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Coldplay are a pop band formed in London, England in 1998. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 40 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".
Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. 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. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.
Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Since the release of Parachutes, Coldplay have drawn influence from other sources, including Echo and the Bunnymen, Kate Bush and George Harrison 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, and the Teenage Cancer Trust
This is the discography of Coldplay, an English alternative rock band formed in London in 1997. The band have released four studio albums, 23 singles, five extended plays, one live album, and one compilation album. Coldplay's first release, the limited demo Safety (EP), was released in 1998, and their debut studio album, Parachutes, was released two years later, in July 2000.
Coldplay have sold over 40 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Talk", "Violet Hill", "Viva la Vida", and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".
The band's most successful album so far is A Rush of Blood to the Head. Their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, was released in 2008.
Also, in a BBC interview with the band, it was announced that they will be releasing their 5th studio album in December 2009.
Parachutes is the debut album by English alternative rock band Coldplay, released by the record label Parlophone on July 10, 2000 in the United Kingdom.
The album was generally successful both commercial and critical. Upon release, the album quickly reached number one in the United Kingdom, and has since been cerified 7x platinum. In the United States, the album peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200, and has since been certified 2x platinum. Parachutes won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2002.
Coldplay and British record producer Ken Nelson produced the album except of one song featured in the album. Nelson, whose profile as an engineer was growing with job offers starting to flow, was introduced to Coldplay by his manager in the name of Pete. Coldplay had released an EP and a single in the time and Pete gave Nelson a copy of it, with compliments for the band. Nelson, who likes bands that can play live, had expressed interest in working with Coldplay as soon as he heard band vocalist Chris Martin's voice in the song "Bigger Stronger". Nelson was offered the job while Coldplay was performing in Liverpool with English indie rock band Gomez, whom Nelson had worked with in the band's debut album.
The band started working on the album in 1999 and produced an EP with British record producer Chris Allison, but the band was not satisfied with the results. They stopped working with Allison on the album because they had wanted a bit more control of it; so, they looked for somebody and it was Nelson who qualified. Accordingly, in working with Gomez on the production aspects, Nelson imposed not on how the album should sound. Instead, he had been assisting to those he had worked with in realizing their own ideas, and not just "producing" for them. Nelson said: "I'm not producing the band, it was a co-production. It says that on the sleeve and we talked about that early on and, to be honest, I think that's possibly what got me the job, because they could have worked with anybody.
Recording and production
Initially, Coldplay envisioned of only a two-week recording for Parachutes. However, it went intermittent with their tours and other live performances between September 1999 and April-May 2000. The band worked with a total of nine to ten weeks of actual recording, interrupted by two mini-tours. Thus, the band recorded songs for the album in various European studios. Coldplay started working in 1999 in Rockfield Studios in Wales, Matrix Studios, and Wessex Sound Studios. After Christmas of 1999, the band relocated to London and thus most of the songs in the album were recorded at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios. Another studio used was the Orinico Studios in London for the song "High Speed", the only Chris Allison-produced track featured in the album. The band worked in three studio rooms in Rockfield, and tracked much of the album in one of these rooms—the project studio which is basically a demo room. Some of the songs were later mixed in New York while the recording was underway.
Nelson has described the album "sounds so organic". While playing in Liverpool, he thought that Coldplay's performance was "very very uptight ... and they rushed through the set and it was quite difficult to listen to". It did not effect well to him and Nelson thought the band needed to calm down. Once in the studio, what he had envisioned was what they basically did. The collective went through each song and had learned how to play the piece live, learned what tempo to play the song at, and some intricate details.
The album's cover features a photograph of a globe personally taken by the band with a disposable Kodak camera. The globe had been purchased from W H Smith for £10; it was featured in the music video for "Shiver" and "Don' Panic", and also accompanied the band on their tours. The album was dedicated to drummer Will Champion's mother, Dr. Sara Champion, who died of cancer in 2000.
Music and lyrics
Champion has explained that the liberating approach of Nelson in recording Parachutes had allowed them to feel at ease in working and get creative: "... it was just like having a fifth member of the band who would just sit there [and take it in]." The ensuing album was "a record's worth of moody and atmospheric tunes". With the moods created in the album, Champion has stated that the lyrics, which are "really happy", had resulted to being juxtaposed with a "really sad" music.
