Live 2012

Coldplay Live 2012 is the collective name for the official documentation of the Mylo Xyloto Tour, performed, recorded and released by Coldplay. The project consists of a worldwide theatrical and home media film release, Coldplay’s third live album, after Coldplay Live 2003 and LeftRightLeftRightLeft, and a 183-page e-book depicting the tour. The film and album were recorded over many dates over the 2011 Festival Tour and the Mylo Xyloto Tour beginning in October 2011 and ending in September 2012. The film was opened for one night only on 13 November 2012, at select cinemas around the world. The DVD and Blu-ray release of the film and the live album release occurred on 14 November 2012.


  • 11 External links

Release and promotion

The film was first announced by Phil Harvey in April 2012. It was first announced under the title “ColdplayFilm”.[1] The name was also inscribed on the Xylobands used on the Mylo Xyloto Tour between April and September 2012. The film/album was first officially announced on 25 September 2012.[2] On the same day, two websites promoting Live 2012 launched. One promoting the theatrical release of the film, and one promoting the project in general.[3][4] A two minute trailer accompanied the announcement, released online and shown in theaters attached to other films as well.[5] In addition, an exclusive preview of “Us Against the World” was shown on the Live 2012 website, a swell as another select track off the film of user’s choice.[6] A 183-page e-book documenting the tour was also announced.[7]

Live 2012 was first released as an exclusive, one-night-only theatrical release, shown in cinemas across 57 countries around the world.[8] The film opened at 7:00pm at respective timezones (7:30pm at some screenings), on 13 November 2012. The film was shown twice on the night, closing before midnight.[9] A partnership deal between Parlophone and Studio 3 saw the screening of Live 2012 on US premium cable television as well.[10] The film aired exclusively on 14 November 2012 on Epix, the night after the theatrical release and a week before its commercial release in the United States.


Critical reception

Live 2012 has received large critical acclaim. Adam Silverstein wrote an overwhelmingly positive review for Digital Spy, saying that the film/album was pulled off well amidst mixed reputation, writing “One (thankfully first-class) collab with a popstar and an appearance on The X Factor later, however, and they almost fucked their rep… Chris Martin bawling backing vocals to the Little Mix girls would have been uglier than Javier Bardem toothless in Skyfall, yet that’s all it would have taken.” He also says it showcases well the “ridiculous effort that goes in to each and every concert.” and that the film/album “skilfully showcases just how incredible an adventure it is to observe a world-beating band at the top of their game. And those still to be converted to the Coldplay cause even after watching this? Well, they can fuck off, then.”[11] Drew Taylor of IndieWire wrote a similar very positive review, praising the Mylo Xyloto tour itself as well, and stating that “even a cursory understanding of what it’s like to watch Coldplay live is better than nothing at all. Wristbands not included.”[12] Sarah Milton of The Upcoming wrote a very positive review focusing on the band’s ability to connect with their fans through Live 2012, writing that “This release of their previous and current work defines their unstoppable prowess by taking tracks to a personal level with their fans. This is a skill not many achieve live, but with this album, Coldplay succeeds. It deserves immense recognition, and we can rest assured that Coldplay will keep raising the bar of stadium rock shows for years to come.”[13]

Cameron Adams of the Australian Herald Sun gave the album a positive review, highlighting the film/album’s emulation of the tour, stating “this is the exact show Coldplay are in the midst of charming our country with – wristbands, hits, banter, yoga moves and all!”. He also complimented the tracklist choice, writing that “Their biggest hits (Paradise, Viva La Vida, Fix You) sit nicely with their more subversive ones (Violet Hill, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall)”. It was the album of the week in the Herald Sun.[14]

Jim Pusey wrote a positive review for Contactmusic, praising the film for its visual effects and cinematography. He also compared the film to the band’s previous live video, Live 2003, noticing “a band that’s now less awkward and self-conscious.” He also gave a positive note to the documentary itself, stating that the most interesting parts were the “behind the scenes interludes that punctuate the performances. Each band member has an opportunity to reveal not only their enthusiasm for playing live around the globe, but also their perspective on the different elements that have made up the tour. These short vignettes include details of how the Mylo Xyloto artwork evolved and how they tried to translate that to a live setting with audience members wearing glowing wristbands. This peek behind the curtain is beneficial as it makes the gig footage from 3 different stops on the tour (including their most recent Glastonbury headline set) more engaging.”[15] Kenji Lloyd of HeyUGuys! wrote that the film “goes above and beyond any ordinary concert film, which is just what you’d expect from a band that isn’t any ordinary band. They go the further mile, always looking to take things further, do things better, make the extra effort. As the band plays through the darkening night, we’re treated to the equally impressive artwork and handwritten lyrics that are a part of their live shows, appearing on the screen itself in a fantastic bleeding of creativity.”[16]

Commercial performance

The DVD release of the film debuted at number 2 on Irish Music DVDs Chart in the week of its release.[17]

Track listing

All songs written and performed by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin and Brian Eno, except where noted.[18][19]

Live 2012 tracklist, excluding bonus tracks (via: / Digital download[20] 9787798503234

Limited edition Lithograph

Exclusive, hand-numbered lithograph posters, limited to 5000 worldwide and printed on 350gsm paper, were available when pre-ordering via the Coldplay Music Store [2]. The dimensions of the lithograph measure 594mm x 379mm and features the band playing at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester on 9th and 10th June 2012.[3][4]

Media Reviews

Digital Spy: F**k the haters, f**k the critics and f**k modesty; this was the mantra of the world’s biggest band when making their fifth album Mylo Xyloto, consequently their poppiest to date. One (thankfully first-class) collab with a popstar and an appearance on The X Factor later, however, and they almost f**ked their rep… Chris Martin bawling backing vocals to the Little Mix girls would have been uglier than Javier Bardem toothless in Skyfall, yet that’s all it would have taken.

But, from headlining Glastonbury before their second album was out to closing London 2012 ten years later, Coldplay live have always been about losing inhibitions; for the three million who watched their latest world tour and also for Martin, more like a sweatier, jumpier Pluto the dog than ever during this concert film (which isn’t fun for Rihanna when they get up close and personal to duet halfway through). Taken from their shows in Paris’s Stade de France, Montreal’s Bell Centre and, fittingly, Coldplay’s home-from-home of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, this is a special 90 minutes that emphasises just how impressive they are on the live stage and presents some insight into each band member’s frame of mind. At one point, Martin himself confesses of the crowds: “This is the first time I’ve looked people in the eye.” It’s gratifying to see soft rock’s most neurotic so at ease.

We also witness the ridiculous effort that goes in to each and every concert. The confetti butterflies pouring down on fans during ‘Lovers in Japan’, ‘Fix You’s honking fireworks when Will Champion’s drums kick in, the pioneering ‘Xylobands’ that expel the need to hold a lighter up for ‘The Scientist’ and flash like a thousand Red Dwarfs for ‘Charlie Brown’; it all sparks an awesome experience and makes every show feel as new as the last. But how do you make a stadium intimate? Well, by caring about those in the cheap seats. For ‘Us Against the World’, the band race their way to the back of the venue and stumble past psyched fans to huddle on a cramped stage with an acoustic guitar and a piano (we’d love to see the Rolling Stones try this). It’s artfully demonstrated through the eyes of YouTube fan clips and looks stunning, reflecting the song’s warm message of unity superbly.

And even Coldplay can rock with the best of ’em. When Martin smashes his guitar on stage after ‘God Put a Smile upon Your Face’, it’s as defining a moment as Tim Robbins escaping through his prison tunnel in The Shawshank Redemption… ish. The all-out anthem that is ‘Viva la Vida’, meanwhile, gets a proper tribute by featuring its Glasto performance; the whoooooaaaaahs sound epic. here’s nothing like seeing the real thing, of course, but Live 2012 skilfully showcases just how incredible an adventure it is to observe a world-beating band at the top of their game. And those still to be converted to the Coldplay cause even after watching this? Well, they can f**k off, then. 5/5. [5]

HeyUGuys: If ever there was a band destined to tour the stadia of the world, it’s Coldplay. Coldplay Live 2012 is part documentary, part concert film; a fascinating look at the band taking their latest record, Mylo Xyloto, to sold-out venues across the globe. Opening the film as the album does, with Mylo Xyloto bleeding into Hurts Like Heaven, we then switch back to an audience favourite, In My Place, before coming to our first documentary segment, spliced between a handful of the songs in the sixteen-track set list.

There are many things that separate Coldplay from the vast majority of bands making music today (or in any day), and one of those things is very much their exceptional live performances. You get the feeling that they want each and every person in the audience to feel like a part of the night, and the documentary gives an insight into that desire.

Over the years, the band and long-time friend/fifth member/former manager Phil Harvey have been making greater and greater efforts to perfect their concerts – releasing giant balloons into the crowd; shooting out millions of paper butterflies; and most recently giving every single person in the audience an LED wristband upon entering the stadium, all of which light up throughout the night. Far from being a simple gimmick, or a way of making up for something lacking on stage, they are well designed to enhance the whole night, making for an unparalleled experience, and that feeling never drops for a minute through Live 2012.

Lead singer, Chris Martin, talks about the release of the album and this subsequent tour as the throwing off of their shackles, and the resultant energy is brilliantly captured on screen.

Live 2012 goes above and beyond any ordinary concert film, which is just what you’d expect from a band that isn’t any ordinary band. They go the further mile, always looking to take things further, do things better, make the extra effort. As the band plays through the darkening night, we’re treated to the equally impressive artwork and handwritten lyrics that are a part of their live shows, appearing on the screen itself in a fantastic bleeding of creativity.

Coldplay’s live performances are a blurring of the lines between band and audience, stage and crowd. They bring the audience into the experience with an electrifying ambience. Live 2012’s director, Paul Dugdale, has said that he wants the film to make the viewer’s eyes widen and their hearts beat faster, and he has been unquestionably successful. It is a ninety-minute ride that will have your spine tingling, leaving you craving an announcement that Coldplay will be touring in a stadium near you as soon as humanly possible. 4.5/5. [6]

Indie Wire: If there’s a way you can be the world’s biggest pop band and still be underrated, well, Coldplay have figured out how. Their five albums, which always manage to be solidly artistic and hugely accessible, have sold tens of millions of copies, no small feat in the crumbling age of music, and yet their detractors say that they’re boring and dull, two charges that cannot be leveled against “Coldplay Live 2012.” A new concert documentary that charts their tour in support of last year’s Mylo Xyloto album, ‘Live 2012,’ like this year’s other two great concert docs (“Shut Up and Play the Hits” and “Katy Perry: Part of Me”) is a boundlessly energetic, utterly endearing chronicle. Hands in the air, people.

Running a brisk hour-long, this documentary combines footage from the band’s performances at Paris’ Stade de France, Montreal’s Bell Centre, and their headlining gig on the Pyramid Stage at England’s Glastonbury Music Festival. Combining these various gigs is a great idea for a number of reasons, and not only because we get these nifty, Google Maps-on-acid flashes where the camera zooms into some new location through a fog of zippy haze, but because we get to see things like Rihanna show up in Paris to perform a rousing rendition of the beautiful, brilliant “Princess of China,” and watch how the band’s vibe and energy subtly change as their location shifts.

You can also see the evolution of the stage show particulars, especially from the prototypical version at Glastonbury (this performance was actually captured last year, before the tour had really begun). The band’s stage set-up is simply mind blowing, with a runway that extends into the middle of the crowd with a big “X,” pyrotechnics, lasers, giant pulsating screens, and every inch of equipment painted in bright neon splashes (the entire concept behind the album has to do with a dystopian future disrupted by outbursts of vivid color). It’s outré writ large.

In between songs, there are interviews with various band members, which aren’t exactly insightful but do allow you into the creative process a little bit, and add to the aw-shucks, these-guys-are-great vibe. When lead singer and band leader Chris Martin, who’s married to a woman who, in the movies, is married to Tony Stark, bashfully says, “It’s exciting when you’re 15 and you throw a party and people show up,” well, it’s hard not to crack a smile. They all seem to be genuinely thrilled to be doing what they’re doing, and that positivity is palpable in the live show.

At one point, one of the band members (you always hear them, never see them), talks about the wristbands that were passed out when people arrived at the venue. It was, according to them, one of the things that closed the gap between the performers and the audience. Then we see Chris Martin, imploring the crowd to stick their arms in the air. A switch is thrown and all of the wristbands, previously blank, light up in blinking neon colors that strobe to the music. It’s one of those holy shit moments that only a huge-ass band like Coldplay could elicit, an Imagineered marvel, and even the band’s most hardened, cynical critics would be hard pressed to think that it was anything but totally fucking cool.

The songs themselves sound even bigger and more universally rousing than they sound on record. There’s something about hearing an audience sing along to a song like “Hurts Like Heaven” that gives the it an added scope and makes you appreciate the Coldplay machine in action – when they were writing these songs in some cramped English recording studio, you can’t help but think they knew, 30,000 screaming, crying, dancing fans would be singing along to it one day. These songs are massive; built for stadium-sized sing-alongs. And while, honestly, nobody needs to ever hear “Yellow” again, watching them perform it in the context of this documentary, which is nothing if not boundlessly enthusiastic, it comes to life once more. The band remains tirelessly professional, and each one of them are both skilled musicians and electric performers, embracing the shtick with real energy and commitment (nothing’s worse than seeing a pop star phone it in). And yes, “Fix You” still tugs on the old heartstrings.

Director Paul Dugdale gets into the spirit of the Mylo Xyloto Tour by occasionally “drawing” squiggles of bright paint on the screen, which adds to the outrageous, overstuffed nature of the experience. But he also knows when to tone it down and let the on-stage visuals speak for themselves. When “Paradise” starts subtly, with a darkened stage that’s eventually brightened by glow-in-the-dark graffiti, it’s striking enough without any additional flourishes. If anything, the documentary should be longer, should capture more of the live experience, to better replicate the experience of watching the band onstage. But that’s a minor quibble. At the end of “Coldplay Live 2012,” even a cursory understanding of the experience of watching Coldplay live is better than nothing at all. Wristbands not included. B+. [7]

The Oracle on Live 2012

Tweet from Phil Harvey on 16th September 2012, nine days before the official announcement was made

April 29, 2013 – submitted by Renata, Brazil

Q. Hello wise Oracle! For months I’ve been wondering why Lovers in Japan isn’t a part of the Coldplay Live 2012 movie. It was one of my favorite parts of the gig when those hundreds of huge balls came out. It was one of the moments I was hoping to see again on DVD but unfortunately it’s not there… Could you tell me why? Thanks

The Oracle replies:

Lovers in Japan wasn’t a permanent fixture on the MX tour so as it was only played towards the end of the tour, it was decided to leave it off the DVD.

April 15, 2013 – submitted by Elizabeth, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle,

Today, for the probably the 50th time, I watched Live 2012, which is my favorite movie of all time. In the credits at the end of the movie, under “Montreal Film Crew” “Camera Operators” one of the names listed was “Will Champion” – Is that a coincidence or was Will apart of the filming?! Please let me know!

Your #1 Coldplayer,


The Oracle replies:

Yes he was! When the guys perform the Stage C segment of the show, Will is recording on a hand-held camera before he joins the rest of the band – that’s why he has a filming credit.

November 27, 2012 – submitted by Brian B, Malaysia

Q. O wise Oracle! At the end of the Coldplay Live 2012 I noticed that the track The Escapist is included in the credits, right after Up With The Birds. What is that supposed to mean? A hidden track?? Thanks.

The Oracle replies:

There are no hidden tracks – though there are a couple of songs in the Extras section. I am pretty sure I heard The Escapist during one of the film’s documentary bits…

November 26, 2012 – submitted by Andres, Mexico

Q. Hi Oracle! I was reading Live 2012’s booklet and I found a rather interesting name under the Special Thanks section, Dave the cat. Who is Dave the cat?


The Oracle replies:

Dave is producer Rik Simpson’s cat. Dave is in fact a female feline who sometimes hangs around the studio. Miaow.

November 21, 2012 – submitted by Tyler, United States of America

Q. Hello Almighty One,

I just purchased the Live 2012 CD/DVD and it is fantastic. While looking through the included art booklet, I noticed something. On the last page, underneath the song symbols, it reads ‘YMCVJMAJRNKGAM’.

What do these letters stand for?

I hope that you and the band have a great Thanksgiving!

The Oracle replies:

The band have published similar before and I know many fans worked it out. Those letters are the initials of the band’s nearest & dearest. From left to right they are the significant other & children of Phil, Jonny, Will, Guy & Chris.

November 20, 2012 – submitted by Nick, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Do you make an appearance in the new concert film? Someone claimed it was you at 1:47 during HLH, although I doubt the Oracle would ever admit to a public appearance.



The Oracle replies:

Although I was there at the Paris show (and Madrid) I don’t pop up. I normally stand quite far back or wander round to see it from all angles.
I’m not in any backstage footage either…

November 13, 2012 – submitted by Andres, Portugal

Q. Hi Oracle. I wanna ask you this. in the cinemas, is it going to be shown the gig in Paris, the documentary or both?

The Oracle replies:

It’s so weird to think that because of time differences on this vast planet of ours, people will have just come out of the cinema having already watched it! Wow.

Anyway, to answer your question – there is no documentary. It’s not like Live 2003 where there are two very separate parts. This film is a live concert with the occasional glimpse into the backstage world narrated by each band member.

November 12, 2012 – submitted by Guillaume, Canada

Q. Hi Oracle,

Could you tell me which songs on the live 2012 film will be from the Montreal show ?

Thanks !

The Oracle replies:

As you will see soon, each time the destination changes, text appears on the screen telling you where the footage is from – apart from the backstage stuff. You’ll be able to tell though.

November 8, 2012 – submitted by Jeremy, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

I saw a tracklist for Live 2012 from the official announcement on this very website, and I have to say, it’s rather disappointing. Not that the songs are bad, but where’s The Scientist, Politik, Shiver, and Lost!? Why can’t Violet Hill be available on the DVD. I did pre-order a copy, but I just was curious.

Thanks, Jeremy

The Oracle replies:

The DVD is made up of the majority of the show but not every song performed was included. Violet Hill is on the DVD though – but just not on the CD.

Lost! or Shiver weren’t on the MX Tour set list. Neither was Politik at all actually. Some songs were only played a handful of times and that’s why they were omitted.

The Scientist was in the set & as far as I know is included as a bonus track as is Don’t Let It Break Your Heart.

November 6, 2012 – submitted by Mark, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle

I’ve seen some of the previews of the MX film, and I’m disappointed with the crowd in Paris.

I always think Chris is frustrated with the crowds when he says ‘make some noise’ or ‘is anyone out there?’.

At the two gigs I went to, M.E.N. last December and Ricoh in May, he most definitely knew we were there, and couldn’t possibly make any more noise, even if we tried. So why were some of the British gigs not included.



The Oracle replies:

I have to disagree Mark. I was at the Paris show and I assure you he’s not saying either of those things because the crowd was quiet – they were anything but!

He actually said “is there anybody out there?” at every stadium gig after the first song (Hurts Like Heaven) before going into In My Place. It gets everyone going – not that anyone needs much encouragement.

I understand that everyone will have an opinion on where the DVD was filmed but as I say, I was at the Paris show and think it was a great choice (the majority of it was filmed there by the way, not its entirety).

I was also at the same M.E.N gig you mentioned and it was amazing. As that was December 2011, I think that would have been too soon into the tour for the crux of the DVD.

October 22, 2012 – submitted by Olive, United States of America

Q. Hai Oracle! How is your Mylotober! XD I was just wondering, you know how the Live 2003 Movie came with a Tour Diary… will the new Live 2012 come with a Tour Diary? I just want to confirm. I would greatly appreciate it if you answered this. Many Coldplayers would appreciate it too. But thanks anyway for answering our questions. We really do appreciate it!

Lots of Love from California! (and the rest of the world!)


The Oracle replies:

The Live 2012 DVD will not come with a tour diary. There is backstage footage and each of the guys speak during those montages.

October 10, 2012 – submitted by Rachael, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle,

I hope you’re having a good October

My question is if any of the artists that toured with Coldplay will be featured on Live 2012

Thank you so much

Rachael x

The Oracle replies:

As it’s a Coldplay DVD, it will be the band’s show; not the support acts’ performances.

It’s not usual for bands to include any of the openers in their own tour film by the way. There were quite a lot so it’d be a jolly long film!

Rihanna is a featured artist as she performed Princess of China with the band in Paris, so she will appear.

September 26, 2012 – submitted by Paul, Poland

Q. On the new 2012 DVD trailer I think I noticed that a part of the video is form the Warsaw concert (00:57 I think) Does it mean that one of the songs will be from that concert!?

The Oracle replies:

All the details are in the new piece including the director saying: “Live 2012 includes footage from Coldplay’s shows at Paris’s Stade de France, Montreal’s Bell Centre and last year’s triumphant Pyramid Stage headline performance at Glastonbury Festival”. I’d therefore say that no, there won’t be footage from the Warsaw gig in the film. I’m sure the trailer may look like many places but I can’t confirm whether Poland features in it, sorry.

September 26, 2012 – submitted by Brad, United States of America

Q. Hey, Oracle. I pre-ordered the live 2012 Blue-Ray today but I have a question. Will the Blue-Rays and dvds we receive in the US be playable in our region or will they be in the European format?

The Oracle replies:

It does actually say on the order page that the DVDs are NTSC Format Region 0 which means they are region free so you’ll be fine.

September 26, 2012 – submitted by Keera, United States of America

Q. Hi Oracle! I was wondering: What is the difference between the $20.91 live 2012 bundle and the $24.13 one? Thanks!!

The Oracle replies:

Both the CD/DVD and the DVD/CD packages contain the same 95 minute film and 15 track live album but the difference is the DVD/CD version has DVD sized pages and its booklet contains an extra 2 pages. In the UK that’s the £12.99 and £14.99 versions…

September 19, 2012 – submitted by Safa, France

Q. Hi Oracle, I saw on the official Twitter of the band that they will make an announcement next week about the coldplayfilm. Does it mean that it will be released next week or is it only an info they will give us about it ? Thanks

The Oracle replies:

The announcement will simply be giving more information about the film but it’s not finished yet so definitely won’t be released this soon – the band are still on tour. Two more European dates to go… What a Summer it’s been.

June 19, 2012 – submitted by Sophie, United Kingdom

Q. Do you know when the DVD of the Mylo Xyloto Emirates shows will be released?

The Oracle replies:

Er, nobody said there is going to be a DVD from the Emirates shows so I don’t know where you got that from. Let’s nip that rumour in the bud. There is going to be a DVD but it’s not isolated to London. If you see people filming the gigs, don’t forget that you’re seeing the live footage on huge screens and that’s how they do that – with cameras.

Forum Links

  • ColdplayFilm – MX Live DVD [8]
  • Coldplay Live 2012 – movie premiere (please post your local theater/cinema findings) [9]
  • James Tonkin shoots Coldplay Live 2012 documentary with Sony NEX cameras [10]


Continue Reading

Mylo Xyloto

On 12 August 2011, Coldplay announced via their official website that Mylo Xyloto is the new album title for LP5, and that it will be released on 24 October 2011.[1]. The album leaked online on 17th October 2011, two days before its expected debut in Japan, and nine days before its worldwide release.

