LeftRightLeftRightLeft (live album)

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LeftRightLeftRightLeft (live album) artwork

For LeftRightLeftRightLeft the song, see LeftRightLeftRightLeft (song)

LeftRightLeftRightLeft is a live album that Coldplay gave away at every live show from May 2009 onwards [1] (apart from festival shows). Starting with the band's first North American tour date, at West Palm Beach in Florida on May 15th 2009, every fan attending a show was given a free copy of the nine-track CD, which wasn't available elsewhere. Also on May 15th at 9am (GMT), the LeftRightLeftRightLeft live album was be made available as a free download at Coldplay.com, for everyone who submitted an email address (and for the same time period).

According to the band, the give-away was meant as a recession-busting mark of gratitude to everyone who's supported them: "Playing live is what we love. This album is a thank you to our fans – the people who give us a reason to do it and make it happen."

The album was recorded between 2008 and early 2009 in various cities around the world on the Viva La Vida Tour. Over half of the tracklist draws from the both Coldplay's fourth album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends and their 2008 release, the Prospekt's March EP. The collection is rounded out by their X&Y hits Fix You and The Hardest Part plus A Rush Of Blood To The Head’s Clocks. There are no tracks from the first album Parachutes included.



Chris Martin on LeftRightLeftRightLeft

Back in May 2009, Chris Martin caught up with Coldplay.com [2], where he discussed the background to the live album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft. Below are the pertinent sections of the interview:

So, the live album has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times already.

I know! It's fantastic. My son Moses had a birthday party and everyone was given party bags at the end of it. That was when Phil said, "This is a good idea for a concert, as a way of saying thanks for coming." So we've done it and we've got a million CDs being slowly given out at shows, plus the download. It feels amazing. I can't believe that we've been allowed to do it.

You'd imagine record labels aren't particularly keen on giving millions of albums away. Was it difficult to sort out?

Not really. A lot of people who work at our record company just love music, so they're happy to be able to help us give something back. We've all got to make a living, but we've been really lucky as a band, so we can afford to manufacture an album and give it away. I think everyone we work with is happy that they've helped us get to a position where we can do that.

This could end up being your most-owned album.

Well, thank goodness we made it good! It makes me so happy though, man, because we really put effort into it. And although it's live, it's supposed to be a real album, part of our canon. Y'know, as well as being a gift move, it is also a musical move. It's meant to say that this is what we sound like at the moment.

So you treated it like a proper album?

Man, we put in more rehearsal for this album than any other, because we played it live 101 times before we released it. Talk about road testing material!

And you're pleased with it?

Definitely. What I'm most happy about is that it's nice and guitar-y; it's the first album where Will has a song on it; and it comes in at under 42 minutes.

How did you decide the tracklisting?

Well, apart from Viva, we didn't put songs on it that had videos from this campaign. We tried to make it things that you might not hear if you didn't go to a concert, but things that we really love playing. And also songs we think the audience sing really well. In a way it has to be free because there's so many backing singers on it. There's no way we could afford to pay them all.

The crowd do sound great.

Yeah. Our crowd make Bohemian Rhapsody sound like a two-track demo.

Did you know which night you'd be recording the songs?

No, because they're from all over the place. I think there's Dutch people singing on there with New Zealanders. It was recorded in 101 locations.

How did you decide which particular recordings to use?

Well, we have our sound man Dan who is very patient and has obviously had to suffer more Coldplay concerts than anybody else in history. He picked the ones he thought were best, with Phil. In fact, our method came from reading about Bruce Springsteen's live record, Live/1975-85. His manager, John Landau, picked some of his favourite performances and then went through them with Bruce. We did a similar thing. Now, let's talk about Bruce Springsteen.


Actually, I'd like to talk about things that I think are brilliant at the moment and I've got three of them. One is Bruce Springsteen in general, but particularly Nebraska and Born in the USA. And I saw his show twice a couple of weeks ago and it's f****** amazing.

A lot of younger folks don't really understand the whole Bruce thing.

No, I didn't understand it either. I was like, "Why is Bruce Springsteen playing Glastonbury?" And then I went to see him and I was like, "God, they've done it again". Glastonbury are way ahead of everybody. You just feel amazing after one of his concerts.

What is brilliant thing number two?'

Well, I'd like to talk about the film, Anvil, which is wonderful. It's about this heavy metal group from the '80s who are still going through thick and thin. There's a scene in it between the drummer and the singer which makes you cry, especially if you're in a band and you know what it feels like to love another man so much, but also fight so much.

And the third thing?

