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Coldplay - X&Y
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X&Y
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72434747862
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Rock/Pop
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2005-06-07
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Track Listing
1
 
Square One (4:47)
2
 
What If (4:57)
3
 
White Shadows (5:28)
4
 
Fix You (4:54)
5
 
Talk (5:11)
6
 
X&Y (4:34)
7
 
Speed of Sound (4:48)
8
 
A Message (4:45)
9
 
Low (5:32)
10
 
The Hardest Part (4:25)
11
 
Swallowed in the Sea (3:58)
12
 
Twisted Logic (5:01)
13
 
Til Kingdom Come (4:10)
Notes / Reviews

X&Y is the third studio album by English rock band Coldplay, released 6 June 2005 in the United Kingdom via the record label Parlophone. The album, which features influences of electronic music, was produced by the band and British record producer Danton Supple. British record producer Ken Nelson was supposed to produce much of the album, however, many songs written during their sessions were ditched due to the band's dissatisfaction. The album's cover art is a combination of colours and blocks, which is a representation of the Baudot code.

The album contains twelve tracks and an additional hidden track, "Til Kingdom Come". It is omitted from the track listing on the album sleeve, but listed as "+" on the disc label and inside the album booklet. It was originally planned for American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash to record it with Martin, but Cash died before he was able to do so. The song "Talk" appeared on the main track listing, although it was thought to have been downgraded to a B-side for the album's subsequent single releases, after it leaked online in early 2005.

The album has been considered a landmark achievement of the band, topping many charts worldwide, including the United Kingdom and United States, the latter being their first. With accumulated sales of over 11 million units, X&Y was the best-selling album released in 2005 worldwide. Reviews for X&Y were mostly positive, but critics of the album felt it did not quite meet the standards of its 2002 predecessor. The album has spawned the singles "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Talk", "The Hardest Part", "What If" and "White Shadows".

Background and recording

In March 2004, Coldplay announced details in the working of X&Y. Initial plans were to stay out of the public eye throughout the year. Vocalist Chris Martin stated, "We really feel that we have to be away for a while and we certainly won't release anything this year, because I think people are a bit sick of us." This plan, however, was not due to the pressure their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, had induced but they were trying "to make the best thing that anyone has ever heard". Prior to the announcement, Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, and British record producer Ken Nelson had started recording demos while in Chicago, Illinois. The band then entered a London studio in January 2004.

The band spent eighteen months working on the album. The released album is the third version which the band had produced during their late sessions, and some have even considered it as their fifth album. The band was not satisfied with the outputs of their initial sessions with Nelson, who produced the band's previous two albums. The initial set release date was 2004, and the band had to delay the album to January 2005. But as the new target date was approaching, the band again discarded songs, which they deemed "flat" and "passionless". Sixty songs were written during these sessions, fifty-two of which were ditched. The band started rehearsing the songs for a planned tour, but felt the songs sounded better live compared to their recorded versions: "We realized that we didn't really have the right songs and some of them were starting to sound better because we were playing them than they did on record, so we thought we better go back and record them again." Guitarist Jonny Buckland has said that the band had pushed themselves "forward in every direction" in making the album, but they felt it sounded like they were going backwards compared to their earlier works.

In search of perfection, Coldplay had to "step it up a few notches and work hard at it to get it right". The band chose Danton Supple, who mixed the bulk of A Rush of Blood to the Head, to oversee the production of X&Y. When January went, the band had to finish the album; they were conscious of the pressure as "expectations for the record grew larger" and "completing it became tougher and tougher". Finally, the band was settled with the song "Square One", which Martin has described as "a call to arms" and a "plea" to each of them "not to be intimidated by anything or anyone else". Once finished, the band felt like they could do their own songs and not have to think of anyone else's demands. During this month, the band was into the final weeks of production and had put the finishing touches on the tracks.

