Clear vinyl, limited edition, debut double album
I tend to go off bands when they get huge. Bands that tell you one minute they're happy playing at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall in front of 2000 people and the next they're playing the NEC. This is what has happened with me and Muse. Their debut album Showbiz was, and still is, a fantastic record. The follow up, Origin of Symmetry is a belter too but as they've started to progress through Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance and they're recent The 2nd Law, they've gone a bit egotistical in my view. They've gone all rock opera and it's all a bit Queen for me. Showbiz, however, still has that rawness. I feel a sign of a good album is when the tracks not released as singles are the better ones. 'Uno', 'Cave', 'Muscle Museum', 'Sunburn' and 'Unintended' are good but the title track, 'Fillip', 'Escape' and 'Hate This & I'll Love You' far outweigh them. They drew instant comparisons with Radiohead (and justified at the time in my opinion) and that's what probably drew me to them.
I picked up a copy of Showbiz from a record shop in Lichfield when it was released. If you're from the area you'll know the one I'm on about. Some of the band's older songs made it onto the album, which was produced by John Leckie and released on Mushroom Records (MUSH59LP) in October 1999 to moderate success, reaching number 29 in the UK album charts. From the first strains of Sunburn, you know you're in for a treat.
I'm not sure how many copies this album was limited to but this is number 2545. The gatefold sleeve has a white square bottom left with the number stamped in it and the reverse has a rather young Matt Bellamy and co band pic. The inside of the sleeve has another band pic, this time from a live show. Both records are pressed on clear vinyl, 3 tracks per side, with the one-sided labels etched directly into the wax. Each record is in a glossy colour inner sleeve with artwork, mastering and production credits. Both inner sleeves contain cryptic one-liners from each track, rather than the full lyrics.
These are becoming more rare but there are copies around for the hardened Muse collector. I say hardened because I've just found out mint copies such as this one are fetching anywhere between £200 and £250!
- Muscle Museum
- Falling Down
- Hate This & I'll Love You
Side 1 – DFI 99-8 MUSH59LP Y A1
Side 2 – DFI 99-8 MUSH59LP Y B1
Side 3 – DFI 99-8 MUSH59LP Z A1 = C
Side 4 – DFI 99-8 MUSH59LP Z B1 = D