Muse is my favorite band of all time, and I think this list is a testament to that. I was originally planning on doing a top 10 or top 20, but I just kept listing more and more tracks until it spilled up to 50. Anyways, my feelings on Muse songs change drastically over time. For example, at least half of the songs in the top 10 would not have been there only one year ago, and if I decided to make this list again in a year it would look completely different. This is just my opinion, so don’t take it so seriously. Anyways, every song on this list would receive a 10/10 if I rated them, so the fluctuations they experience on my lists not due to errors by the artists, just personal preferences.
Because this list is so insanely long, I’ll keep most descriptions relatively brief. Additionally, I added videos of the songs beneath each entry. Some contain my favorite live performance of the song, some are intriguing music videos, and some are just the audio so you can focus on the production. Most selections were chosen with care, so if you have the time I recommend listening to some that peak your interest.
And, if you’re interested in more Muse content, click here to see my ranking of all of the Muse albums.
Sing For Absolution – Absolution
Mercy – Drones
Exogenesis 1 and 2 – The Resistance
Map of the Problematique – Black Holes And Revelations
Butterflies and Hurricanes – Absolution
Thoughts of a Dying Atheist – Absolution
Cave – Showbiz
City of Delusion – Black Holes And Revelations
50. Ashamed – Hullabaloo
Ashamed is a solid song all-around, but the real reason it’s here is because it has my favorite Muse riff of all time to close it out.
And they don’t just play it a couple times – they go absolutely berserk – changing drum patterns and playing variations until you are packed with adrenaline. This song is a prime example of what an unbridled Muse can sound like. It’s not polished or refined, but very raw and almost jarring at times, but that’s what gives it its charm.
They must have appreciated the riff too, because they have tacked it onto performances of Showbiz live many times, though there is only one superbly poor quality video on the internet of them performing Ashamed in full.
49. United States of Eurasia – The Resistance
For a band as diverse as Muse, you’d think it would be difficult to still be shocked after hearing so much of their music, but when I heard the Arabic-tinged lead during the chorus section, I was taken aback (in a good way).
I think this live performance, though it doesn’t include the gorgeous postlude piano section, does the song justice, and more. It was definitely designed for a live orchestra and it went over perfectly.
48. Aftermath – Drones
Aftermath has one of my favorite music videos Muse has ever put out, which is unfortunately not saying much because most of them are underwhelming at best. Thankfully, this one was an exception to the rule. Even though it could arguably be seen as cheesy, the sentiment was communicated with such class that I would almost feel uncomfortable around somebody who didn’t at least connect somewhat to it.
I actually didn’t appreciate this track too much at first, but after listening a few more times there were a lot of tiny details that I started to pick up on.
My favorite moments are probably the introductory guitar, and the guitar solo. Although the parts are simple, both are played with such perfection and with a conscious effort to pick the best guitar tone. The bass and strings just round out the experience for me into one of my favorite slower Muse tracks.
47. Citizen Erased – Origin Of Symmetry
Most will be dismayed to see this song here, as it is the absolute fan favorite of their discography. I don’t disagree that it is a phenomenal and near perfect song, I just think other Muse tracks are even more fun and engaging for me personally.
The exceptions to that sentiment certainly include both guitar interludes in the song – one following the first chorus, and then the eventual guitar solo. I’ve heard the guitar solo described as an airplane taking off and could not agree more. It’s an exhilarating experience, and it’s too bad they didn’t play it either time I went to see them live.
46. MK Ultra – The Resistance
This is one of the sleeper tracks that I see many people forget about, and I just can’t seem to understand why. The robotic vocals singing “We are losing control” are haunting, the riffs are killer, the melodies soar, and the song contains numerous relentless changes. This all builds to the climax in the final minute of the song where it turns into one of the most epic of Muses tracks, and more need to hear this brilliant production.