Parachutes was recognized to have an alternative rock sound similar to English band Radiohead in their The Bends–OK Computer era. In fact, it has been suggested that the album's commercial success was due in part to a portion of Radiohead's audience being alienated by the band's experimental and more electronic-influenced Kid A album.
Release and reception
Parachutes was released on July 10, 2000 in the United Kingdom via record label Parlophone. In the United States, it was released on November 7, 2000 by Nettwerk.
The album's third track "Spies" drew some attention from the Chinese government, who interpreted it as an anti-Communist song. This led to the album being banned in the country. Buckland comments, "We've been banned in China because of the song 'Spies'. Very strange."
The album won Best Album at the 2000 Q Awards, and was nominated at the 2000 Technics Mercury Music Prize. The following year, the band earned Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammy Awards and Best British Album at the BRIT Awards.
Parachutes was critically acclaimed in the local scene. Michael Hubbard of MusicOMH noted its an album of "remarkable depth, especially when one considers the youthful ages of the band members". An article published by the British newspaper The Guardian quotes that the album was seen as "one of the year's most uplifting albums", adding that it features "elegant songs, classic guitars and gorgeous singing".
The album received generally positive reviews among international critics. A review in Billboard magazine claims that Parachutes "brings nothing new to the table", writing that its "musical reference points are immediately recognizable and difficult to overlook". Despite this, the reviews adds, "Coldplay seems talented enough to transcend this early identity crisis", referring to them as a newly-introduced band in the United States. Matt Diehl of Rolling Stone magazine said that the album "ultimately rises above its influences to become a work of real transcendence". MacKenzie Wilson of Allmusic commented that it introduces the album as "young musicians still honing their sweet harmonies", adding, "Parachutes deserved the accolades it received because it followed the general rule when introducing decent pop songs: keep the emotion genuine and real."
Parachutes performed well in the United Kingdom. The popularity of the song in British clubs, pubs and sporting events bolstered the album to debut at number one on the UK Albums Chart. It has been certified 7x Platinum by the British Phonographic Industry, with sales of around 2,400,000 units, to date.
Parachutes has reached number 51 on the US Billboard 200, and has peaked at number one on the Billboard Heatseekers. The album's lead single, "Yellow", in the United States has helped the album's shipments reach over 1.2 million units. According to Nielsen SoundScan, over 2,700,000 copies have been shipped to US retailers; the album has since been certified 2x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, over one month after the release of the band's third album, X&Y. It has also been certified 3x Platinum in Australia by the Australian Recording Industry Association, and 2x Platinum in Canada by the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
Impact and legacy
According to the British trade paper Music Week, Parachutes was one of the most-impressive albums ever, spawning the hit singles "Shiver", "Yellow", and "Trouble". With nearly 2.4 million units sold in the United Kingdom alone, it has placed at number 12 on the country's list of 20 biggest-selling albums of the 21st Century.
The album was placed at number 14 in Channel 4's 100 greatest albums of all time, and in 2006 at number 33 in NME's 100 greatest British albums. Despite the album's critical and commercial success, Chris Martin said that Coldplay looks beyond Parachutes: "We know that's terrible music and we always try to think about what we can do next."
1. "Don't Panic" – 2:17
2."Shiver" – 4:59
3. "Spies" – 5:18
4. "Sparks" – 3:47
5. "Yellow" – 4:29
6. "Trouble" – 4:30
7. "Parachutes" – 0:46
8. "High Speed" – 4:14
9. "We Never Change" – 4:09
10. "Everything's Not Lost" – 7:15
11. "Life Is for Living" – 1:36 (hidden song starting at 5:39)
Trouble (UK Version)
Trouble (US Version)
A Rush of Blood to the Head
A Rush of Blood to the Head is the second studio album by English alternative rock band Coldplay, released on August 26, 2002 in the United Kingdom by record label Parlophone. The songs featured in the album have greater use of piano and guitar than Coldplay's debut album, Parachutes.
The album was commercially successful, debuting at number one in the United Kingdom and placing at number seven of the country's 20 biggest-selling albums in the 21st century. The British Phonographic Industry has since certified the album 8x Platinum for its accumulated sales of over 2.6 million units. The album also received acclaim, and many critics have considered it better than Parachutes. A Rush of Blood to the Head won the 2002 Grammy for Best Alternative Album, and the song "Clocks" became the band's largest hit to date, earning them a Grammy for Record of the Year.
