Review The Artist (56)
Just months after Coldplay released their #1 debut album, Parachutes, in England, they were hailed as Band of the Year 2000 in the music press. How did these four college friends become the poster children for a nation's emotions? It may have happened at the speed of light, but it wasn't as easy as it seems.
Coldplay secured a permanent position in Britain's music elite by writing beautiful, simple songs that gently pulled at the heartstrings of a nation. Somewhere in between the confident, vulnerable guitar playing of Jonny Buckland, the melodic bassline of Guy Berryman, thoughtful drumming of Will Champion, and lead Chris Martin's stark, tenor vocals are answers for the soul. Although melancholy stands behind every Coldplay song, each one is also steeped in an unusual and sincere optimism rarely found in English bands. Songs face an inevitable sadness and yearning - a little thing called being real - to get to a better place where the truth held firm in pure emotion is pivotal. Songs like the remorseful "Trouble," with its memorable piano-line, the lonely "Spies" and mega-hit single "Yellow" reveal a hybrid of lyrics that can only be described as joy and remorse, all wrapped into one. "We just want the songs to reflect reality," says Chris.
In doing so, Coldplay may well be the most profound British act to emerge out of the millennium thus far. No one is more surprised by their popularity than the band. Who knew such an austere and tactile musical existence would lead to such greatness? Yet it has.
It all began when the members of Coldplay met in 1996 - their first week of college (University College London). Two and a half years later, they had their first official band session - a rehearsal in Jonny's bedroom in January of 1998. Jonny and Chris had been working on songs since they met, but the other two members hadn't really been around much until Guy joined the band to play bass just before dropping out of engineering school. The other two stuck with their studies, while also pursuing music.
Will, also still in school, loved playing guitar but was persuaded to become Coldplay's drummer so the band could play their first gig (at a Cuban Caf?at a festival for unsigned bands called "In The City" in Manchester) in late 1998. They had just six songs written including "Don't Panic" and "High Speed" - now found on Parachutes. They soon released 500 copies of an EP called Safety (financed by their now manager, Phil) and released the single "Brothers And Sisters" on a small English label called Fierce Panda, after which the UK label Parlophone signed them in 1999 just before final exam time. As they say, the rest is history, or in the stars, or whatever. In any case, another EP on Parlophone, The Blue Room, followed, as did the single "Shiver."
Before the band, lead singer/guitarist/pianist Chris Martin grew up in a close family from Devon, England. In fact, he still lives at home as the eldest of five kids raised by a teacher mum and accountant dad, where he started bashing out tunes on the family piano at an early age. Typical of the first-born, he is an over-achiever and self-proclaimed worrier. Although anything to do with "injustice" will rile him up, no one can accuse him of being the typical tortured and drunken English musician since he rarely drinks, never smokes and admits life can be pretty damn good. He's a shy product of boarding school where he soon graduated to the guitar and has been in bands since the age of 15. He considers the big three in music to be: Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Tom Waits. Oh, and the Flaming Lips aren't bad either.
Lead guitarist Jonny Buckland doesn't think he's a very good guitar player, but the rest of the world begs to differ. He was born 22 odd years ago in London, then his family relocated to Mold, North Wales when he was just four. Jonny first picked up a guitar at the tender age of 11, encouraged by his older brother who was a huge My Bloody Valentine fan. Both boys grew up in a house filled with Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix from their dad's record collection. Yet it wasn't until Jonny discovered The Stone Roses that he started taking the guitar seriously. People describe him as shy and nonchalant, but he argues he's just happy to be quiet.
Bassist Guy Berryman was born in Scotland, although his family later moved to Kent, England where he started to collect rare groove and funk records when all the other kids were into indie rock. He started playing bass at age 13 and is still inspired by a love of those early records.
Words like "calm," "reliable" and "enthusiastic" are used to describe drummer Will Champion. He was born in Southampton, England to teacher parents who encouraged him to spend his formative years learning to play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, piano and the tin whistle. He had never played drums before joining Coldplay but was so musically inclined that he quickly caught on. "He's very quiet and very wise," says Chris about Will. "As a musician, he's got the most amazing sense of melody. He can play just about anything ... and he can do little impressions. He's good at entertaining people."