45. Muscle Museum – Showbiz
The Spanish influenced guitar, unforgettable bass line, and eventual explosion of sound is what sets this song apart. I didn’t realize that Matt Bellamy was making the harsh noises towards the end of the song that resemble a guitar solo. Hearing him riff with his voice like it’s a guitar is what gave me a greater appreciation for this song, beyond the admiration that it already inspired and deserved.
44. In Your World – Hullabaloo
I think of In Your World as a baby The Handler, which is one of my favorite Muse songs of all time. It has a similar guitar hook as the solo to the latter, and the chorus is undeniably catchy.
43. Invincible – Black Holes And Revelations
The best part of this song, and the one everybody constantly references, is the guitar solo, and rightly so. It is one of the best Matt has ever written, and he performs it live flawlessly, but I feel like people miss the other qualities Invincible has to offer because of how iconic the solo is. The chord progression and melody during the chorus are both pristine, and in the final chorus you can hear Matt sing some of his most powerful lines.
42. Space Dementia – Origin Of Symmetry
This song may be the most technically impressive Muse had ever gotten, especially for this early in their career. The chords used in Space Dementia are highly progressive, and the song builds to an epic explosion of guitar, bass, and synth dissonance and interference that may not be matched by any other Muse track.
41. Neutron Star Collision – Twilight
Likely the most controversial track to make it on the list, Neutron Star Collision is a highly polarizing song. Most people that are avid fans of Muse despise the track, and though I understand their complaints, I don’t personally take issue with them. It has the same driving beat and oscillating synths as Knights of Cydonia, while adding a beautiful piano part to the mix. It definitely stands out as unique from their discography, and I understand why they neglected to put it on any of their own albums, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
40. Apocalypse Please – Absolution
Apocalypse Please is definitely a grower. Most people that I show the track, including myself, don’t think it’s particularly special at first, but the more times I listened to it the more I found it unique and praiseworthy. Matt’s vocals along with his piano work shine through, and the end of the track sounds like the epitome of the song title. It’s an epic dystopian track – no doubt.
39. Screenager – Origin Of Symmetry
Although I do prefer the studio/acoustic guitar version in general, I think this live performance chose the most perfect introduction possible. It’s a Rachmaninoff piece, which Matt Bellamy has continually praised as being a huge inspiration for him personally, but they adapted it flawlessly.
Although the piano version is slightly less compelling to me personally, both have their advantages and disadvantages and it is great seeing a band have two quality versions that they could pull out at any time during a performance.
38. Sunburn – Showbiz
The absolute best moments of this song are the lead instantly following the first chorus, the solo, and the outro. All three of these, plus one of the best bass lines Muse has to offer gives us one of my favorite of their early works.
37. Hyper Music – Origin of Symmetry
This may be the Muse song with the highest raw energy. The chords used sound (intentionally) slightly off, which give it that angry tint that emphasizes the lyrical endeavors. Hyper Music was actually previously in my top 10 Muse songs, but I may have over played it at this point. In any case, it’s still fantastic. It remains, to this day, one of my favorite to play guitar along to.
36. Undisclosed Desires – The Resistance
Back to the era of The Resistance, we are graced with another performance with a backing orchestra. That, along with Matt’s Keytar, is what brought this song so high on my personal list. I almost wish they added the synthesizer introduction into the actual record, because it sounds so great live.
35. Follow Me – The 2nd Law
This is probably the part where I get hardcore Muse fans bashing me for having stupid opinions. I urge you, however, to listen to the instrumental to this track. Then, listen to the full song again, with an open mind, and tell me it still sucks. This song is great on multiple levels. The production is flawless, the drop is insane, and the chords are haunting yet still danceable.
What brings it to an even higher level is the utilization of Matt’s sons heartbeat in the opening of the track. The only logical reason I could see for Muse fans to despise this song would be the fact that the guitar is minimal at most, but if a song is good, does it matter what instruments are used? Muse constantly experimented throughout their career, and I think this is one of their best endeavors.