Drummer Will Champion later admitted that the band was not in a rush in completing the album "because the prospect of touring again was so daunting that we felt we should take our time, and also we wanted to make sure that it was the best it could possibly be". The band had no deadline, according to him, which caused them not to feel pressured into finishing something. Once a proper deadline was imposed onto the band, they became more productive than previous sessions. At this juncture, the band had written "about 14 or 15 songs". Martin added that the reason why they ended up late was that they "... kept finishing the record until it was way too late ... don't listen to it at the moment, because just find something to go back and change."

Composition

Kraftwerk live in Stockholm.jpgleftthumbColdplay received permission from Kraftwerk to use the main riff from "Computer Love" for the track "Talk".

Coldplay has cited various influences in the album. The German electronic music pioneer Kraftwerk is evident on the song "Talk", which borrows its synthetic hook from 1981's "Computer Love". Also present is 1970s electronic music from the likes of English musician David Bowie and Brian Eno. Eno, who would later produce Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and their forthcoming fifth album, played backing synthesizer on the track "Low". The first single, "Speed of Sound", also takes inspiration from the drumbeat of English singer-songwriters Kate Bush's song "Running Up That Hill". According to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, the band attempts to "carry the beauty of 'Clocks'" across the album, borrowing some of its features to songs like "Speed of Sound".

"Fix You" features an organ and piano sound. The song starts with a hushed electric organ ballad, including Martin's falsetto. The song then builds with both an acoustic guitar and piano sound. The sound then shifts with a plaintive three-note guitar line, ringing through a bringing rhythm upbeat tempo. Its instrumentation is varied with the sound of church-style organs hovering throughout the background, piano notes, acoustic and electric guitar riffs, drums, and a singalong chorus. "The Hardest Part" features a faster piano ballad sound, and starts with a repeating two-note piano riff, and features an instrumentation of a singsong guitar. It also includes a slow tempo with a drumming rhythm. The track ends with the band playing the repeated instrument riffs.

"Talk" is built around a simple guitar lick by Jonny Buckland. The track includes a hypnotic pace, with Will Champion adding a metronomic beat to the drums. The song features a synthesizer hook notable from Kraftwerk's "Computer Love". It also adds a chiming note to more abrasive riffs during the breakdown near the end of the song. "Speed of Sound" is a silmar song musically based on the piano. The song benefits from an insistently ornate keyboard riff and a busy but less-hummable chorus, in which the song builds into a huge drum beat and a synthesizer-heavy chorus, which also includes an upbeat tempo.

Lyrically, X&Y made an apparent shift from its predecessors. On their previous works, Martin sang mostly in the first person "I", but moves to the second person "you". Accordingly, the songs on the album are reflection of Martin's "doubts, fears, hopes, and loves" with lyrics that are "earnest and vague".

Packaging

Baudot Tape.JPGthumb240pxuprightThe Baudot Code was the subject for X&Y's artwork.

The artwork for X&Y was designed by graphic design duo Tappin Gofton, formed by Mark Tappin and Simon Gofton. The image, which is visualized through a combination of colours and blocks, is a graphical representation of the Baudot code, an early form of telegraph communication using a series of ones and zeros to communicate. The code was developed by Frenchman Émile Baudot in the 1870s, and was a widely used method of terrestrial and telegraph communication.

The alphabet of the code is presented in the liner notes of X&Y, and if applied to the code of the cover image, reveals "X&Y". The track listing, included on the booklet, CD, and back of the album, uses "X#" on tracks 1–6, and "Y#" on tracks 7–12, rather than the conventional track numbering system. This is a reference to the title of the album. Many pages in the booklet include photos of the band working on the album. The final page of the booklet contains the slogan "Make Trade Fair", the name of the international organization which Chris Martin continues to support. The band dedicates the album to "BWP" that is presented also inside the liner notes; it stands for Bruce W. Paltrow, the late father of Martin's wife, Gwyneth Paltrow. All singles released from the album feature their titles in the same code on their respective covers.(2005) Artwork for X&Y by Coldplay. Capitol (CDP 7243 4 74786 2 8). Martin sometimes wears coloured tape on his hands while on stage, as a reference to the album.