The album was finished on 9th September 2011 at 2am (UK time) which was confirmed in an official tweet from Roadie #42 who said: “Bumped into Rik Simpson. Tells me: “We finished the album at 2am”. It’s on this USB stick. Get ready folks! R42″ [2]

The official announcement read: Mylo Xyloto was produced by Markus Dravs, Daniel Green and Rik Simpson, with enoxification and additional composition by Brian Eno. The album will be released in digital, CD and vinyl formats. A special limited edition Pop-Up Album version will also be available, which will include a 12″ x 12″ hardback book containing graffiti pop-up art designed by David A. Carter, vinyl, CD and exclusive content including photographs, excerpts from the studio diary and the band’s personal notebooks.

Along with the text came a handwritten message from Chris Martin which wrote: “Hello everybody, we have finished our new album. It’s called Mylo Xyloto and it comes out on October 24. We hope you like it and we hope you are well. Love from Chris (and Will, Jonny & Guy & Phil)

On 30 October 2011 Mylo Xyloto was announced as being the fastest selling digital album by the UK Official Charts Company, being the first album to sell over 80,000 digital copies in its first week. It sold 83,000 digital copies.


  • “Up With The Birds” – 3.46

Songs that missed the cut

What follows is a listing of all known songs written during the Mylo Xyloto sessions that didn’t make the cut:

  • Index of Mylo Xyloto Reviews


Although fans speculated that the first single would be Christmas Lights (which was released on 1 December 2010) Coldplay’s Oracle stated “the song [Christmas Lights] isn’t penned for the new album however; it’s just a single release that happens to be out this week…”, thus denying such rumours. On a later statement the Oracle restated: “Can I categorically say here and now that Christmas Lights is a stand alone song and has absolutely no bearing on what is to follow… The short answer is no.”

On 31st May 2011, Coldplay announced that their new song Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall would be released on 3rd June 2011 at 12 pm BST via digital download. The single contained elements of “I Go to Rio” written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson. On 21 June 2011, Coldplay’s website announced that the band would release a digital EP containing the songs “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”, “Major Minus”, and “Moving to Mars” on 26 June, but it wasn’t confirmed at that point whether any of those tracks would make Mylo Xyloto.

The second single from the Mylo Xyloto era is Paradise and was be released on 12th September 2011.

Charlie Brown, the third single, is released along with the video in January 2012.

Billboard reveal more details of Mylo Xyloto

Online magazine Billboard reported first on the announcement of Mylo Xyloto, alongside the official Coldplay site.

Produced by Markus Dravs, Daniel Green and Rik Simpson, with “enoxification” and additional composition by Brian Eno, Mylo Xyloto is Coldplay’s first release since 2008’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends. Last week in Los Angeles, Billboard heard eight songs recorded for the project, some of which are already familiar to fans from international festival appearances including Glastonbury in the U.K. and Lollapalooza in Chicago. Among those are the relentlessly effervescent first track, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall; the shimmering, syncopated Charlie Brown; and Major Minus, an ominous, thundering beast of a song with rattling guitars, potent (and rare) Buckland solos, and restless, shifting musical patterns. Those three songs, along with others like the bold anthem Paradise (the first “proper” single from the record, due September 12th); the broad, bass-heavy Up In Flames; and the textured romance of Us Against The World seem destined to appear on the final version of Mylo Xyloto. Others, including the loungey build-up that is Moving To Mars, could potentially not make the record, according to Billboard interviews with Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland and frontman Chris Martin.

The band’s announcement today reveals Mylo Xyloto will be released in digital, CD and vinyl formats. The 180-gram vinyl edition will include a 12″ x 36″ poster. A special limited edition Pop-Up Album version will also be available, which will include a 12″ x 12″ hardback book containing graffiti pop-up art designed by David A. Carter, vinyl, CD and exclusive content including photographs, excerpts from the studio diary and the band’s personal notebooks. The “reversible” cover art was just revealed at COLDPLAY.COM. Half of the CDs will be packaged with the full color artwork as the cover while the other 50% will have the CD booklet flipped, showing the silver initials “M X” via a die-cut sheet placed over the color image.

Coldplay manager Dave Holmes tells Billboard that a brief run of arenas in the UK and Europe is planned for December of this year, but the band will begin to tour globally in earnest in support of the record beginning next spring. Coldplay’s tour in support of Viva la Vida grossed more than $126 million and moved more than 1.7 million tickets to 94 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore.
As they embark on a new cycle, the band’s spirits are high. “We’ve been together long enough that I know how everyone else is feeling, and it makes me excited when I feel the others are excited,” Martin tells Billboard. “Maybe I speak too soon, but they don’t seem unexcited. They seem pretty fired up. I think we have a lot to prove to ourselves. There’s no point in not going for it.”

Speaking about the musical direction of the record, Buckland says, “I suppose the theme would be letting loose musically; louder drums, louder guitars, more contrast. Then we wanted to go down to the most intimate moments, then back to the biggest we’ve ever been. We wanted to contain as many interesting ideas as we could fit into 42-and-a-half minutes.”[3]

Also see: Coldplay feature in Billboard magazine – September 2011 (including Chris Martin Q&A interview)

Brian Eno Influence

Coldplay have declared that producer Brian Eno was almost one of the band as they created new album Mylo Xyloto. Drummer Will Champion singled out Eno’s contribution, in an interview with Q Magazine.[4]

“For this album Brian’s more of a collaborative writer than a producer,” he told Q. “He was with us more in the early stages when the songs were being created, though his influence is everywhere. He’s omnipresent, even when he’s not in the building he leaves his aura around for inspiration. Brian is a great sewer of seeds whereas Markus us the farmer. He has amazing powers of concentration, way beyond ours.”

Meaning of Mylo Xyloto

During an interview with The Sun (UK newspaper) on 12th September 2011, Chris Martin discussed the meaning of the album title, Mylo Xyloto. Quoting The Sun: It is pronounced My-low Zy-letoe… and even the lads admit the title doesn’t mean anything. Chris says: “At the moment it seems a bit ridiculous and I accept that. “Something about it feels quite fresh. The title doesn’t have any other meaning. I think we’re a band with a lot of history now so it’s nice to come up with something that doesn’t have any history at all. We’ve had that title for about two years on a board and any other potential titles had to be written next to it. Other ones made more sense but we just liked this one, that’s all we can defend it with.”

Guitarist Jonny jokes that the process of finding a title was “like naming a child”. And Chris — dad to daughter Apple, seven, and son Moses, five — admits he has received a fair bit of banter about his name choices. He says: “I’ve had trouble with that too. I don’t regret that either. It’s just a feeling of a fresh start.”[5]

Before that interview not much was revealed at the time about the exact meaning of Mylo Xyloto, although there were developments from Coldplay’s TV appearance in Paris (on 9th September 2011) which will be televised in October 2011. According to Coldplayers, the band discussed the meaning of Mylo Xyloto, Coldplayer Lu’kaa saying: “Yesterday in an interview in the french TV show Chris explained that Mylo Xyloto was just an imaginary language, with two words: Mylo and Xyloto. It’s about creating a now word, from nothing, kind of like Google. How I know it? Well I was there!”

For those of you (most) still trying to figure out the possibly meaning behind this title following The Oracle’s confirmation that the title was not randomly made up without meaning, it’s a little unclear — though Latin derivations of “Mylo” tend to suggest that it is about something falling apart. (Meanwhile, “Xyloto” has been used to refer to a family of insects.) Could this be some sort of statement meant to suggest people coming together in the midst of what are difficult times for the world? Until Coldplay speak out about it themselves, we will probably not know for sure. Perhaps there is a tie with the colorful art, which seems to indicate there’s beauty in destruction which seems a fitting theme for the darker times we live in.[6]

Even The Oracle remained tight lipped on the answer, recently saying: “This could win the prize for the most asked question in the shortest space of time! All I will say is that if the band are asked it as many times as I have been asked, an answer will appear soon enough! I’d rather not be the revealer on this occasion. I will dispel a couple of suggestions I received though. It’s not been randomly made up with no meaning at all nor is it a foreign language. Everyone has been so patient so far with all the teasing that has been going on during the past 3 months so I’m sure we can hang on a little longer…” (August 15th).[7]

Ok I know this might sound a bit far out, but here are my thoughts. I think Mylo Xyloto might be an alien, for various reasons: 1- Aliens, U.F.O., stand to play a big part in the story of MX. I think they are going to be the good guys (light blinking to to tell me it´s alright) and will maybe help the two main protagonists in the end (hopeful transmissions). They might possibly end up flying away with the aliens in the end (up with the birds); 2- It would also tie in with Moving To Mars. Maybe it was not a metaphor at all. Maybe it is about the protagonists moving away from planet earth, after everything has gone up in flames; 3- It would explain the weird name Xyloto, which would be a good extraterrestrial name… I definitely hope there is nothing about alien abductions (scary!) hehe I still think the aliens are friendly and good. I interpret that sentence as just simply meaning that a sign came from outer space to let our heroes know that help is on its way and everything is gonna be alright. [thanks valypan][8]

This from MTV[9]: “Not only does it sound like a clothing-optional beach in the Greek Isles (or a nasty viral disease,) but, because it is largely inscrutable, it also inspires the inner etymologist within me. What, exactly, is the language of origin (Latin?) Googling it just brings up lots of Coldplay Web sites. How, precisely, is it pronounced? (Oh, just scanning the press release now, and apparently it’s “my-lo zy-letoe.”) And, since we’re on the subject, just how many anagrams can you pull from its 10 letters? Of course, it bears mention that whenever you’re talking about pronunciation and anagrams, you know you’re in the presence of true titular greatness. So, after spending some serious time with a pen and a piece of paper, here’s every possible anagrammatic combination I can think of. The word “Ox” comes up a lot. For whatever reason, I’d like to think that makes Chris Martin happy.”

First Introduction

Mylo Xyloto as seen registered on the ASCAP database, 24th July 2011Mylo Xyloto was believed to be a song from the LP5 album era, and possibly the title of LP5 itself, when the name was registered by Coldplay according to the PRS database on 6th July 2011. It is likely that the acronym, MX, is the track that Coldplay use for the opening sequence to their festival dates in 2011.

Commenting on the find, Coldplayer Spike said, “I’m a member of PRS and (as a member) you can search their online database of registered songs. I typed in Chris Martin and looked at all the newly registered work under ‘Christopher Anthony John Martin’ and a song called ‘Mylo Xyloto’ was registered on 6th July 2011!!! The writers registered for the song are all of Coldplay and Brian Eno. Wither they actually call the album Mylo Xyloto or not or that might be the lead single (maybe released on October 10th because the first letters of each word being MX).” [10]

The Oracle on Mylo Xyloto

July 4, 2013 – submitted by Raj , Canada

Q. Hi Oracle, I’ve been reading the MX comics upto the latest issue 5, and I’m confused about exactly how each of the songs fits into the plot line of the Mylo Xyloto comic series. The song Major Minus is obviously a reference to the antagonist, but what about the others? Up In Flames, for example? Princess of China etc. I’m not sure there is even a “China” in the fictional universe of Silencia.

The Oracle replies:

Although the character of Mylo, comic and album are intrinsically linked, they are not running alongside each other in tandem. There are themes reflected in the music but that doesn’t mean that every song is represented in the comic and vice versa with characters and storylines not mentioned in the album.

April 9, 2013 – submitted by James, United States of America

Q. I heard that Mylo Xyloto was planned to be a movie kind of like The Wall was. Then I remembered this when Phil Harvey tweeted about Xylobrytes being some sort of evil minions or something. Can you verify whether this is true or not? If it is true why did they never make a movie? That would’ve been great to watch.

The Oracle replies:

Phil actually called them “critters” in his tweet but they’re alien type beings. I’ve only got Issue 1 (of 6) as yet, so haven’t encountered them myself.

I can confirm that a film was very much in discussion and it was such a mammoth undertaking. A reverse decision was made taking many factors into account – one being the impending album which of course took precedence.

The film was intended to have been animated – that’s a similarity to The Wall though that wasn’t 100% animation.

October 24, 2012 – submitted by Daniel, United Kingdom

Q. So come on then, which came first… The comic/story or the album?

The Oracle replies:

Well this is interesting because they were working on both at the same time yet both were very separate entities. However, the name Mylo Xyloto was first associated with the comic.

It was only later when the musical direction of the album changed and the comic idea was put on the back burner that the name became the album’s name.

I hope that makes sense!

August 6, 2012 – submitted by Jameson, United States of America

Q. Oracle,

Recently on Coldplay’s wiki page, I found a list of unreleased songs from their various albums. Most of the Viva ones are available to listen as short demos on YouTube, but I couldn’t help but notice a few that were unreleased from MX.

My question is, are the boys planning on releasing snippets of those demo MX tunes the same way they did the Viva ones?

Even their demos are (and most would agree) incredible music and it would be a shame if they were left on the shelf in The Bakery or The Beehive collecting dust.

The Oracle replies:

Hmm, I have to set this straight: “are the boys planning on releasing snippets of those demo MX tunes the same way they did the Viva ones?”

No and the band did not release any Viva demos. They are not supposed to be on YouTube and they aren’t meant to be out there at all. These things happen of course and I totally understand that fans want to hear everything but anything the band want people to hear is what is released and available – otherwise it’s an illegal bootleg.

July 18, 2012 – submitted by Linah, Netherlands

Q. Where’s Mylo Xyloto recorded? The Bakery or the Beehive? They are both not used anymore, aren’t they?

The Oracle replies:

It was recorded at both the Bakery and the Beehive and actually, they are both still used.

April 12, 2012 – submitted by Natalie S, United States of America

Q. Hello there, Oracle!

I was wondering if the artwork for Mylo Xyloto (like that whole painted wall in the CD booklet thing) is a real wall or if it was made in some kind of photo editing software… or both. I think I heard that Will Champion did a lot of painting for the sets and stage props and what not but I was just curious because I absolutely love the style. I’m currently working on my own sort of drawing/painting thing inspired by that painted wall. Or whatever it may be. Thank you! 🙂

The Oracle replies:

The graffiti wall does exist although it is 9 panels that make it whole. There’s no digital trickery, it’s all real spray paint.

Will didn’t take on a leading role, they were all involved in creating it and the ideas behind it. There are individual touches here and there but Paris painted the sets and instruments.

March 22, 2012 – submitted by Martin, Australia

Q. Greetings oh wise Oracle…

This question might have been asked already, but which Mylo Xyloto album artwork do the boys consider to be the ‘main’ or ‘original’ one?

The Oracle replies:

Ooh that’s an interesting question yet at the same time if we think about it… why would anyone who had an absolute give the option? I think the beauty of it is that they see that both work so well but suit different individual styles within the parameters. As with lyric interpretation, the band have left it up to you to decide which you prefer. That’s also why I like the personalised MX artwork.

January 16, 2012 – submitted by Marcello, Argentina

Q. Hi Oracle!

I was watching the Viva la Vida doc, and at some of the first images appears Phil talking, and behind him there are some painted letters, and the first thing that came to my mind was: Mylo Xyloto. So, I wonder if they have some relation with the new album, they’re pretty similar!

Thank you!

The Oracle replies:

Yes, that documentary was filmed when MX was already well in the pipeline and its artwork had begun to appear around The Bakery.

November 1, 2011 – submitted by Alba, Spain

Q. Dear Oracle,

I know that Chris said that Mylo Xyloto is a love story but I don’t know if the other albums have any story. If they have, Can you tell me what are and summarize the main ideas?

Thank you so much.

The Oracle replies:

Mylo Xyloto does have themes though is not a concept album per se but it’s the only one of the band’s 5 to have a story running through it. This doesn’t mean there aren’t themes in the other albums but MX certainly has a more constructed form.

September 30, 2011 – submitted by Simon, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle. I heard a rumour that the new album was going to be a soundtrack to a Yellow Submarine style film, but this was decided against because of it would’ve took 5 years to make. Is there any truth in this?

The Oracle replies:

It’s not a rumour; it has been documented in recent press interviews.

September 29, 2011 – submitted by Matt, United States of America

Q. Ok so I was just watching the 60 Minutes feature on Coldplay in which Chris points out the band’s explicitly written rule number 1- an album may be no long than 42 minutes, or 9 tracks, long. The track listing for Mylo Xloto was just released, and it was revealed that the new album will contain 14 songs. What’s with the sudden change?

The Oracle replies:

As with most things, there may have been an element of truth at the time it was said but everything is subject to change. Out of all their albums, Parachutes is, in fact, the nearest to 42 minutes with its length of 41’48. That said, Mylo Xyloto is actually only a shade over 44 minutes long.

September 5, 2011 – submitted by Daniel, United States of America

Q. Oracle, I have a question regarding the leaking of the album name before it was officially announced: did the leak have anything to do with the decision by the band to reveal it when they did? And how frustrating is it for the boys to see a secret like that come out to light? Are they seeking any damages from the source that leaked the name? Was there (or still is) a reason for the secrecy to begin with? Ok, I know, I said one question and it’s more like 4, but I guess that will make up for all the other times my questions have not been answered. With much love, Dan.

The Oracle replies:

It’s not a legal issue so no, there’ll be no action taken. I know you’d like me to elaborate but it’s just the nature of the beast and more than expected these days. I just hope you understand why when pressed I tried to divert people from the name. Why? Well, I can’t put it any better than Tom Waits has.[11]

August 31, 2011 – submitted by Kristin, United States of America

Q. Hey, Mr. Oracle.

How’s your summer been?

I was just wondering if the MX on the newpaper, was a hint to the name of the album, when Coldplay changed their look for the website? Did they know that was what they were going to call it from the start?

Lots of love


The Oracle replies:

There are no coincidences with how the website design looked/looks/will look; every single thing is planned to fit in with themes, ideas and titles. From the fluorescent colour to the MX on the newspaper it was all designed with the new album in mind. So, to answer your question, yes, they did know from the start and a whole lot longer than that.

August 23, 2011 – submitted by Jon, United States of America

Q. Hi Oracle, I was wondering if the song played before Hurts Like Heaven during the festival circuit is actually called Mylo Xyloto and was just shortened to MX to avoid spoiling the title of LP5 before the title was officially announced. Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

Ta-da! I wondered when someone would pick up on that after what I had said about it in a couple of answers. MX did indeed mean Mylo Xyloto but at the festivals, as I did mention, it wasn’t a full song, just a prelude/introduction to Hurts Like Heaven.

August 18, 2011 – submitted by Federica, Italy

Q. Hello Oracle, I know you won’t publish my question but I’ll write it down the same. Is there any connection between MYLO XYLOTO and the street artist XYLO (whose name is MYLO)? There are lots of coincidences and not just in the name…

The Oracle replies:

Nope, no connection at all. The band have never heard of him. I checked him out and it’s purely a coincidence that his name is Mylo (there are plenty around) as is the fact he’s into graffiti.

August 18, 2011 – submitted by Ashley, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle, There’s this ridiculous rumor that ‘Mylo’ is an Egyptian derivative of the name Miley and ‘Xyloto’ comes from the Greek term for Tombs of the Kings which is located on the island of Cyprus. When you combine both of them it’ll say “Miley Cyprus.” In other words, “Miley Cyrus.” And according to this article, the album was dedicated to her. So, please Oracle, can you tell all the Coldplayers out there that this is not true? Thanks in advance!

The Oracle replies:

I most certainly can tell you all that this is not true – once I have stopped laughing hysterically that is! I have no idea who dreams this stuff up but by golly, they really should find more interesting ways to spend their time. Ha, ha, ha!

August 18, 2011 – submitted by Valentina, Denmark

Q. Dear Oracle, On the album official announcement written by Chris, there is a little drawing with two words just after the phonetic spelling of Mylo Xyloto. What does the drawing represent and what does it say?? I can’t make it out…

The Oracle replies:

It says under 1 roof and it’s written under, er, a roof!

August 15, 2011 – submitted by Bella, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle, What does Mylo Xyloto mean?

The Oracle replies:

This could win the prize for the most asked question in the shortest space of time! All I will say is that if the band are asked it as many times as I have been asked, an answer will appear soon enough! I’d rather not be the revealer on this occasion. I will dispel a couple of suggestions I received though. It’s not been randomly made up with no meaning at all nor is it a foreign language. Everyone has been so patient so far with all the teasing that has been going on during the past 3 months so I’m sure we can hang on a little longer…

August 15, 2011 – submitted by Sam, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle, I read on the Daily Mirror and NME that Chris Martin is saying that Mylo Xyloto may be the last album for the band and this time he means it. Why is this so? As a big fan of Coldplay I am very sad about this. Since you know Chris and the rest of the boys, do you think that it is likely that the band splits up at this point of its career? I wish that you could pick up my question and reply to it!! Thanks! Sam

The Oracle replies:

I haven’t read the article but I would draw your attention to the word “may”. What Chris said or meant – whether taken out of context or not – is familiar to many. Anyone who has been a fan for a very long time will know that this kind of quote is not uncommon when an album is completed. Chris has said this kind of thing before, ooh at least 3 times I’d say. Even if a band intend to be together forever, not one single person in the world could possibly know when or if an album is the last one until song ideas are conceived, written, recorded and deemed good enough. That’s not to say that Mylo Xyloto* will be their last album but at this moment in time it is the only album that we’re all thinking about. Let’s not rush the future or try to see into it, let’s enjoy the present – after all, it is a gift. * You have no idea how great it is to finally be able to say the name of the album!

August 11, 2011 – submitted by Laura, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle: I read somewhere that the release date of Coldplay’s new album is going to be 10/10 or October 10th. I’m pretty sure this person just made that up based on the fact that MX in roman numerals is 1010. It does sound probable though. Is there any way this is true? Thanks! much love 🙂

The Oracle replies:

MX, as you say, means 1,010 in roman numerals but that’s not ten ten to me; it’s one thousand and ten which is completely different. The album isn’t out on 10/10 or any other combination of those numbers. MX has nothing to do with numbers.

July 27, 2011 – submitted by Valentina, Denmark

Q. Q Magazine has written a list of confirmed songs that will make the album cut, but I won’t believe it until I hear it from you Oracle. Can you confirm or deny what Q magazine wrote?

The Oracle replies:

Within the first paragraph is the quote that the tracklisting “isn’t quite there”. That pretty much says it all really. The album is in the final stages and those confirmed songs have been recorded. It’s worth remembering that magazines usually work around 2-3 months in advance. That interview took place in mid-June which was as late as Q could leave it before going to print for the September issue. At the time of print those songs may have been “confirmed” but it will be, as Will says, done at the last minute.

June 6, 2011 – submitted by Patrice, Australia

Q. I know you can’t say when the date of LP5 is but why all the secrecy?! Especially as 4-5 songs are now out in the youtube a sphere … I’m trying to hold out from listening to them too much until the album is out … but it’s extermely difficult! Please help!


Slightly desperate.

The Oracle replies:

It’s not a secret, it just hasn’t been officially announced yet. We want to wait until it’s absolutely finished too, which it isn’t. Also, a vague time scale was given after an EMI rep quoted it.

June 1, 2011 – submitted by Matt, United Kingdom

Q. The longer I wait for the new album, the more I fear that it will be a hugely over produced mass of electronica… Please tell me I am wrong.

The Oracle replies:

You’re wrong.