Coldplay became popular in Europe and overseas with the release of their debut album, Parachutes, and one of its singles, "Yellow". The album debuted on the UK Albums Chart at number one, and the single gave the band their first taste of fame in North America. Despite this, while making A Rush of Blood to the Head, the band did not feel of a sophomore slump pressure. However, when they began to open to press about their new work, things started to scare them: Everyone's been saying, "What do you think about the pressure?"
The band started recording in London, while Parachutes was still picking up sales. Since the band had never stayed in London before, they had trouble focusing. So they decided to relocate in Liverpool, where they recorded some of the songs on Parachutes. Once there, 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 they saw, being one of the songs left after Parachutes, importance in it, which was to record another album and think they could still write songs. Martin said: "Three months after Parachutes took off, we went through a strange period of not really knowing what we were doing. One thing kept us going: recording "In My Place." Then other songs started coming." The band had written over 20 songs for the album. Some of their new materials, including "In My Place" and "Animals", were played while on tour. The album's title was revealed through a post on the band's official website.
Following the release of Parachutes, the band started recording A Rush of Blood to the Head the week after the September 11 attacks in the United States. In Liverpool, it was just vocalist Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland working on the weekends. By Monday, they would present to their band mates something they had developed. While A Rush of Blood to the Head was near in completion, Martin went into the studio late one night and wrote the riff that popped into his mind. This came special to the band as soon as Martin played it to them. Unfinished, however, they thought they had no time to complete it for the album, which had already 10 completed songs. So they recorded a demo version of the track that was later titled "Clocks"; it was filed, together with other unfinished tracks, under a CD marked "Songs for #3", which was projected for the band's third studio album.
Eventually, Coldplay completed A Rush of Blood to the Head by June 2002, and was ready to hand it over to their record label, Parlophone. However, the band thought their output sounded "rubbish". Unhappy of putting something they were completely unsatisfied with, the band had reached an agreement with the label to postpone the release of the album.
Subsequently, there were many songs discarded because it best fit to Parachutes, according to Martin. For him, making the likes of Parachutes was not anymore interesting for them: "It would have shown that we're happy to sit back on what we'd done, and we're not. For us it was important to progress and try to improve upon our abilities as musicians." Always in search of perfection, however, this encountered the band sometimes with "practice sessions ended abruptly with one or more members of Coldplay threatening to quit". After headlining 2002's Glastonbury Festival, Coldplay returned into the studio to work "Songs for #3" out. Phil Harvey, the band's manager, heard of "Clocks" and urged them to rework it immediately: "No, you must do that song now 'cause you're going on [in the lyrics] about urgency, and you're talking about keeping this song back. That doesn't make sense."
Martin has claimed that the album's title track is a homage to American singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, whom he considered "the greatest ... Him, Dylan, and Hank Williams are just the greatest men with just guitars."
The cover art for A Rush of Blood to the Head was designed by photographer Sølve Sundsbø. Before Martin knew of the image, Sundsbø was hired by fashion magazine Dazed & Confused in the late 1990s. The magazine's editor wanted him to produce something with a "technological feel, something all white". As an artist, he tried to do "stuff that hasn't been done before, which is virtually impossible"; he suggested taking shots using a three-dimensional scanning machine.
The model for the shot wore an all-white makeup because it produces the "best results"; however, for the image, the model also wore a twill-colored cape. The computer could not read the colors so it was replaced with spikes, and the head in the image was chopped because the machine only scanned 30 centimeters. The editor of the magazine liked the image and eventually featured it in one of their publications.
Martin saw the image in the magazine. He approached Sundsbø and asked him to use the image for the cover image of A Rush of Blood to the Head. For the album's singles, Martin asked Sundsbø what he could do; the latter suggested scanning the head of each member of the band
Music and lyrics
The album dominantly features songs with guitars and piano used. There are tracks that have been considered far from nü-metal, but are more "turbulent" than Coldplay's previous works. The album includes "guitar-pop", ballads, and acoustic songs. However, the U2-esque epic rock of the album's opening track "Politik", the piano-driven "Clocks", and the loud guitars of "A Whisper" were seen as an extension of the band's musical range.