Release and promotion

Talk (Kansas, 2005).jpgthumbleftThe Twisted Logic Tour promoted X&Y from 2005 to 2006.

X&Y was initially intended for a 2004 release, although early news reported it would not be released until 2005; however, because of personal preferences, songs recorded in several sessions were scrapped and had pushed the expected release date to January 2005. However, the new date went by and the band had to set another schedule. By early 2005, the album, rumoured to be called Zero Theory, had a target release date between March and May 2005. By early April, the band had finalized the track listing of the album. Eventually, the album was released on 6 June 2005 in the United Kingdom via record label Parlophone. It was issued on 7 June in the United States by Capitol Records. The album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions. In 2008, Capitol released a remastered version of the album on two 180-gram vinyl records as a part of the "From the Capitol Vaults" series.

Around three months prior to the album release, Coldplay began performing several songs from the album during live performances. The band made a headlining performance at public radio station KCRW-FM's annual A Sounds Eclectic Evening, staging five songs from X&Y and some of their old favourites. For the song "The Scientist", Martin sang one of its verses backward, a technique he learned in shooting its music video.

The album has four main singles that were released internationally: "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", and "Talk" in 2005, and "The Hardest Part" in 2006. A fifth single, "What If", was released in June 2006 to radio stations in France and the French-speaking portions of Belgium and Switzerland. A commercial CD was also released in Belgium and features the same B-side as "The Hardest Part" ("How You See the World" recorded live at Earls Court), which was released in other European markets as well as Japan and Australia. This single features the "Tom Lord-Alge Mix" of "What If" as the A-side which differs from the usual album version. Finally, in 2007, "White Shadows" was released as a single in Latin America, to coincide with the band's 2007 Latin America Tour. This also complemented the special "Tour Edition" of the album that was released in these regions.

Reception

Critical response

The album's reviews were generally positive upon release, particularly mainstream media. However, some critics have stated that the album fell short of the standards set by A Rush of Blood to the Head, X&Ys predecessor. Coldplay has also received criticism for the similarities between the lead single, "Speed of Sound", and "Clocks", one of the band's most popular songs to date. Others have noted the obvious similarities to the Irish band U2's sound that can be heard throughout the album.

Kelefa Sanneh of Rolling Stone magazine was less contented with X&Y, writing it "is something less exciting" compared to A Rush of Blood to the Head that "was a nervy bid for bigness". Sanneh notes that the album is "the sound of a blown-up band trying not to deflate" and "a surprising number of songs here just never take flight". Despite such, he compliments the album for featuring "lovely ballads that sound, well, Coldplay-ish". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic counter-argues, saying that "it's a good record, crisp, professional, and assured, a sonically satisfying sequel to A Rush of Blood to the Head", stating it as "impeccable" and "a strong, accomplished album". However, Erlewine has sentiments to Martin's songwriting, commenting that the album reveals his "solipsism is a dead-end, diminishing the stature of the band". Alexis Petridis, in his March 2005 review for the British newspaper The Guardian, had mixed feelings. Petridis praised some of the album's songs, writing that they are "mostly beautifully turned"; however, he panned the lyrics, claiming "they are so devoid of personality that they sound less like song lyrics". Pitchfork, in contrast to the album's positive reception, gave it a negative review and rated it 4.9 out of 10, claiming it was "...Bland but never offensive, listenable but not memorable."

Commercial performance

X&Y was a commercial success in Europe. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart (making it Coldplay's third consecutive number-one debut) with sales totalling 464,471 (the second highest opening sales week in UK history).

To date, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has certified the album eight-times platinum. The album placed at number nine on the list of United Kingdom's 20 biggest-selling albums of the 21st century, published by the British trade paper Music Week.

