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Artist: Coldplay

Coldplay

Bio

Coldplay is a British alternative rock band, formed in London, United Kingdom in 1997. The band comprises vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland – who met each other in September 1996 at Ramsay Hall (halls of residence) at University College London - bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion. Not only have Coldplay had 7 highly successful studio album releases (all of which reached #1 on the UK album chart) - with their latest 7th studio album released on December 4, 2015 (A Head Full of Dreams) - Coldplay have also achieved great success with their singles, such as Yellow, Speed of Sound, the Grammy-winning Clocks and the US and UK #1 single Viva La Vida. Influences Coldplay's early material was often compared to that of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of the band's debut album, Parachutes (2000), Coldplay has also drawn influence from other sources, including Echo and the Bunnymen and George Harrison on A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) and Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y (2005). Frontman Chris Martin credits 1980s Norwegian pop band a-ha for inspiring him to form his own band. Coldplay never intended to become England's favorite rock & roll sons when their signature rock melodies ruled the charts throughout 2000. The quartet yearned to mess around a bit, plucking their own acoustics for fun while attending the University College of London. All had been playing instruments since their early teens and had been influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, the Stone Roses, Neil Young, and My Bloody Valentine. They never imagined taking reign of the UK's ever-changing rock scene. Each member had come from a solid household of middle-class parents who encouraged music. Chris Martin, the eldest of five siblings, began playing the piano as a young child. He started playing in bands around age 15 and sought solace in the words of Tom Waits. Jonny Buckland, on the other hand, was into the heavy guitar work of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix and was playing guitar by age 11. Scotland native Guy Berryman was into funk instead of indie rock, therefore leaving him to play bass. The multi-instrumentalist Champion had not planned to be a drummer until he joined Coldplay. He favored playing guitar, bas
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News

Ghost Stories Live 2014 (DVD+CD) (CD Packaging) by Coldplay - ArtistDirect

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11/24/2014
$18.99

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Coldplay, Ghost Stories - Album Review - Contact Music (Reviews)

Coldplay, Midnight - Single Review - Contact Music (Reviews)

Coldplay - Ghost Stories - Exclaim! (Reviews)

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Coldplay - Ghost Stories

When we got our first taste of Ghost Stories with "Midnight," it seemed as though the band was shedding its tried-and-true brand of anthemic alt rock and taking a note from the book of Bon Iver, with an eerie build-up that never quite resolves and vocoder that perfectly fits Chris Martin's soft coos. If you were hoping the rest of Ghost Stories would shatter the Coldplay mould, keep waiting. The other eight tracks do little to differentiate themselves from the band's recent records (especially 2011's Mylo Xyloto), with tracks flooded with electronic beats, mood-setting...Read More

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Ghost Stories by Coldplay - ArtistDirect

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05/16/2014
$15.99

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Coldplay, Atlas - Single Review - Contact Music (Reviews)

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Since the original movie was released, it seems like bands have leapt at the opportunity to be involved in The Hunger Games soundtracks. The first...

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Articles

Coldplay: X&Y Word, Jun 2005

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AS A STAUNCH advocate of pop music that's actually popular, that revels in its ability to make human connections, I can't begrudge Coldplay their unquestionable skill at finding a huge audience and satisfying it. But I remain slightly bewildered by it. As Chris Martin sighs somewhere here: "I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak." Or, more accurately, a language I don't need.

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I wouldn't mind, but, like it or not, we'll all be hearing selections from X&Y for the foreseeable, just as we've heard 'Clocks' and 'The Scientist' adorn everything from the snooker to Wife Swap. Because on TV, when the show goes a bit slo-mo, the cup's held aloft or the life-coach touches a raw nerve, they reach for Coldplay. I haven't managed to hear any of their records since 'Yellow' (which I enjoyed, though I've still no idea what it's about) without being reminded of sport or garden makeovers.

This isn't the band's fault (they can do less about the use of their music on TV than you'd think) but one's associations with music that's used for gilding the mundane like this eventually become so random and depersonalised it's hard to gauge any longer whether Coldplay are producing something genuinely moving and truthful or just emotion-flavoured rusk. It's been useful to hear X&Y without prejudice, in the pre-blast moment of hush when its desired effect remains unspoilt by such inappropriate exposure.

At first listen, X&Y is a big blowy object with some poignant singing in it – a tree full of owls. It's the first Coldplay record built to match the scale of their audience. But reacting to huge success can go wrong. Who loves Rattle & Hum, for example? A record full of nothing but itself, if ever I've heard one. Might X&Y – 60 songs rejected, 18 months in the fussing-over, recorded in eight studios – suffer similar problems?

Its twelve songs, averaging five minutes each, are certainly crammed with sound – guitars summon the on-rush experienced while dangling from the undercarriage of a jet, or peal Edge-like above speedboat-over-glass keyboard sounds, there are cascades of Elgarian strings (and a 'Day In the Life'-style orchestral crescendo), room-filling drums, hanger-filling reverbs and lots of soaring, soothing vocal oohs. And yes, at first, more breadth than depth.

Opener 'Square One' begins with misty synth and mournful guitar. "You're in control, is there anywhere you wanna go?" sings Martin in his unmistakeable chewy frown of a voice, with its dash of adenoid and wounded puppy. "It doesn't matter who you are/You just want somebody listening to what you say," he continues, knowing damn well by now that he's right. This album's subtext is 'If you build it they will come'. He makes a further entreaty to join him in his on-going nervous breakdown: "Is there anybody out there who/Is lost and hurt and lonely too?" Of course. And they all want a ticket.