That is the first REM album, which is called Murmur. It's interesting because it does exactly what it says on the tin: you can't hear a single word Michael Stipe says, but you get really lost in it. I've been listening to it a lot recently.

Now, Coldplay's live album is called LeftRightLeftRightLeft.


That was also the name of a track touted for the Viva album.

It was indeed. In fact, it was also what Viva La Vida was going to be called, before we found the title Viva La Vida. With the live album, we were going to go for the world record of the longest album title in history by making LeftRightLeftRightLeft go all the way around the CD, so that it never ended. But we took so much shit for how long Viva La Vida's title was, we thought maybe a never-ending title might be a little much. So we opted for five words as just one word.

Does the track LeftRightLeftRightLeft still exist?

It does, but in about eight different forms. It's not finished.

What happens to songs like that?

They're sort of torn apart and you might take parts of them for other songs.

But the LeftRightLeftRightLeft song itself is unlikely to see the light of day?

The song itself has been given the Will Champion seal of disapproval. So, no, nothing will happen to it.

Who did the artwork for the live album?

Well, if you've been to one of our concerts you'll know that there's a lot of fake butterflies floating about, so the idea came from that. We called up a guy called Mark Tappin, with whom we do all our designs. We talk on the phone and say, "We'd like this". Then he says, "I'd like this". Then we fight and fight until we eventually get something we all like.

Exchange program

If you did not go to a Coldplay show in 2009 where CDs were being handed out or simply couldn't find the supplies and therefore not able to receive your very own physical copy of LeftRightLeftRightLeft, worry not!

We have a CD mailing exchange programme [3] where you can sign up to receive a free CD from another member who will have spare copies from the shows they attend - go there for full details. If you have been to a Coldplay show in 2009 and have spare CDs that you are able to share with your fellow Coldplayers, please let us know in that thread also. [thanks Cobalt]

The album, which mostly features cuts from Viva La Vida, contains 9 live tracks in all that had been recorded during different stops on the band's worldwide tours of the last few years. In the hope of collecting useful feedback from Coldplayers on the CD giveaway at all the shows as they progress through the 2009 tour, please leave your comments [4] at the Coldplay Live forum on how you got a CD, how many you were given (how many you could have got), and whether you got one at all. It would be useful to mention which show you attended as well.

Feedback on receiving a CD (European tour)

Coldplaying has been receiving more messages from concertgoers regarding receiving a CD after the show, and there have been a lot of happy punters out there, but it seems that there were still some problems at the most recent shows, in Glasgow, Manchester and London. Here are some of the latest comments...

  • I thought the 'handing out' was not very well organized in the UK/Ireland as you literally had to go SEARCHING for the people with the CDs while in the Netherlands/Germany you just couldn't miss being given a CD. Didn't see anyone at Wembley on the 19th, handing out the CDs but I wasn't that desperate as I got my copy the night before ... [thanks LittleMissMessy]
  • Everything was arranged perfectly at Wembley, except for the handing out of the LRLRL cd's (although on the 18th it was quite easy to get one, didn't even have to wait, they were just standing outside) it seems. [thanks Stefan-C8]
  • I only got one on the second (Wembley) show, and I had to go around and search for it for quite a while until I found one. Didn't see anyone with a CD the first night, which was a bit weird, and obviously not any people handing it out either... It was very badly arranged indeed, it was very easy to get hold of one after the Stockholm show for example. On the other hand, that arena is a lot smaller, so that was probably why. [thanks Starlight Chaser]
  • Wembley the 2nd night there was even a guy given them out in a kebab shop in wembley! some girl just grabbed about 20 off him! Although i feel for those who didnt get a CD, i dont think people should be complaining, Coldplay probably put alot of money into giving these FREE Cd's away. [thanks Liam]
  • it was a nightmare at glasgow to find the cd people,they were handing them out from a small table a good bit away from the stadium and i had to go searchin,they were givin them out in bundles like they were just tryin to get rid of them so they could pack up n go,thats how i got 3,dont think Coldplay would've been happy bout the crap organization cos after all it was their gift to us fans. [thanks triciamcg]
  • They were SO many LRLRL cds at Wembley that they probably had to throw away full boxes ! I have like 6 albums since when I was walking in front of the stadium many guys who were holding them kept giving me some It was so sad, there were many albums on the floor the first day, totally smashed and everything... [thanks PePe57]
  • Manchester distribution was a joke (didn't see ANY) and Wembley Saturday was a joke (didn't see ANY). That's four CDs my group were promised that we never even had the chance to get, and some of us have only subsequently been able to get copies from the kindness of people here. An absolute farce of organisation, and it was clear right from the start of this leg that giving them out at the end wasn't working....why not give each person one CD as they entered??? I've made emails about this, but no answers yet. A complete fiasco from start to finish. [thanks Tonsu]
  • ^ I completely agree! Being right at the front, I thought that they might have run out of them by the time I came to leave. At my gate I spoke to an "information" person who said I should go to gate M, where I went - there were none. I spoke to another info person who said I should go to gate J - there were none. I then spoke to a third "info" person who said - round the corner - there were none. I gave up, as I didn't want to miss the last tube. Organisation at Wembley was a joke, but befits the history of the modern stadium's re-birth! [thanks Long Live Life]
  • I went to both nights of the Wembley Stadium tour and I found it Extremley easy to find and obtain my cd!! there was a huge push on the friday night and I still managed to get all 5 cd's for the people in our party. Saturday night was less busy as if people didn't even want a cd! both nights I wasn't the first out the Stadium and stayed for the full show! and still got my copys. I also had a tube to catch. I am gald Coldplay went through the trouble and am extremley grateful, what a gift! Both shows were amazing and I will remember the memories forever. I was amazed at how well organised everything was! first in last out allday queing all of this will add to the memories! The Olimpic way was well manned at the end of both nights and i got my cd the tube a maccies and was back at the hotel for 12!!! Brilliant!! I do have spare cd's from london so if anyone hasn't received one you can message me! [thanks missyvik]