34. Dead Inside – Drones
The explosive bridge of this track is what propelled it to this spot, and I don’t think I can ever get tired of it. It also is one of my favorite music videos of theirs, and definitely doesn’t sound like anything else they’ve done. The closest I could get to a comparison is saying it is a darker version of Madness, but even that is a stretch.
33. Survival – The 2nd Law
I’m honestly amazed this song isn’t way higher on my list from how much I love it, but I guess I love the others even more. This is my go-to workout song, which is fitting seeing as it was composed in part to be the Olympic games of 2012’s theme song.
It’s inspiring and energizing, and the guitar mixed at 2:20 is my favorite guitar tone I’ve ever heard. I go back to that section alone and listen to the instrumental frequently because it’s that good.
I noticed that I haven’t mentioned Bellamy’s vocals too much throughout this list, but Survival definitely deserves a shoutout. He hits ridiculous notes throughout the song, culminating in an unparalleled bellow to close the track.
32. Supremacy – The 2nd Law
Speaking of Matt’s vocals, we have Supremacy. This song is like a Bond theme on steroids. The guitar is tuned down to drop A, and the riff is headbang-worthy. Chris has been caught on record saying it was, at least at the time, his favorite track to play because he thought the riff was so powerful, and I couldn’t agree more.
It’s not all about the riff or the singing though. I thoroughly appreciate the timpani usage during the verses, along with the rolling snare. It a startlingly cinematic song, and I hope that one day it will be adopted in a Bond film.
31. Time Is Running Out – Absolution
This was present on other songs on Absolution, such as Hysteria, but Time Is Running Out marked the moment where Chris started to truly step into his role as a prominent and leading bassist of modern music. Of course, the bass isn’t particularly difficult to play in this song, but the tones that he managed to create through creative tinkering is what made the track so distinct. He deserves almost as much credit as Matt in creating the iconic sound that we all recognize.
30. Animals – The 2nd Law
Animals is definitely one of the most underrated out of all of Muse’s discography. They managed to pull of a 5/4 song which actually alternates time signatures during the bridge. They did this while showcasing another one of their best pieces of bass work, all of which culminates in a highly complex music concoction. The beat is tight, and everybody works together flawlessly.
29. Soldier’s Poem – Black Holes And Revelations
Soldier’s Poem almost comes off as an homage to Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley, but it does so in a subtle and respectful way. Additionally, it contains some of the best Muse harmonies in their whole catalog. My only complaint is that it is so short, but maybe that’s partially to due with the fact that a Soldier’s life is not necessarily a long one.
28. Assassin (Live) – Black Holes And Revelations
This song would have definitely not made the list if I was only to count their studio version. I found the mix to be very weak, and the guitar underwhelming. However, with the added outro in this live version, on top of a stronger guitar tone, there was no way this song couldn’t make it on the list. I’d love to see this one live, but with so many songs to pick from it’s unlikely.
27. Bliss – Origin Of Symmetry
Bliss is another which probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the show at the Mayan. I definitely appreciated the song prior to seeing it in this video, but the mix is so good live it trumps even the great studio version.
After falling in love with this recording, I went back and listened to the studio and enjoyed it even more than I did previously.
26. Hysteria – Absolution
As I mentioned before, Absolution marked the moment where Chris stepped into his role as defining the groundbreaking sonic direction of Muse, and Hysteria is the pinnacle of that experiment. It has their most famous bass line, along with an extremely effective experimental tone.
I think the guitar intro in this particular version is superior to all others, and I’ve seen dozens. There’s a reason this song has been requested consistently at every show for over a decade now.
25. Unnatural Selection – The Resistance
Now that we’ve reached the top half of the list, most of the songs are ones that I am currently listening to frequently. Many of the ones listed previously have been my number one picks at some point, but maybe have been played by myself too much to get as into them.
With the remaining tracks, however, I have yet to even come close to overplaying them, the first of which is Unnatural Selection. It harnesses the riff power of songs like New Born, but adds a breakdown in the middle that brings the song in a whole other sonic direction.
