Famous Old Painters

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Famous Old Painters cover art (unofficial)

Famous Old Painters is a song written during sessions for Coldplay's fourth album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, but was ultimately left off the album. The song came about around October 2007 when it was introduced alongside Glass Of Water in Prospekt's journal on October 29.

Prospekt has commented in the journal on coldplay.com that the song features a colliery brass band in the third verse. An excerpt from Q Magazine follows:

While Q’s in the studio, Eno beavers away on Famous Old Painters, employing a gizmo called a Midi Piano Bar to translate Martin’s signature piano riff onto a variety of other instruments. “We don’t want piano all the way through,” Eno says, flagging up another significant change in the sound of the as-yet-untitled album.

The song title appears to reflect a general theme of the album, its singles and the Prospekt's March EP, which all feature old paintings as their cover artworks. The band also created many other paintings depicting different songs from the album.

So far, Famous Old Painters is one of the few Viva la Vida songs that has not been released or heard in a complete form.

Online Leak

On 28th March, 2011 a 40 second YouTube videoclip [1] was posted on the Coldplaying messageboard with what was believed to be part of the track, along with a cover art picture of the Famous Old Painters title. There were no lyrics to the music and only one layer of sound made the video. Despite this, 70% of Coldplayers thought this video was the real song.

The Oracle on Famous Old Painters

April 11, 2011 - submitted by Stevie, Mexico
Q. Hello.
How likely is it for unreleased songs Famous Old Painters and Don Quixote to be on the fifth album?
Thanks and greetings from Mexico!!! :P
The Oracle replies:
A million to one would still be far too good odds.
Not likely makes it sound like a possibility.
Not a chance, no.
They won't be. Definitely.

March 21, 2011 - submitted by Spencer, United States of America
Q. Dear Oracle, Is Famous Old Painters still being considered for the new album? It sounds like it could be a great song. Thanks!
The Oracle replies:
Still? It has never been considered for the next album. The last one yes, but the Viva era is over... All the tracks will be new to me and you.

Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
Violet Hill | Viva La Vida | Lost! | Lovers In Japan | Life In Technicolor ii | Strawberry Swing
Life In Technicolor | Cemeteries Of London | 42 | Reign Of Love | Yes | Chinese Sleep Chant | Death And All His Friends | The Escapist
Prospekt's March EP
Postcards From Far Away | Glass Of Water | Rainy Day | Prospekt's March/Poppyfields | Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground
B-Sides/Other Releases
A Spell A Rebel Yell | Death Will Never Conquer | The Goldrush | Lhuna (ft. Kylie Minogue)
Unreleased Songs
LeftRightLeftRightLeft | Famous Old Painters | Lukas | School | The Dubliners
Chris Martin | Guy Berryman | Jonny Buckland | Will Champion
Phil Harvey | Brian Eno | Ken Nelson
EPs: Safety EP | The Blue Room EP | Norwegian Live EP | Prospekt's March EP | Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
Albums: Parachutes | A Rush of Blood to the Head | X&Y | Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends | Mylo Xyloto
Live albums: Live 2003 | LeftRightLeftRightLeft | Live 2012
Compilations: The Singles 1999-2006
Miscellaneous: Ode to Deodorant | Mince Spies | Christmas Lights
Unofficial collections: A Rush Of B-Sides To Your Head | Castles | After After Before
Singles: Brothers & Sisters | Shiver | Yellow | Trouble | Don't Panic | In My Place | The Scientist | Clocks | God Put A Smile Upon Your Face | Speed of Sound | Fix You | Talk | The Hardest Part | What If | Violet Hill | Viva la Vida | Lost! | Lovers In Japan | Life In Technicolor ii | Strawberry Swing | Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall | Paradise | Charlie Brown | Princess Of China | Hurts Like Heaven
Tours: A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour | Twisted Logic Tour | Latin America Tour 2007 | Viva La Vida Tour | Mylo Xyloto Tour
Other Stuff
Songs | Videography | Concert Reviews | Coldplay Chronology | Collaborations
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