The American press have considered X&Y a landmark achievement of Coldplay. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 737,000 copies despite the highly competitive retail week. The album gave the band their first US number-one album by debut, and its initial sales surpassed the band's previous album releases; Parachutes amassed over 6,500 copies in its debut and A Rush of Blood to the Head with sales of under 141,000. X&Y became the second highest first week sales in the United States for 2005, behind American rapper 50 Cent's second album The Massacre, which sold over one million units in its first week of release. X&Y also emerged as the biggest-selling debut under rock genre. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has since certified the album three-times platinum for accumulated shipments of over three million units. Altogether, the album emerged as 2005's best-selling album worldwide, accumulating over 8.3 million units despite the aggregate three percent fall of sales.

Awards

The album earned the band several awards. In 2006, it won the Best British Album accolade at the BRIT Awards, and International Album of the Year at the Juno Awards which Coldplay shared with American hip hop group the Black Eyed Peas. X&Y had scored Coldplay their third consecutive Mercury Prize nomination. It was also nominated for Best Rock Album at the 48th Grammy Awards, but it lost to U2's album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Charts, sales and procession

Charts

Sales and Certifications

Chart procession and succession

References





This text has been derived from X&Y on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

Coldplay are an English alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After forming Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a drummer, backing vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, completing the lineup. Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member.Roach, p. 22 The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998,. Coldplay.com. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2009-08-26. before recording and releasing three EPs; Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999 and The Blue Room in the same year. The latter was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.. Daily Star. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2008-05-05.

Coldplay has won numerous music awards throughout their history, including six Brit Awards—winning Best British Group three times, four MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awards from twenty nominations. 2009 was their most successful year having received seven Grammy Award nominations at the 51st Grammy Awards, and won three. The Telegraph Retrieved February 14, 2011

Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Radiohead, U2, A-ha, and Travis. They achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single "Yellow" in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year, Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band's second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), won multiple awards, including NME's Album of the Year. Their next release, X&Y, received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception upon its release in 2005. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews, earning several Grammy nominations and wins. As one of the world's best-selling music artists, Coldplay have sold over 50 million records worldwide. MTV Retrieved February 14, 2011

Since the release of Parachutes, Coldplay have drawn influence from other sources, including Echo & the Bunnymen, Kate Bush, George Harrison and Muse on A Rush of Blood to the Head, Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y and Blur, Arcade Fire and My Bloody Valentine on Viva la Vida. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

History

Formation and first years (1996–1999)

Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland first met during their orientation week at University College London (UCL) in September 1996. The pair spent the rest of the university year planning a band, ultimately forming a group called Pectoralz. Guy Berryman, a classmate of Martin and Buckland, later joined the group. By 1997, the group, who had renamed themselves Starfish, performed gigs for local Camden promoters at small clubs. Martin also had recruited his longtime school friend Phil Harvey, who was studying classics at Oxford, to be the band's manager. Coldplay have since accepted Harvey as the fifth member of the group. The band's lineup was completed when Will Champion joined to take up percussion duties. Champion had grown up playing piano, guitar, bass, and tin whistle; he quickly learned the drums, despite having no previous experience. The band finally settled on the name "Coldplay" which was suggested by Tim Crompton, a local student who had been using the name for his group. By 1997, Martin had also met then Classics student Tim Rice-Oxley. During a weekend on Virginia Water, they asked each other to play off their own songs on the piano. Martin, finding Rice-Oxley to be talented, asked him to be Coldplay's keyboard player but Rice-Oxley refused as his own band, Keane, was already operational. Days after, this event would shape the second line-up of Keane and keep Coldplay's unaltered, thus leaving both bands as quartets.

In 1998, the band released 500 copies of the Safety EP. Most of the discs were given to record companies and friends; only 50 copies remained for sale to the public. In December of that year, Coldplay signed to the independent label Fierce Panda. Their first release was the three-track Brothers and Sisters EP, which they had quickly recorded over four days in February 1999.