May 10, 2011 – submitted by Ch, United States of America

Q. So from Roadie 42’s blogs it sounds like the guys are always changing their songs. You said LP5’s been named, so did its name have to change multiple times until one was finally decided on, was it the one that always stood out, did it come earlier or later in the process of making the album…?

The Oracle replies:

There’s always speculation about album titles but I’ve noticed that fans have been referring to the next album as “LP5” for so long that it almost feels like that is the title!

In answer to your question, unlike some song titles the name of the album was decided and settled on very early in the process.

With the upcoming live dates we’ve got a lot to look forward to so it hopefully won’t feel too long before the album drops and all will be revealed…

April 28, 2011 – submitted by James, Colombia

Q. So you don’t have to do more than give a yes or no answer here, but is the new album named yet? Or are they saving that for last? Also, it was said in the past that they want this new album to be more “acoustic and more intimate” has it all shaped up like that? If you can’t or won’t tell us that is fine. I was just curious.

The Oracle replies:

I can’t and won’t discuss album style or content (of course) and the only affirmative you’re getting is that yes, the album does have a name. ‘What is it?’ I hear you ask… well you know I’m not going to tell you that!!

April 26, 2011 – submitted by Fabian, Chile

Q. When it goes to go out the new album of Coldplay? Is it finished? Thanks.

The Oracle replies:

Not quite but very nearly. As I have mentioned previously, although there is no release date to announce, it’s not late and has not been pushed back.

Miles Leonard, president of Parlophone, has said the album is to be expected “towards the autumn of this year” and that’s as much as I can tell you.

March 29, 2011 – submitted by Big Silly aka Mike, United States of America

Q. So what’s all the hullabaloo about with the boys pushing back the album release date? Is someone trying to calumniate against Coldplay or was there never a release date to begin with? Splish splash ahoy hoy and thanks

The Oracle replies:

Once again it’s all been based on hearsay Mike. The release date is and always has been tentatively planned for when it is actually is going to be. It hasn’t been pushed back at all so it’s quite baffling why these rumours start.

March 1, 2011 – submitted by Nils, Germany


Is this the truth??

“I think Chris Martin is fooling around everyone about what Coldplay has done for LP5 until now. For example, “SONG TITLE EDITED” is evidently in the album and it’s a precise song.

People, these are the only real facts you must know about the new LP:

a) The album is completely recorded since December. Band is still choosing the songs amongst those done and presenting them to EMI to make the final tracklisting.

b) The schedule is that NAME EDITED and/or NAME EDITED will mix the selected songs around March

c) The album will be out in May 2011

Take my words for granted, and keep them for the record, whenever these news will be confirmed.”

The Oracle replies:

Firstly let me just explain why I have edited the question…

There is a lot of speculation surrounding details of the 5th album – of course that’s to be expected – but as you know anything other than what we report here, via Anchorman and Roadie #42, is probably just hearsay.

What I can tell you about the post you found regarding the “facts” is that they’re not true.

The album was not finished in December, nor is it now. It will not be mixed in March and it will not be released in May.

July 7, 2010 – submitted by Felipe, Brazil

Q. What agency/person will be in charge of elaborating the album art? Will it maintain Viva la Vida’s art style?

The Oracle replies:

If you look back historically at each album’s cover you’ll see there’s no continuity between them. Each album is a piece of work in its own right and so the inimitable music and its creators are the only common link. The next album will therefore be no different by having its own unique style.

June 11, 2009 – submitted by Cody, United States of America

Q. Guten Tag Frau oder Herr Oracle,

I was wondering if Coldplay’s fifth album would contain all new material, or withhold tracks previously unheard like Famous Old Painters, Lukas, or Blasphemy? I don’t know whether or not this question has been answered, and if so please tell me so. Haha

Wie immer ein riesiger Fan von Coldplay,


P.S. The Boys were terrific in ATL

The Oracle replies:

It’s not very usual for such old tracks to appear as new material. As ideas develop for a new album, many tracks are discarded. In My Place is a rare exception. That song was played on the Parachutes tour and survived demo and recording sessions to end up on A Rush of Blood. Other songs that had been considered initially were either used as b-sides to singles or abandoned completely.

August 14, 2008 – submitted by Daniel, United States of America

Q. Has Coldplay begun working on any material for their next album (supposedly due for release at the end of next year), and if so, what direction is the music taking? Will it stay an experimental, rock sound? I really hope Coldplay sticks with rock… It would disappoint me to see them go anywhere beyond country/folk.

The Oracle replies:

Coldplay don’t stop writing so it’s not a case of if they’re working on material for the next album, it’s more a case of whether any will still be around by then. Also, rumours are always rife about when an album’s coming but it won’t necessarily be next year, though we can’t say when. Equally it will be what it will be, there’s no plan of its musical direction.

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Talk” is a song recorded by Coldplay and is the fifth track on their third album X&Y, released in June 2005. The song was released as the third single from that album in December 2005 and it was a substantial hit across the world. “Talk” entered the UK Singles Chart at #10, and elsewhere in the world its success varied: it reached #1 in the Netherlands and the top five in Canada. Both the song and its ‘Thin White Duke’ remix have been nominated for the 2007 Grammy Awards.


    • 7.2 Unreleased/First Version


Coldplay received permission from the electronic music band Kraftwerk to use the main riff from their song “Computer Love” (German basic version: “Computerliebe”), from their 1981 studio LP Computer World (German basic version: Computerwelt), for “Talk”, replacing Kraftwerk’s synthesizers with guitars. Subsequently mash-up artist RIAA combined “Computer Love” with “Talk” to create the song “Kraftplay”. Presciently the I Love Music website had humorously imagined the results of such a collaboration[1] several months before it appeared.

The band recorded three separate versions of “Talk”; the one found on X&Y was based on an early cut of the song. A newer version of the track (with a different set of lyrics) was leaked onto the internet in March 2005. “Talk” was originally intended to be a b-side for the single “Speed of Sound” before becoming the last addition to X&Y’s track listing.

This song was performed live at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards on 3 November in Lisbon, Portugal and live at the 2006 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, United States.

“Gravity”, the single’s b-side, was originally written by Chris Martin for the British band Embrace, and is found on their album Out of Nothing. The song charted at number seven in the UK. Many editions of the single also included “Sleeping Sun” as a second b-side.

The song was also used as the basis of a downloadable hoax track entitled “Talk to David” [2] produced as an April Fools Day prank by the UK The Guardian newspaper. This featured lyrics purporting to give support to Conservative opposition party leader David Cameron [3].

Chart performance

By mid-October, “Talk” had been added to the playlists of twenty-six U.S. alternative rock stations. Stations that offered early airtime to “Talk” include KTCL (Denver), WEND (Charlotte), KNDD (Seattle), KUCD (Honolulu), and WFNX (Boston).

A month later, “Talk” was being supported by sixty-one U.S. alternative rock stations. On 18 November 2005, the single debuted at number thirty-two on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart. “Talk” peaked at number five on the chart, a significant improvement from the performance of “Fix You”, and matching that of “Speed of Sound”.

On 31 December 2005, it “bubbled under” the Hot 100. It finally charted on the Billboard Hot 100 on 25 February 2006 and peaked at number eighty-six.

By then, the song had gained additional exposure in other genres. “Talk” reached number ten on the Adult Top 40, which covers Hot Adult Contemporary music. It topped the Hot Dance Club Play chart as “Talk (Junkie XL/Francois K/J. Lu Cont Mixes)”.

It reached number four on the Canadian Singles Chart in late 2005 and topped the Canadian BDS Airplay Chart for four weeks in early 2006.

Music video

The “Talk” music video is a homage to B-grade sci-fi movies.

The music video for “Talk” was helmed by director/photographer Anton Corbijn. Corbijn had previously directed the video for “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers.

Filming took place on November 5 and November 6 at Ealing Studios, London, just before the band began an European leg on the Twisted Logic Tour. The black-and-white clip invokes a B-movie science fiction theme, with imagery ranging from a flying saucer to 3D glasses.

It seems the entire video can in fact be viewed in three dimensions using Anaglyphic 3D glasses like the ones worn by the band. Due to the red (left eye) and blue (right eye) edges that define a stereoscopic image. However the effect is subtle and best appreciated with a high resolution version.

The main plot line of the music video features Coldplay as astronauts landing on an alien planet, where they re-activate a dormant robot. The robot in the video bears a strong physical resemblance to the original Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy television series. (The robot also more closely resembles the robot from The Beastie Boy’s song Intergalactic, and also possibly the robot Torg from the 60’s B-movie Santa Claus Conquers The Martians) A previous Coldplay track, “Don’t Panic” also referenced the series with its title. At one point of the clip, subtitles present the lyrics of the song spelt backwards just like in the video for “No Surprises” by Radiohead. At the very end of the video, there is whistling that resembles The Clangers.

The video was extremely popular in Poland. It spent thirteen weeks at number one on MTV Poland Top 20 Chart and 47 out of 50 days (because it was retired) at number one on TRL Poland.

The message Make Trade Fair was in X&Y code as the robot’s controls in black and white.


The Oracle on Talk

May 23, 2013 – submitted by James, United States of America

Q. My brother and I are convinced that Talk was a credits song in a movie. Specifically, we thought it closed out one of the Transformer movies, but after reviewing the dvds that is not the case. Was it in the select pre-release movie theater version of Transformers or in a different movie? ‘We are lost and incomplete’ without this information.


The Oracle replies:

Talk definitely didn’t appear in any of the Transformer movies but then I don’t recall it being used either in any film or as the credits rolled.

I wonder if perhaps it has been used in a trailer much like Paradise was used in previews for Life of Pi but not actually featured in the film…

January 2, 2013 – submitted by Faiz, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle,

When the robot in the Talk music video wakes up (2:22), it looks like there’s text at the bottom of the video. It’s covered by the playback bar so I can’t read what it is.

Would you, in your infinite wisdom, know what this says?

Thanks, Faiz

The Oracle replies:

The text is the lyrics with the words running in the correct order from left to right but each word is backwards.

It says:




Which of course is:

Well I fell like they’re talking in a language I don’t speak and they’re talking it to me.

July 26, 2012 – submitted by Katy, Brazil

Q. Hey! I’ve heard two versions of the music Talk. Which one is correct or official?

One of them starts with “Oh brother I can’t, I can’t get through

I’ve been trying hard to reach you” and the other one starts like “Under the great north star, try to work out where you are”. Kisses

The Oracle replies:

The one that features on the album X&Y (& the single version) is the approved, official version that the band want you to hear.

There were 3 different recordings that the band did so none are incorrect but they chose their favourite of the 3 to release (The “Oh brother” one).

September 3, 2010 – submitted by Mark, United Kingdom

Q. Will Coldplay ever play this version of Talk live? I would do anything for that! It’s incredible and almost everybody agrees!


The Oracle replies:

It’s extremely doubtful. This wasn’t the version the band decided on for inclusion on X&Y. Although they gave it a techno re-vamp for the Viva tour, it’s not likely to appear in the guise of one of the discarded variants. I love it too though it has to be said but then I like all incarnations of the song; there were a few.

June 7, 2010 – submitted by Mike, United States of America

Q. Are Coldplay going to go back to playing the album versions of Talk, GPASUYF? We fans miss those.

The Oracle replies:

Well I’m sure many fans do miss those original versions but there were a heck of a lot who loved hearing newer updated versions on the last tour! If those songs make it onto any future tour’s set list it would be very doubtful they’d remain the same as for the Viva tour anyway. The same could be said for the acoustic songs also…

April 7, 2010 – submitted by Kyle, United States of America

Q. To Mr./ Mrs. Oracle

To say the least, I’m way behind. What is the message that appears in text at the bottom to the music video Talk?

The Oracle replies:

The text is the lyrics reversed. Starting at 2:23, “Well I feel like they’re talking in a language I don’t speak and they’re talking it to me”.

July 22, 2009 – submitted by Shelby, United States of America

Q. Oracle,

At the last two Coldplay shows I’ve been to Coldplay performed a really cool remix of God Put a Smile Upon Your Face and Talk. Is there anywhere I can find that? (By the way Coldplay put on the best show ever).

The Oracle replies:

They like to rework some tracks for the live shows, the above 2 are an example, but there’s no plan to release any of the versions that may appear.

October 15, 2008 – submitted by Robin, Germany

Q. Dear Oracle:

Here in my Coldplay sheet book there’s alwas a line under the title of the song wich says: words and music by … [the 4 coldplay members]

But as I see here, words & music for “Talk” by Guy B.,Chris M., Karl Bartos, Jon B., Will C., Emil Schult & Ralf Huetter.

Who are those three other guys? Mr. Huetter and Mr. Schult even seem to have German names…

Thank you a lot =)

The Oracle replies:

They are indeed German names;, they are members of German band Kraftwerk. The main riff of Talk comes from the Kraftwerk song Computer Love. They gave their permission to use it but are of course credited with writing it.


Album Version

Oh brother I can't, I can't get through
I’ve been trying hard to reach you 'cause I don’t know what to do
Oh brother I can't believe it's true
I’m so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you

You can take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or a write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that’s never been done

Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can’t find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?

Well I feel like they’re talking in a language I don’t speak
And they’re talking it to me

So you take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that’s never been done
Or do something that’s never been done

So you don’t know where you’re going and you wanna talk
And you feel like you’re going where you’ve been before
You tell anyone who’ll listen but you feel ignored
Nothing’s really making any sense at all, let’s talk
Let’s talk, let’s talk, let’s talk.

Unreleased/First Version

Under the great north star
Try to work out where you are
In the silence of the sea
I don't know where I've been

In the future, in the past
Going nowhere much too fast
When I go there go with me
When I go there go with me

‘Cause I don’t know where I’m going but I wanna talk
I feel like I’m going where I’ve been before
And I wanna talk

Take a picture of
Something that you’re not sure of
Bring it back to show me
But I don’t know what I see

In the future, find a home
Getting nowhere on your own
Got to find your missing piece

‘Cause you don’t know where you’re going but you wanna talk
You feel like you’re going where you’ve been before
And nothing’s really making any sense at all
You’ll tell any one who’ll listen that you feel ignored
Let’s talk, let’s talk
Do you wanna talk?

I’m up in the part of the throne
I’m trying to sing a song
In a language I don’t speak
I try but I can’t get through
I’m trying to get to you
But you’re difficult to reach

Won’t you talk to me…

So you don’t know where you’re going but you wanna talk
You feel like you’re going where you’ve been before

Let’s talk, let’s talk…
Let’s talk, let’s talk…


Continue Reading

Jonny Buckland

Jonny Buckland

Jonathan Mark Buckland (born 11 September 1977), known as Jon or Jonny Buckland, is the lead guitarist of Coldplay.

Jonny Buckland was born in London, England, and lived there until the age of four, when his family moved to Pantymwyn, North Wales. He was encouraged to enter the music scene by his elder brother, who was a big fan of My Bloody Valentine. Buckland started playing the guitar at the age of eleven, after being spurred on by The Stone Roses. Buckland attended Alun School in the Welsh town of Mold; moving on to study astronomy and mathematics at University College London, where he also met his future band mates and formed Coldplay.

Buckland’s musical influences include Ride, George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix. He is noted for his sparse arrangements and use of slide.

He has been compared with U2’s The Edge many times because of his familiar chimming/ringing sound he and The Edge produces (which is evident in Coldplay’s single In My Place)

Buckland has guested on Ian McCulloch’s solo album Slideling and made a cameo appearance with band mate Chris Martin in the film Shaun of the Dead.

Chris Martin will often refer to him as “Jonny Boy” frequently during live concerts, particularly if Buckland is about to do a solo or a long riff. Chris has famously said: “There would be no Coldplay music without Jonny Buckland.” The affection between Chris Martin and Buckland is often evident during live concerts and interviews, always with tongue firmly in cheek.

He lives in London with his wife, jewelry maker Chloe Lee-Evans. Together, they have a daughter, Violet, who was born 3 November 2007.


  • 2 x Fender Hotrod DeVille 212 Combos
  • 1 x Fender Twin Reverb used on ‘Parachutes’


  • Vintage Fender Jazzmaster One of Jon’s older guitars, used on the tracks ‘We Never Change’ and ‘Sparks’. Also used on the tracks ‘Chinese Sleep Chant’, ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’ and ‘Talk’ for the Viva La Vida tour.
  • Reissue Fender Jaguar Used on the tracks ‘Shiver’ and ‘Yellow’ during the Parachutes tour. Used on ‘Shiver’ for the Live 2003 DVD and music video. Jon also owns a Red Fender Jaguar, as seen in the ‘Lovers in Japan’ and ‘Life In Technicolor’ videos.
  • 4 Vintage Fender Thinline Telecasters
  • 1 Sunburst 1974 (Used on the tracks ‘Yellow, ‘Fix You’ and ‘Clocks’.)
  • 1 Black 1977 (Used on many tracks since the start of the X&Y tour, seen today with the VIVA logo painted on it.)
  • 1 Walnut 1974 (Used mainly for sliding work and the tracks ‘Cemeteries Of London’ and ‘Death And All His Friends’.)
  • 1 Natural 1972 (Used on various tracks since the start of the X&Y tour, such as the tracks ‘Low’ and ’42’.)
  • Jerry Donahue Lake Placid Blue Japanese Fender Telecaster (x2) (The Jerry Donahue telecaster is, for some people, one of the best Telecasters ever made. It has a 5-way switch, like on a Stratocaster. Jon used it on the Parachutes tour as his main guitar. Also used on ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’ for the Live 2003 DVD.
  • Vintage Gibson ES-335 Used on various tracks, such as ‘In My Place’ (video), ‘Shiver’ (Glastonbury 2002), ‘Life Is For Living’ and ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’.
  • Rickenbacker 12 String Used on ‘Daylight’ and ‘One I Love’ for the Live 2003 DVD.
  • Martin Acoustic Used on ‘The Scientist’ for the Live 2003 DVD.
  • Gibson Acoustic Used on the tracks ‘Speed Of Sound’, ‘The Scientist’, ‘Green Eyes’, ‘Death Will Never Conquer’ and ‘I’m A Believer’ for the Viva La Vida tour.
  • Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Used only on ‘Violet Hill’. Falsely reported on several sites as being as Les Paul Custom.


The Oracle on Jonny Buckland

February 11, 2014 – submitted by Begum, Turkey

Q. Hello, how is your day? I hope everything is goin well. Here is my question: Who are Jonny Buckland’s guitar idols?

Thank you so much! Greetings from Turkey!

The Oracle replies:

I’ll go one step more and give you a list of his musical heroes / influences from his formative years if you like:

Kevin Shields, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons, Keith Richards, Ian Brown, Aretha Franklin, Shaun Ryder, Nick Cave & bjork.

December 6, 2012 – submitted by Jake, Australia

Q. HEY!!! Coldplay’s first Sydney show was spectacular and absolutely outstanding! Quick question: I noticed that for songs like Paradise, Charlie Brown, In My Place, Major Minus – that Jonny wasn’t using his 2 regular ‘MX graffiti’ guitars, instead he was using a sunburst tele. Do you know why?

Thanks! The whole Coldplay team are amazing!

The Oracle replies:

Thanks to Matt McGinn (Jonny’s guitar tech) for this in depth response:

“Well, that one (which is called ‘Sunny’ – they’ve all got names) is Jonny’s total favourite. He’s had it about ten years and has played it on most of the albums and tours since Rush Of Blood – it’s actually the one he’s holding if you look at the band photo from that album cover. There’s just something about the two of them that seems to click. It sounds amazing, for a start. And he’s really happy when he’s playing it, as you might have noticed.

I can’t remember where he picked it up – maybe Chicago? – but, if you’re interested, it’s a ’72 Thinline from about 1974. It’s half hollow – so, semi-semi acoustic, I guess – and has a lot of really nice gouges in it from being thoroughly thwacked. All still original, as far as I know. I reckon it must’ve cost him about 2000 US dollars but God knows what it’d be worth now. You can get a pretty good Fender copy/reissue these days for a lot less, off the peg, that might turn out lovely after a few years of playing it. That’s the thing, any old guitar can be amazing if you love it enough.

It – or should I say ‘she’, since, like ships, all guitars are girls – was sidelined for awhile and only used on ‘Scientist’ but then we got so soaked, boiled and frozen on the last European stadium run that all the other Tele’s got in a total mess; impossible to tune, playing like old dogs etc. I decided to hand him Sunny out of desperation one night right before Fix You (I forget what town) and when he did the opening riff it was like a light coming on. He just looked round at me and we knew she had to come back for good.

Glad you liked the Sydney gig – so did I!”

August 14, 2012 – submitted by Laura, Argentina

Q. Hi dear Oracle! I hope you’re doing great. The other day I was watching a documentary about different dialects and languages spoken within the UK and I found Welsh absolutely impossible to understand or imitate (I speak for myself here of course) Now, I know Jonny grew up in Wales and I was wondering, can he speak Welsh fluently?

Regards from Buenos Aires


The Oracle replies:

The part of Wales that Jonny is from – Mold – is North Wales and very close to the English border. People from that area don’t tend to have strong Welsh accents at all. As far as I know Jonny’s secondary school wasn’t a Welsh Language school so as he wasn’t born in Wales he will have spoken English at home – and school.

I’m pretty sure he’s not fluent.

May 14, 2012 – submitted by Hanna, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle!

Because I have nothing better to do with my time, I was reading all the wikipedia entries for the MX singles, and it said that Major Minus is one of the only songs to feature leading vocals by Buckland. Is that true, or is just another thing wiki got wrong? Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

I may be going blind but I can’t see that “fact” anywhere on either the MX wiki section or the Major Minus page.

Wherever you’re seeing it, Jonny has never taken lead vocals on any Coldplay song.

March 13, 2012 – submitted by John, United Kingdom

Q. This is a bit of a long shot, but I used to teach Jonathan Buckland in his last 2 years of Primary School. He was the goal keeper in our school football team and also – not surprisingly – had a star role in our school Christmas concert! The kids used to call me Mr D. I have two sons from my first marriage – they are both Coldplay fanatics! I am now re-married and have two step-daughters who think they are brill as well. Trouble is, they don’t really believe me when I say I used to teach Jonny. Is there any way he would consider sending me an email to prove I’m not spinning them a yarn? Many thanks, John

The Oracle replies:

Nice little insight into the young Buckland there, thank you. Have you tried asking the school as they must have a photo of their football teams in the archives somewhere? Or even the Christmas concert…

I’m ever so sorry but I’m not sure I want to open the floodgates of validation requests.

March 7, 2012 – submitted by Valentina, Denmark

Q. As a guitarist, I was wondering if Jonny ever did an interview for a specialized guitar magazine, like other famous guitarists do? If he did, can you direct me to it? Also has he ever considered releasing his own signature guitar? 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Yes, he was interviewed for Guitarist magazine back in October, 2001. We ourselves also published an interview with Jonny in January, 2009. I’ve never heard mention of a signature guitar. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had been asked, but there isn’t one out there.

April 20, 2011 – submitted by Blake, United States of America

Q. Dearest Oracle,

I’m a bit of a guitar/tech geek. There’s a picture of Jonny’s pedals on one of the blogs, and it looks like he is using three volume pedals. Why does he use three instead of one?

Thank you!