Recording the album after the September 11 attacks gave the band a fresh perspective: "The new songs are reflective of new attitudes. [They tell listeners] not to be frightened. Anybody can achieve whatever they want to." Most of the lyrics written for the songs are about urgency. Martin has commented that previous songs were more relaxed since they were in a comfortable state of mind: "Perhaps there's a bit more urgency on some of these songs. And that's born from all the places we've been and the thing's we've experienced." Martin has also explained, in relation to the theme of urgency, that the album's title means "doing something on impulse". Some songs featured in the album are about relationships. They are based on reality; however, they were written with fictional twist, according to Martin. There are songs also that are like fairy tales, with a beginning and an ending story.
Release and reception
The album was released two months delayed from its original release date. Record label Parlophone released the album on August 26, 2002 in the United Kingdom. It was released on August 27 in the United States through Capitol Records.
A Rush of Blood to the Head has earned the band several awards from domestic and international music press. In 2000, it was awarded Best Album at the Q Awards. In the same year, the band won two at the Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the song "In My Place". In 2003, it won Best British Album at the BRIT Awards, and the following year, the band earned their first Grammy Award for Record of the Year for the song "Clocks".
The album also received other accolades. The album was chosen in 2002 as Billboard magazine's Critics' Choice, which is a pooled Top 10 favorites of the magazine's staff and freelance writers. The following year, it was ranked number 473 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2007, The National Association of Recording Merchandisers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame released a list of what they term "The Definitive 200 Albums of All Time"; A Rush of Blood to the Head ranks at number 65 on the list.
Rush of Blood to the Head has since received acclaim from European critics. Many of them complimented the album in various aspects, and felt it is better than Parachutes. Alexis Petridis of the British newspaper The Guardian wrote that the band's "new assurance is everywhere" in the album, and that "the timidity of Parachutes is nowhere to be found" in it. He further compliments the album saying, "It sounds like an album ready to take on the world, and win."
The album has also been lauded among international critics, the same as it did in Europe. Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times complimented the album, commenting that it is "one of the year's best albums" and describing it as "sparser, stranger and even catchier than its predecessor". Rolling Stone magazine's Rob Sheffield, who was less happy with Parachutes, said that "A Rush of Blood to the Head is a nervier, edgier, thoroughly surprising album", adding, "But where Parachutes was the clumsy diary of a high-strung kid, A Rush of Blood sounds more like a band with the confidence to test its own limits." MacKenzie Wilson of Allmusic echoed the above comments saying that it is a "strong album". Wilson, who compliments Martin for his "sharpened" falsetto and refined "haunting delivery" and Buckland for his "riveting guitar work", notes that "regardless of the band still being in their mid-twenties, they've made an amazing record". Emma Pearse of the American newspaper The Village Voice has the same sentiments, stating that is it "a little edgier, trancier, and more conversational" compared to Parachutes.
A Rush of Blood to the Head debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, moving 273,924 copies. The British Phonographic Industry has since certified the album 8x Platinum for its accumulated sales of over 2.6 million copies. With the subsequent release of "Clocks" and "The Scientist", the album spent over one year on the chart. A Rush of Blood to the Head has been placed at number seven on the list of United Kingdom's 20 biggest-selling albums of the 21st century, published by the British trade paper Music Week.
The album debuted at number five in the United States with 144,000 copies initial sales, more stronger than its predecessor, Parachutes, which debuted at number 189 in December 2000. It has since been certified 4x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for accumulated shipments of over four million units. It has also been certified 5x Platinum by the the Australian Recording Industry Association, having an accumulated shipments of over 350,000 units, and 4x Platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association for shipments of over 400,000
1. "Politik" – 5:18
2. "In My Place" – 3:48
3. "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" – 4:57
4. "The Scientist" – 5:09
5. "Clocks" – 5:07
6. "Daylight" – 5:27
7. "Green Eyes" – 3:43
8. "Warning Sign" – 5:31
9. "A Whisper" – 3:58
10. "A Rush of Blood to the Head" – 5:51
11. "Amsterdam" – 5:19
In My Place
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
&Y is the third album by English alternative rock band Coldplay, released June 6, 2005 in the United Kingdom on record label Parlophone. The album's cover art is a combination of colors and blocks, which is a representation of the Baudot code.
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 over 8.3 million units, X&Y is 2005's best-selling album worldwide. Reviews for the album was mixed; many of the critics felt X&Y fell short to the standards of its predecessor, A Rush of Blood to the Head.