Feedback on receiving a CD (early giveaway shows)

  • I was at the Toronto show and I had an unfortunate time trying to get a CD. All of the exits were so clogged and painfully slow; my sister and I tried to find ways of getting out of there alive (it was really hot inside). We reached the exit to one of the gates and we saw a man (who works at the venue) and he was giving out the CDs but told us: "I have no more CDs, all of the boxes are empty" and I think a person in front of us said: "Well no wonder, I see people taking 5 or 6 CDs instead of just taking one". He replied to the man by saying there are tons on Ebay...it frustrated a lot of the people. So my sister and I thought that even though we didn't get a CD, we had the best time of our lives. We met up with our mum (who was in the 500s and had left a bit early) and she said she got us CDs because she knew something like this would happen since 45,000 people were trying to leave the gates! All in all, I think Rogers Centre could have done something differently so that each person got a CD. We saw a lot of people without CDs as well as others with 4 or 5 in their hands. [thanks Aunie]
  • At the Rogers Ctr. show in Toronto, people exiting were funnelled through sets of barriers to be given their CD by venue staff. Becasue it was so hot and humid that night, it made for a very uncomfortable, prolonged mass exit. At least one person passed out, causing congestion on either side of that line. The public areas between the stadium and the exits were not well ventilated and we were packed like sardiines. I know some people were quite claustrophobic and near panic, which was a little scary for a moment. The "handing out" involved a venue staffer holding a stack of CD's in one hand a a box of them in the other. One could have taken as many as they liked. In our party of 3, two of us each took one, and the 3rd person declined, preferring to download it to his MP3. LOVE the CD! It's like re-living the concert over and over! [thanks Ziggy]
  • I was an Oxfam volunteer at the Atlanta show. We were given the task of handing out the CDs at the end of the show... There were hands EVERYWHERE! For the most part everyone was very kind, took one CD and said thank you. Others were slightly greedy and would try to hide the one they already had and grabbed another one. It isnt easy to concentrate when you have 14,000 people coming at you with their hand out... I was able to keep one cd for myself. When the last box I had was down to 20 CDs and there were still a few hundred people comeing out I handed them out as quick as possible and then FLED THE AREA like OJ at a murder scene... [thanks mountainloafers]
  • I got one too, but there were tons of people being rude and grabbing at the people handing them out. I was embarrassed at my fellow Floridians. Bless the patient Oxfam people who put up with that crap. [thanks Steven]
  • At Lakewood in Atlanta it was very mellow. The crowd to leave was a bit, well crowded. My wife and I walked up to the exit and got our CD and out of the venue quickly. They had other exits for those who did not care to stand in line as well. When you come in could be better and quicker I think, but it is the venues staff not CP's. So blame the personel of the venue not the band. [thanks johnding]
  • Here’s what happened - there were Oxfam volunteers at the gates, standing under butterfly balloons, handing them out. And I have talked to audience members who saw them - at this point, it’s only been people who went out the north exit, near the main entrance, who did - and saw that there was a mad dash for them. [thanks pbpulse]
  • I thought it went very smoothly in atlanta. if you didn't want a cd, you could exit on the sides. i got one cd and it's great. however, i wonder why they just didn't give people a download code or something for itunes or something. could have saved them tons of money and saved a lot of waste, as much as they are into saving the earth and all, you know? at least there's no plastic covers on them or anything. anyway, i didn't run into any problems and was near the middle of the pack exiting, although i was in the pit. we just ran to get out to make sure we got a cd [thanks librahi]
  • The CD's were being handed out by Oxfam volunteers and I felt VERY bad for them. They were being bombarded with people. People were even trying to take the boxes away from them, I wanted to stay and help them out but my friend was in a rush. I don't know how they'll arrange the CD giveaway at the next venue, but the way it was at West Palm Beach, you just have to look for where there is a crowd bombarding each other. Getting there early won't help, the hand out CD's after their performance. What I did was make sure not to leave without a CD. Yes, the volunteers handing out the CD's was a bit hard to find at first, but there were several volunteers. Look for one who isn't being completely bombarded. And be nice! Don't attack them! Get one CD and go, the reason for the chaos is people trying to get more than one CD. If you really want a CD be patient. [thanks AnaMars89]
  • I was able to grab a copy, but only after being shoved around a giant mosh pit by the north entrance. The CD is a great live album, but not quite worth the effort it took to get it. [thanks Tracy]
  • I could not find the free CD LeftRightLeftRightLeft that was supposed to be given away last night at Cruzan Amphitheatre in W. Palm Beach. I asked several Cruzan personnel in several different areas and they all responded that they had no information about a “supposed free CD from Coldplay” at that show. I asked some jocks at a radio station booth and they said the CDs would be given away as everyone exits. We were funneled out of the venue, past dozens of Cruzan staffers and none were giving away the CD. No one leaving had a CD. We were promised this by Chris Martin and now it seems to be an empty promise. How can it be that the personnel in charge knew nothing of this giveaway? They were dismissive of my request for information. I even went back over to Cruzan this morning to speak with someone in authority and got nowhere. The woman at the ticket office was rolling her eyes over my request for information or help. She said they were not responsible and did not know anything about it and to call the front desk on Monday. I am being swept aside. I want to know if Coldplay members have any idea of the thousands of fans that are now left with bitter feelings regarding the CDs. I will call Cruzan’s front office on Monday but a fat lot of good that will do me, and I know it. Why did this happen? I feel robbed now. If I find those employees horded the CDs that were supposed to be for ticket-buying fans and are selling them on eBay, I will be calling all the major newspapers and TV stations in the area. I want the CDs (one for my daughter and one for me). [name supplied]