The Oracle replies:

Luckily for you Blake, Matt McGinn (Jonny’s tech and author of Roadie) was on hand to answer this specific question:

“One’s a volume pedal, the other two are used as expression pedals for altering parameters on two of Jonny’s rack units (TC 2290 & Line 6 Echo Pro). Short answer: THEY MAKE IT MORE ECHOEY!!”

August 10, 2010 – submitted by Allie, United States of America

Q. Did Jonny specifically choose the same black top hat as Sherlock Holmes in the Christmas Message 2006 because of his liking for the book/movie?


The Oracle replies:

The idea behind the hats was initially inspired by The Christmas Carol look so it wasn’t anything to do with Sherlock at all.

February 9, 2010 – submitted by Dan, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

As a guitarist, I’d love to know what kind of microphone Jonny is using to mic his amp.


The Oracle replies:

Indeed, the Small one is a Shure sm57 and the big one is a Neumann TLM 103.

January 29, 2010 – submitted by Florian, Germany

Q. Dear Oracle,

why is Jonny called “Jonny Buckley” in Guitar Hero 5?



The Oracle replies:

That’s a mistake! Not much the company could do once it was out there but they are aware of it.

January 4, 2010 – submitted by Blake, United States of America

Q. Was Jonny kidding when he claimed Bad Santa as one of his favorite Christmas movies?

The Oracle replies:

Ha ha he absolutely wasn’t joking; he loves it!

November 25, 2009 – submitted by sg, United Kingdom

Q. Was Chris Jonny’s best man and if so did he do a funny speech?

The Oracle replies:

Actually it was Will…

May I take this opportunity to say many thanks for all your messages of congratulations by the way.

March 17, 2009 – submitted by Harriet, United Kingdom

Q. Please could you, Mr. Oracle, answer my question!!?

The supporting act at the o2 on the 15th december, (The Domino State) has a guitarist called Tim Buckland. Is there any relation between Jonny and Tim??

Thankyou Mr. Oracle

Indeed they are brothers.

August 15, 2008 – submitted by Kit, United Kingdom

Q. Is Jonny Buckland Welsh? He doesn’t look Welsh. But then I’m not sure who does.

The Oracle replies:

From The Moldy Peaches to Mold. Jonny was born in London but he and his family moved to Mold, North Wales when he was 4.

August 8, 2008 – submitted by angie, United States of America

Q. Why doesn’t Jonny wear tighter pants?

The Oracle replies:

He’s not in Kings Of Leon you know! Have you ever tried to walk in those things?


Continue Reading

Guy Berryman

Guy Berryman

Guy Rupert Berryman (born 12 April 1978) is a musician and a member of the group Coldplay. He plays bass guitar and is known as the soft-spoken member of the band. Eventhough he is left handed, he plays bass in the orthodox way.

Berryman was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, but he moved to Kent, England at age twelve. He has been playing bass guitar since he was sixteen. He grew up on funk and groove music and collects rare editions of those records.

Before forming Coldplay at University College London, Berryman was in a band called Time Out while he was still at school.

His father is an engineer who worked on the Channel Tunnel and currently works with Adrian Hemming. As Guy started an engineering degree at university, he chose engineering. He later found it very difficult and so shifted to architecture. He dropped out of his architecture degree after one year to focus on playing bass with Coldplay. While his bandmates were still continuing their degrees, Guy worked as a barman in a local pub.

Berryman’s musical influences include James Brown, The Beatles, Kool & The Gang, Pink Floyd, Lyn Collins, Maceo Parker and The JBs.

Guy was never a sportsman during his schooling life as he never liked sports. He spent his time in school playing the Trumpet and Drums in the school band.

He is also known as the ‘Dark Horse’ of the band, mainly because he is the quietest of the lot and he does not fancy attention. He is media-shy. In their Twisted Logic Tour for the promotion of their third album X&Y, Guy had decided to take candid pictures of the band with disposable cameras and throw them to the audience during their live shows.

He is an avid supporter of Raith Rovers Football Club, from his native town Kirkcaldy. He is a big fan of Captain America and the Space Invaders. Guy owns a vintage retro style juke box and collects 7″ singles to load on to it.

In autumn 2004, Berryman and Coldplay bandmate Will Champion guested on a-ha keyboardist Magne Furuholmen’s first solo album, Past Perfect Future Tense.

In 2004, he married Joanna Briston, his childhood sweetheart in a low key ceremony, but later split in May 2007. She ran a fashionable clothing shop called Jezebell in London, until it was closed down following debts of more than £248,000. The recent opening of the store was attended by bandmates Jonny and Will and their partners. Guy and Joanna have one daughter, Nico, born on September 17, 2006.


  • He smokes Marlboro Lights and drives an Aston Martin V8.
  • He also has a passion for gadgets and is an avid collector of vintage instruments and old studio technology.
  • He is left-handed but plays bass the orthodox way. He is also known as Coldplay’s fashion icon.
  • It was his idea to take candid pictures of the band with disposable cameras and throw them to the crowd during their ‘Twisted Logic’ Tour.
  • It was rumoured that he was to join Jim Ward of At the Drive-In in a band called the ‘London Country Rebels’.
  • He also jogs around venues, right past Coldplay fans, before a live gig.
  • According to the The Sunday Times (UK)|Sunday Times, his net worth is now £25 million.

Solo Work

Guy Berryman has been a member of Apparatjik since 2008, which he co-founded with Jonas Bjerre of Mew, Magne Furuholmen of A-ha and producer Martin Terefe. They have released 2 albums so far, “We Are Here” and “Square Peg In A Round Hole” and 1 EP, “4 Can Keep A Secret If 3 Of Them Are Dead”. Guy has worked on Magne Furuholmen’s solo endeavours, playing bass and producing on “A Dot of Black in the Blue of Your Bliss” and playing bass on the song Kriptonite, the latter also features Will Champion. He produced several albums, The Pierces’ album “You & I” is one of them. He is credited with the inner sleeve photography of A-ha’s album “Foot of The Mountain”.

Equipment list

A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour

On the tour to promote A Rush of Blood to the Head, Berryman used[1]:


  • Roach, Martin (2003). Coldplay: Nobody Said It Was Easy. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-9810-8.


May 2007

Coldplay star Guy Berryman has split from his wife – six months after they celebrated the birth of their daughter.

Bassist Guy, 29, is said to be devastated after agreeing to a separation from childhood sweetheart Joanna, 30. He has moved out of the couple’s £2million home in Hampstead, North London, and is now living in a rented flat a few miles away. A source close to the couple said Guy has stayed in constant touch with yoga instructor Joanna, who gave birth to their daughter Nico in September.

A friend said: “They are both absolutely devastated but the relationship has been on the rocks for a while. They were delighted when Joanna fell pregnant last year and hoped that a new baby might help them work things out, but at the moment it looks like it’s not to be. Guy’s moved out of their house for the time being but has stayed close so he can see as much as possible of baby Nico. As far as splits go, it’s all been pretty amicable but any divorce is nasty and it’s obviously devastating for them both.”

Berryman has amassed a £25million fortune since finding fame in 2000 with his Coldplay bandmates, singer Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland and drummer Will Champion. He is credited as co-writer of most of the group’s hits. Softly-spoken Guy, who steers clear of the glitzy showbiz world, met Joanna when they were both growing up in Canterbury, Kent. They married three years ago.

Friends said cracks started to show in the relationship shortly afterwards amid the stress of Guy’s hectic work schedule. The couple finally decided to split in March after Guy returned from Coldplay’s Latin America tour. Joanna had also suffered the upset of having to close her trendy clothes store with debts of more than £248,000.

A source close to the band said: “They’ve realised that things aren’t working and that means they’ve got to be apart. Jo’s as upset as Guy. They’ve told their friends and family what’s happening and the Coldplay guys are rallying round to try and keep his spirits up.”

A spokesman for the band said: “I can confirm that Guy Berryman and his wife Jo have separated. The decision was amicable.”

Guy is currently working on the band’s next album. Joanna declined to comment.

The Oracle on Guy Berryman

August 13, 2013 – submitted by Julia, Sweden

Q. Hello there!

I’ve heard that your handsome bassplayer does some photography. My question is if he has a page where he uploads the photos? Or could it be seen somewhere else?

The Oracle replies:

Yes, Guy likes photography but no he doesn’t have a public page where he uploads them. Some of his photos appear in Matt McGinn’s Roadie book but there were no individual credits so it’s not possible to tell you which are Guy’s.

July 30, 2013 – submitted by Karen GW, Mexico

Q. Hi Oracle! Do you know what is Guy’s favorite song to play? why?

The Oracle replies:

On the last tour one of Guy’s favourite songs to play was Charlie Brown. It was the anticipation of the wristbands – knowing they were about to start flashing.

April 25, 2013 – submitted by Sarah, United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle!

Recently I’ve found myself wondering about the roadies… if Will’s drum tech is Bash and Chris’s and Jonny’s guitar techs are Hoppy and Matt McGinn (respectively), then is it safe to assume that Guy has a bass tech? And if so, what would this roadie’s name or nickname be?

The Oracle replies:

Paul Newman is Guy’s bass tech but also a chap called Chris Heitzman on the last tour.

By the way, Neill Lambert is also a backline technician covering keyboard & digital.

March 12, 2013 – submitted by Alice, Brazil

Q. Hey Oracle!

I’ve always wondered, how does Guy divide his time between Apparatjik and Coldplay? He works more on Coldplay, doesn’t he? And do Jonny, Will and Chris feel bad about him being also in another band? Thanks for answering

The Oracle replies:

The thing with Apparatjik is that all the members have also been busy with primary jobs; Mags was still in A-ha until quite recently, Jonas from Mew has band commitments and Martin continues with his “day job”.

They make it work around their priorities. Guy’s priority is Coldplay but when the band aren’t in the studio or touring, he’s free to work elsewhere as he has done – not just with Apparatjik.

It’s not just Guy though. Chris, Jonny & Will have all collaborated, performed, guested (or whatever) with other artists.

August 2, 2012 – submitted by Chris, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle.

So I know that Will sings as back up most of the time. Jonny does back up in Don’t Panic, but what about Guy. Has he ever sung and if so where? If not, why? Does he sing bad or does he just not want to.

Thanks, Chris.

Guy can sing; he sings backing vocals on Fix You & Viva la Vida for example.

He also sings with Apparatjik too.

July 9, 2012 – submitted by Sally, United States of America

Q. I heard on KROQ that someone is looking for classic cars to restore? I have a sweet 1964 Ford Thunderbird Convertible that was partially restored by my dad a few years ago. It’s in good condition, and would be a nice project for someone who loves old cars! I do not have time to care for her myself, for I am moving across country very soon (from Fullerton,CA to Springfield,MA).


The Oracle replies:

You can find out more about the project here, as I’m not the middleman and don’t really know much more than you.

If your car sounds like what Guy’s looking for, feel free to email photos in – to the address given.

June 25, 2012 – submitted by Rose, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle,

I went to the second Manchester gig (which was amazing!!), and at the end was lucky enough to get one of the band’s guitar picks when a roadie threw it off stage. I was wondering whose it was – do you have any idea which of the band uses yellow .73mm Dunlop picks? Thanks 🙂

The Oracle replies:

I do, thanks to Matt McGinn & Hoppy who both confirmed that what you have in your possession is one of Guy’s picks.

May 24, 2012 – submitted by Gemma, Denmark

Q. Dearest Oracle,

I currently live in Denmark, and have been strongly considering going to Roskilde Festival, where Guy’s secondary band, Apparatjik, will be performing. But then I checked the tour dates of Coldplay’s tour, and I can see that the boys will be playing in America for nearly the whole duration of the festival, with an exception of the 7th of July.

My question is; Will Guy be flying to Denmark to perform onstage with Jonas Bjerre & Magne Furuholmen, or will he not be onstage, whatsoever? Thanks (:

The Oracle replies:

I can see why it would look possible because of the 7th July being a non-show day but as the band will be in Philadelphia on the 6th and due in Washington on the 8th, the flight times and time zone changes would make it too much of a risk to take.

I’d go as far to say it’s (almost) impossible.

April 17, 2012 – submitted by Heather, Canada

Q. I was wondering if Guy Berryman took any sort of a production role during the making of MX. At first I thought this was an unworthy question to ask because of the pressence of other producers like Markus Dravs, Rik Simpson, Dan Green, & Brian Eno during the creation of the album. However, when I thought of Guy’s involvement in producing The Pierces, James Levy & The Blood Red Rose, and Apparatjik, I thought I should ask you to clarify.

Thanks you so much!

The Oracle replies:

Actually Heather, the whole band get involved on the production side of things and always have – even on Parachutes.

February 16, 2012 – submitted by Grace, United States of America

Q. Hi Oracle!

I have realized that in all of Coldplay’s interviews Guy never talks, most of the time he’s not even in the interview. I understand why Chris is always the one talking and sometimes Will or Jonny are with him, but what about Guy? By the way he’s really handsome 🙂 just saying lol.

The Oracle replies:

Never say never honey. Here’s Guy only last year talking at T in the Park.

There are various videos of Guy being interviewed over the years; YouTube have quite a few for starters.

Enjoy Grace!

March 29, 2012 – submitted by Arthur, Paraguay

Q. Is Guy going to be in NYC for The Pierces’s concert on Thursday night?

The Oracle replies:

I shouldn’t think so Arthur as he lives in the U.K and as far as I know, is at home at the moment.

December 5, 2011 – submitted by Pocoyo, France

Q. Hi

Is it really the voice of Guy?

Thank you.

Yes, that is Guy taking lead vocal on Apparatjik’s Sequential.

May 31, 2011 – submitted by Tamar, Israel

Q. Hey Oracle,

I don’t understand if Guy joined the band in the very beggining or did he join later? If he joined later, who played bass?

The Oracle replies:

Guy has been in Coldplay (well, Starfish back then) since they began. Will was a happy accident and the last to join. He did a favour by stepping in to drum on their demo but they hadn’t got a permanent drummer at that time so he didn’t replace anyone.

March 7, 2011 – submitted by RaisinBran, United States of America

Q. I LOVE this band and I have been known to form many a theory about their foreseeable future; however, I only ask about this one (theory) which you probably wont even get a chance to read but, meh a boy can dream. Will the new album’s artwork be designed by Sr. Berryman? Is that what the old pictures were for? I know they were looking for a more intimate sound this time and, to me, old pictures make people feel happier in a nostalgic type way.

Best wishes, many thanks.

The Bran

The Oracle replies:

You are way off with that theory. As we mentioned at the time, Guy’s request for photos was a non-band related personal project and so they will have absolutely nothing to do with the album at all.

March 1, 2011 – submitted by Emily, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Is Guy still accepting old photos. I have some really great photos!

The Oracle replies:

No he’s not as the deadline was 31st December 2010; the very last collection was made last week. Guy is chuffed with the response – truly amazing.

No further photos that arrive will be added as plenty notice was given so please, please do not send any more photos in.

Just to add (as quite a few people have asked) there won’t necessarily be any news on the project for the foreseeable future given the band are very busy with their album. Please be patient but don’t expect an update any time soon. That said, thank you so much to everyone who sent in photos; there were some pretty incredible ones.

December 23, 2010 – submitted by Marit, Netherlands

Q. Hello!

I had a vacation in London last week and when I was at the underground there was a man sitting next to me and he looked SO much like Guy, that I’m so curious if it could even be possible that it was him! I didn’t dare to look much because it would be kinda weird if someone’s watching you very closely, right? 😉 He (pretended?) to be asleep, so I couldn’t see his face that good, so that’s why I’m really wondering if it could have been Guy or not. I’ll regret it for life if it was him, and I didn’t say anything.. 🙁 But it will be cool anyway! By the way, it was on the circle line on the 22th of December.

The Oracle replies:

November 30, 2010 – submitted by Maria, Spain

Q. Hi O!

When is the deadline for the Guy’s old photos project?

The Oracle replies:

We’d like to make it the end of the year but if some come in after that, it will be fine so don’t worry too much – especially with the festive postal season upon us.

September 9, 2010 – submitted by Colin, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Will there be a list presented on the website to show the winners of Guy’s Old Photos contest? Thanks, Colin

The Oracle replies:

It’s not a contest; signed photos are being sent out to a few lucky submitters but it’s just a personal project. There’s no news or developments to report on it right now.

May 28, 2010 – submitted by Sabrina, Argentina

Q. Dear O, hi! I was wondering, what about the PO Box to send Guy’s old pictures.

He said in May, but it’s almost June and nothing. I got one (quite nice in my opinion) from a flea market, but maybe I missed the update so…
Did he published the address? You know, this picture ain’t getting any younger (wink wink).

Thanks a lot!! Besos de Argentina!

The Oracle replies:

The postal address was announced today so we’re ready and waiting!

May 13, 2010 – submitted by Mayra, Colombia

Q. Hi Oracle:

Thanks for the information about the address of the old photos. I will be sending but yesterday I find out here in Colombia about how I can send the photos and how much it is. It’s very costly 🙁 What would I do?

Thanks for the answer!

The Oracle replies:

The important thing to remember here is that Guy’s looking for old photographs from all over the world so you don’t have to send more than one. You can if you like but please don’t send more if it’s expensive to do so and remember do not send any of your own family or friends.

May 11, 2010 – submitted by Izzy, Australia

Q. Hey there I was wondering what is the address to send the photos to Guy? Thanx 🙂

The Oracle replies:

The final details of a holding address for the post has just been confirmed and details will be posted by Anchorman soon. Keep an eye on the home page and/or news.

April 23, 2010 – submitted by Jenn, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

I was wondering if Guy was going to run in this years London Marathon? I know he was injured, and unable to compete last year. Just wondering if he’s all better and will be running.

Thanks 🙂

The Oracle replies:

There was indeed an injury last year but no, Guy isn’t running it this year. Don’t worry he’s in good health. Good luck to all those brave folk who are taking part!

April 21, 2010 – submitted by Pedro, Brazil

Q. Did Guy go to see Ronaldo with Will and Jonny at Corinthians in Sao Paulo? There was a picture taken there during the visit where it is written that the one in the photo holding Corinthians shirt with Ronaldo was Guy, but I really doesn’t think it was. This picture can be seen in many Brazilian magazines and internet sites…

The Oracle replies:

As you can see form this clip and photo Guy wasn’t there. Phil went along as did Dan (trainer) who held up the shirt. It’s a case of mistaken identity.

April 21, 2010 – submitted by Tony, Cocos Island

Q. Dear Oracle

Why haven’t these Coldplay fans figured out that Guy is using the photos for album purposes… like either for inspiration or for use in the album booklet? The “can’t be returned” and the “not pics of your families” are giveaways…

The Oracle replies:

Last mention of the subject – it clearly says Guy’s looking for photos for a personal art project so there’s no point trying to speculate about the album folks as this is totally unrelated.

April 20, 2010 – submitted by Romy, Mexico

Q. Dear Oracle:

I was reading about the old photos hunting and I have a lot of my family and my city when it was a little town (around 1920 and 1930), but I have them scanned on my laptop. Can I e-mail you those or Guy needs the photos on paper?

The Oracle replies:

Just to let everyone know as there’s been a few people sending questions in about this;

Anchorman has reported in detail that Guy’s looking for original photographs – not copies – that cannot be returned.

The piece does also state that Guy does NOT want any family/personal photos.

Please only send in ones that fit the criteria.

Another thing I was asked is if it’s only open to people from the UK; that’s the beauty of having such a global network of fans, we’re going to get some amazing photos from all around the world and that’s very exciting.

We’re not giving out any further details at this point though, so that will save me answering that one right now!

March 26, 2010 – submitted by Rosie, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle, I was wondering, Does Guy pronounce his name like “look at that guy” or like gee? just wondering! Thanks

The Oracle replies:

Wonder no more Rosie because his name is pronounced Guy (as in look at that guy over there) but I confess to calling him Guy (Gee)_ when on tour. I have no idea why but it felt right to call him an intercontinental name during the tour.

February 25, 2010 – submitted by Als, United Kingdom

Q. As there are so many of us who will never be as lucky as Phil to live in Argentina, or visit any part of South America, is there any chance Guy could tweet us some photos? We miss his twitter action. Thank you – and keep enjoying that gorgeous food, start the diet after your holiday 😉

The Oracle replies:

Guy was out shopping yesterday but don’t think he was on a photo taking mission. However, I took some on my cycling tour and Roadie #42 has been out and about too so between the two of us I am pretty sure we could tweet some pics. There’s a new #42 blog and of course that’s the first of many so there’ll be visuals there too.

February 8, 2010 – submitted by Sam, New Zealand

Q. Dear Oracle,

Don’t you think that Guy looks a lot like Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas?

The Oracle replies:

No I don’t actually. I think Cesc looks more like Ronaldo!

January 29, 2010 – submitted by Deshani, United Kingdom

Q. I’m still a little confused, is Apparatjik pronounced a-para-teak or apa-rat-chik? Everyone’s saying it’s the latter.

Thank you 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Yes it seems I was confused too as I made a boo boo. It is in fact the latter as you say. I stand corrected… with a red face.

January 29, 2010 – submitted by Katie, United States of America

Q. Hullo dear Oracley,

what’s up with Guy’s signatures on the End of Decade certificates of authenticity? A bit tired there, eh? 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Ha! I know what you mean, wasn’t the clearest one of the bunch was it? That said you are right in fact, Guy was a little tired that day.

January 28, 2010 – submitted by Sean, United States of America

Q. What kind of bass was Guy playing at Hope for Haiti? It looks like a Rickenbacker to me but I can’t be sure.

The Oracle replies:

You can be sure now because it was indeed a Rickenbacker.

January 27, 2010 – submitted by Deshani, United Kingdom

Q. Does Guy know he is on the voting list for NME Awards 2010 Hottest Male?

The Oracle replies:

Well I’ll be sure to tell him! He’s not the only member on the list but thought there’d be quite a few of you who’d want to vote for Guy.

Here’s a clip that might have led to his inclusion on the list though we have all of course known for a while about Guy being “the very handsome one” in the band.

FYI: That’s a quotation from Chris.

January 14, 2010 – submitted by Maximilian, United States of America

Q. I love the sound of Guy’s side project, Apparatjik, but how do you pronounce the band name correctly?

The Oracle replies:


October 14, 2009 – submitted by Barborka, Slovakia

Q. Why isn’t Guy twittering anymore? Tell him that I really enjoyed his messages and that I want him back 🙂 And I think I’m speaking for every Coldplay fan.

The Oracle replies:

We all enjoyed the tweets from Guy but it was meant to be a snapshot into life on the road so was never intended to be a long term project.

September 15, 2009 – submitted by Eszti, Hungary

Q. Hi Dear Oracle!I saw the cover of the new A-ha album and I realized Guy Berryman’s name on the cover.Is he the member of Coldplay or just an other Guy?

have a nice day Oracle!:)


The Oracle replies:

It is indeed our very own Mr. Berryman. He is credited for photographs used on its inner sleeve.

July 17, 2009 – submitted by Sofia, Argentina

Q. Hey Oracle! I hope you can answer this question, because I asked a couple before but never got an answer! Does Guy have a facebook profile? Do you know?

Because I added a Guy Berryman, but I think is a fake one. Thanks Oracle!

The Oracle replies:

Guy did have a facebook profile a long while ago but deleted it so any Guy Berryman you have added is not him.