In March 2004, Coldplay announced some details in working the album. Initial plans were to stay out of the public's eye throughout the year. Vocalist Chris Martin said, "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, has created but they were trying "to make the best thing that anyone has ever heard".
Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, and British record producer Ken Nelson had started recording demos while in Chicago in the fall of 2003. The band then entered into a London studio in January 2004.
Prior to the release, Zero Theory was one of the many widely-rumored titles to the album.
The band spent 18 months in working the album. In fact, the released album is the third version which the band had produced during their late sessions, and some even have considered it as their fifth album. The band was not satisfied of the outputs at their initial sessions with Nelson, who produced the band's previous two albums. The initial 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, but 52 of which were ditched. The band started rehearsing the songs for a planned tour, but felt the songs sounded better in live compared to their recorded version: "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 Guy Berryman 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 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 it 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 do not have think of anyone else's demands. During this month, the band was into the final weeks of the production and had put finishing touches of 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, that caused them to feel not pressured of finishing something. As soon as 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 end up late was they "... kept [adding] finishing [touches to] the record until it was way too late ... [they] don't listen to it at the moment, because [they had] just find something to go back and change."
The album's cover art was designed by graphic design duo Tappin Gofton (aka Mark Tappin and Simon Gofton). The image, which is visualized through a combination of colors 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 the album, and if applied to the code of the cover image, reveals "X&Y". The final page of the booklet contains the slogan "Make Trade Fair", the name of the international organization which Martin is supporting to. 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. Martin sometimes wears colored tape on his hands while on stage, as a reference to the album.
Music and lyrics
Coldplay has cited various influences in the album. It is influenced by European electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, evident on the album track "Talk", which samples its synthetic hook from 1981's "Computer Love". Also present is the 1970s electronica from the likes of English musician David Bowie and Brian Eno. Coldplay received permission from Kraftwerk to use the main riff from "Computer Love" for the track "Talk", while Eno 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".
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".
X&Y was initially targeted for a 2004 release, although early news reported it would not until 2005. But because of personal preferences, songs recorded in several sessions were scrapped and had pushed the date to January 2005. However, the new date just went by and the band had to set another schedule. By January, the album remained untitled and target release was between March and April 2005. By early April, the band had finalized the track listing of the album. Eventually, the album was released on June 6, 2005 in the United Kingdom via record label Parlophone. It was issued on June 7 in the United States by Capitol Records. The album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.
The album contains 12 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 Amerian 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 as B-side for the album's subsequent single releases, after it leaked online in early 2005.
Promotion and accolades
Although around three months advance from the album release, Coldplay hae performed several of the songs in some of their 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 favorites. 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.
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 Black Eyed Peas.
The album's reviews were mostly positive upon release, particularly from mainstream media, but some critics have stated that the album had fallen well short of the standards of A Rush of Blood to the Head, X&Y's 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 contended 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-agues, saying that "it's a good record, crisp, professional, and assured, a sonically satisfying sequel to A Rush of Blood to the Head", complimenting 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 complimented some of the album's songs, writing that they are "mostly beautifully turned"; however, he panned at the lyrics, claiming "they are so devoid of personality that they sound less like song lyrics".
X&Y was a commercial success in Europe. The album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with accumulated first week sales of 464,471 according to charts compiler the Official U.K. Charts Company. This made Coldplay's third consecutive number-one debut. The album went as the second-highest debut in the British chart history. To date, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has certified the album 8x 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. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with over 737,000 copies sold 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 went as the second best-selling album in the United States, under American rapper 50 Cent's second album The Massacre, which sold over one million units in its first week of release. It also emerged as the biggest-selling debut under rock genre. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has since certified the album 3x Platinum for accumulated shipments of over three million units. Altogether, the album emerged as 2005's best-selling album worldwide, accumulating over 8.3 millions units despite the aggregate three percent fall of sales due to digital and physical piracy.
1. "Square One" – 4:47
2. "What If" – 4:57
3. "White Shadows" – 5:28
4. "Fix You" – 4:54
5. "Talk" (Berryman, Buckland, Champion, Martin, Hütter, Bartos, Schult) – 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 (hidden track)
Speed Of Sound
The Hardest Part
This post has been edited by Calvin871989: Jan 21 2009, 08:00 PM