When the band went into the studio early last year with co-producer and engineer Ken Nelson to record Parachutes, they agreed that nothing would go on the album that they all four didn't agreed on. This led to a fierce and gut wrenching recording session that the guys thought might be their last. Songs ended up veering from fragile to forceful, from understated to epic, all-the-while carried by Chris' gorgeous vocal range and endearingly bashful lyrics. On a bittersweet morning in May, the album was finished.
No one predicted that just a short time later, Parachutes would debut at #1 and continue to hover in the Top Ten Charts for the remainder of the year. The band was also nominated for an esteemed Mercury Music Prize, received the Q Award for Best Album, signed to an American label (Nettwerk America/Capitol) and were exhausted by year's end from endless promotional duties and touring. Having been tirelessly in the spotlight for months now, the members of Coldplay are reticent to talk about themselves - subscribing to the school of thought that "those who say less tend to be wiser." Yet what they have to say can be heard in the music, which speaks louder than any words spoken ever will.
Chris admits that the last track on the album, "Everything's Not Lost," is the message of Coldplay's entire work up until now. The song says that when things happen to you in life, your first inclination is to think everything's terrible, what's the point? Then you realize the point is simply that - that it's not that bad and you have to keep going. Finally, you come to realize that life is good. Look for Coldplay to embark on their first-ever American tour in the beginning of 2001.
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Coldplay is my favorite! | Reviewer: Abby | 12/25/12
I'm 15 and I've been listening to Coldplay like my entire life!!! I absolutely LOVE Coldplay!!!!! I own ALL of Coldplay's albums!!!!
Coldplay's songs are so inspirational, if I'm feeling sad I can just listen to any of their songs and I can feel great! Their songs are amazing u can't even chose just one as my favorite!
Great show last night | Reviewer: Susan | 8/2/12
We have all the albums. I remember reading about them one night at dinner and didn't know about their music. It is addicting.
I saw them for the first time last night 8/1/12. Such a great, great show.
Awesome Band | Reviewer: A Person | 5/2/12
I really love this band! My old #1 song used to be Viva La Vida, but now after Mylo Xyolo (I Don't know how to spell it) Paradise is my favorite by them. But, I personally believe that they USED to be rock, but now are pretty much a Pop band, kinda sorta a rock band. Just my opinion, so don't get your panties in a bunch anyone.
Una voz Unica!!! | Reviewer: Enrique Bautista | 9/11/11
Los escuche por primera vez con "Trouble" en Radioactivo de la Cd. De Mexico y fue desde el primer momento que cai rendido al estilo de su musica. Recuerdo que el locutor decia que era la primera estacion que tocaba su musica en Mexico y que llegaria muy lejos esta banda ya que Yellow habia sido ya todo un hit para los radioescucha de la estacion y seguro que no se habia equivocado. Larga Vida a Coldplay y la inigualable voz de melancolia de Chris Martin que revasa fronteras e idiomas para sentir la pasion de una musica tan original y que me hace disfrutar cada una de sus letras y acordes.
Atte. Enrique Bautista Barroso.
Best Band Ever | Reviewer: anonymous | 4/6/11
I love all types of music reggae, pop, rock, etc. But when i heard Coldplay for the first time which was the song "Viva la Vida" I fell in love with their songs (yellow,violethill,talk,lost,cemeteries of london etc.). It was an amazing thing to have discovered them, because now I listen to them almost everyday. Their just the best!
Wen u're Gud u're Gud!! | Reviewer: gideon banda | 1/4/11
Rock =Coldplay. if people dont know rock music play them Coldplay and i can assure you they will never regret.. I LOVE all the songs done by Coldplay including the Escapist from Viva la Vida album. Wil, Jo, Guy & Chris arrange to come to Zambia!! I wish i could see you perform live!! By the way how did you come up with the band name?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Coldplay.
coldplay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: fidel r chavez | 1/4/11
idont know what to think about colplay but i can say that coldplay is a band very important in my life cuz i really like it n also think is amazing is the band of all the generations,the band of all the world and specially the baand of mexico cuz we love you!!!!!!!
I love Coldplay | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/5/10
For me, Coldplay, without a doubt, is the best band ever. Beautiful personalities; beautiful people; beautiful talent and beautiful, meaningful songs. Their songs can make people feel such emotion, that I don't think any other musician has yet achieved as well as them. And it's weird when people say their songs are depressing because for a lot of people, their songs make them feel happier. Especially me! I suppose people who can't relate to the songs would find it depressing, but that's only because they don't really understand the meaning behind the lyrics. I love Coldplay. I know there's no such thing as perfect but they are possibly the nearest to it. Their new song, 'Christmas Lights' is out! It's beautiful- even better than their song Yellow, which I thought was impossible.