The Oracle on LeftRightLeftRightLeft

April 3, 2012 - submitted by Naomi, United Kingdom
Q. I really love the version of Clocks from leftrightleftrightleft. How can I find that performance live?
The Oracle replies:
That is a live version Naomi but if you mean that you haven't got a physical copy of the CD; I'm afraid they're not for sale. Just as the download was free, the CD was given away at concerts.

March 12, 2012 - submitted by Isabel, Venezuela
Q. What happened to the LeftRightLeftRightLeftRight download? I was going to download because my laptop was damage, and now is fixed, but I can't download, or well I can't see the link! Please help :(
The Oracle replies:
The LeftRightLeftRightLeft download is still available on this website; we moved it to the Archive section.

March 27, 2012 - submitted by Julia, Brazil
Q. Is the drawing of the butterfly from LeftRightLeftRightLeft original? If not, where does it come from?
The Oracle replies:
Yes. If you've been lucky enough to attend one of the Viva shows and be even luckier to get yourself a confetti butterfly, you'll see that it is the same shape as the lrlrl logo.
In fact, taking luck one step further into the realms of luckiest, if you had a physical copy of the, if you put your confetti butterfly atop the logo butterfly, they are exactly the same size as well as shape.

July 18, 2011 - submitted by Jacob, United States of America
Q. You said in a previous question that LRLRL was recorded in different locations -how could that be? I've listened to the album as a whole, and the crowd's screams are consistent throughout, as if it was all taken at one concert.
Thanks and glad to hear LP5's almost done!
The Oracle replies:
Didn't you click the link I gave in my previous response? I am taking Chris' word for it and besides, crowds/audiences pretty much sound the same when recorded but levels/mixes can make them sound more so.

July 14, 2011 - submitted by Crathan, United Kingdom
Q. Was the album that Coldplay are letting people have for free leftrightleftrightleft recorded at Glastonbury? Just wondered.
The Oracle replies:
No, LRLRL was recorded in different locations over a period of time but way before Glastonbury. We've had it available to download on our site for over two years. Click here to read an interview with Chris talking about the free giveaway.