The best moments of this song are the guitar breakdown towards the middle, and the outro, which has one of my favorite Muse riffs. This is another that I would love to see performed live, but don’t expect to.
24. Unintended – Showbiz
Unintended is one of their most beautifully arranged songs. It’s very minimalist, but it uses that to its advantage by honing in on Bellamy’s voice. the song could be performed just as effectively if it was just Matt on his guitar, but the additional instruments accentuate what is already perfect without distracting the listener.
23. Uno – Showbiz
I unquestionably adore the introduction in this song. Thankfully, Matt has started utilizing the technique of making the scratchy sound on the introduction to Reapers, so we get to see more of it.
Uno was actually one of the first songs Matt ever wrote. According to him, he was about 17 years old at the time.
22. Showbiz – Showbiz
To be honest, when I first heard this song I didn’t understand the hype. I now totally get it. Like many Muse tracks, it builds up into one of the most bombastic songs ever conceived, which you couldn’t possibly predict by listening to the first 30 seconds.
It also helps that it was one of their first ventures. People typically remember the past fondly, so the song that started it all must have been particularly poignant for many fans.
21. Blackout – Absolution
It’s difficult for me to decide which I enjoy more – Unintended or Blackout, but for now it’s Blackout. Similarly to Unintended, I adore the chords used on this song, but the catch is that this song is more focused on the strings. I think this makes the song slightly more smooth which can make it even that much more effective, but who knows. It fluctuates daily between the two, but both are perfect regardless.
20. Liquid State – The 2nd Law
This is another sleeper track, as many on The 2nd Law are, that I see people constantly skimming over. The chorus is a wave of energy, and the riffs in the verses are so distinct. It’s clear that it stands out in part to it being written and sung by Chris, and I think it gave Muse a spark of creativity that it didn’t know it needed.
19. Plug In Baby – Origin Of Symmetry
This riff is the first I learned when I seriously was trying to get better at guitar. It was deceptively difficult at the time, because although it sounds like it repeats it really doesn’t. It’s constantly adding a new note higher up on the scale until it ends up recycling. Overall, it’s one of their most fun songs to play and sing along to.
18. Supermassive Black Hole – Black Holes And Revelations
The opening to this track is unfathomably hard hitting for a funky song. It was their biggest venture into pop territory at the time, and the success it received was no doubt what propelled them to continue in this direction.
The chorus contains some of the best vocal melodies Muse has to offer, and overlaps them on top of each other. It’s almost impossible to not sing along to this song, and the Wembley version makes it even better.
17. Panic Station – The 2nd Law
If Muse weren’t experimental enough, they threw in a 80s pop/rock jam into The 2nd Law for the hell of it, and it absolutely paid off. It is ripe with slap bass and a horn section. This song never fails to get people moving.
Additionally, at times Matt can write melodies that are too legato for the scenario, like I think is the case in Exo-Politics. Here, however, he writes a punchy vocal line for the verses that contrasts nicely with their discography. It is definitely a memorable and standout track, which is hard to do for such a diverse band.
16. Madness – The 2nd Law
Yes, I’m well aware that I’m picking some of their poppier songs. I will continue to do so throughout the remaining 15 songs, so be prepared for it!
In all seriousness, many of their popular tracks are popular for a reason. Either they did something unique, or they perfected an already present concept. In Madness, we see a completely unique utilization of the bass, one which manifests beautifully live. If you haven’t seen a live version of this song I highly recommend it because the bass that Chris uses is intriguing. He’s continues his experimentation a decade after working on his unique bass sounds for Hysteria and Time is Running out.
And, all of this is without even mentioning the best part of the song. The entire thing builds up piece by piece until it explodes similar to Dead Inside. Then, it shines as Bellamy soars twice above beautifully written and executed chords.