After completing their final examinations, Coldplay signed to Parlophone for a five-album contract in the spring of 1999. After making their first appearance at Glastonbury, the band went into studio to record a third EP titled The Blue Room. Five thousand copies were made available to the public in October, and the single "Bigger Stronger", received BBC Radio 1 airplay. The recording sessions for The Blue Room were tumultuous. Martin kicked Champion out of the band but later pleaded with him to return, and because of his guilt, went on a drinking binge. Eventually, the band worked out their differences and put in place a new set of rules to keep the group intact. Inspired by bands like U2 and R.E.M., Coldplay decided that they would operate as democracy, and that profits would be shared equally. Additionally, the band determined they would fire anyone who used hard drugs.

Parachutes (1999–2001)

The band initially planned to record their debut album in the space of two weeks. However, tours and other live performances caused the recording to spread out between September 1999 and April–May 2000.Roach, p. 45 In March 1999, Coldplay began work on their debut album, recorded at Rockfield Studios, Matrix Studios, and Wessex Sound Studios with producer Ken Nelson, although the majority of Parachutes' tracks were recorded at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios. The band worked in three studio rooms at Parr Street, and tracked much of the album in one of these rooms—the project studio which Nelson describes as "basically a demo room". The album was mixed by American engineer Michael Brauer in New York. Coldplay's record label had originally intended to use a mixing engineer for the tracks they picked as singles, but eventually hired Brauer to work on all songs for the album.Sam Inglis (October 2000). . SOS. Retrieved 2008-09-09. During that period, they played on the Carling Tour, which showcased up-and-coming acts.

After releasing three EPs without a hit song, Coldplay charted into the Top 40 with the lead single from Parachutes, "Shiver". Released in March 2000, it reached number 35 on the UK Singles Chart. June 2000 was a pivotal moment in Coldplay's history: the band embarked on their first headlining tour, including a showing at the Glastonbury Festival. The band also released the breakthrough single "Yellow". The song shot to number four on the UK Singles Chart and placed Coldplay in public consciousness. "Yellow" and "Shiver" were initially released as EPs in the spring of 2000.Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2002). . Backbeat Books. p. 235. ISBN 087930653X. Retrieved 2008-09-07. The former was later released as a single in UK on 26 June 2000. In the United States, the song was released as the lead single off the then-untitled debut album. In October 2000, the track was sent to US college and alternative radio outlets.Basham, David (2000-10-16). . MTV. Retrieved 2008-09-09.

Coldplay released their first studio album, Parachutes, on 10 July 2000 in the United Kingdom via their record label, Parlophone. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. It was released on 7 November 2000 by record label Nettwerk in North America. The album has been made available on various formats since its initial release; both Parlophone and Nettwerk released it as a CD in 2000, and it was also released as a cassette by newfound US label Capitol in 2001. In the following year, Parlophone issued the album as an LP. The band released a limited-edition CD of "Trouble", the third single off the album, which features a remix of "Yellow". It was pressed to 1,000 copies, and was issued only to fans and journalistsMoss, Corey (2001-12-18). . MTV. Retrieved 2008-09-22. Both "Yellow" and "Trouble" earned regular radio airplay in the UK and US.

Parachutes was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in September 2000. Having found success in Europe, the band set their sights on North America, released the album there in November 2000, and started the U.S. Club Tour in February 2001. Although Parachutes was a slow-burning success in the United States, it eventually reached double-platinum status. The album was critically well-received and earned a Best Alternative Music Album honours at the 2002 Grammy Awards. Chris Martin claimed after the release of Parachutes the album's success was intended to achieve the band's status as the "biggest, best band in the fucking world."

A Rush of Blood to the Head (2001–2004)

AROBTTHTour1.jpgthumbleftColdplay's live performances during their 2002 tour were noted for its use of strobe lighting.

After the success of Parachutes, Coldplay returned to the studio in September 2001 to begin work on their second album A Rush of Blood to the Head, once again with Ken Nelson producing. The band started recording the album in London a week after the September 11 attacks in the United States. Since the band had never stayed in London before, they had trouble focusing. They decided to relocate in Liverpool, where they recorded some of the songs on Parachutes. Once there, vocalist Chris Martin said that they became obsessed with recording. "In My Place" was the first song recorded for the album. The band released it as the album's lead single because it was the track that made them want to record a second album following a "strange period of not really knowing what we were doing" three months after the success of Parachutes. According to Martin "one thing kept us going: recording 'In My Place'. Then other songs started coming."Cumberbatch, Franklin (2002-08-13). . VH1. MTV Networks. Retrieved 2008-09-14.

