Shiver is a song by Coldplay and is featured on their debut album, Parachutes. It was also released as the lead single from the album. "Shiver" most likely is about unrequited love.
Shiver is one of the older songs in Coldplay's catalogue, and had been performed at their early concerts since 1999. This was in contrast to other Parachutes tracks like "Yellow", "Everything's not Lost", and "Trouble" that were written around New Year 2000.
The song was released as the album's lead single in the United Kingdom, and second in the United States following the hit single "Yellow". The single reached number 35 on the UK Singles Chart, and its critical reception was generally positive.
Production and composition
Shiver was written two years before its actual release. Accordingly, Chris Martin wrote the song while thinking of Australian singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia, the woman he was linked to, but later denied it. Some accounts have claimed, however, that Imbruglia was indeed not Martin's inspiration in writing the song. Instead, he appeared to have been inspired with girlfriends in his teenage days and early 20s. Martin actually wrote the song in a "glum" day, when he felt he would never find the right woman for him. He described it as something of a "stalking song", admitting he wrote it for a specific woman. In addition, Martin wrote the song while listening to music of Buckley, and had claimed it is their "most blatant rip-off song".
Shiver was recorded in Rockfield Studios in Wales, United Kingdom, where the band was booked by A&R representative Dan Keeling to begin working on the band's debut album, Parachutes. Keeling was disappointed with the early demos presented to him, saying it "didn't have any of their passion, their energy", a result of the band's freshly resolved internal pressure in the time. Keeling deemed the demos as "limp" and asked the band to redo it. Smaller parts of the song were recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, England, where the band relocated after Christmas in 1999.
The song was produced by Coldplay and British record producer Ken Nelson. As with most songs in the album, Nelson used an analogue desk in recording "Shiver". The guitar was re-dubbed in search of perfection, while Martin de-tuned his guitar to easily generate complex chord sequences. Martin's vocals were recorded in more than one take, but the band chose the one with a single take.
Shiver is in the alternative rock genre. A review claims that Coldplay's indie rock inclinations are obvious in the song Shiver has been perceived to have influences of Buckley, whom Coldplay's early song influences were drawn from. Martin later said of the song that it was "a blatant Jeff Buckley attempt, not quite as good, that's what I think".
Release and reception
Shiver is one of the older songs in Coldplay's catalogue, and had been performed at their early concerts in 1999. Later, it was initially released as an EP in the spring of 2000. It was released as the album's lead single in the United Kingdom on 6 March 2000, months before the release of the album. The single had been picked up for B-play lists on some European prominent radio stations. In the United States, it was released as the second single, following the hit single Yellow. Website IGN posted a video at the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, revealing Shiver to be part of the song list in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour.
The single's reception was generally positive. It reached number 35 on the UK Singles Chart. It also reached number 26 at the US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. The song remains, to this day, an audience favorite in live performances. It has earned the band praise from critics. Adrian Denning, in his review of the album, wrote, Shiver has a vocal that could be Jeff Buckley influenced, the soaring vocals are a joy over a reasonably guitar rock based instrumental track." A review by David DeVoe in Hybridmagazine.com reads, "'Shiver' is a delightfully laid back tune, full of that great guitar sound that I have come to appreciate this band for." Spencer Owen of Pitchfork Media noted, "It's the only truly decent song on Parachutes, but simultaneously, it's the only one that blatantly shows its influences. In fact, the influence can even be pinned to a single song: Jeff Buckley's 'Grace.'"
In 2003, Shiver was featured on Coldplay's live album Live 2003.
- Promo CDRDJ6536
- "Shiver" - 5:02
- CD CDR6536
- "Shiver" – 5:02
- "For You" – 5:45
- "Careful Where You Stand" – 4:47
- Promo (US)
- "Shiver" - 4:59
The "Shiver" music video was directed by Grant Gee (Radiohead - "No Surprises"). It featured Coldplay performing in a small studio. It was the band's first video to earn daytime MTV airplay received "strong exposure" on MTV.
The yellow globe featured on the Parachutes cover can be seen on top of an amplifier in the video.
The Oracle on Shiver
August 16, 2012 - submitted by Ally, United States of America
Q. HEY ORACLE!
I know I ask you questions like every day but this one is good so please answer! In the video Shiver in the background there is a yellow globe. It looks like the album cover from Parachutes! Is it?
The Oracle replies:
There is indeed a yellow globe in the Shiver video and that very one is the one that was photographed for the Parachutes cover.
October 21, 2010 - submitted by Anush, India
Q. Dear Oracle,
My question to you is who is the guitarist playing in Shiver music video, is it Jonny or His brother Tim?
The Oracle replies:
Er, I'm not entirely sure why you would think it's anyone else but Jonny! I know it was a long time ago and he may look slightly different (young) but as Jonny has always been the guitarist in Coldplay it wouldn't make any sense for his brother to be in the video.
October 8, 2010 - submitted by Susie, United Kingdom
Q. I heard that Shiver was recorded in one take, was it?
The Oracle replies:
Shiver was recorded more than once during the album's studio process, however the version on the album is, in fact, the first take. Ken Nelson who worked with Coldplay on Parachutes gives some great insight.
March 18, 2010 - submitted by Michael, United States of America
Q. I just wanted to know if there were any plans for Coldplay to start playing Shiver at stadium shows ever again? I hear that there are always signs for that song and that is probably their best song in all their catalogue ever of all time if you catch my drift...they are some of the best musicians I bet they could pull it off!! Thanks! Hope ur days are filled with much splish splashing cuz I know mine are.
The Oracle replies:
Didn't you hear? Shiver was played every night of the Latin American tour with the exception of the first show in Argentina.
They performed it in C Stage as part of the acoustic set. If Guy gets his way they won't be playing it again as he didn't like doing it all that much!
December 3, 2009 - submitted by Neil, United Kingdom
Q. Why did Coldplay not play Shiver for the Viva La Vida Tour? It's one of their best songs!
The Oracle replies:
There's an interesting Roadie #42 blog
about how after more than 150 shows Shiver got a dusting off and the band gave it a try backstage...
They can't possibly play every song and Shiver just didn't make the final set list.
So I look in your direction But you pay me no attention, do you? I know you don't listen to me 'Cos you say you see straight through me, don't you? And on and on From the moment I wake, to the moment I sleep I'll be there by your side; just you try and stop me I'll be waiting in line, just to see if you care Oh… Did you want me to change? Well I changed for good And I want you to know that you'll always get your way I wanted to say… Don't you shiver Shiver Sing it loud and clear I'll always be waiting for you So you know how much I need you But you never even see me, do you? And is this my final chance of getting you And on and on From the moment I wake, to the moment I sleep I'll be there by your side; just you try and stop me I'll be waiting in line, just to see if you care Oh… Did you want me to change? Well I changed for good And I want you to know that you'll always get your way I wanted to say… Don't you shiver Don't you shiver Sing it loud and clear I'll always be waiting for you Yeah I'll always be waiting for you Yeah I'll always be waiting for you Yeah I'll always be waiting for you, for you I will always be waiting… And it's you I see but you don't see me And it's you I hear so loud and so clear I sing it loud and clear And I'll always be waiting for you So I look in your direction But you pay me no attention And you know how much I need you But you never even see me