April 9, 2009 – submitted by Beka, Venezuela

Q. Dear Oracle. I’m in love with Guy Berryman =) does the band always put in the same position when they play?? (I wanna be in front of Guy!!) I think he always stands in the right side! (Me being in front of the band) Is this true or sometimes it varies?

The Oracle replies:

That is indeed his usual spot. Guy & Jonny do move around from time to time during the show but if it’s Guy you want to see, stand on the right.

March 26, 2009 – submitted by Roffe, Sweden

Q. Does Guy have a twin brother who lives in Sweden?

The Oracle replies:

It just so happens that Guy does have a brother who looks like him and guess where he currently is? Sweden!

January 13, 2009 – submitted by Alina, Germany

Q. Dear Oracle!

Why Guy’s name is written to the first to authorship of songs?

It isn’t in alphabetic order, or he’s the author of the majority of songs?

The Oracle replies:

Guy is first because they ARE in alphabetical order. It goes Berryman, Buckland, Champion, Martin. Their songwriting is always credited equally.

September 25, 2008 – submitted by yukie, Japan

Q. I read Q&A with Guy.

I seems that next released album is going to be last.

Each members look like enjoying themselves.

And it must be hard to play everyday,your schedule looks hard. No time to go home…

Is this inference incorrect?

The Oracle replies:

Don’t worry, all the guys have interests outside of the band but that doesn’t mean they’re looking for new careers. Guy’s photography is a hobby, the photos may materialize in a book one day but that wouldn’t interfere with the band. In fact, being in the band helps him hone his skills and he gets to take amazing photos all over the world. That’s called killing two birds with one stone.

For anyone who missed it here’s the interview with Guy.

September 17, 2008 – submitted by Allie, United Kingdom

Q. We’ve heard Jonny and Will sing. When do we get to hear Guy sing (if ever)?

By the way, he seems like quite the dancer. I just recently watched The Hardest Part music video, and out of all of the band he seemed like he was having the most fun.

The Oracle replies:

On the last album and tour Guy sang backing vocals and continues to do so on this record/tour. His dancing actually started with the Speed of Sound video when the director Mark Romanek encouraged Guy to become less static and to find his groove. His direction worked as you can see in the result. In The Hardest Part he became even more animated.

August 28, 2008 – submitted by Joanna, United Kingdom

Q. Guy did the London Marathon back in April, how many hours training did he put in to get to the fitness of being able to run a race like that?

The Oracle replies:

Wearing number 36989 Guy crossed the finishing line with his trainer Dan after 3 hours 59 min, which is amazing as Guy only decided he wanted to do it mid February. That’s 9 weeks before race day but only six weeks of full training, as they needed 2 weeks to warm down before the race. Training consisted of one long run per week starting at 10 miles and building up to 20 miles 2 weeks before the race. They also did 2 shorter (3- 5 mile) fast runs per week and 1 medium distance run (6-8 miles) of varying pace.

They ran for Kith & Kids.

August 26, 2008 – submitted by Chris, United States of America

Q. I read somewhere that Guy was the 4th richest man in the U.K. under the age of 30. Aren’t the other guys just as affluent, or does he just come from a wealthy family?

The Oracle replies:

It seems a little personal to me but as it was published what the heck… Guy was under 30 at the time of the list being compiled. I woke in the middle of the night thinking, hang on so was Will… the rest of the band are not, so there you go, simple explanation. Like U2,they split the Coldplay royalties 4 ways so Will should be on there too!


Continue Reading

God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

From WikiColdplay


God Put a Smile upon Your Face” is the fourth single from Coldplay’s 2002 album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. Regional singles were released for Canada, Europe, Australia, and an enhanced version for Taiwan. Promo singles were released for UK and U.S..

The song was originally titled “Your Guess Is As Good As Mine” and was not intended to make the final cut on the album.


The single cover features bassist Guy Berryman, art-directed by Sølve Sundsbø.

Music video

“God Put a Smile upon Your Face” music video

The music video featured scenes of the band performing with the narrative of a distressed businessman (played by Paddy Considine) literally fading into obscurity. Like “The Scientist”, the video was directed by Jamie Thraves. [1]


Chris Martin on “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face”: “That came out of playing live and wanting to have something with a bit more bounce. We were really getting into things like P.J. Harve and Muse – things with a bit more energy.” [2]


  • When Coldplay performed this song in Sydney on the 27th of June 2006 (The day the Socceroos lost to Italy in the World Cup), they changed the second line to “It shouldn’t have been a penalty in the first place” and in a show of support to the crowd and the Socceroos were to proclaim “We never liked Spaghetti much anyway!”
  • Chris Martin told the Swedish audience during their concert in the Globe Arena in Stockholm during their X&Y tour, that he wrote the song in 2001 in Stockholm City.

The Oracle on God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

May 22, 2013 – submitted by Lucia, Uruguay

Q. Hi Oracle, I had seen a live performance of God Put a Smile Upon your Face (2006) and Chris said: “This is a song about what it feels like to be the biggest band in the world in the biggest city in the world”.

It is really about that?

The Oracle replies:

I wasn’t aware of that, no and I doubt he was being serious. I remember at the time the album came out Chris said: “That came out of playing live and wanting to have something with a bit more bounce. We were really getting into things like P.J Harvey and Muse – things with a bit more energy.”

March 21, 2012 – submitted by Bradley, United States of America

Q. Hey, Oracle. I was wondering about the beginning of the new live version of GPASUYF. It sounds like Chris is singing off pitch but it’s obviously on purpose. Is it in some sort of weird key or something?

The Oracle replies:

It’s not a weird key, just a different one. It took me a couple of times to get used to it but I like the way the first verse is almost hauntingly sang before the fantastic drum build up by Will. Amazing version of the song methinks.

November 19, 2010 – submitted by Camila, Colombia

Q. Hey Mighty One!

How did you become Coldplay’s Oracle??

Do you think there is any resemblance between the GPASUYF video and Radiohead’s Just video?

Greetings from Colombia!

The Oracle replies:

There wasn’t a job vacancy advert looking for an Oracle nor did I apply for the position with a C.V.

It was more divine intervention; one just is The Oracle.

Speaking of just, yes I do see a resemblance in the videos you mention but as Jamie Thraves directed both there’s no surprise. FYI That wasn’t a pun; he did not direct the video for No Surprises.

October 20, 2010 – submitted by Julie, Denmark

Q. Hi Oracle,

Why would you say that God Put a Smile Upon Your Face wasn’t technically a single? As you said, it got played in the radio, furthermore it had a video and was released as a physical single CD.


The Oracle replies:

Blimey the Xfm book is a hot topic this week eh?

GPASUYF was not technically released as a physical single in the UK despite having its own video and being given to radio stations as a promo track. It was a limited release in other territories but Xfm is a UK station so for the purposes of question, that is why I would say that.

June 7, 2010 – submitted by Mike, United States of America

Q. Are Coldplay going to go back to playing the album versions of Talk, GPASUYF? We fans miss those.

The Oracle replies:

Well I’m sure many fans do miss those original versions but there were a heck of a lot who loved hearing newer updated versions on the last tour! If those songs make it onto any future tour’s set list it would be very doubtful they’d remain the same as for the Viva tour anyway. The same could be said for the acoustic songs also…

July 22, 2009 – submitted by Shelby, United States of America

Q. Oracle,

At the last two Coldplay shows I’ve been to Coldplay performed a really cool remix of God Put a Smile Upon Your Face and Talk. Is there anywhere I can find that? (By the way Coldplay put on the best show ever).

The Oracle replies:

They like to rework some tracks for the live shows, the above 2 are an example, but there’s no plan to release any of the versions that may appear.

June 10, 2009 – submitted by Andrew, United Kingdom

Q. What is written on Chris’ hand in the God Put a Smile video?


May 27, 2009 – submitted by Antonella, Argentina

Q. Good day Oracle, I’ve a question for you. Who is the man that appears in God Put a Smile Upon Your Face video?

Thanks a lot,


The Oracle replies:

That would be the awesome actor Paddy Considine. If you’ve never seen any of his films I would highly recommend that you do!

September 18, 2008 – submitted by Zac, United States of America

Q. Will we ever be able to download the techno version of “God put a smile upon your face” that they played in their concert?

The Oracle replies:

Right now there isn’t a recorded version of this song. At original rehearsals for the shows, the track wasn’t given the techno treatment – I prefer to say it was given an ’80’s overhaul. At the moment it’s performed on what is known as Stage B, which has also seen many changes. The most notable being that Will ditched a traditional drum kit for an electric one. This lends itself to this interpretation of GPAUYF well.


Where do we go, nobody knows
I've got to say I'm on my way down
God give me style and give me grace
God put a smile upon my face

Where do we go to draw the line
I’ve got to say I wasted all your time
Oh honey honey
Where do I go to fall from grace
God put a smile upon your face yeah

And ah, when you work it out I’m worse than you
Yeah, when you work it out I wanted to
And ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine

Where do we go, nobody knows
Don’t ever say you’re on your way down when
God gave you style and gave you grace,
And put a smile upon your face oh yeah

And ah, when you work it out I’m worse than you
Yeah, when you work it out I want it to
And ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine.

It’s as good as mine, It’s as good as mine
It’s as good as mine

As good as mine, as good as mine,
As good as mine, as good as mine

Where do we go, nobody knows
Don’t ever say you’re on your way down when
God gave you style and gave you grace
And put a smile upon your face.


Continue Reading

Viva La Vida (song)

“Viva la Vida” (Spanish for “Long Live Life”)[1] is the second single released from Coldplay’s 2008 album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends. It was initially released along with the iTunes Store pre-order of the album on 7 May 2008, later becoming a download-only single on 25 May 2008.

The lyrics to the song contain historical and religious references, and the track is built around a repeating string section with a percussion background. The song was released on 7 May 2008 as the album’s second single, debuting to critical and commercial success. Viva la Vida has reached the top spot of the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band’s first number-one single, as well as their only Transatlantic number-one.

The song has been used in a cross-marketing campaign with the iTunes Store. A nationwide iTunes commercial was aired on May 20, 2008 in the United States during the finals performance episode of American Idol, as well as the following night on the season finale of American Idol season 7, featuring the band performing the song.

Coldplay performed the song live for the first time at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards.


  1. “Viva la Vida” (New edit) – 4:04

Promotional CD

  1. “Viva la Vida” (Radio edit) – 3:45
  2. “Viva la Vida” (Full album version) – 4:01

CD release

  1. “Death Will Never Conquer” – 1:17

Official version

  1. Thin White Duke mix – 7:24

Cover images


During the album’s production, Viva la Vida is one of the songs that had polarized each member’s opinion over which version they should choose. In an interview, vocalist Chris Martin recalls, “… we did quite a few different versions and went round the houses a bit and eventually settled on those treatments for it.”[2]

Vocalist Chris Martin has explained the song lyric “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name” in an interview with Q magazine: “It’s about… you’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. It’s always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it. And this idea runs throughout most religions. That’s why people blow up buildings. Because they think they’re going to get lots of virgins. I always feel like saying, just join a band (laughs). That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s still mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”

When asked about the song, bass guitarist Guy Berryman said, “It’s a story about a king who’s lost his kingdom, and all the album’s artwork is based on the idea of revolutionaries and guerrillas.”

Unlike the typical arrangement of Coldplay songs, in which either the piano or guitar dominates, “Viva la Vida” mostly consists of a drum string section playing the song’s upbeat riff, along with a steady bass drum beat, percussion (including a timpano and a church bell), bass guitar, and Chris Martin’s vocals; there is limited use of electric guitar in the song. All the strings are arranged and performed by violinist Davide Rossi, who is also one of the main collaborators of the album.

The song’s Spanish title, “Viva la Vida” is taken from a painting by 20th century Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. It translates into English as “long live life”.

Lyrical meaning

The lyrics to Viva la Vida contain historical and religious references.[3] Martin has explained the song lyric “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name” in an interview with Q magazine: “It’s about … You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. It’s always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analysed on it. And this idea runs throughout most religions. That’s why people blow up buildings. Because they think they’re going to get lots of virgins. I always feel like saying, just join a band… That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s still mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”

When asked about the song, bass guitarist Guy Berryman said: “It’s a story about a king who’s lost his kingdom, and all the album’s artwork is based on the idea of revolutionaries and guerrillas. There’s this slightly anti-authoritarian viewpoint that’s crept into some of the lyrics and it’s some of the pay-off between being surrounded by governments on one side, but also we’re human beings with emotions and we’re all going to die and the stupidity of what we have to put up with every day. Hence the album title.”

Unlike the typical arrangement of Coldplay songs, in which either the piano or guitar is the prominent instrument, the track mostly consists of a string section playing the song’s upbeat riff, along with a steady bass drum beat, percussion (including a timpani and a church bell), bass guitar, and Martin’s vocals; there is limited use of electric guitar in the song. All the strings are arranged and performed by violinist Davide Rossi, who is also one of the main collaborators of the album. Although Coldplay are widely labeled as an “alternative rock” band, “Viva la Vida”‘s classical composition and historical subject matter have led to the song being labeled as “baroque pop” and “chamber pop”.


But how does it sound? Pretty good, and it is a stronger cut than Violet Hill It opens with a triumphant string melody, and it’s the violins that carry much of the song. It’s a cleaner-sounding cut than the more aggressive “Violet Hill,” but it still glides along with an urgency not heard often enough in Coldplay’s music.

By tapping producer Brian Eno, comparisons to U2 will be inevitable, and Viva La Vida brings a bit of U2 grandeur with its epic build, but it still colors the song with enough fresh sounds to demand repeated listens. Things get rolling with a frisky violin, and Chris Martin puts it in check with a commanding vocal turn, singing “I used to roll the dice / Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes.”

Moments later the song gets more interesting, with a flash of rhythm momentarily sending a more electronic-sounding beat to the background. References to Catholicism grace the song, and Martin repeatedly declares that Saint Peter will be calling his name.

But never mind the biblical nods. The song further reveals the Coldplay of “Viva La Vida” to be a hungrier, more interesting band. Indeed, as the song builds, strings disappear into a twittering of electronic atmospheres that bridge the verses. Even the addition of church bells sound off just enough to not be corny. As the song comes to a close, a jaunty piano helps carry some background “whoa-whoas,” and there’s not a guitar in sight. Instead, “Viva La Vida” is swift-moving minimalist orchestra.


Critical response

Critics were positive towards the song. In the Entertainment Weekly review of the album, critic Chris Willman wrote: “Take the title track … on which [Martin] imagines himself as a paranoid monarch. ‘Who would ever want to be king?’ Martin asks. ‘Revolutionaries wait/For my head on a silver plate!’. The confident majesty of the music, however, belies how he and his bandmates have invigorated their rock-lite reign.” Josh Hathaway from The Plain Dealer noted “Viva la Vida” as the “catchiest” song in the album. Chris Jones of the BBC noted: “The string/brass mutations that bolster a track like [“]Viva La Vida[“] … conjure tunes so sweetly melancholy.” In the IGN review, critic Chad Grischow wrote, “It is their one and only foray into unabashed orchestral pop, but the punchy strut of the strings and fantastic marching vocals make it far too charming and lively to dislike, and even harder not to love.” Viva la Vida has been nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or a Group at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Viva la Vida won the Grammy for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals and the whole album won Best Rock Album. This song was number 9 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008.

Chart performance

Viva la Vida has become Coldplay’s highest-charting single. Fueled by high digital sales, the song peaked at the top spot of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming the band’s first number-one single and their second top ten on the Hot 100. It is the first song by a British group to reach number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 since “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls in 1997, and it is the first song by a British rock band to top the chart since UB40’s 1993 song “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Although the song was initially successful in digital sales, after being released, it went on to become the band’s highest-charting single in American radio, becoming their first top ten hit on the Hot 100 Airplay where it peaked at number eight.[29] It had also become the band’s first number-one single on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Viva la Vida also became the first song to top both the Hot 100 and Modern Rock chart since Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” in 2001 and 2002. On the Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks, the song has become the band’s first number one, as well as the first single on the Capitol Records label to ever top the chart.

The single was also successful in the United Kingdom. Although the song had been disqualified from the UK charts due to initially being available only by pre-ordering the album on iTunes, it became eligible to chart after the album was released. “Viva la Vida” hit number one on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Coldplay’s first chart-topping single in the UK.

In Canada the single made a “Hot Shot Debut” at number four on the Canadian Hot 100 on the issue of 24 May making it Coldplay’s highest debut there.

Release and promotion

“Viva la Vida” was initially released only with iTunes Store pre-orders of Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends on 7 May 2008 (as the “New Edit” version of the song), which led to the song’s temporary exclusion from the UK Singles Chart. It was released as a download-only single on 25 May 2008, and a physical CD single in Europe on 29 July 2008, to coincide with the release of the single’s music videos.

The song was used as part of Apple Inc.’s iPod + iTunes advertisement campaign, while Coldplay performed the song live for the first time at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards. It has since gone on to make many media appearances, featuring in the episode “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” of the new teen drama 90210 as a song played on the radio, appearing on the international soundtrack to the Brazilian soap opera A Favorita and played during the final week of games at Yankee Stadium.

Music video

The official music video for Viva la Vida was directed by Hype Williams and premiered at Coldplay’s official website on 1 August. The video features the band performing in multi-colour backgrounds, including the album’s artwork (used for the majority of the video) and speeding clouds (used in between verses and in parts of the final chorus). The video ends with every band member crumbling to rose petals that fly into the air.

A second, alternate video was shot in the Hague, the Netherlands, directed by Anton Corbijn and released alongside the first. This second version is a tribute to Corbijn’s video for Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” and portrays Chris Martin as the king from whose perspective the song is sung. During the video, he carries a larger framed version of the cover art for the album. At the end, we see him hang the picture up in a white stall on top of a hill. As he sings the last chorus, his band mates surface heading his way, tying in loose ends from the Violet Hill video.

A parody of this music video (Viva la Cheata) was done on the FOX sketch show MADtv. It starred Jerry O’Connell as John Edwards who sings about how his affair and possible love child has ruined his political career, but is confident that he’ll rebound since political sex scandals have been around for a long time.

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Chart performance

“Viva la Vida” has become the band’s most successful song, becoming their first number one in both the U.S. and the UK. Fueled by high digital sales, the song debuted at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, and later became the band’s first #1 single and their second top ten on the Hot 100. It is the first song by a British group to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls in 1997, and it is the first song by a British rock band to top the chart since UB40’s 1993 song “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Although at first the song was primarily successful in digital sales in the U.S., after being released it went on to become the band’s biggest radio hit in the U.S., becoming their first top twenty hit on the Hot 100 Airplay, where it peaked at #11. It was also successful on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart reaching number one, their first number one on the chart, beating out previous songs “Talk” and “Speed of Sound” which peaked at #5 on the same chart. On the Adult Top 40, the song has become the band’s first number one, as well as the first single on the Capitol Records label to ever top the chart.[8]

Although the song had been disqualified from the UK charts due to initially being available only by pre-ordering the album on iTunes, it became eligible to chart after the album was released and hit #1, becoming Coldplay’s first chart-topping single in the UK. After descending to number 2 just a week and number 7 the following week, the single dropped out of the top 10, but over a month later on 17 August 2008, it re-entered the top 10 at number 10, probably due to the release of the Viva La Vida music video on UK music channels.

Coldplay have reached a record-equalling 30 weeks in the dutch Top 40 single charts which they’ve accomplished with their single Viva La Vida. Coldplay are currently tied with (I can’t get no) Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, and Only A fool by Mighty Sparrow. Should Coldplay stay in the charts for another week, Viva La Vida will be officially recorded as one of the top 10 longest charted singles of all time in the Netherlands. Viva La Vida held the no.1 position in Netherlands for three weeks.

The song reached the top ten in Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, Ireland and Australia, becoming Coldplay’s highest charting single in most of those countries.

Chart (2008)

Plagiarism allegation

Coldplay were briefly accused of copying portions of “The Songs I Didn’t Write” by American alternative band Creaky Boards, for the melody of “Viva la Vida”. Creaky Boards’ band member Andrew Hoepfner claimed that Chris Martin had heard the track at one of their shows. Coldplay denied the claims; band spokesman Murray Chambers said “Chris was working in AIR Studios in London” at that time.

Creaky Boards later retracted the accusations and now speculate that both songs may have been inspired by the video game The Legend of Zelda.

In December 2008, American guitarist Joe Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay at the Los Angeles federal court. The suit claims that “Viva la Vida” incorporates “substantial original portions” of his instrumental track “If I Could Fly” from his 2004 album Is There Love in Space?. Coldplay has denied the allegation, saying the similarities were “entirely coincidental”. Answering Satriani’s claim that parts of their No 1 hit Viva La Vida were copied, the band wrote:

With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, we have now unfortunately found it necessary to respond publicly to his allegations. If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him. Joe Satriani is a great musician, but he did not write or have any influence on the song Viva La Vida. We respectfully ask him to accept our assurances of this and wish him well with all future endeavours.

The Oracle on Viva La Vida

January 31, 2013 – submitted by Rick W, United States of America

Q. In the alternate video for Viva La Vida made by Anton Corbijn, it looks like the beach Chris walks onto around 2:36 is the same one he walked on in the music video for Yellow. Is this really the case?

The Oracle replies:

Nope, there was only ever the one video visit to Dorset’s Studland Bay.

November 28, 2012 – submitted by Valentina, Colombia

Q. Why Viva La Vida? Why in Spanish? I know that it can be called Death and All his friends too, but why the alternative name?

The Oracle replies:

Viva la Vida’s title was inspired by Frida Kahlo’s painting of the same name hence it being in Spanish. There is no alternative title; Death & All Of His Friends is a separate song that is tagged on to VLV.

April 21, 2011 – submitted by Lucas, France

Q. Hi Oracle, hope you’re fine.

Are the very last notes of Viva la Vida -after the last chorus- played by an accordion?

The Oracle replies:

No, it’s keys – electric piano in fact. You know how Chris gets the organ sound on Fix You? Well, same thing here but I guess it does sound like an accordion.

May 5, 2010 – submitted by Tanya, Italy

Q. Dear Oracle…

Just wanted to ask you if you or Coldplay ever heard about the Viva La Vida version Lady Gaga did a couple of weeks ago on Radio 1 live lounge? If yes, did you like it? I thought it was pretty cool and a nice tribute to Coldplay (even though she forgot or changed the words sometimes!)


The Oracle replies:

Eh Tanya? That was over a year ago?? I remember hearing it at the time and never telling Chris that I didn’t like it. The he asked me last December what I thought about her; he’s a big fan of her work.

April 15, 2010 – submitted by Luke, Canada

Q. Would the band mind if I used the title “Viva la Vida” for the title of a book I am writing, since its inspired by the song?

The Oracle replies:

It wouldn’t be up to the band as to whether you could have the same title because Viva la Vida is a commonly used phrase; as you may know the band took the name for their 4th album from a Frida Kahlo painting. I’m confident you could use it as you can’t exactly copyright a phrase.

July 2, 2009 – submitted by Natale, Australia

Q. Hi Oracle

I was wondering apparently there are two videos for Violet Hill and Viva la Vida

Which are the official videos?

Also the other ones were they just jokes or just a tried ideas?

Hope you answer.

The Oracle replies:

There are indeed two videos for both of those tracks and both are official. They were far from jokes, they were just alternative videos. Trouble had two videos for different reasons. To find out why, click Trouble in the tag cloud.