Yellow is my childhood song. I used to sing it all the time. I just recently discovered Coldplay again after they just sort-of slipped away from me and I'm so glad I'm listening to their music again. Their songs are like a soundtrack to my life. Coldplay are amazing.
coldplay til i die | Reviewer: flash | 10/5/10
coldplay til i die i have seen them 20 times in one year each time they get better i am coldplay daft its like a drug i need coldpay every day or am not happy i eat sleep coldplay so rock on chris jonny will and guy you guys is my god we worship coldplay.
Thx to my stupid friend | Reviewer: George | 8/13/10
While working in the jungle in Colombia my workmate play a song of this band....since then, I bought everything I got from these guys...Excellent acoustic and voice from them. I will follow any release in the future for this band....and according to some reviews, if they are gay....who bloody cares!!!!!
Coldplay is AMAAAAAAAZING | Reviewer: ColdplaysBgstFan | 8/8/10
Coldplay is the best band. Ever. Period. you hear things like lady gaga, and she sounds like crap next to them. The beautiful lyrics and tunes and Chris's voice all mixed together...it makes me want to cry! I can play 3 of their songs-viva la vida, clocks, and the scientist. i don't know what i would be doing if coldplay wasn't here. lots of my friends think they suck, but i ignore them because COLDPLAY FOREVER!!! AND CHRIS, YOU ARE GORGEOUS! Gwenyth is sooooooooo lucky to have you. again, no singer, no artist, no band, can surpass coldplay. they are AMAAAAZING.
COLDPLAY R MINT | Reviewer: jessica kemp | 4/23/10
Coldplay is the best band ever. They are all amazing musicians and they are all gorgeous and talented. I cant beleive anyone could NOT like Coldplay i want there new album parachute it is good i heard some of there songs .. talk was the first song i ever heard by colplay my dad loves coldplay me and him drive my mam insain...
coldplay are da best ever | Reviewer: jessica | 4/20/10
Coldplay is the best band ever. They are all amazing musicians and they are all gorgeous and talented. I cant beleive anyone could NOT like Coldplay there isnt even a word to describe how amazing they are i love all there songs who knows. I found Coldplay when i first heard talk minage song and i listened to them everyday and then i fond more songs and they were just so amzing my friends hate coldplay but i dont know what there talking about .. even ma dad lovess u colplay and we listen to it full blast... we drive our mam insain ....
<3 coldplay with all my heart! | Reviewer: TTgirl | 10/9/09
coldplay is one of the most AMAZING bands to walk the planet, i have known about them sense they came out with a rush of blood to the head. I had a few songs on my ipod, after viva la vida came out i loved them even more! then once i went to the concert cuz my dad loved them more then anything, i became COMPLETELY obssesed!!!! coldplay is amazing and always will be, they are right up there with the beatles, elvis, and the rolling stones. i have learned how to play strawberry swing(one of my faves) and also yellow, i can hardly even name a top 5 songs i luv cause they are all amazing but i actually thought of 5, ps these are NOT and a specicic order...
Everything's Not Lost
Death and all his friends
Lovers in Japan
Viva la Vida
Well that was more then 5, but i could care less..haha and pllllz coldplay read this cuz i wanna play for you!!!!!!!!!!
ROCK ON COLDPLAY AND NEVER STOP!!! I LOOOOOVE YOU CHRIS YOU ARE THE MOST GORGUS MAN IN AMERICA!!
The Best Band Ever | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/24/09
I am a music lover and I always have been, but no band has ever touched me as deeply as Coldplay. Without realising it I basically grew up with their music, and every song they've released has at one time been my favourite. From Yellow to Clocks and In My Place, The Scientist, Speed of Sound, Violet Hill, Viva la Vida, all of the songs are beautiful. But until recently I had no idea who sang them. It must've been fate when a copy of Viva la Vida came into my posession last December, and I fell in love with the band. Listening to that album for the first time was almost like a religious experience. I was enchanted, and I knew I needed more. So I went out and bought their entire discography and now I am completely hooked. Their songs inspire me like no other. A few months ago I was fortunate enough to win tickets to one of their concerts: I cried twice and I danced and sang and laughed and it was just the best thing I've ever seen. Thank you Coldplay for being my musical soul-mate. :)
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