15. Starlight – Black Holes And Revelations
There’s not too much to say about Starlight that hasn’t been said before. It has a fantastic bass tone, great piano and guitar work, and is overall one of their most recognizable songs. It is the quintessential sing-along song.
14. Ruled By Secrecy – Absolution
I wouldn’t necessarily call this song a “slow” song, but it definitely is subdued for an extended period of its run time. I love the echo on the electric piano and the staggered drum beat, but of course the best moment is when the piano cascades in violent torrents. The first time I heard that moment I was almost shocked, and then promptly went to play it again.
There’s no doubt that songs like this will never become hits, and Muse knew it, but they put it in anyways. That’s what makes me love them as artists – they do what they want, despite what would be the conventionally wise thing to do.
13. The Globalist – Drones
I’ve seen a relative amount of disdain for this song, which is largely due to the hype that engulfed it prior to release. It was marketed by the band as “Citizen Part 2”, which I don’t really see as a justified comparison.
What The Globalist IS, however is a cinematic journey of 10 minutes. It takes us through an entire story just with it’s instrumental. That’s without even mentioning the lyrical journey.
It goes from the solitude of the introductory chords to a painful march in the second part. Then, it rips with soaring riffs for minutes straight, only to fall back into a reflective piano ballad. It’s cyclical, just like history, and the message is timeless.
12. Reapers – Drones
This is the best guitar work Bellamy has ever done, by far. The solo alone is enough to have it on my list, and add that to the ACDC inspired prechorus and the devastating outro and you have the perfect recipe for a banging Muse track.
11. Resistance – The Resistance
The last song before the top 10 is another that many people can’t stand. While in some cases I understand complaints surrounding Muse tracks, this is one where I absolutely cannot.
This song is another cinematic journey, but in a more palatable format. Rather than being a 10 minute long epic, it’s a 6 minute long journey through the same emotions of loneliness. The piano and drum intro are unlike any I’ve heard before, and inspired a few copycats including myself. The prechorus with the battling voices is enthralling, and the track overall will always be a favorite of mine.
10. Dead Star – Hullabaloo
This is one of the heaviest riffs Muse has written, and it’s no wonder why it’s a fan favorite.
The oscillating synth added for performances from 2008 and after added just enough to push it into the top 10. I’m truly surprised this didn’t end up on one of their main studio albums – maybe it was too heavy.
9. Psycho – Drones
Excluding the Drill Sergeant introduction, which is not a part of the actual song, I love Psycho. The verses are groove driven and captivating, the main riff and the small alterations during the chorus are executed well, the mix is heavy, and the bass work is standout. Pretty much everything I like about Muse is here.
The only main complaint would be that I think the track goes on slightly too long. After the first breakdown I think they could have gone into a solo and final chorus, rather than going into a chorus then a solo then a final chorus.
In any case, I’d surprisingly consider this one of the most fun Muse songs. It’s dark and heavy but I can’t help but move along to the beat.
8. Uprising – The Resistance
This song is mixed perfectly, and I can’t think of a better way for Muse to translate their identity into the pop scene. This song is haunting and creepy, while featuring synthy bass and leads. It’s almost like Muse took everything that made them unique and perfectly transposed it onto another canvas/genre.
This song is essentially the embodiment of why I’m not worried about Muse and their future creations. Any genre they’ve attempted to master has at least worked on most levels.
7. Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 [Redemption] – The Resistance
Part 3 is one of the only slower songs to make it this high on my list. Although I do enjoy Muse no matter what genre they are experimenting in, I can’t help but tend to favor their content with higher energy. This song is certainly an exception, and it does so with very few vocal pieces at all. There is a slight humming and a couple lines towards the end and that’s it. It’s mostly an instrumental, but it’s one that I can’t find myself getting out of my head. It is reminiscent of Moonlight Sonata, but maintains its own identity.
