are musicians of rare talent. Check them out playing the same song live at Wembley Stadium. The drummer is fantastic. I showed this video to Steve my drummer maven buddy and his comment was, “The drummer is a lefty, so I have to watch it in a mirror.”

Joseph Kahn, the video’s director, has a site with a version in higher quality, and it has a tiny sex scene inserted in case you think the video needs something more.

The album is Black Holes and Revelations:


Next: 19. Smashing Pumpkins – 1979

Previous: 21. Pixies – Alec Eiffel


4 Responses to “20. Muse – Knights of Cydonia”

  1. August 7, 2009 at 07:09

    I heart Supermassive Black Hole. That was the first seed song for my everyday Pandora station. The rest of the Muse oeuvre has grown on me starting from Supermassive Black Hole.

  2. 2 Jean Curtis
    August 7, 2009 at 14:26

    To me, it’s like a sonic orgasm. Love this piece!

  3. September 14, 2010 at 22:20

    I was listening to Origin of Symmetry in some local cd store and was amazed at the whole over-the-top extravaganza of Muse. How did I miss them when they first came out? I guess I was in teh wrong country.

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