Saturday, March 14, 2020

Muse - Showbiz (1999)

Muse - Showbiz (1999)

Tracklist front / back album covers

Showbiz – Standard edition
1. "Sunburn"   3:54
2. "Muscle Museum"   4:23
3. "Fillip"   4:01
4. "Falling Down"   4:33
5. "Cave"   4:46
6. "Showbiz"   5:16
7. "Unintended"   3:57
8. "Uno"   3:37
9. "Sober"   4:04
10. "Escape"   3:31
11. "Overdue"   2:26
12. "Hate This and I'll Love You"   5:09

Total length:   49:36

Showbiz – Digital download edition
13. "Spiral Static"   4:44

Showbiz – Japanese edition
10. "Spiral Static"   4:44
11. "Escape"   3:31
12. "Overdue"   2:26
13. "Hate This and I'll Love You"   5:09

Total length:   54:20

Showbiz – Benelux edition (Disc 2)
1. "Host"   4:17
2. "Coma"   3:35
3. "Pink Ego Box"   3:32
4. "Forced In"   5:10
5. "Agitated"   2:23
6. "Yes Please"   3:05
7. "Fillip" (Live)   3:46
8. "Do We Need This?" (Live)   4:12

Muse Band Members / Musicians

Matthew Bellamy – vocals; lead and rhythm guitars; piano; Hammond organ on "Falling Down", "Unintended" and "Escape"; mellotron on "Muscle Museum" and "Unintended", Wurlitzer electric piano on "Fillip" and "Hate This and I'll Love You"; synthesizers on "Cave", guitar synthesizer on "Sober"; harmonium on "Escape"; string arrangements on "Showbiz"; production and mixing on "Muscle Museum", "Unintended", "Uno" and "Sober"; artwork

Christopher Wolstenholme – bass; backing vocals; double bass on "Falling Down" and "Unintended"; production and mixing on "Muscle Museum", "Unintended", "Uno" and "Sober"

Dominic Howard – drums; percussion on "Showbiz", "Uno" and "Hate This and I'll Love You"; synthesizer on "Muscle Museum"; production and mixing on "Muscle Museum", "Unintended", "Uno" and "Sober"

John Leckie – production and mixing on "Sunburn", "Fillip", "Falling Down", "Cave", "Escape", "Overdue" and "Hate This and I'll Love You"

Paul Reeve – production and mixing on "Muscle Museum", "Unintended", "Uno" and "Sober"; backing vocals on "Unintended", "Uno", "Overdue" and "Hate This and I'll Love You"

Tanya Andrew – artwork
Craig Gentle – design
Ralf Strathmann – photography
Frederic Gresse – photography

Showbiz is the debut studio album by English rock band Muse. It was first released on 7 September 1999 in France, on 28 September 1999 in the United States by Maverick Records, and on 4 October 1999 in the United Kingdom by Mushroom Records and Taste Media. Recorded between April and May 1999 at RAK Studios and Sawmills Studio, respectively, the album was produced by John Leckie and Paul Reeve in conjunction with the band. Showbiz was a moderate commercial success, reaching number 29 on the UK Albums Chart. As of 2018, Showbiz has sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide.

Showbiz was released in various regions around the world through the band's different regional labels: Naïve in France, Motor in Germany, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, Maverick in the United States, Play It Again Sam (PIAS) in Benelux, and Avex Trax in Japan.

Showbiz was recorded between April 1999 and May 1999. However, the album included some older songs in Muse's repertoire, many of which can date as far back as 1996. Most of the songs on Showbiz had already been written at least by 1997. The songs featured on the album were among the "fifty or so" that Matt Bellamy had written before entering the studio. The band selected the songs which they deemed to be the more conventional and "straight-forward" to make up Showbiz. While the songs contain an eclectic and diverse sound featuring subtle classical, jazz, blues, Latin, and world music influences, they have a distinct and cohesive alternative rock aesthetic. The more experimental material was left out of the album to be included as B-sides in the single releases. A few of those songs were later featured on the compilation album Hullabaloo Soundtrack.

John Leckie, the producer of the album, started attending Muse's concerts in the latter half of 1998. Leckie was based at Sawmills recording studio, where the owner Dennis Smith had given the band free recording time the previous year, from which the Muse EP had resulted in 1998. He built up a relationship with the band during this time, coming to say that he'd "want to work with the band if ever they could afford him". Leckie had not worked with many bands for quite some time prior to doing so with Muse. The recording was finished by 15 May 1999.

The sleeve design was criticised by Muse biographer Ben Myers, who wrote that it was "just plain strange. Ill-advised. Tacky, even" and "recalled the sort of artwork that Eighties prog-rock revivalists like Marillion used or, worse still, the doodlings of a sci-fi obsessed A-Level art student" instead of "the work of an exciting, new, distinctly modern band."

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