6. Explorers – The 2nd Law
This might be the song people are most surprised about – and believe me, I am too. I didn’t expect to end up loving this song so much, but after listening to the instrumental a few times and a couple years of ruminating on all of their music, I think this has to be their best slow song. It is haunting and dark but so beautifully structured at the same time. It is one of the few modulations that I’ve experienced that I thought worked perfectly, and I love the vocal “solo”.
Everything about this song is amazing, and I hope some of their future projects contain more works like this. The chords, the melody, and everything else is phenomenal.
5. Knights Of Cydonia – Black Holes And Revelations
I’m sure nobody is surprised to see Knights of Cydonia in my top 5. It has become the quintessential Muse song, containing bombastic elements, synth elements, and everything in between.
The video is spectacularly hysterical, the intro they tack on live is perfect, and I don’t think I’ve seen a crowd react to this song with anything but absolute ecstasy, and for good reason.
Pretty much the highlight of every live show has to be screaming the lyrics out right before it explodes into the classic riff.
4. Stockholm Syndrome – Absolution
You’ll likely be able to tell from the consequent tracks selected for the top three, but if you couldn’t already, my favorite Muse is heavy Muse. When they decide to get dark and heavy, they never disappoint, and Stockholm Syndrome is one of the exemplary of that.
That, added with the fact that they tend to tack on minutes and minutes of thrashing riffs following the conclusion of the song live makes it a no-brainer as number 4. The solo is also one of my favorite of theirs, despite the fact that it is somewhat repetitive. I actually appreciate repetition when it is done in tactfully, like here.
3. New Born – Origin Of Symmetry
This was the song that got me into Muse. I had, of course, heard some of the singles before, like Madness and Uprising, but when I looked through their catalog to find this gem, I instantly knew I had to listen to every single song they had ever made.
The intro is my favorite of any of their songs, and it culminates in a monstrous riff that persists throughout the entire run time.
And, back to the Mayan, this version was so good that I had to share it. I go back to it regularly to revel in the raw talent. Bellamy seamlessly transitions between piano and guitar, and his solo is way better than the studio version.
2. Micro Cuts – Origin Of Symmetry
I’m actually intent on starting a band of my own, and one of the songs that I know I absolutely want to cover is this song. This is, along with the next track to be mentioned, just about as dark as Muse gets, at least in terms of sound.
I fervently appreciate the 6/4 time signature present in the verses, and the ending riffs are monumental. Bellamy likely gives one of his best ever vocal performances in a couple of his live outings of this track, one of which includes Hullabaloo, which I listed above.
1. The Handler – Drones
Yes, a song off of Drones that everybody seems to ignore is my absolute, unquestionable favorite Muse song of all time. All of the positions on this list were hard to pick except for number two and number one, the easier of which was the latter. This song is powerful, from start to finish. The bass and the guitar work together to create an unparalleled, booming, thick texture that carries us to the prechorus. This is where Chris gets to write a haunting yet melodic bass part in preparation for the chorus, where Bellamy’s voice soars like only his can.
After they finish the second chorus, they break the rules of what can be done in a song by choosing to loop the same ominous guitar riff and bass line while shifting the drum beat multiple times. This gives the piece endless energy as we gallop through the rest of the song. It may be their darkest song of all time musically, and the visuals accompaniying their lyric video seem to evoke similar emotions.
This all goes without discussing the lyrical content, which is also extremely dark. It’s probably the strongest lyrical moment on all of Drones, and it marks a turning point in the narrative of our protagonist.
The contextual weight this track holds in the narrative, the prominence of each member in the song, and the production easily makes this my favorite all time Muse song.
Showbiz – 5
Origin Of Symmetry – 8
Absolution – 6
Black Holes And Revelations – 6
The Resistance – 7
The 2nd Law – 8
Drones – 6
Hullabaloo – 2
Twilight – 1
Showbiz – 0
Origin Of Symmetry – 2
Absolution – 1
Black Holes And Revelations – 1
The Resistance – 2
The 2nd Law – 1
Drones – 2
Hullabaloo – 1