The appeal of Parachutes was hearing Coldplay's adolescent soul stuttering to life, when it worked it was touching and compelling like watching a new-born foal get up and walk. Martin – if the press is to be believed – was still a virgin when that album was written and his searching tenderness, accompanied by churning, slightly tentative indie-rock, was entirely apt. Twelve million sales, A Rush Of Blood To The Head, acclaim, fame, A-list wife and healthy baby later and the same neurotic worldview is starting to feel, well if not unfeasible then at least a bit wilful.

Granted, the revelation that fame doesn't solve your problems, just makes the whole world aware of them, may be kicking in about now, but even so, the almost cynically beautiful 'What If' sounds like an act of emotional self-harm. "What if you should decide that you don't want me there in your life" is surely asking for trouble, goading happiness to seek revenge; the kind of martyrdom to romantic disillusion that would put off any decent lover. The chorus goes "Ooh, that's right. Let's take a breath and jump over the side." To which the sane answer is, 'Well, that might sort your head out, sunshine, but I was planning on living a while longer.'

The title track takes a similar tack, that love equals resignation – the greatest gift a control-freak can give. It opens with one of the album's best lyrics, "Trying hard to speak and/Fighting with my weak hand/Driven to distraction/It's all part of the plan", setting itself up with the wry acidity of Randy Newman, before the trusty love/ocean metaphor returns: "You and me are floating on a tidal wave together" sings Chris over a Doves-like seascape which is quite lovely.

All subtlety is blown away, however, by the cornfield-parting gusts of 'White Shadows', 'Talk' and 'Low' which come on like face-offs between U2 and Muse. 'White Shadow''s cathedral organ bleeds into 'Fix You''s churchy organ.This one represents everything there is to love or loathe about Coldplay: self-help-manual sentiment set to a hymnal melody. "Lights will guide you home/And ignite your bones/And I will try to fix you." You'll either weep or spew.

Martin is immensely skilled at stroking a cliché and delivering it so it sounds fresh and profound, the innocence in his voice disguising the vaguery and ubiquity of what's being sung. This is a rare skill, and solid gold in the pop trade. But his lyrical tics are legion. "Bones", "stones", "space", "sea" and "light" all crop up again, more than once. Revisited expressions like "how long", "going back" and "opened up my eyes" abound, as do his trademark opposites and couplings: "black and white", "backwards and forwards", "reason and rhyme". So, words on the existential nursery slopes of Tin Pan Alley, music Himalayan.

I'm not convinced that aiming for something on this scale is the point of Coldplay. You've probably heard first single 'Speed of Sound'. Does it feel as if there's too much going on to you? (And doesn't the bridge nick Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill'?) Surely Coldplay's chief appeal has been as something fundamentally fragile and intimate. The Coldplay Song That Straddled The Earth doesn't seem right.

There's a clue to what they might have done instead: a thirteenth track, ''Til Kingdom Come', appears 30 seconds after 'Twisted Logic' has smashed to a halt. Probably cut early in the sessions (it was recorded with original co-producer Ken Nelson), it's a marvel of restraint, Coldplay-go-Johnny Cash, a foreboding campfire song around acoustic guitar, harmonium and a few block piano chords. It's a genuinely affecting and unaffected performance, a song with the confidence not to bluster. A bit more of this would have been preferable to a plodder like 'The Hardest Part', incongruously reminiscent of Hothouse Flowers.

In a recent interview, Martin revealed that many of the people who heard early drafts of X&Y thought it was good but missing A Song, the one, as David Hepworth put it in last month's Springsteen review, which does the heavy lifting for the others. Martin's response to this probably irksome feedback was 'A Message': "My song is love/Love to the loveless shown.../You don't have to be alone." Sonically, it shimmers, as they all tend to, between U2, Radiohead, Echo And The Bunnymen and themselves. Lyrically, it ticks all Martin's favourite boxes and it couldn't be more germane to this album: if you need it, it'll fill your heart with flowers and chocs, if you don't, it's as empty as a drum.

That's X&Y. I've not just heard this one, I've listened to it, many times, and it's undoubtedly a massive record – in every sense. But I suspect that, just as the Beatles had to grow beyond 'She Loves You' or U2 switch track whenever fatal self-importance looms, X&Y will be the last album Coldplay make in this style. The "suffer the lovelorn to come unto me" thing has been well said and done. If they're going to "take out U2" – as Martin has vowed – then, next time, Coldplay must stretch themselves, not merely pump themselves up.

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Top Albums

A Rush of Blood to the Head cover art

A Rush of Blood to the Head

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Parachutes cover art

Parachutes

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X&Y cover art

X&Y

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Mylo Xyloto cover art

Mylo Xyloto

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Top Songs

Clocks cover art

Clocks

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Viva la Vida cover art

Viva la Vida

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The Scientist cover art

The Scientist

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Yellow cover art

Yellow

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Fix You cover art

Fix You

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Don't Panic cover art

Don't Panic

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In My Place cover art

In My Place

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Recommended Albums

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Recommended Songs

Wonderwall cover art

Wonderwall by Oasis

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Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

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