The band wrote more than 20 songs for the album. Some of their new material, including "In My Place" and "Animals", was played live while the band were still touring Parachutes.Nelson, Chris (2001-02-12). . MTV. Retrieved 2008-09-14. The album's title was revealed through a post on the band's official website.Luerssen, John D. (2002-04-25). . Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2008-09-14. The album was released in August 2002 and spawned several popular singles, including "In My Place", "Clocks", and the ballad "The Scientist". The latter was inspired by George Harrison's title track to All Things Must Pass, which was released in 1970.

Coldplay toured from June 2002 to September 2003 for the A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour. They visited five continents, including co-headlining festival dates at Glastonbury Festival, V2003 and Rock Werchter. Many concerts showcased elaborate lighting and individualised screens reminiscent of U2's Elevation Tour and Nine Inch Nails' Fragility Tour. During the extended tour, Coldplay recorded a live DVD and CD, Live 2003, at Sydney's Hordern Pavilion.

In December 2003, readers of Rolling Stone chose Coldplay as the best artist and the best band of the year. At that time the band covered The Pretenders' 1983 song "2000 Miles" (which was made available for download on their official website). "2000 Miles" was the top selling UK download that year, with proceeds from the sales donated to Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence campaigns. A Rush of Blood to the Head won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards. At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Coldplay earned Record of the Year for "Clocks".

X&Y (2004–2006)

Coldplay in Barcelona 2.jpgthumbColdplay, live at Barcelona in 2005

Coldplay spent most of 2004 out of the spotlight, taking a break from touring while recording their third album. X&Y was released in June 2005 in UK and Europe. This new, delayed release date had put the album back into the next fiscal year, actually causing EMI's stock to drop. It became the best-selling album of 2005 with worldwide sales of 8.3 million. The lead single, "Speed of Sound", made its radio and online music store debut on 18 April and was released as a CD on 23 May 2005. The album debuted at number one in 20 countries worldwide, and was the third-fastest selling album in UK chart history. Two other singles were released that year: "Fix You" in September and "Talk" in December. Critical reaction to X&Y was less enthusiastic than that of its predecessor, with New York Times critic Jon Pareles describing Coldplay as "the most insufferable band of the decade" Comparisons between Coldplay and U2 became increasingly common, although critical reaction to the album was still largely positive. Chris Martin later revealed that the negative remarks made him feel "liberated".

From June 2005 to July 2006, Coldplay went on their Twisted Logic Tour, which included festival dates like Coachella, Isle of Wight Festival, Glastonbury and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. In July 2005, the band appeared at Live 8 in Hyde Park, where they played a rendition of The Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony" with Richard Ashcroft on vocals. In September, Coldplay recorded a new version of "How You See the World" with reworked lyrics for War Child's Help!: A Day in the Life charity album. In February 2006, Coldplay earned Best Album and Best Single honours at the BRIT Awards. Two more singles were released during 2006, "The Hardest Part" and "What If". The sixth and final single, "White Shadows" was released in Mexico during June 2007.

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2006–2009)

In October 2006, Coldplay began work on their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, with producer Brian Eno. Taking a break from recording, the band toured Latin America in early 2007, performing in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. After recording in churches and other venues in Latin America and Spain during their tour, the band said the album would likely reflect Hispanic influence. The group spent the rest of the year recording with Eno.

Martin described Viva la Vida as a new direction for Coldplay: a change from their past three albums, which they have referred to as a "trilogy". He said the album featured less falsetto as he allowed his voice's lower register to take precedence. Some songs, such as "Violet Hill", contain distorted guitar riffs and bluesy undertones.