May 17, 2011 - submitted by Sam, United Kingdom
Q. Hello Oracle,
Last year I purchased a copy of LeftRightLeftRightLeft off of Ebay. When I was looking at the CD recently I noticed it says www.takt.eu on the bottom side around the centre. Does this make it a fake? If it is it's a very good one because it's taken me a year to notice it!!!
Thanks for your time!
The Oracle replies:
Mine says www.takt.eu on the flip side's centre too and I assure you mine is not a fake so chances are yours isn't either.

March 15, 2011 - submitted by Wesley, United States of America
Q. Did Coldplay really only play 9 songs at the leftrightleftrightleft concert?
The Oracle replies:
The cd is a selection of songs from dates during the early part of the Viva tour so it wasn't a one-off gig where they only played the songs that appear on the cd.

August 2, 2010 - submitted by Em, United States of America
Q. Hello Oracle! In response to Nikolina, Sweden from 30th July, it may be of interest that there is a LRLRL swappage project happening where fans can send CDs to those who have none. All they have to do is go here and put their names down! Hope that is of use for Coldplay fans who want to help share the love!! Sorry this isn't a question! xoxo
The Oracle replies:
Not a question but a very informative submission. Thanks to the three other fans who also sent these details.

July 30, 2010 - submitted by Nikolina, Sweden
Q. I have a question about leftrightleftrightleft disc. Is there a chance to buy it somewhere? My mother was at their concert and got it but now it has been stolen and I want to try to get back to the disc, so there is no chance that they can buy it and not download it?
The Oracle replies:
I'm afraid not. The only place it was available as a physical copy was at the live concerts. If you go to our homepage and click on the butterfly icon underneath my Oracle teaser, you can download it from there. Other than that I am sure there are some copies available for sale online but I'd rather not point you in the direction of profiteers!!

March 23, 2010 - submitted by Roberto, Mexico
Q. I know is quite late for my any comment about it... anyways I must say that, no matter it's already been almost 2 weeks, Coldplay's concert in Monterrey still taking my breath away every time I remember it... Txs you guys(all of you) for that. The question is...Where can I get the leftrightleftrightleft of: FORO SOL 1&2, GUADALAJARA and Bogota? I've got Monterrey's, of course...Cheers Oracle.
The Oracle replies:
All the cds that were handed out are exactly the same so there is no difference between the one you got at your Monterrey show and ones at the previous shows.

February 26, 2010 - submitted by Juan, Argentina
Q. Dear Oracle,
I wanted to ask if in the Buenos Aires concert you are giving a free cd of LeftRightLeftRightLeft? For people that go to the concert, obviously.
The Oracle replies:
Yes we are... so to all those attending the show, do remember to collect your LRLRL cd on the way out of the stadium!

June 17, 2009 - submitted by Julie, United States of America
Q. Oracle,
Wow...not only do you know everything you're fast. Thanks so much for answering my question about the new live version of Clocks. I realized after reading your response I realize now I should have been more specific. Following the verse "nothing else compares" and before "home home..." Chris repeats a phrase. Sorry I wasn't clear the first time.
The Oracle replies:
Thanks to Gonzalo from Argentina who was the first to spot that you probably meant the live version of Clocks on LRLRL.
"Don't you think Julie, from the USA, was trying to ask you about the phrase "uno, dos, tres, cuatro" repeated by Chris over and over again in the track Clocks in LRLRL (right after the verse "nothing else compares..."), in the question she asked on 12th June?"
And to the others that asked, it means "one, two, three, four" in Spanish.

June 12, 2009 - submitted by julie, United States of America
Q. During the live version of Clocks on LEFTRIGHTLEFTRIGHTLEFT, Chris is heard repeating a phrase over and over after the verse "nothing else compares". Can you tell us what he is singing?
The Oracle replies:
"Home, home, where I wanted to go".

June 4, 2009 - submitted by Joshua, Australia
Q. Dear Oracle,
On LeftRightLeftRightLeft during Death and All His Friends, why does Chris yell out "J" just before the guitar starts
The Oracle replies:
He's just affectionately shouting to Jonny (a.k.a J) before he starts his guitar solo.

May 22, 2009 - submitted by William, Norway
Q. Good day Oracle.
Since the start of Coldplay discography the singles released have had the same cover style as the album it relates to.
Coldplay now has a new live album which has a green butterfly like thing on the cover. Is this a new cover style or just for the live album?
The Oracle replies:
The butterfly is the same as the ones used in the confetti drop during Lovers In Japan/Viva la Vida at the live shows and so is a one-off for the live album.

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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