October 21, 2008 – submitted by Cindy, Netherlands

Q. Dear Oracle, can you tell me when and where the video for Viva La Vida 2 was filmed? It looks like Holland, and seeing Anton Corbijn filmed it, it probably is Holland. If so, too bad I missed them.

The Oracle replies:

It was shot in the Netherlands by, as you say, Anton Corbijn which is also why is bears more than a passing resemblance to another of his previous videos for Depeche Mode; Enjoy The Silence.

October 15, 2008 – submitted by Abi, United States of America

Q. How did u come up with the name 4 Viva la Vida? I mean the song doesn’t even say Viva la Vida once.

The Oracle replies:

There’s no rule to say that the title has to be included in a song’s lyrics, many Coldplay songs don’t (Amsterdam anyone?) Viva la Vida took its name from a Frida Kahlo painting of the same name.

In fact there are thousands of famous songs that don’t, for example Bohemian Rhapsody, Smells Like Teen Spirit, The Unforgettable Fire and Peace Frog (Any excuse to be able to listen to this!) to name but a few.

August 18, 2008 – submitted by Jonas, Spain

Q. Dear Oracle, Are Coldplay really fans of Depeche Mode or the optional video of Viva la Vida is just a parody of Enjoy the Silence?

The Oracle replies:

The band are indeed fans of Depeche Mode. It’s not a parody though, more of an homage. The videos were both directed by Anton Corbijn. FYI: Coldplay’s Tour manager Franksy, used to be TM to Depeche Mode.

August 5, 2008 – submitted by Yoanna, Hong Kong

Q. When will Coldplay release their “Viva La Vida” music video? I’m still looking forward to watch this. A lot of boring people made fake music video on YouTube…And is it true that the iTunes ad is a little part of the real “Viva La Vida” music video? *Thanks Oracle sir!”

The Oracle replies:

There are 2 Viva la Vida videos on the website now.

July 31, 2008 – submitted by Justin, United Kingdom

Q. What does Viva La Vida mean?

Where did Viva la Vida come from?

The Oracle replies:

Literally translated from Spanish, Viva la Vida means Live the Life. The name is taken from Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s 1954 painting of the same name. FYI this year’s Edinburgh Festival showcases the play Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida.

July 29, 2008 – submitted by Zaituni, Tanzania

Q. What is the name of the song that goes “for some reasons I can’t explain…”

The Oracle replies:

Viva la Vida.


I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listened as the crowd would sing
“Now the old king is dead, long live the king”
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
Missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
Once you’d gone there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn’t believe what I’d become
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know Saint Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Continue Reading

Mylo Xylotour

Early dates of the Mylo Xylotour featured graffiti-covered walls and staging

The Mylo Xyloto Tour (affectionately named the Mylo Xylotour) is Coldplay’s fifth concert tour to promote the album Mylo Xyloto released in October 2011. The tour began in October 2011 with a series of rehearsal concerts in Europe. A full-production show began in December 2011 in the United Kingdom and continue into 2012 with shows in North America. A set of festival appearances preceded the Mylo Xylotour.


  • 21 The Oracle on the Mylo Xylotour


After devoting the summer of 2011 to a promotional tour in Europe, the Americas and Africa, the band announced the tour via their Twitter account in September 2011. Initial dates revealed shows in the UK, France, Germany and Belgium. A set of rehearsal shows were added for October and November, seeing the band partake in radio festivals and fan-exclusive gigs. Due to the demand, the band added additional shows in the UK. One of those dates is a concert at Dingwalls in London. At the same venue in 1998, the band played several shows to help finance their debut album. Later in November, more dates were added in the UK, this time, playing stadiums in June 2012. The shows in Manchester, Sunderland and London sold out in under two hours. The tour kicked off with a live-streamed concert in Madrid.

Broadcasts and recordings

The premiere concert in Madrid was streamed live on YouTube. Entitled, “Coldplay Live: Unstaged”, the band performed songs from their new album alongside their previous hits. The concert aired on 26 October 2011. The show was not only streamed on YouTube but also in Times Square. Internet users were able to view exclusive content including a pre-show interview and footage from the band’s soundcheck. Viewers were also able to select their camera view, spanning from “front of stage” to “aerial”. The show was directed by Anton Corbijn and presented by American Express.[29] The live webcast is reported to have been viewed by nearly 20 million viewers. Replay of the show on Vevo was viewed by nearly 8 million viewers.

The show at the UEA Large Common Room was broadcasted on BBC Radio 1 on 27 October 2011. The band’s concert at La Cigale was also live-streamed exclusively for views in Eastern Europe and Asia on Orange. The show at Dingwalls is also planned to air live on BBC Radio 2 on 15 December 2011.

Notes from the tour programme

Insert introductory paragraph here…!

XL and MX video production project

XL Video are supplying video production – including a projection system, LED screen, cameras and PPU

XL Video are supplying video production – including a projection system, LED screen, cameras and PPU – to Coldplay’s acclaimed “Mylo Xyloto” (MX) world tour, continuing its long working relationship with the band that started in 2005. Live video director is Andy Bramley and the content / media servers are designed and programmed by Ben Miles. Together they have evolved a unique, almost cinematic video aesthetic for the band’s live performances, working closely with the production and lighting designer Paul Normandale, who designed the screen layout, and Phil Harvey, Coldplay’s creative director. Misty Buckley styled the vibrant graffiti tagged set decoration which adds another layer to the visual tone.

Played to a 360 degree audience where possible, with audience seated behind the stage which is still in the end-on position, video is an intricate blend of raw and soft / colourful and monochrome elements in a lively, edgy interactive environment.
Both Bramley and Miles have worked with XL Video on many previous occasions and describe the service, equipment and attitude as “Excellent”. Over the stage is a single five metre diameter circular Barco O-Lite (10 mm) screen –which is directly backed with a projection screen surface for the 360 degree shows. Out in the auditorium are four circular screens – two at six metres and two at four metres – flown in the roof above the audience.

This ensured that everyone in the arena has a good view of the video. The screens showed a mix of IMAG and playback throughout the performance, and video was again an essential part of the band’s communication with the audience. Bringing the screens out to the audience also helps close the space down and make it intimate and theatrical when needed. Coldplay are one of a handful of bands to master the art of making large venues feel intimate and personal with a combination of performance, presence and production. Each screen is fed by a pair of XL’s Barco FLM 22K projectors with overlaid images, all connected via a fibre network, specified as the best data solution to deal with the long distances which can be up to 200 metres between projector and control. Miles is running two active Catalyst media servers, via a grandMA Lite console, with two hot backups. Each is fitted with a TripleHead2Go giving three outputs per device – one for each of the six screens, so all can receive independent feeds in any configuration.

This gives the full flexibility to send any source to any screen, together with a 16 x 16 Lightware DVI matrix supplied by XL Video, a new product geared to touring and also remotely controllable. XL built a custom rack to house all the Catalysts, the matrix, associated devices and a UPS. Miles does all the screen management and effecting both playback and camera outputs – an organic Bramley / Miles process often with a flourish of improv– in the Catalyst. The playback footage follows a graffiti inspired trajectory, including re-edited video of the bespoke ‘hypnoflow’ laser frame from the summer festival tour – and other funkiness, presented with futuristic twists of psychedelia. Bramley has directed Coldplay’s live video since 2005’s Twisted Logic tour. He and Miles worked in tandem on 2008/09’s Viva La Vida tour, where their particular synergy and style of harmonising IMAG, playback and lighting in colour and movement was initiated.

XL are supplying four main cameras for this leg of the tour, one stationed at front of house with a long lens and three hand-helds in the pit – where they can move freely and follow the band. These and one robot cam onstage are cut by Bramley on his GV Kayak console and then sent into the Catalyst system along with the TX feed, and from there, output to screen. XL is supplying six crew to work with Bramley, including Miles, engineer Ed Jarman, projectionist Kevin Parry, LED tech Pieter Laleman and Rob Wick and Sacha Moore on cameras. James Morden and Tracey Donnelly have been XL’s technical and project co-ordinators, with Phil Mercer from the LA office as the project manager. This tour sees the continuation of a long and successful history between XL Video and Coldplay, and is currently scheduled to continue throughout 2012. [1]

Grafitti on crescent stage as seen during the early Mylo Xylotour in 2011

Set designed and built by ‘Brilliant Stages’

The lead up to Christmas 2011 saw Coldplay undertake a twelve-date European arena tour with their album Mylo Xyloto, taking with them a set designed by Misty Buckley and Paul Normandale which featured specialist pieces by UK-based, Brilliant Stages. Chris Martin’s inspiration was of the tour as a ball of energy with a warm nucleus reaching out into the audience to provide an inclusive, intimate atmosphere despite the size of the arenas toured.

The design incorporated a crescent stage which spanned the main stage, and a cross-shaped B stage both of which were built by Brilliant Stages and delivered to Park Royal’s LH2 studios for rehearsals prior to the tour’s launch. The arc’d stage was low enough for Martin to run across and not obscure the sightlines of audience seated behind it, yet angled enough for those at ground-level to gain clear sight of the stunning artwork on its surface. Buckley also worked closely with the band and with street artist, Paris, to create the striking artwork which covered the stage, set and instruments with graffiti, inspired by the works of Basquiat and Picasso. Intensive workshops involved all parties in the creation of a visual representation of the lyrics, through what Buckley describes as “a process of real and gritty evolution” which continued into the performances themselves with Martin frequently adding to the images on stage. “The completely unpredictable, transient nature of the art was a vital part of the show’s concept which kept every part of tour fresh,” explains Buckley.

Providing the solid basis to this activity was Brilliant Stages engineering. “Brilliant Stages were, as always, just a treat to work with,” says Buckley. “Mel and Tony are so accommodating and, from presenting them with the first visual and design, I know they are on my wavelength. They just get on with it, leaving me to focus on the creative aspect knowing all the technicalities are being taken care of.”

Regular Brilliant sub-contractor, Andy Russell, currently helping Brilliant through its busy period, was able to take the show’s production team through the assembly process. Support was also provided by Brilliant Stages’ Luke Johnson, Ian Blunt and Wayne Croft who visited during the rehearsal period to carry out the fine-tuning necessary when putting a set together for the first time. “The work was done without any fuss, and they enjoyed a good lunch with us!” says Head Carpenter for the tour, Mike Humeniuk. “I had the pleasure of working on this set design with Mel Welch, who heads Brilliant’s CAD department, and whom I have known for quite a few years,” continues Humeniuk. “Between our production manager, Wob Roberts, Mel and myself, we have got ourselves a very nice package of the half donut and the “X” stage.”

The crescent shaped stage, measures 18.2m wide by 8.5m deep and rakes to a height of 1.5m at the upstage edge. Brilliant manufactured it from 39 decks of standard 18mm plywood, with each deck laid inside a special aluminium extrusion that protects the edge of the deck from damage. The decks are fixed together using coffin locks – half turn claw style devices that use an 8mm hexagon socket with a T-handled tool to lock and unlock for rapid set up and breakdown. The decks are set onto an aluminium framework which is held together using Brilliant’s ‘Hook and Channel’ system. “The ‘Hook and Channel’ system designed some years ago by Brilliant is such a fast way of constructing the framework of the stage set, and enables precise placement of this sub-frame,” says Humeniuk. “A slight taper within the mating of the hook to the channel ensure rigidity and, as near as dammit, squareness,”

The cross-shaped B-stage has a 7.3m span and rises 1.55m from the ground in front of the main stage. It is built from standard staging on a framework of interconnecting beams and aligned using custom made fittings secured with pins. Like the main stage, the edges of the outer risers are fitted with Velcro strips for attaching drapes and carry a number of cantilevered lighting brackets and shelves for laser fittings. Contained within the B-stage is a manually operated, hydraulic piano lift. A piano parking riser allows the piano to be moved easily on and off the lift, which is mounted on a dolly and wheeled into position before being secured and levelled on legs. Brilliant’s design process incorporated the mating of the All Access main stage and catwalk to the custom pieces supplied by Brilliant via a series of aluminium plates that formed intersections with the mainstage. “Mel was marvellous, I kept throwing bits at him and he handled it beautifully, getting the CAD team to produce drawings for approval almost by return of email!” says Humeniuk. “All those involved in this project have been nothing other than positive throughout.

“Of course, I would not be having such an enjoyable time on this tour if it was not for the fact that I have a couple of the best carps – Toby Pitts and Hobson (Andrew Pearson) – in the business covering my bottom! “Tony Bowern runs a great company that manufactures some of the biggest ‘Wow’ factors that the ‘rock n roll’ industry has ever seen. It is a pleasure working with them again, as you know exactly what you are going to get. “Brilliant Stages; it’s all in the name. Brilliant…… are!” [2]

Jason Regler’s Xylobands

Coldplay is on a world tour at present, called the Mylo Xyloto tour enthralling their fans. But the more interesting thing is that the pop/rock band is on to something new lately, turning its audience members into interactive participants by handing them, LED-illuminated wristbands called Xylobands that can be activated using a radio signal.

These LED-illuminated wristbands have been most notably featured in Coldplay’s “Charlie Brown” music video and at the band’s concerts.

These bands are given away free to the entire audience before the show and come in a variety of colors. They have the Twitter hashtag #coldplayfilm printed on them to promote the band’s live DVD. When turned on during the concert, the audience is illuminated with multicolored twinkling lights.

The Xylobands help to create a sense of community between the fans and connect them to the artist. After the concerts, they can either recycle the wristbands onsite or keep them free of charge. See what they look like in action in the video below:

The Inspiration:

Jason Regler, the Xyloband inventor and co-owner of RB Concepts told in an interview that he came up with the idea after listening to a lyric from the Coldplay song, “Fix You.”

“In 2005, when Coldplay did the Glastonbury Festival, I remember I was going through a few down days and I saw them doing Fix You. And there was just a feeling of it bringing everyone together, as well as the line “lights will guide you home.” That’s when the idea of a wristband came to mind.”

The entire concept was created with Coldplay in mind luckily the group was extremely receptive to the idea.

The LED Technology

The wristbands are controlled from single laptop that’s loaded with Xyloband’s software, provided by the RB Concepts company. The laptop is then connected to a transmitter and antenna through a cable, which can broadcast a signal to control the wristbands up to 328 yards away. Each wristband has a receiver, which allows data to be sent from the laptop to the wristbands, telling them how and when to flash during the concert.

Currently, the wristbands can only be switched on during events using the transmitters, combined with RB Concept’s software.

The Afterglow and the funny stories:

These wristbands are usually supposed to get turned off after the concerts. But there have been hilarious stories of Coldplay fans that freaked out when the wristbands continued to glow.

One fan told the Telegraph, “My Xyloband woke me up in the middle of the night and it’s still glowing.”

Another joked, “Really weird, my dad’s white Xyloband just started flashing again.” A Belgian fan added: “Mine is alive! It started flickering about an hour ago.”

Clive Banks, who is the co-founder of RB Concepts told The Independent that the “afterglow” is no cause for concern. “There’s no mind control or tracking, they are just for fun,” he said.

However Regler believes that if the Xylobands could be activated at home, users would control them during the event—thus ruining the community experience of flashing as one light.

For now geeks can try and replicate the transmission to activate the Xylobands, but according to Regler they might have a bit of trouble cracking the code.

The Cost to the Band

The front man Chris Martin confessed that the band was considering dumping the gimmick because of the huge cost.

“Most of the money we’re earning on the tour is put into the wristbands,” he told Bauer Radio. “We have to figure out how to keep it going without going broke because it’s a crucial part of the concert.”

The Band’s Guitarist Johnny Buckland said that it has cost Coldplay nearly half a million Euro a night to fund the Xylobands but he hopes they will be able to continue doing it. “It looks amazing, it just makes everyone have a great time, most of all us – and it just feels so magical”.[4]

2011: Appearances & Shows

January 29, 2013 – submitted by Danny Ackers, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle.

So I seen MX tour at Manchester, Etihad… Which was fantastic – obviously, and managed to grab me some MX confetti.

When I got it home I posed the question, what do these shapes mean? Where do they come from?

Can you enlighten me with your knowledge?



The Oracle replies:

If you look at the artwork on the MX album, you will see the same symbols by the side of each song title.

Each confetti shape represents a song.

December 10, 2012 – submitted by Ethan, United Kingdom

Q. Hey Oracle,

I am just curious to know how does the band get to the C stage? I know that they come back through the crowd, do they go that way as well to the C stage?

Many Thanks,

Coldplay For Life!:D

The Oracle replies:

It depends on the venue. In the Live 2012 film, there’s footage of the band driving buggies around the corridors taking them to the back of the arena and then they run down the aisle to the C stage.

In the stadiums they walk around the back of the stage to come out half way down and are escorted through the crowd via a makeshift walkway fashioned from tapes used to cordon a section off for easy access.

December 3, 2012 – submitted by Jaroslav , Lithuania

Q. Dear Oracle

I wanted to question you why the band dosen’t play Square One in the MX tour ?

The Oracle replies:

Square One was very much an opener; that is to say that its place was perfect on the Twisted Logic tour as the first song of the set.

It doesn’t really fit anywhere else so hasn’t been played since.

Politik was an obvious opener too but that somehow works where they have placed it over the years.

November 19, 2012 – submitted by Terry, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle, how many guitars have been wrecked by the throw at the end of GPASUYF? Looks like a damaging throw!

The Oracle replies:

Looks can be deceiving. Sometimes the guitar needs serious first aid and Hoppy will spend a long time repairing it but guitars are pretty durable so sometimes there’s little to no damage.

October 22, 2012 – submitted by Jameson, United States of America

Q. G’day, Oracle!

Now that the Mylo Xyloto comics have gotten so much more attention since the release of the HLH music vid, are the boys planning on incorporating any of the characters/animations into their shows? On the large screens where the multi-colored running man is, for example.

Hope you’re having a good one!

The Oracle replies:

No, they’re not. It would be pretty pointless to start anything new given the MX tour is coming to a close. Those characters have been around longer than the record so if anything it would have made sense to have them from the beginning.

August 15, 2012 – submitted by Daniel, United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle! How come Frank Ocean has been taken off the upcoming tour dates? Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

He hasn’t been “taken off”; he’s cancelled all his scheduled performances including his own European tour, V Festival and the opening slot with Coldplay.

Anchorman will announce his replacement soon.

July 31, 2012 – submitted by Iris, United States of America

Q. Hi Oracle,

After Coldplay’s tour is over in November what happens to the roadies?

Thank You 🙂

The Oracle replies:

They get to rest, go on holiday, return home to their families and then start all over again – with another band. There is a handful of our roadies who remain with the boys even when they’re not touring but most other crew members will go on the road again. It’s a hard life – really hard work but most of them wouldn’t have it any other way.

July 10, 2012 – submitted by Eve, France

Q. Hi Oracle,

How many T-shirts and pants have the band for the shows?

When I see the pics during their MX tour, I noted that they wear the same clothes. And I don’t think they have only 1 pant and T-shirt.


The Oracle replies:

The guys have a wardrobe flight case each with various changes of clothes and footwear. If you look back at Anchorman’s live blogs, historically they often show a photo of the clothes. If you scroll down this one from the Emirates blog, you will see a picture of Chris’ garments.

July 3, 2012 – submitted by Miguel, Philippines

Q. Hey Oracle,

I was watching Coldplay live videos of Yellow during their Mylo Xyloto tour on youtube recently, and I was wondering if they stopped using the yellow balls they release during the song. If so are they going to use them again? Much thanks! And I’m seeing them in Toronto in July.

The Oracle replies:

You will have balloons don’t worry. They aren’t yellow and they aren’t released during Yellow. They appear during… actually, I won’t spoil it for you!

June 20, 2012 – submitted by Danny, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle.

So I seen MX tour at Manchester, Etihad… Which was fantastic – obviously, and managed to grab me some MX confetti.

When I got it home I posed the question, what do these shapes mean? where do they come from? who came up with them?

Can you enlighten me with your knowledge?


The confetti is based on the symbols that appear in the Mylo Xyloto artwork.

June 12, 2012 – submitted by Bernie, United States of America

Q. Why is it that the set list stays almost exactly the same the entire tour? It’s a great set regardless but doesn’t the band get tired of playing the same songs in the same order night after night?

First time asking a question to the almighty Oracle so fingers crossed for a response!

The Oracle replies:

The production of a show can be very complicated and take a lot of time to prepare to get it perfect. This show particularly doesn’t lend itself to much change. I am aware of a very few number acts who change their set during a tour so it isn’t unusual not to – it’s more usual in fact.

A few songs have been replaced and moved around since the festivals last year and the latter end of the year’s dates.

The band buzz so much off playing the songs live to a different crowd every night that no, they don’t get bored.

May 31, 2012 – submitted by Gherardo, Italy

Q. Helloo!

Why not make a DVD at the end of Mylo Xyloto Tour? Like Live 2003!

It would be great to see how the band has changed, and what kind of show has created.

You should just do it, also for Xylobands !! They are f*****g incredible.

The Oracle replies:

I have no idea why, but every single question sent in by Italian fans this week (there have been a few) have all had swearing them! I have edited by inserting asterisks.

Anyway, to answer your request, you’re a little behind the news amico. There IS going to be a live film from the MX tour. We haven’t got any details to reveal to you just yet apart from a film is coming. Hoorah!

May 29, 2012 – submitted by Thomas, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle,

I just watched the Hurts Like Heaven video from the European Stadiums (seeing them in Manchester on the 9th June) and noticed all the lasers. I was wondering, that with the stadiums being roofless, is there any problem with the lasers hitting low flying aircraft and such?


The Oracle replies:

That’s a very good question Thomas and a subject I was talking about in detail last week in fact.

Lasers obviously do come with certain risks so there are stringent safety rules and regulations in place – they can’t beam over a certain height if there’s a risk to aviation. The same goes for beaming below the heads of the audience to protect them also. The lasers are all perfectly harmless at our shows.

Enjoy Manchester!

May 22, 2012 – submitted by Aimee, Poland

Q. during European MX tour, concerts are every other day. I was wondering if guys comes home (I mean UK) or stays in European countries where they perform on the day off?



The Oracle replies:

They were in Portugal the night before that show as it was the first of the European leg but they do come home in between the rest to be with their families.

April 30, 2012 – submitted by James, United Kingdom


Hello Oracle,

I’ve printed off a seating plan for Coldplay’s upcoming gig at the Emirates Stadium but there is no sign of the ‘X’ stage in the middle, will it be there?

Many Many Thanks 🙂

The Oracle replies:

As far as I know, the X Stage is the B stage which is situated at the end of one of the runways from the main stage.

I have a feeling you are referring to the C stage, as that is positioned in the seated area at the back within the audience.

That wouldn’t appear on a seating plan. Apart from it being a surprise on the night, the seating plan from show to show isn’t modified too much online.

April 23, 2012 – submitted by Christian, Germany

Q. Hey Oracle, I’ve seen the picture of the crew vs. band football match Roadie #42 posted on his blog. I was wondering if this is the whole crew for the tour ’cause it seems like few people to manage such a big thing like a world tour.

The Oracle replies:

Gosh no, Christian, you’re quite right to assume that’s too few people for a huge tour; that’s nowhere near the full crew. There are 2 crews taking 2 stages, plus backline crew as well as a local crew at each venue. I should imagine the number of people it takes to put on a show of this scale is well into the 3 figure area. The backline crew who make up the crew football team is considerably smaller.