"Violet Hill" was confirmed as the first single, with a radio release date of 29 April 2008. After the first play, it was freely obtainable from Coldplay's website from 12:15 pm (GMT +0) for one week (achieving two million downloads), until it became commercially available to download on 6 May. "Violet Hill" entered the UK Top 10, US Top 40 (entering the Top 10 in the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart) and charted well in the rest of the world. The title track, "Viva la Vida", was also released exclusively on iTunes. It became the band's first number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and their first UK number one, based on download sales alone.

Upon release, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends topped the UK album chart, despite having come on the market only three days previously. In that time, it sold 302,000 copies; the BBC called it "one of the fastest-selling records in UK history". By the end of June, it had set a new record for most-downloaded album ever. In October 2008, Coldplay won two Q Awards for Best Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and Best Act in the World Today. The band followed up Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends with the Prospekt's March EP, which was released on 21 November 2008. The EP features tracks from the Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends sessions and, as well as being available on its own, was issued as a bonus disc with later editions of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. "Life in Technicolor II" was the only single released from the EP.

Coldplay-3.jpgthumbleftColdplay performing live outside the BBC Television Centre during their Viva la Vida Tour in 2008

Coldplay began their Viva la Vida Tour in June, with a free concert at Brixton Academy in London. This was followed two days later by a 45-minute performance that was broadcast live from outside BBC Television Centre. Released in late 2008, "Lost!" became the third single from the album, featuring a new version with Jay-Z. After performing the opening set on 14 March 2009 for Sound Relief at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Coldplay headlined a sold-out concert later that same night. Sound Relief is a benefit concert for victims of the Victorian Bushfire Crisis and the Queensland Floods.

On 4 December 2008, Joe Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Satriani's suit asserts that the Coldplay song "Viva la Vida" includes "substantial original portions" of the Satriani song "If I Could Fly" from his 2004 album, Is There Love in Space?. The Coldplay song in question received two Grammy Awards for "Song of the Year." The band denied the allegation. An unspecified settlement was ultimately reached between the parties.

Coldplay was nominated for four BRIT Awards in 2009: British Group, British Live Act, British Single ("Viva la Vida") and British Album (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends). At the 51st Grammy Awards in the same year, Coldplay won three Grammy Awards in the categories for Song of Year for "Viva la Vida", Best Rock Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Best Vocal Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for "Viva la Vida".

A live album entitled LeftRightLeftRightLeft was recorded at various shows during the tour. LeftRightLeftRightLeft, released on 15 May 2009, was to be given away at the remaining concerts of their Viva la Vida tour. It was also released as a free download from their website.

Fifth album (2009–present)

Following the Viva la Vida Tour, Coldplay announced another "Latin America Tour" to take place in February and March 2010, in which they will visit countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. In October 2009, Coldplay won Song of the Year for "Viva la Vida" at The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Awards in London.

Coldplay are reportedly working with Brian Eno again for their fifth studio album. In December 2009, it was reported that the band have been recording for the record inside a North London church. In June 2010, it was revealed on Coldplay's blog that the album is near completion. According to a blog post, "The songs haven't assumed their final beautiful form yet, but they're a very long way from their skin and bones phase. What's impossible not to conclude though, is that they have some absolutely killer tunes." On 1 December 2010, the band released a Christmas single entitled "Christmas Lights" and was met with largely positive reviews. On 7 January 2011, Martin and Champion were interviewed by BBC Radio and asked about the band's newest record, Martin replied "It's about love, addiction, OCD, escape and working for someone you don't like." In addition, they were asked whether or not the album would be out by the summer with Martin and Champion agreeing that there was plenty of work to be done before releasing it.

In an interview on January 13, 2011, Coldplay mentioned two new songs on their upcoming album, the two songs were said to be titled "Princess Of China" and "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" In a February interview Parlophone president Miles Leonard told HitQuarters that the band were still in the studio working on the album and he expected the final version would appear "towards the autumn of this year".

