Coldplay is a post-Britpop/alternative rock band from London, United Kingdom
well known for their rock melodies and introspective lyrics.
The band consists of:
Chris Martin: lead vocals, lead piano/keyboard, guitar
Jon Buckland: lead guitar, harmonica, backing vocals
Guy Berryman: bass guitar, synthesizer, harmonica, backing vocals
Will Champion: drums/percussion, piano, backing vocals.
Coldplay's early material was reminiscent of artists such as Radiohead,
Oasis, Jeff Buckley, and Travis. Other influences include U2, R.E.M,
Pink Floyd, a-ha, John Lennon, The Smiths, Grandaddy, Sparklehorse,
The Stone Roses, Tom Waits, The Flaming Lips, Neil Young, Echo and
the Bunnymen and, more recently, Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk. Before
his death, Cash was actually scheduled to record a track written by
Since the release of A Rush Of Blood To The Head, Coldplay has also
been actively supporting various social and political causes. They
have been advocates for Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty
International. The group has also performed at various charity projects
such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust. Martin was
outspoken against Iraq war in 2003, and endorsed Democratic presidential
candidate John Kerry in 2004. Bassist Guy Berryman says, "You
can make people aware of issues. It isn't very much effort for us at
all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it".
Despite Coldplay's surge in popularity, the band has remained very
protective of how their music is used in the media. The band allows
their music to be used in film, television, and promotional spots such
as the movie trailer to Peter Pan. However, Coldplay has been adamantly
against their use in actual product endorsement. The band turned down
multi-million dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke and The Gap,
who wanted to use the songs "Yellow", "Trouble",
and "Don't Panic" respectively. According to Martin, "We
wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs' meanings
Parachutes (November 1999-September 2001)
In November 1999, Coldplay focused their efforts on their debut album.
The band spent the New Year by completing album tracks "Yellow" and "Everything's
Not Lost". They also played on the NME Carling Premier Tour, which
showcased up-and-coming acts. After releasing three EPs without a hit
song, Coldplay scored their first Top 40 single, "Shiver".
Released in March 2000, the single placed at a modest #35 and earned
the band their first airplay on MTV.
June was a pivotal moment in Coldplay's history. The band embarked
on their first headlining tour, which included a triumphant return
to Glastonbury. More notably, the band released the breakthrough single "Yellow".
The song shot to #4 on the UK Singles Chart and placed the band in
Coldplay released their first full-length album, Parachutes in July
2000, which debuted at #1 on the UK Albums Chart. Along with critical
acclaim, Parachutes was sometimes criticised for bearing a strong resemblance
to the music of Radiohead in their The Bends - OK Computer era. "Yellow" and "Trouble" earned
regular airplay on radio on both sides of the Atlantic. Parlophone
originally predicted sales of 40,000 units of Parachutes; by Christmas
1.6 million copies had been sold in the United Kingdom alone. Parachutes
was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in September 2000.
Having found success in Europe, the band set their sights on North
America. Parachutes was released in November 2000. The band embarked
on a US club tour in early 2001 coupled with appearances on Saturday
Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and The Late Show with David
Letterman. Parachutes was a modest success, and was certified with
Gold status in the United States. The album was also critically well
received, and Parachutes earned Best Alternative Music Album honours
at the 2002 Grammy Awards.
A Rush Of Blood To The Head (October 2001-Mid 2004)
Coldplay returned to the studios in October 2001 to begin work on their
second album. The sessions were sometimes difficult, and there were
numerous rumours that the band was on the verge of a break-up or
that the album would be their final release.
With much anticipation, Coldplay released their sophomore album, A
Rush Of Blood To The Head in August 2002. The album was generally considered
to be a more sophisticated effort than Parachutes. For example, the
charged opening track "Politik" was written days after the
September 11 terrorist attacks. A Rush Of Blood To The Head became
a best-seller and earned the band more critical accolades. The album
spawned many popular singles, notably "In My Place", "The
Scientist", and "Clocks". A Rush Of Blood To The Head
was perhaps most reminiscent of classic era Echo and the Bunnymen.
This is not surprising since Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch was invited
to recording sessions as an unofficial studio consultant. On one occasion,
Martin was actually wearing McCulloch's jacket when recording "In
My Place". Chris Martin and Jon Buckland returned the favour by
guesting on McCulloch's solo album Slideling. Coldplay also performed
live renditions of the Bunnymen hit "Lips Like Sugar" on
a regular basis.
Coldplay toured for over a year from June 2002 to September 2003,
visiting 5 continents including co-headlining festival dates at Glastonbury
Festival, V2003, and Rock Werchter. The tour showed the band's progression
into a bona fide stadium act. Many shows included elaborate lighting
and individualized screens reminiscent of the U2 Elevation Tour. Coldplay
also built a reputation of performing eclectic covers, including Aqua's "Barbie
Girl", Rammstein's "Du Hast", and Nelly's "Hot
in Herre", along with more heartfelt renditions of a-ha's "The
Living Daylights" and Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful
World". During the extended tour, Coldplay also recorded a live
DVD and CD, Live 2003, at Sydney's Horden Pavilion. A new song, "Moses",
could be found on this compilation.
In December 2003, Coldplay covered The Pretenders hit "2000 Miles",
which was made available for download on their official site. It was
the top selling UK download that year, with proceeds from the sales
were donated to Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence campaigns.
A Rush Of Blood To The Head won two trophies at the 2003 Grammy Awards.
At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Coldplay earned Record of the Year honours
X&Y (Mid 2004-present)
2004 was a quiet year for Coldplay, as they spent most of the year
out of spotlight resting from touring and recording their third album.
In May, Coldplay teased fans with a new song and music video on their
official site to celebrate the birth of Martin's daughter, Apple. Famed
producer Sir George Martin introduced the promo as Coldplay and their
producer Ken Nelson performed as The Nappies, a satirised rap/glam
rock outfit. Martin joked that this music had been inspired by Jay-Z.
Coldplay's third album, X&Y was released on the 6th June 2005
in the UK. The lead single "Speed of Sound", made its radio
and online music store debut on the 18th April and was released as
a CD on the 23rd May 2005. The album debuted at #1 in 28 countries
worldwide and was the 2nd fastest selling album in UK chart history
(behind the 1997 Oasis album Be Here Now).
X&Y was originally set to be released in late 2004. In the middle
of that year, Coldplay had penned over 40 new songs for their third
album. Several of these songs such as "Ladder To The Sun", "World
Turned Upside Down", and "Poor Me" had been performed
live on the A Rush Of Blood To The Head Tour. However, they were scrapped
and the band regrouped to write and record new tracks. X&Y was
recorded over 18 months in 8 studios in New York City, Chicago, Los
Angeles, Liverpool, and London.
To promote the new release, Coldplay performed at a series of intimate
secret gigs in Europe and in North America from March to May 2005,
which resulted in sold-out shows in locations such as San Francisco,
Chicago, Toronto, Boston and New York City. Coldplay is currently performing
on a European tour through June and July; the band will be playing
at 40 North American shows from August to late September during the
Twisted Logic Tour. Summer 2005 also saw them headlining the Coachella,
Glastonbury, and Fuji Rock festivals, as well as appearing at Live
8 in Hyde Park, London.
Coldplay has planned a second leg of the Twisted Logic tour for 2006,
with tentative North American dates from February to April.
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Chris Martin hinted that
Coldplay's next album may be a "fast, dark and heavy" affair "with
no pianos." Band manager David Holmes suggested that the band
may record a new album between their tour schedule over the new year.