April 19, 2012 – submitted by Meghan, United States of America

Q. What time does Coldplay take the stage? We have tickets for Seattle, but my daughter has to play the flute in her school band concert and we need to know if we’ll still have time to get there for them or if we should just try to sell our tickets. We’d be bummed to do it, but we don’t want to miss half the show and there’s no way our 14-year-old can get out of her school performance. Thanks in advance.

The Oracle replies:

Here’s the info for States dates:

Doors 5pm

April 19, 2012 – submitted by Hannah, United Kingdom

Q. Hi

Phil tweeted before about there being another concert DVD, do you have any idea where they’re thinking about filming the concert yet? Or any other information regarding the DVD?

Thanks, its pretty exciting!

No, that’s why Phil tweeted “…but where to film it?”

Feel free to tweet him back with your suggestions – others have.

It is exciting, you’re right. I personally cannot wait!

I have no news for you. It’s a case of watch this space. Well, not *this* space obviously, just keep an eye on the website and twitter in the coming weeks & months.

April 17, 2012 – submitted by James, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle, why is the UK tour so short compared to the US tour? All of the bands tickets are sold out in the MEN as far as I know and so is London plus I live in Liverpool so the only realistic place is Manchester, always wanted to go and see the band live and will now have to wait until their next tour :/

The Oracle replies:

The USA is in the top 5 countries listed by area while the UK is hanging around the #80 mark. There is a vast difference in size of the countries for starters!

By the way, if you’ve been looking at tickets for Manchester’s M.E.N, you definitely won’t find tickets as they’re playing the Etihad Stadium.
Keep trying, there may be tickets available or other fans may not be able to go so don’t give up just yet.

March 27, 2012 – submitted by Leah, Trinidad and Tobago

Q. Dear Oracle,

I bought tickets to see Coldplay on 24th July in Montreal with 4 other friends.
The Ticket we received says Section 205 “Obstructed view”. The Bell Centre said that they won’t know how obstructed the view will be because they don’t know the stage setup….

We’re flying in all the way from Trinidad & Tobago to see the show and I’m hoping that we didn’t get stuck with poor viewing :((((

Can you help or provide any info re: stage plan for Bell Centre at Montreal?? Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

The stage set-up is 360 degree so you’ll be able to see wherever your seats are. Obstructed view usually suggests some part of the supports and/or beams so you will definitely need to check with the venue to find out whereabouts Section 205 places you in relation to the structure.

March 15, 2012 – submitted by Josh Smullen, United Kingdom

Q. Will the stages for the UK Stadium tour strut into the crowd like I’ve seen on previous gigs? Would be amazing if they did!

The Oracle replies:

I’m pretty sure that a runway jutting out of the stage will always be there. It’s a great way to connect with the audience and of course, the band have had a ‘B stage’ section performed there too so don’t think they’d be keen to lose that.

March 15, 2012 – submitted by Hedy, United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle! I have been desperately searching for some floor seats to the show in Atlanta, GA on July 2nd. However, ticketmaster no longer has them. So, if I purchase tickets from eBay or StubHub, there wouldn’t be any problems when presenting my tickets, would there? I don’t think so, but I have seen some previous oracle questions mentioning that one’s ID must be presented, and if I am buying someone else’s ticket, I don’t want any complications! Thanks! Hedy

The Oracle replies:

As far as I know I.D is required to collect pre-paid tickets from the box office so you should be fine buying from a 3rd party as long as they already have their tickets in hand. Of course I would always advise to buy from a reputable company as otherwise there is always a chance you could somehow be at risk.

March 13, 2012 – submitted by Yvonne, United Kingdom

Q. I hope the Oracle can help, I’m probably panicking too soon, but I bought tickets from ticket master for the June Coldplay gig at the Emirates, and haven’t had the tickets yet. Has anyone else? I will be completely gutted if something has gone wrong.

The Oracle replies:

I have no idea if anyone else has got their tickets yet but rest assured yours are not late according to the event info so you can stop panicking. Ticketmaster do state on their website that “tickets for this event are provided directly by the promoter and not printed by Ticketmaster and may not be despatched until ten days before the event”.

March 12, 2012 – submitted by Elaine, Ireland

Q. I have front row tickets to see Coldplay in the Hollywood Bowl. As I’m Irish I’m used to an enthusiastic crowd (eg Oxegen 2011 BRILL) But Jesus the Yanks just stand there with what I would consider, total lack of respect. Do I take an Irish flag and give the band the reaction they deserve or just shut up and stand????

The Oracle replies:

Er, I have to disagree there Elaine as I think you’re being harsh on the American fans. Whenever I have seen the band in the States (4 times), the crowd has always been amazing. In fact, I remember one particular show where I couldn’t understand why the audience were screaming as if at an *NSYNC concert! Given you’re on the front row I am sure you’ll be able to react to the band in your own way so go for it and don’t worry what anyone else is doing. I’m a quarter Irish and love all things Emerald Isle but as the band aren’t Irish I am wondering why you feel the need to take a flag at all? If it’s because you’re from nearer their home, maybe just say it with a t-shirt as that’s not likely to block anyone’s view.

March 7, 2012 – submitted by Franco, Paraguay

Q. Dear Oracle, you can tell us if this video cellphone record is true?

“Will Champion: “Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela watch out, here we go”.

We can’t found the complete video anywhere… Thanks! Please send us any link to see the complete video!

The Oracle replies:

I found the complete video which is also a much clearer version.

This video is quite old now and although Will does mention certain countries and says “…watch out, we will come”; he doesn’t mention when.
There is always the possibility of tour dates being added to the current itinerary but as yet there has been no mention of South America other than in that interview.

March 7, 2012 – submitted by Sarah, Canada

Q. Can you point me to a picture of how the stage is set up for the North American Tour. This is in regards to buying seats behind the stage and I am curious if it has a high backdrop or not.


The Oracle replies:

As I said last week (or the week before), the view from behind the stage is a good one so don’t worry. There isn’t a backdrop as such; it’s open apart from a low graffiti wall.

March 5, 2012 – submitted by Craig, United Kingdom

Q. Hi there, just wondering if the bands clothing is custom made or if I can buy similar gear in the shops as I love the colours and graffiti used in them ? Look forward to a reply thanks 🙂

The Oracle replies:

The beauty of Coldplay stage costumes is that you can easily recreate the look at home and most of the key items can be found on the high street. Ooh get me, I sound like Gok Wan[5]. Any that aren’t available from popular chains can be replaced by similar items given that they will be customized with dye or paint to change their appearance anyway.

February 29, 2012 – submitted by Paul, United Kingdom

Q. I Have two standing tickets for coldplay Friday 1st June 2012 want to swap for the Monday 4th June. Anyone interested?

The Oracle replies:

Try asking here[6]. Hopefully you’ll be able to find someone to swap with.

February 29, 2012 – submitted by JD, United Kingdom

Q. is Coldplay not playing at T in the Park 2012?

The Oracle replies:

Now there’s a date I can definitely confirm that they’re NOT playing given they appeared there last year.

February 28, 2012 – submitted by Shiva, Canada

Q. Hi Oracle, Coldplay is selling tickets for behind the stage seats for the upcoming shows. Any idea how the view would be?

The Oracle replies:

I assume it will be just like the London’s shows in December I know someone who sat there and said “good actually… really suprised how good”.

February 2, 2012 – submitted by Monique, Australia

Q. Hi Oracle, I recently heard that Coldplay are coming to Sydney, Australia, for two intimate shows. I really really want to enter to win tickets to these shows but the terms & conditions say you have to be a permanent resident of NSW and be 18 years or over. I am almost 17 and live in QLD but I would willingly travel any distance in Australia to see them. I can easily get transport and accommodation sorted accompanied by an adult guardian. I would like to know if there is anyway I can still attend???
Please please help, I really want to see them live and would do anything, I just hate not being eligible.

The Oracle replies:

I remember being of an age where I couldn’t attend gigs as I couldn’t get in certain venues. There are safety concerns with competitions and that’s why the minimum adult age of 18 is imposed. I am sorry to say it doesn’t matter how mature a person is or whether they have accommodation, the rules are there for a reason and they* will not bend them for any one individual or it wouldn’t be set that way in the first place.

I’m sorry it must be really frustrating but at least it is being streamed live so you’ll be able to watch.

  • “they” is not the band by the way. We have nothing to do with terms & conditions but for what it’s worth, I have organised quite a few fan events and I insist on the same rule. If it had said “unless accompanied by an adult”, that would be the only way you could attend.

February 1, 2012 – submitted by Holly, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle,

if I was to buy tickets off of a friend would I still be able to get into the Coldplay concert at the Emirates? is there any photo ID or name ID in use (like at Glastonbury) or can I use them without this friend present?

The Oracle replies:

If you have the tickets in hand you don’t need photo identification to get in to the show. It’s only if you’re collecting tickets from the box office that they may stipulate that at point of purchase.
Please make sure you always read the small print and terms & conditions regarding tickets as rules may differ between certain venues/ticket agents.

January 11, 2012 – submitted by Andrew, United States of America

Q. When I went to my first Coldplay concert at the Verizon wireless amphitheater in Irvine, California, the band moved stages three during their set. Meaning, they had two mini stages set up in the audience, which were more like raised platforms. On these mini stages, the band played their cover of Billie Jean and also did some acoustic songs. I was wondering if this was just special to the Viva tour, or to the Irvine venue, or if the band is planning on doing the stages in the audience thing in the future. It was truly memorable because I was able to be five feet away from them while they were playing on one of the stages.

The Oracle replies:

It always amazes me when I get two similar questions in quick succession. I think our fans have psychic powers!

See the last question I answered about the X stage (previously known as the B stage).

There hasn’t been a C stage (the part where the band went right to the back of the venue and performed from within the audience) so far on the MX tour. I don’t think it will be making an appearance.

January 11, 2012 – submitted by Leah, Canada

Q. I have tickets in front of the X stage for Toronto’s July show. How many songs does the band usually do on this stage?

The Oracle replies:

Generally they do 2-3 songs on the X stage. Don’t forget the protrusion is at the end of a catwalk that is used a lot by Chris mostly, but also Jonny. You’ll have a great view of those moments as well as a good vista via the screens positioned around the venue.

December 21, 2011 – submitted by Leah, Canada

Q. Greetings from BC!

I’m finally getting to go to a Coldplay concert in April and I’m so excited! I was wondering if they will be doing an acoustic part on the c-stage for this tour like they did before?

Thanks so much!

The Oracle replies:

The C stage – now dubbed the X stage given its shape – is pretty much a permanent fixture these days so yes, I’d say it’s pretty certain they will continue to have an acoustic set at the end of the runway to get closer to the crowd and have that more intimate moment.

December 15, 2011 – submitted by Giulia, Germany

Q. I see that Emeli Sande has done the openings for some of Coldplay’s concerts recently. Do you know whether she will do the same for the summer 2012 concerts (I would love to see her at the September concerto in Munich).


The Oracle replies:

It’s not usual for the support slots to do more than one leg (yes, I know that Bat For Lashes did but that was a Latin American tour sometime after the initial run).

I think Emeli will be very busy doing her own tours anyway. Did you know that yesterday it was announced yesterday that she has won the Brits Critics Choice award. Congratulations Emeli!

August 16, 2011 – submitted by Sarah, United Kingdom

Q. Hey Oracle!

In the beginning of Coldplay’s performance at the iTunes Festival and Lollapalooza, there’s an orchestra recording playing that sounds like something from Disney. Is that Coldplay’s doing or the festival’s way of introducing them?

Thanks!! 🙂

The Oracle replies:

It’s actually the Back To The Future Theme Song. I don’t know if you’ve seen the film or not but it was made back in 1985 and is a modern day classic worth checking out.

July 21, 2011 – submitted by Maaike, Canada

Q. Hi Oracle,

I hope you’re well. Did the boys make their own clothes for the upcoming tour like they did for the Viva tour? If not, who did? Thanks! 🙂

The Oracle replies:

The band are involved in ideas for what their clothes will look like and did have a hand in certain customising of the Viva costumes but didn’t actually make them.

The same goes for the current clothes. Beth, their stylist, bought various pieces and got t shirts screenprinted etc. The band designed patches that were added and they all put bits of spray paint on them.

May 26, 2011 – submitted by Laurens, Belgium

Q. Dear Oracle,

Will the band wear the same Viva jackets and use all the Viva la Vida stuff for the summer festivals or have they come up with something new?


The Oracle replies:

It’s all gonna be new. We’ve all had haircuts and there are new threads to wear too.

Continue Reading

Everything you never knew about Coldplay’s Paradise!

The most accurate and up to date information on Paradise!

Paradise is the third track from Coldplay’s fifth album, Mylo Xyloto, and the second single, following on from the earlier release in 2011 of Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.




Paradise was debuted at 7:48am on The Chris Moyles Show on BBC Radio 1 on 12 September 2011 – two minutes before its scheduled play at 7.50am. The song was released on 12th September, 2011 at 8:30am BST as the second single to the album.

According to, the single was not initially chart eligible in the UK, because it was available on iTunes as an “instant grat” (immediate download) with the album. The song became eligible to chart in the UK on 30th October after the album’s release, entering the UK Singles Chart at #14, and was met with generally positive reception from critics. On 1st January 2012 after 10 weeks in the singles chart, it was confirmed as #1 following consistent sales leading up to the Christmas period. [1]

First introduction

Paradise was first introduced immediately after the announcement of Mylo Xyloto on 12th August 2011, and was announced as the second single off the album.

A 30 second studio preview clip of Paradise appeared on TuneTribe[2] on the morning of 10th September 2011, two days before its official release. This was followed by the full version on the official Coldplay YouTube channel, ColdplayTV, on 12th September 2011:

Cover Art

The single cover for Paradise predominantly features an abstract crayon piece that enmeshes different shades of blue. The artwork includes butterfly and an Archimedean spiral, both of which are a recurring theme in the Coldplay concerts, wardrobes and official webpage. The single artwork was praised for being “an important piece of a jigsaw puzzle built around the theme used by Coldplay to promote the Mylo Xyloto album”.

Chart performance

The Official Paradise symbol

Paradise had huge success on charts worldwide. Following release on 12 September 2011, Paradise was revealed chart ineligible in the United Kingdom, having been offered as and ‘instant grat’ (immediate download) for anyone who pre-ordered the parent album, Mylo Xyloto. The release of the album on 24 October 2011 saw Paradise debut at number fourteen on the UK Singles Chart with sales of 27,277 copies; having sold 118,547 copies in the six weeks of chart ineligibility. It was not eligible for the chart, having been used as an inducement for fans to pre-order Mylo Xyloto.

After being made purchasable at 59p (instead of 99p) on the UK’s iTunes Store and being played on the X Factor final, Paradise regained momentum in the UK and skyrocketed up the single chart to #2 on December 18, 2011 becoming the band’s highest charting single since their 2008 number-one hit Viva La Vida – later becoming 2012’s first UK number-one on Sunday January 1, almost four months after its release. It moved 14-17-20-13-11-12-7-2-5-1 on it’s way to #1. It was also a top 10 hit in many countries in Europe. It reached number-one in Norway. In the US, it reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Had Paradise been eligible for the chart since its release, it would have shattered the record for most weeks in the Top 40 before reaching number one, a record held by Celine Dion’s Think Twice which was on its 13th week in the Top 40 (and its 16th in the Top 75) when it reached number one in 1995. [3]


On November 30th, 2011, Paradise was nominated for a Grammy Award, in the category Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The winner will be announced on February 12, 2012 at the 54th Grammy Awards. Coldplay also contributed the track Paradise to the 2012 Grammy nominees album compilation, which also features tracks by fellow Grammy nominees Katy Perry (“Firework”), Adele (“Rolling In the Deep”), Foster the People (“Pumped Up Kicks”), Mumford and Sons (“The Cave”), Maroon 5 (“Moves Like Jagger” Featuring Christina Aguilera), and Foo Fighters (“Walk”). The album was released on Universal Republic on 24th January 2011, with a portion of sales benefitting the Grammy Foundation and MusicCares Foundation.


In the article by Q Magazine published on 10th October 2011 entitled “First Impressions of… Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto”[4] they wrote: “The second single to be released from the album sounds much better in the context of the record – a mid-tempo bridge between the relative surge of Hurts Like Heaven and Charlie Brown. And, if the fuzzy stomp of those hip hop synths jarred with your impression of Coldplay (well, they wouldn’t work on Yellow, would they?), then they make perfect sense on Mylo Xyloto as a whole, revisited on the first thirty seconds of Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall and punctuating the Rihanna-assisted hollers of Princess Of China.”

First live performance

Paradise was first played in front of a Television studio audience on the night of 9th September, 2011. It was shot for France 2’s Taratata, a Parisian music show [5]. It was also played at both the Austin City Limits Taping event on 15th September 2011 (for a 31st December 2011 airing) and then the following day at the Austin City Limits Festival (shown below):

Paradise video

Coldplay initially announced that the single’s music video would be directed by Hype Williams (who previously directed the first version of the “Viva la Vida” music video) but that version was scrapped after shooting and the band decided instead to record a new version directed by long-time collaborator Mat Whitecross.

The video was released on 19 October 2011. In the video, a man dressed as an elephant (played by Chris Martin) escapes from a zoo in London and attempts to hitch-hike his way to another country (doing so finally by stowing away inside a suitcase). An aerial shot reveals that his initial destination was Cape Town, South Africa. He is then seen wandering around Johannesburg, at one point, walking past Nelson Mandela Bridge and a set of railway tracks in Braamfontein. He then earns enough money by busking (which appears to be ZAR 67.05, roughly equivalent to USD 8.40) on the street for a unicycle, and after a seemingly hopeless wander comes across three other elephants (the rest of Coldplay) playing the song in the veld (South African grasslands). The video shifts to the band playing a live show at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg before returning to the desert where they run towards the camera.

The music video was shot on location in London, Cape Town, the Klein Karoo in the Western Cape and Johannesburg.

At the release of the first play of Paradise, Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles let slip that Coldplay were working on a video on Monday and Tuesday (12th and 13th September, 2011). This was partly-confirmed by a tweet from a user from the RED Cameras and Filmmakers forum that said: “RED EPIC-X #00031 flies to London for Coldplay Music Video Shoot with Hype Williams”. [6]. However this shoot was never released.

See also (in-detail):

  • Director Mat Whitecross on the Paradise video (20111110)‎

Critical reception

The song was met with positive reviews from the majority of music critics. gave a positive review calling the track “another slice of hug-warm ecstacy” and gave praise to the the “boiling strings, rattling synthesizers, and bass-heavy-beats” saying “it shows they know how to bring a few new tricks to the table”. Both Q and Rolling Stone offered similar praise. gave a similar review remarking that there are “Drums that you would expect in a Rihanna song and melodies you would expect from a band like Friendly Fires and the ‘oohs’ from 3Oh!3 is what you first hear. That is, of course, until Chris Martin’s vocals come into play and there is no doubt in your mind that this is Coldplay. A wonderful chorus of “para-para-paradise” reminds you just how good they really are. It will remain with you for weeks to come, like that new piece of clothing you just can’t get enough of”. said, in a three and a half star review, that “even when Coldplay sound a bit like they are spinning their wheels musically, it can still have quite beautiful moments. The huge opening fanfare of “Paradise” is simply gorgeous” but felt the rest of the song didn’t hold up as well as it could have. NME gave a more mixed reaction to the song, and felt that “It’s hard to say what the band is aiming for with the song. To replicate the epic football stadium “moment” of ‘Yellow’? The energy of a ‘Viva La Vida’? If so it doesn’t quite work on either count.”

Media reviews

Odd electro noises are accompanied with classical strings in the typical window sill fashion sense before everything else steps onto the “Paradise” stage. Drums that you would expect in a Rihanna song and melodies you would expect from a band like Friendly Fires and the ‘oohs’ from 3Oh!3 is what you first hear. That is, of course, until Chris Martin’s vocals come into play and there is no doubt in your mind that this is Coldplay. A wonderful chorus of “para-para-paradise” reminds you just how good they really are. It will remain with you for weeks to come, like that new piece of clothing you just can’t get enough of. Some would argue that this is perhaps a little bland from the Coldplay boys. For example, is there really any defining riff? The answer, I’m afraid to say, is no. There isn’t a whole lot of creativity or originality chucked into the blender of musical production. But, let’s be honest now, who gives a crap?! Not me, for sure. Yes, it is a little different from the normal Coldplay formula, incorporating a large amount of electro elements into their songs, but it still upholds this sense of emotional window sill experiences. The heart and soul of Coldplay remains the same, it’s just the body that has changed. Maybe it isn’t as handsome as its predecessor, but I’m not that shallow – it’s all about what’s on the inside. So, in short, as Mr. Micawber would say, Coldplay have retained themselves. They’ve safeguarded the essence of Coldplay in this second single, “Paradise”. It’s still Coldplay, it’s still brilliant – it always will be. It’s not the same, necessarily, but it’s still brilliant. And that’s all that matters. [7]

“Yawn”. Before the new album is released later this month (with it’s terrible title – what the hell does ‘Mylo Xyloto’ actually mean?!), the band have released another piece of pathetically pretentious posturing. The trouble with Coldplay is they seem to be hell bent on the idea that more is more. It’s not. Over-production suffocates decent songwriting, though they left that far behind after ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’. Paradise begins with a church organ and fluttering strings – a shallow attempt at grandure – though the booming synth bass adds a modern twist to the sound. Otherwise, they’ve thrown everything at this track: epic piano and guitar riffs, orchestral strings, synth effects, a sing along chorus sung by a stuttering Chris Martin. What also annoys is the unnecessary self referencing of Every Teardop… in the second chorus – it just smacks of “head up own arse” syndrome. What’s the obsession with epic grandure? It’s as if adding more layers will help them reach some sort of musical nirvana, when in fact a return to the raw simplicity of their earlier work would be far more preferable. Coldplay may be in paradise but their latest work is far from sublime. 2/5 [8]

It said something that the optimistic euphoria of Coldplay’s last single ‘Every Tear Drop Is A Waterfall’ was more palatable when it was covered by Robyn. The music-makes-it-all-better sentiment and the day glo rhythms felt slightly forced coming out of Chris Martin’s mouth, whereas there was an ease and conviction to the whole thing when Ms Carlsson was delivering the same lines. ‘Mylo Xyloto’ is set to reverberate with more pop sensibilities- Rihanna is to make an appearance on ‘Princess Of China’, so it’s no surprise that new single ‘Paradise’ takes the normal Coldplay model and gives it a chart-friendly make over. There’s the dropped drum beat, the vaguely dubstep-like bassline and the “Para-para-paradise” hook of the chorus. This is all played over a New Age-ish sounding backing; strings, the familiar simple piano riff and, eventually, a choir who intone a “Woah-oh-oh-oh” line. It’s hard to say what the band is aiming for with the song. To replicate he epic football stadium “moment” of ‘Yellow’? The energy of a ‘Viva La Vida’? If so it doesn’t quite work on either count. ‘Paradise’ feels both slightly listless and muddled. The “hip” new sonic treatments sound out of date (there’s a mid-noughties vibe about the whole thing) and the chorus comes off as a weak facsimile of what Coldplay have done effortlessly in the past; specifically that people-uniting aspect. Whilst Coldplay’s pop makeover may be – for them at least- quite revelatory, it feels like Chris Martin’s populist songwriting tendencies have been clipped. Ultimately it feels like a few steps back rather than forward. 6.2/10. [9]