Musical style

Coldplay's alternative rock style has been compared to Radiohead and Oasis. Frontman Chris Martin once proclaimed the band's music as "limestone rock" in comparison to "hard rock." The band's music has been called "meditative" and "blue romantic"; it " on their emotions" and Martin "endlessly examine his feelings". Martin's lyrical wordplay has been called feminist, similar to Andrew Montgomery of Geneva.

The tone of the band's first studio album, Parachutes, was described as melodic pop with "distorted guitar riffs and swishing percussion". It was also described as being "exquisitely dark and artistically abrasive". In a review for A Rush of Blood to the Head, the songs were considered to contain "lush melodies and a heartbreak" and that they had a "newfound confidence." The music on X&Y has been considered to be "ruminations on Martin's doubts, fears, hopes, and loves." Coldplay acknowledge the Scottish alternative rock band, Travis, as a major influence on their earlier material.

Regarding their international wide success, the band's president at Parlophone, Miles Leonard has stated that one of their "secrets" is that they have never sounded like a parochial UK artist, saying: "Some bands are very proud to be British, but sometimes come across as being very ‘British’. Coldplay never aspire to that; on one hand they sound British but on the other they sound like a huge global artist."

In Viva la Vida or Death And All His Friends, the group's style was moving towards art rock, experimenting with different instruments including orchestras, honky-tonk pianos and further so. Their fifth album is moving towards an acoustic style but maintaining some of their experimental styles from the previous album.

Activism and commercial endorsements

Coldplay Twisted Logic Live 2006 in Singapore Indoor Stadium.jpgthumbMake Trade Fair, abbreviated as MTF, shown on Chris Martin's piano during a concert

Despite Coldplay's worldwide popularity, the band has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for product endorsements. In the past, Coldplay turned down multi-million dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke, and Gap, who wanted to use the songs "Yellow", "Trouble", and "Don't Panic" respectively. According to frontman, Chris Martin, "We wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs' meanings like that." The song "Viva la Vida" was featured in a commercial for the iTunes Store, advertising its exclusive availability of the single as a digital download on iTunes. Additionally, Chris Martin appeared at an Apple Inc. Special Event on 1 September 2010, playing a number of songs, and also thanked Apple for their assistance in marketing "Viva la Vida". Coldplay supports Amnesty International. Martin is regarded as one of the most visible celebrity advocates for fair trade, supporting Oxfam's ongoing Make Trade Fair campaign. He has been on trips with Oxfam to assess conditions, has appeared in its advertising campaign, and is known for wearing a "Make Trade Fair" wristband during public appearances (including at Coldplay concerts). The band were also filmed for Make Poverty History, clicking their fingers.

During the early years, Coldplay became widely known in the media for giving 10 percent of the band's profits to charity, which they continue to do. Bassist Guy Berryman said, "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." The band also asks that any gifts intended for them are donated to charity, according to a response on the FAQ section of Coldplay's website. Martin spoke out against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and endorsed the United States Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry and Barack Obama in 2004 and 2008 respectively.

In June 2009, Coldplay began supporting Meat Free Monday, a food campaign started by Paul McCartney which attempts to help slow climate change by having at least one meat free day a week.

From 17 and 31 December 2009, Coldplay auctioned a quantity of significant band memorabilia, including their first guitars. Proceeds went to Kids Company, a charity which helps vulnerable children and young people in London. A month later in January 2010, Coldplay performed a slightly modified version of "A Message", entitled "A Message 2010", at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon special, raising money for the victims of the Haitian Earthquake.

Band members

* Guy Berryman – bass, backing vocals

* Jonny Buckland – lead guitar, backing vocals

* Will Champion – drums, backing vocals

* Chris Martin – lead vocals, keyboards, guitar

Discography

;Studio albums

* Parachutes (2000)

* A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)

* X&Y (2005)

* Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)

* Fifth studio album (2011)

Awards and nominations

*List of awards and nominations received by Coldplay

See also

* List of artists who reached number one in the United States

* List of best-selling music artists

References

Further reading

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This text has been derived from Coldplay on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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