Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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 all everything you do
Yeah they were 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 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).

The band has also released two Live Albums - Live 2003 (from Sydney) and LeftRightLeftRightLeft (2009), which is available for free from their website.


Related Acts:

  • Apparatjik (Berryman)
  • 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.
  • Guy Berryman - bassist. Is also a member of the completely different supergroup Apparatjik. Regarded as Mr. Fanservice.
  • Will Champion - drummer. Was sacked early in the band's career, but quickly re-hired (causing Chris to get himself drunk on Vodka as punishment.) Occasionally sings lead vocals.

Discography with singles:

Coldplay provides examples of the following tropes:

I'm going to buy this place and see it burn
Do back the things it did to you in return

  • Lyrical Dissonance: "
    • You didn't get to Heaven, but you made it close! ^^;;"
    • "Shiver" is a strongly stalker-ish song.
    • And of course, "Viva la Vida" (the song, not the album). The lyrics are not as happy as the melody suggests.
    • "Don't Panic", a gentle, lovely melody... about the fact that people are slowly killing the world. The music video makes it a little more obvious.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: "The Scientist".
  • New Sound Album: From indie darlings that wore Space Invaders shirts to big arena rock band that wears all black, and then from that to artsy-fartsy Middle Eastern strings and 7/4 time signatures. If the new songs are any indication, the fifth (and possibly last) LP Mylo Xyloto is going to be a mashup of all of the above, ranging from catchy electronica ("Every Teardrop is a Waterfall") to Parachutes-esque ballads ("Us Against The World") to epic arena rock ("Charlie Brown").
  • One of Us: To help prepare for the role of Pepper Potts in the Iron Man film, Gwyneth Paltrow, spouse of lead singer Chris Martin, borrowed a few comic books from her husband.
    • One of their songs is called "42", and another is called "Don't Panic". It's unclear whether these are actually references to the series, though.
  • Plagiarism: "Viva la Vida" alone got accused of plagiarizing:
    • Creaky Boards - "The Songs I didn't Write"
    • Joe Satriani - "If I could Fly"
    • Cat Stevens - "Foreigner Suites"
      • In the end all four songs were said to be similar to Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - "Se tu m'ami"
  • Protest Song: "Violet Hill", which also offers a bit of a Take That with the line "And a fox became God".
  • Record Producer: They drafted in the godfather of ambient music and all-around awesome guy Brian Eno for Viva La Vida. It shows.
    • Before, Ken Nelson co-produced the first two albums and four tracks of the third.
  • Rock Opera: Mylo Xyloto is one - the story of two people (Mylo and Xyloto) who are "living in an oppressive, dystopian urban environment" meeting and falling in love. And yes, it has a happy ending.
  • Recurring Riff: In the beginning of "Life in Technicolor" and the entirety of "The Escapist" is the same series of notes.
  • Self-Parody: 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'.
    • Chris's appearance towards the end of Shaun of the Dead.
    • 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.
  • Textless Album Cover: A Rush of Blood to the Head. Honorable mention to X&Y, which is written in a code. (the back card has the band and album name, still)
  • Viral Marketing: The lyrics videos for "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall".
  • Word Puree Title: Mylo Xyloto. Word of God says it's essentially meaningless.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Most of their songs have vague-ish meanings, so when they want to get really cryptic, this tends to happen.