Left to right: Will Champion (drummer), Jonny Buckland (lead guitar), Chris Martin (vocals, piano) and Guy Berryman (bass).
Look at the stars Look how they shine for you And everything you do And it was all yellow
Coldplay is an acclaimed British light rock group who, after several low-key releases, hit the big time in 2000 with the single "Yellow". The following album, Parachutes (2000), debuted at number 1 in the UK, won a grammy and has since gone multi-platinum worldwide. The follow-ups, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), and X&Y (2005), continued the commercial and critical success - though they also gave the band a reputation for their songs sounding rather alike (the singles "Speed of Sound" and "Clocks" being frequently singled out for comparison).Their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), changed this. Produced by Brian Eno, it introduced "exotic" instruments such as an Ominous Pipe Organ, a Honky-Tonk Piano and elaborate string sections, as well as changing the fundamentals of their sound to include more experimental time signatures and unusual song structures. Despite the predictable They Changed It, Now It Sucks whining from some fans, this became the most paid-for downloaded album of all time. Joe Satriani sued the group shortly after the album's release, claiming they had plagiarised "substantial original portions" of his song "If I could Fly" (this was before the song won a grammy) - however, this was settled out of court and dropped. Later that year, the EP Prospekt's March was released, containing additional songs from the album's sessions and a remix involving Jay-Z.The band's next album, Mylo Xyloto (2011), continued the evolution, incorporating electronica elements. While the album was not as well-received by critics as previous efforts, it still charted well and soon went multi-platinum (as usual).Their next album, Ghost Stories, is due in May 2014.The band has also released three Live Albums - Live 2003 (from Sydney), LeftRightLeftRightLeft (2009), which is available for free from their website, and Live 2012, which is also a DVD.
Chris Martin - the band's leader, and a rather famous celebrity. Serves as the band's lead vocalist, lead pianist, rhythm guitarist (usually an acoustic), and primary songwriter. He's married to Gwyneth Paltrow.
Jonny Buckland - lead guitarist. Has a recognisable signature minimalist sound, and has been compared to The Edge.
Arc Symbol: Taken Up to Eleven in Mylo Xyloto. Every single song has its own symbol◊, some of them obvious but others only understandable in context (e.g. the butterfly representing "Paradise" is mentioned in the lyrics).
Black Sheep Hit: Parachutes is practically a Black Sheep Album: its intimate, acoustic style doesn't sound like any of Coldplay's other albums, and the band hates it these days. (Though "Yellow" still survives on the setlist)
Book Ends: The entirety of the album Viva La Vida. "Life in Technicolor" fades into the same series of notes that "Death and All His Friends" and the hidden track "The Escapist" fades out on.
Boy Band: When they first started, the group created an alter ego boy band called Pectoralz as a joke. No gigs were performed under the name.
Eaten Alive: In the music video for "Talk", the band members suffer this fate at the hands of a giant toy robot at the end. Though to be fair, one of the band members stole a knob from the robot.
Epic Instrumental Opener: "Life in Technicolor". It originally had lyrics, which were cut out at the last minute. The non-instrumental (but still epic) version was released later as "Life in Technicolor II".
Hidden Track: "The Escapist" on Viva la Vida and "Til Kingdom Come" on X&Y.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: The protagonist of "Viva la Vida" used to rule the world, now he sweeps the streets he used to own, looks back on his reign and laments his fate.
I used to roll the dice Feel the fear in my enemies' eyes Listen as the crowd would sing "Now the old King is dead, long live the King!" One minute I held the key Next the walls were closed on me And I discovered that my castles stand Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
Line-of-Sight Name: Before the band became famous, Chris had a song in mind that began like this: "Look at the stars/Look how they shine for you/And all the things you do." Unfortunately, at the end of every few lines, he drew a blank where he felt some lyrics should go. While singing the unfinished song to a dart-playing Jonny Buckland, he noticed a copy of the Yellow Pages off to the side. You can probably figure out the rest from there.
The music video for "Life in Technicolor II". It is a rock concert, complete with pyrotechnics. It's also a puppet show.
Chris Martin's guest role in an episode of Extras Chris Martin appears to film a charity appeal video together with Andy, but the only thing he's interested in is promoting the 'Coldplay Greatest Hits Album'.
The aforementioned "Angst by Coldplay" advertisement...for such an earnest band, they like this trope a lot.
Shrug of God: The bandmembers rarely give specific explanations of a song's meaning (though they love to give fake ones). Chris, the main lyric-writer, has stated that he has no idea what "Yellow" is about.
Jonny once stated that it was about bananas.
Something about a Rose: The end of the music video for "Viva La Vida" ends with the four band members turning into rose petals.