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Coldplay

From Academic Kids

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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:

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, The Smiths, 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 penned by the band.

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 (http://www.indielondon.co.uk/music/mu_coldplay_TCT03_rev.html). 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".[1] (http://www.amnestyusa.org/musicforhumanrights/artists/artist_coldplay.html)

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 like that."

Contents

History

Pre-Parachutes (September 1996-October 1999)

Flyer for an early 1998 gig
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Flyer for an early 1998 gig
The members of the band met in the residence halls of University College London in September 1996. Martin and Buckland were the first members of the band, having met one another during freshers' week. They spent the rest of the year planning a band; at one point Martin had considered forming a *NSYNC inspired boy band called Pectoralz. Eventually, Berryman joined the ranks, regardless of what musical direction the band was taking. On January 8 1998, the band's line-up was complete when Champion joined the band to take up percussion duties. The multi-talented Champion had grown up playing piano, guitar, bass, and tin whistle; he quickly learned the drums, despite having no previous experience with that instrument. At the time, the band performed under the name Starfish. Eventually, they took the name Coldplay from a mutual friend, Tim who had his own band. According to Martin, "He (Tim) decided he didn't like the name anymore because it was too depressing."
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From left: Guy, Jon, Chris, Will
In 1998, Coldplay was performing small club gigs for local Camden promoters. Wanting more creative freedom, Martin recruited fellow student and childhood friend Phil Harvey to act as band manager. Harvey helped the band raise money needed to record a demo. On May 18 1998 the band released 500 copies of Safety EP. Most of the discs were given to record companies and friends; only 50 copies remained for sale to the public. In December, Coldplay was signed by indie label Fierce Panda, after founder Simon Williams had attended the band's gig that evening. The result was the three track EP Brothers And Sisters which was quickly recorded over four days in February 1999. The disc was released in April, only 2,500 copies were pressed in a very limited release. Buzz was slowly growing across the UK, helped by regular airplay from BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq.

After completing their final examinations, Coldplay was signed to Parlophone for a five album contract in Spring 1999. After making their first appearance at Glastonbury, the band went into studio to record a third EP titled The Blue Room. The disc was released in October and 5,000 copies were made available to the public. The recording sessions for The Blue Room were tumultuous. Champion walked out for a week causing Martin, a self-proclaimed non-drinker and non-smoker to go on a drinking binge. Eventually, the band worked out their differences and placed a new set of rules to keep the group intact. First, the band declared an all-for-one approach; Coldplay was a democracy and profits were to be shared equally, taking a page from bands like U2 and R.E.M. Second, the band would fire anyone who used coke. In later years, Martin joked about the band's clean-cut image by saying "This (playing music) is better than doing coke off a hooker's back! Which we don't do!"[2] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/reviews/story/0,11712,937490,00.html)

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.

Coldplay at 2001
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Coldplay at 2001 Brit Awards
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 public consciousness.

Coldplay released their first full-length album, Parachutes in July 2000. 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. There were numerous rumours that the band was on the verge of a break-up or that the album would be their final release.
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Clockwise from left: Will, Guy, Jon, Chris
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". During the extended tour, Coldplay also recorded a live DVD and CD, Live 2003, at Sydney's Horden Pavilion.

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 for "Clocks".

X&Y (Mid 2004-present)

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Coldplay, Inside Entertainment (April 2005)
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.[3] (http://www.anecdotage.com/index.php?aid=19007).

Coldplay's third album, X&Y was released on 6 June 2005 in the UK. The lead single "Speed of Sound", made its radio and online music store debut on April 18 and was released as a CD on May 23 2005. The album debuted at #1 in 28 countries worldwide. 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. Coldplay will also be headlining the 2005 Coachella, Glastonbury, and Fuji Rock festivals.

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.

Discography

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all releases are on the Parlophone label in the UK and Capitol in the US.

Studio Albums

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1. Parachutes (July 10, 2000); #1 UK; #51 US; #19 CAN; #2 AUS

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2. A Rush of Blood to the Head (August 26, 2002); #1 UK; #5 US; #1 CAN; #1 AUS

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3. X&Y (June 6, 2005) #1 UK; #1 US; #1 CAN; #1 AUS

Live Albums

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Live 2003 (November 4, 2003); #13 US; #10 CAN

DVD

  • Maximum Coldplay (Unofficial Documentary)
  • Coldplay - Back to the Start (Unofficial Documentary)

EPs

  • Safety EP (1998, released independently, UK only, limited to 500 copies)
  • Brothers and Sisters EP 1999, released on Fierce Panda in the UK)
  • The Blue Room EP (1999, released on EMI Int'l in the US and Parlophone in the UK)
  • Trouble (2000 - a live EP, recorded in Norway, different from the single of the same name, Norway only, released on the EMI label)
  • Sparks (2000, never commercially released but promotional copies are widely available, contains a live version of Yellow and a B-side from The Blue Room EP)
  • Clocks (2003, a live EP, recorded in Rotterdam, Netherlands, comprising three separately-sold singles that go together in a large gatefold case, released on EMI international, limited production)

Singles

Other

  • "Mince Spies" (2001, released only to the pre-Parachutes Coldplay fan club, consists of a cover of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and a remix of "Yellow", limited to 1000 copies worldwide)
  • "Remixes" (2003, UK only, limited to 1000 copies)

Similar Bands/Artists

References

Mass Media

Websites

External links

Official Site

Fan Sites

Other


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