Coldplay once again aim for a stadium-sized sound and achieve it on ‘Paradise,’ the new single from their upcoming album ‘Mylo Xyloto.’ While many of Coldplay’s best songs are built around the voice of singer Chris Martin, ‘Paradise’ makes a lasting impression before Martin offers a single word. The minute-long introduction builds with strings and keyboards before a slow, hypnotic beat enters the picture. Martin sings a third-person narrative about a girl whose life hasn’t measured up to her expectations: “When she was just a girl / She expected the world / But it flew away from her reach / So she ran away in her sleep.” Martin references the band’s last single with the lines, “Life goes on, it gets so heavy / The wheel breaks the butterfly / Every tear, a waterfall / In the night, the stormy night / She closed her eyes,” before launching into an epic sing-along chorus, “She dreams of para, para, paradise.” After a guitar solo, the song fades out with soft humming and a brief piano section, a nicely understated ending to a captivating song. 4.5/5 [10]

The evolution of music is something that is as old as time, and so is the evolution of sound within a particular act. No music act should ever cling to the same rock when it comes to music or be in a position where they’re resting on the same credentials thirty years on from now (if they’re still lucky enough to be around), and neither should any act ever be content with staying on one rock for their entire career, so it therefore stands to reason that no act should ever shoe-horn themselves into a position where growth, maturity and musical exploration is impossible. Exploration of sound is imperative, if not for the continued interest or popular media then for the continued interest of their most loyal listeners. Perhaps not noticeably, Coldplay’s progression from their MOR-rock beginnings spent dwelling in U2’s shadow have always been a step – or maybe a deliberately low-key shuffle – in the right direction, when you manage to ignore the fact that the album that should’ve followed the brilliant ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ shouldn’t have been ‘X&Y’, until of course, U2 themselves strayed into MOR-rock territory. And possibly because of it’s high ambitions, buzz single ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ got by because it didn’t so much clunk along in the same piano-led fashion Coldplay are renowned for – it had a charming gallop to it despite being their mostly easily digestible lyrical affair thus far, and added with it’s spacial freshness and faultless musicianship, it gave the impression that the band had learnt how to create an accompaniment which could home Chris Martin’s vocals at last, rather than making them sound like they put a downer on everything the band put their hands to. Suffice to say a lot has been resting on the shoulders of the proper lead single ‘Paradise’, and on it’s opening you could be led to thinking Coldplay’s earlier learnings have gotten the better of them and already spoiled it, but the orchestral strings are simply one of many a nod to past Coldplay with nods to future Coldplay maintaining the balance. Not to say that the song is perfect: without pillaging too much to say it’s an outright influence, ‘Paradise’ boasts a thumping percussion loop and bass making an entrance like a wrecking ball backed up with high-flying strings, only to be removed when the whining echo of Gwyneth Paltrow’s beaux adds a pathos-less verse about a girl or something, before being joined once again by the post-apocalyptic verve. Once the song climaxes, Martin’s falsetto creates grandiose at a volume and pace that hasn’t ever been seen by the band before – they tried it on ‘Fix You’ (most of ‘X&Y’ in fact) and somewhat succeeded in terms of the song’s connotative value, but the unnecessarily depressing ordeal of having to actually listen to it can’t keep people awake long enough to be pissed off anymore. That’s where ‘Paradise’ succeeds – it’s bold and dramatic with chilling harmonies and well-placed passing noise, proving that the band as musicians are flawless, but it’s still no hard task to tell a Coldplay song from a U2 song or a Radiohead song. Martin’s lyrics and his slow-paced delivery only really resolve to the listener’s forgiveness at one point – the chorus, and that only arrives half-way through and is only held together by a sequence of “Ohhh” chanting from the rest of the band. [11]

The Oracle on Paradise

February 25, 2014 – submitted by Gerardo, Mexico
Q. Hi Oracle,
Since I saw the Paradise video I’ve had this question in my head and right until this moment I took the time to put it together and send it to you.
What is this picture?
I thought that was at the recording of the Paradise video, as it says in the caption, but it never came up. I hope you can answer this question as I’m sure I’m not the only Coldplay fan that noticed this.
The Oracle replies:
This Paradise video never made the light of day – I’ve never seen it – and was replaced with the wonderful Mat Whitecross video.

September 11, 2013 – submitted by Kaylie, United States of America
Q. Did Chris have to learn to ride a unicycle for the Paradise video?
The Oracle replies:
No, he already knew how to ride one.

August 14, 2013 – submitted by Maren, Germany
Q. Dear Oracle,
I have another question about underground scenes in Video PARADISE. We all know it was recorded at Belsize Park Station but this station has no escelator and in Min 0:40, Elephant Chris is standing between signs Northern Line and Bakerloo Line. As you know Elephant wants to go to Heathrow. Only Piccadilly Line goes there. So he has to change. My question: Was it recorded also in Charing Cross Underground (because of Northern and Bakerloo Line) and he changes at Piccadilly Station to Heathrow?? Sorry for my bad English.
The Oracle replies:
Well, the first thing to tell you is that a video isn’t necessarily factually correct. That means that artistic license can be used to create illusion. The elephant appears to make that journey but that doesn’t mean he actually did. You are right that Belsize Park Underground station doesn’t have an escalator.
If I was going to Heathrow from Belsize Park, I would take the Northern Line to Leicester Square and change for the Piccadilly Line there. However, it is indeed Charing Cross station that we see our elephant stood between signs for the Northern & Bakerloo line. London has several airports and none of them would require getting off at Charing Cross station. This is where the artistic license comes in.
The video is shot and edited to tell a story but shouldn’t be taken as 100% accurate.
Some scenes look better with the benefit of those aesthetic choices (the escalator for sure).
I’d never really paid attention to the details or inaccuracies but you went to a lot of trouble so I hope I made sense of it for you.

May 9, 2013 – submitted by Jamie, United Kingdom
Q. Hi, The Oracle.
I’ve always wondered, why did Coldplay choose Belsize Park Underground Station to record part of the Paradise video, and was the station closed to the general public when they were filming? If so, how long for?
I hope you can answer this question
The Oracle replies:
Our second London tube question of the day.
Belsize Park station (ooh – Princess of China remix has just come on Kiss radio as I type this) is the closest Underground station to The Bakery, that’s why it was used.
It wasn’t closed to the public – none of the Underground shots involved closing the stations.

March 28, 2013 – submitted by Maria, Italy
Q. Hi Dear Oracle. Hope everything’s ok over there 😉
I got excited reading that Life Of Pi won as Best Soundtrack at Oscars 2013… so is it true that Paradise is part of it? If yes I’ll be more excited. actually! And you? Thanks a lot xxx MC
The Oracle replies:
No, Paradise was used as a trailer for the film but the Oscar was given to Mychael Danna for the Best Original Score.

November 21, 2012 – submitted by Katelyn, United States of America
Q. Is there any personal meaning behind the writing of Paradise to the band?
The Oracle replies:
There was a newspaper that reported the song was inspired by the ‘everyday childhood disappointments’ experienced by Chris’ daughter.
He himself said: “Paradise is about a girl really, the female half of the album, just about being a bit lost in the world and escaping through fantasy.”
Don’t forget, the band also said the album is more of a concept album than anything.

November 8, 2012 – submitted by Ben, United Kingdom
Q. Dear Oracle,
At the end of the Paradise video when the Chris elephant meets the rest of the ‘elephant band’ in the savannah, is it actually the band members in the costumes or just actors?
The Oracle replies:
Yes, it really was the whole band involved in being the elephant band. That was a long, hot day!

October 9, 2012 – submitted by Pepijn, Netherlands
Q. Dear Oracle,
Today I found this awesome video from the directors of the Strawberry Swing video. They made an alternative music video for Paradise and I LOVED it. So I was wondering, has Coldplay had anything to do with this video?? I have, I think, never seen it anywhere on the website. I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with everyone.
Greetings from Holland.
The Oracle replies:
Yes, that was the first incarnation of the Paradise video before Chris came up with the concept for the award-winning elephant video that became the official video for the song.
I like Shynola’s work but am so happy with the band’s final decision as Paradise is still my favourite Coldplay video so far.

January 9, 2012 – submitted by Olivia, Canada
Q. Paradise is absolutely one of my favorite songs, but lately I’ve started to ponder over the meaning. The dictionary says paradise is a place of extreme beauty, delight, or happiness. I think that paradise is different for everyone and that it is always beautiful, but somewhat unattainable. O mighty oracle, what is your definition of paradise? From a Candian Coldplayer, Olivia
The Oracle replies:
Paradise does represent different thing to different people but you can’t re-write its dictionary definition. You’re right in some ways as a place of extreme beauty, delight or happiness may not always be achievable. The first meaning of paradise I encountered was at church when at primary school. Heaven was commonly referred to as paradise – I suppose it fits – though these days that’s the last thing I would think of when thinking of my own paradise. The Maldives is the closest I came to feeling I was in a real paradise but then I also visited a local island where locals lived and it was anything but in comparison. It opened to my eyes to how man-made and false paradise can be too.

November 7, 2011 – submitted by Isa, Brazil
Q. Hey Oracle.
I don’t know already this questions but,
where (or who was) the idea of elephants on Paradise?
Thank You, Isa.
I’m pretty sure that Phil & the band came up with the idea…

October 20, 2011 – submitted by France, Canada
Q. Hi Oracle,
I saw the Paradise video and it made my day. And what a day it was…
Can you share a funny story about the shoot? I am sure that there is one… an elephant does not blend well in our busy cities.
The Oracle replies:
As it was filmed in different locations it was pieced together over quite a time.
The South African outdoor shots were filmed on 7th October and the live performance was the following night at the Johannesburg gig.
The week after when they got back to London, Chris shot the underground scenes. I do have a funny story (well, I think it’s funny) from that day.
On 11th October, Shaun Weston (from Bristol) wrote on twitter, “I rode a Charing Cross escalator with Chris Martin today. He was dressed as an elephant. Anyone else see him, or was I dreaming?”

I know a few people saw Chris that day and it did surprise a few fans.

October 20, 2011 – submitted by Jessica, United States of America
Q. Dearest Oracle,
I am in love with the song Paradise and rightly so I am also in love with the music video for it. I have a question though. Why does Guy have a different elephant suit than everyone else? I noticed that his suit is darker than the rest and doesn’t have elephant feet/shoes. Also why doesn’t Guy’s elephant have any identifying features like Johnny’s has his trademark hat and Will’s has a pair of glasses? Also why does Will’s elephant have glasses? I don’t recall ever seeing him wear glasses during performances.
Thank you Oracle!
p.s. I want to tell the band that I loved that they used elephants over any other animals, they’re the best, both the band and elephants.
The Oracle replies:
See, the fact that Guy’s elephant doesn’t have elephant feet makes him different and so maybe that’s his defining difference?
I actually wonder if there’s more to a passing nod to The Banana Splits, a late 60’s children’s entertainment combo. They had an elephant who wore glasses – although Snorky (the bespectacled one) wasn’t the drummer; he was the keyboard player.
I have seen Will wear glasses – granted not during a performance but that wouldn’t be practical anyway given the power machine that he is. Can you imagine attempting Politik and avoiding glasses steaming up or flying off? No, I didn’t think so…
One of The Banana Splits doesn’t have his animal’s feet, so maybe as with Guy, the normal feet is another nod?

October 20, 2011 – submitted by Darren, United Kingdom
Q. Hi Oracle, hope you are well did Chris really get on the tube at Belsize Park and Sit on the tube with norms (normal peoples) and no one knew it was him? Or was it a stunt a phant?
The Oracle replies:
He really did get on the tube. There’s been a lot of questions about the video so read the next couple also…

October 19, 2011 – submitted by Brian K, United States of America
Q. Just watched the Paradise video and was wondering, can Chris really ride a unicycle?
The Oracle replies:
You saw it with your own eyes; it wasn’t a trick. Chris takes things seriously so I doubt him not unicycling was ever in question. I think that man could quite possibly do anything he sets his mind to!

September 5, 2011 – submitted by Sebastien, Switzerland
Q. Dear Oracle, Do you know if the new single Paradise will be aired on a radio before its release date? Thank you a lot! Greetings from Switzerland! Sébastien
The Oracle replies:
Given the single is out next week it’s not looking likely that it’ll be played before.

August 25, 2011 – submitted by Jory, United States of America
Q. Great Oracle! Here is my question, have you got the chance to hear Coldplay’s unreleased single Paradise? What is your opinion about the song. Cheers!
The Oracle replies:
I LOVE it. Eduardo from Mexico was a little concerned that Charlie Brown was being ditched in favour of Paradise but he needn’t be. The Billboard interview mentions that Charlie Brown was always planned to follow ETIAW as a single but perhaps too obvious a choice. It goes on to say that Paradise is more representative of what’s to come on the album as a whole.

Lyrics (official)

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of
Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
And the bullets catch in her teeth
Life goes on, it gets so heavy
The wheel breaks the butterfly
Every tear a waterfall
In the night the stormy night she’ll close her eyes
In the night the stormy night away she’d fly

And dreams of
Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh
She’d dream of
Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh-oh

And so lying underneath those stormy skies
She’d say, “oh, ohohohoh I know the sun must set to rise”

This could be
Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh
This could be
This could be
Oh oh oh oh oh oh-oh-oh-oh

Continue Reading

Princess Of China

‘Princess Of China’ single artwork

Princess of China is a track included on the fifth album Mylo Xyloto, released on 24th October, 2011.
It was released in 2012 as the fifth single of Mylo Xyloto.


  • 7 Lyrics

First introduction

On 12th January 2010 Coldplay’s Chris Martin told NME [1] that the band are striving to write their “masterpiece”, with the follow-up to 2008’s ‘Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’.

Chris, speaking in the new issue of NME, on UK newsstands (January 12), spoke about new songs including Princess Of China and Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, before admitting that he thinks the band can better their previous albums with the new effort. “We still don’t think we’ve delivered our masterpiece, so we’re still trying to do it,” Martin said. “As long as we feel like that and we’re hungry… that’s all that matters.”

The band have again been working with Brian Eno and Marcus Dravs on the album. “We were with Brian Eno for a long period just messing around,” the singer said. “Now we’re with Marcus, trying to turn that into something cohesive and under seven hours long. The worst mistake we could make, when we’re the most Marmite-y of bands, would be to make a super-long thing”.

Rihanna’s vocals appear on Princess Of China

Music Video

See: Princess Of China – Music Video

Rihanna vocals featured on Princess Of China

Coldplay revealed on 12th September 2011 that singer Rihanna’s vocals features on the track Princess Of China. The song features the singer’s vocals, and Chris Martin revealed it took him some time before he could pluck up the courage to ask her to appear on the track – all this came from an article via The Sun in the early hours of 12th September 2011 and then was confirmed via the official site just hours later. [2]

“She has such an amazing voice and it’s so different to mine,” Chris Martin told The Sun. [3] “When the vocal happened I thought ‘Wow, you sound different’ but I think that’s also because she was singing a different song to what we are used to hearing from her and it is written by a bloke from Devon.”

Chris Martin also recalled the moment when he asked the Bajan singer whether she would be up for the collaboration, admitting that he was initially nervous about approaching the star. “The album is designed as a whole piece. It has boy and girl lead characters and top of our list for the girl part was Rihanna… but it took a while to pluck up the courage to ask her,” he said. “We did a show in Las Vegas and I met her and said, ‘Do you think there’s any chance?’ I was very Hugh Grant-like and spluttering about it.”


In the article by Q Magazine published on 10th October 2011 entitled “First Impressions of… Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto”[4] they wrote: “It would’ve been ridiculous to suggest in the giddy two-hour heyday of stool-rock that its latest pretenders would belining up the biggest r’n’b star on the planet for a duet on their record – but Coldplay are a long way from 2001, accordingly, Rihanna’s appearance on Princess Of China doesn’t jar like it would if she popped up on the chorus of Don’t Panic. They make her feel at home; Princess Of China is decorated with r’n’b flourishes from the syncopated march of the drums to the bulldozing synths. Jonny Buckland’s guitar takes a backseat – well, it’s Rihanna, you would wouldn’t you? – but this offers a tantalizing glimpse of where Coldplay could go next.”

First performance

Coldplay first performed Princess Of China at a friends and family gig at The Forum in Kentish Town, London on 31st May 2011. They then played it at the first summer festival date of 2011, at Rock im Park Festival, Nürnberg, Germany (3rd June 2011). It was then dropped from the setlist because, according to the Oracle: “It simply didn’t sound the same without Rihanna. It was written with her in mind.” [5]

The Oracle on Princess Of China

March 27, 2013 – submitted by Mandie, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

You mentioned yesterday that Princess of China is in some way based on a Sigur Ros song, could you please tell me which one? Coldplay and Sigur Ros are my two favorite bands and I would love to know how one inspired the other!


The Oracle replies:

Chris has been a longtime fan of Sigur Ros. Princess of China is more than just inspired by Sigur Ros, it includes a sample from Takk.

December 10, 2012 – submitted by Jennifer, Australia

Q. I was wondering, did Rhianna help Coldplay write Princess of China or was she just selected to sing it as a duet with them? (meaning they wrote the song on their own)

Also, why Rhianna and not someone else such as Alicia Keys?

The Oracle replies:

Although Coldplay LOVE Alicia Keys and have performed with her, there was no doubt that Princess of China was meant for Rihanna from the very inception of the song. The band wrote it & recorded it before Rihanna’s vocals were added.

November 29, 2012 – submitted by Thomas, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle did Rihanna only come to Paris with Coldplay. If she did why? Hope you can reply. Thomas.

The Oracle replies:

Rihanna travelled to Paris to perform Princess of China with the band because that is where the majority of concert footage for the Live 2012 DVD was being recorded. They performed it twice there and then again at the Paralympics Closing Ceremony a week later.

August 1, 2012 – submitted by Nicole, Canada

Q. Dearest Oracle,

I attended the concert on Monday night and it was AMAZING. Truly unforgettable.

I just had one question; I was excited to hear Princess of China and I was curious as to how they would fill the sections sung by Rihanna, but quite frankly I was disappointed that her section was filled by a recording. As much as I love Rihanna I would have liked that those parts be sung by one of the openers as they both featured female artists.

Has Coldplay ever considered involving another female artist in the event Rihanna wasn’t present?

Thanks for your time!


The Oracle replies:

The answer is rather like the one I gave on 26th July on a similar subject; no.

The song was written with Rihanna in mind, recorded with her and released featuring her so it wouldn’t feel quite right to have anyone else perform it.

It does seem like we’ve had a lot of talented ladies on tour with us this time but how would you pick between two?

Marina vs. Rita vs. Robyn vs. The Pierces etc. See what I mean? That would be a tricky decision even if they wanted to make it.

July 26, 2012 – submitted by Lauren, United Kingdom

Q. Who would Coldplay’s choice have been for Princess of China with if it was not Rihanna?

The Oracle replies:

If Rihanna hadn’t wanted to be involved there wouldn’t have been a second choice. It was her or nobody as they had her in mind when writing it.

May 3, 2012 – submitted by Matiss, Latvia

Q. Hey Oracle, I’ve just noticed at one of Coldplay last concerts that they played Princess of China with Rihanna in it. I was at Rock Im Park last year and there they played it too but without Rihanna. And I just wanna know why Chris doesn’t sing all of the song without Rihanna. The Rock Im Park version sounded really great!! Thank you so much!!

The Oracle replies:

Chris sang all parts at Rock Im Park because that was before the album had been released and there hadn’t been any announcements about it being a duet. It didn’t feel right so the song was dropped from the live set until now.

April 3, 2012 – submitted by Matt, Channel Islands

Q. Dear Oracle,

My wife and I are going to see Coldplay on the 1st of June. First big Stadium gig… very excited. Unfortunately can’t get to queue as early as we’d like as our flight doesn’t get in till midday 🙁

But… we both adore Princess of China, will Coldplay ever play it live? Obviously they will need a female vocalist…. I’ve heard Marina and the Diamonds are supporting…??

The Oracle replies:

Don’t worry, you’ll still have time to get a good spot.

Marina & the Diamonds opened for the band in Manchester and Emeli Sande supported on the dates before Christmas. Neither female vocalists took the lead in PoC so I doubt very much that it’s going to happen this Summer either.

December 19, 2011 – submitted by Susan, United States of America

Q. Just got home from the club and I heard what I thought was a Coldplay song. Did Coldplay cover any Rhianna songs recently? Possible it was just the house mix.

Thanks, the one who knows everything!

The Oracle replies:

Coldplay did cover a Rihanna song recently but that was for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge and was an acoustic version of We Found Love so it won’t have been that – unless it’s an unofficial remixed version that we know nothing about.

What you probably heard was a bootleg (that means totally unofficial) mix.

It was possibly Princess of China which is a Coldplay song on their new album, Mylo Xyloto, featuring Rihanna on vocals.

Without knowing though, it could have been any of their songs and hers in some kind of mash-up as those do the rounds also.

October 6, 2011 – submitted by Kawrem, Australia

Q. What is Coldplay deciding to do in regards to a live setting for their duet songs (Lhuna and Princess Of China)? I understand that they are waiting to play Princess of China until Rhianna’s voice can be heard on it, but does this mean that they’ll only ever play it if Rhianna is on the stage with them? These are two of my favorite Coldplay songs ever, so I am wondering if we (the fans) are going to get to hear either of these songs played live regularly, if at all?

Cheers from Australia!

The Oracle replies:

Lhuna is not likely to be played live now. It wasn’t actually on a Coldplay release and don’t think it ever has been performed live.

PoC may get an airing again once the album is out. Chris has shown he can tackle both vocal parts live so there’s no reason not to. I’m hoping it makes an appearance again after 24th October as I personally loved listening to that played live at the start of the festival dates.

October 4, 2011 – submitted by Logan, United States of America

Q. I’m really pumped for the new album and I was wondering why the band hasn’t played Princess of China in concert since Rock im Park?

The Oracle replies:

There wasn’t really much point people hearing it all summer not knowing that it is actually a duet. After trying it out live twice it felt right to leave it out of the set.

September 16, 2011 – submitted by Dave, United States of America

Q. Are Rihanna’s vocals a duet, a solo, or a part similar to Emily Bart-Smith on Rainy Day?The Oracle replies:

It’s not at all like the EBS backing vocals that are a subtle part of Rainy Day. This is a proper duet and honestly guys, it’s incredible.

September 12, 2011 – submitted by Kelly, United Kingdom

Q. Hey Oracle!

Just heard Paradise. ITS AMAZING!! Love it! But after, I saw news that Rihanna was going to be featured in Princess of China?? I heard the original via YouTube, and I LOVE IT AS IS. Is Rihanna going to be featured?

Thanks! Lots of fangirl love!


The Oracle replies:

I’ve had a lot of mail about this since the news broke. The first time I heard POC it was just an instrumental. The second time I heard it Chris & Rihanna’s vocals had been added. I have to say it sounds amazing.

I then heard the band perform it live. I liked it a lot, but not quite as much. For me it was wise to drop it from the set because it simply didn’t sound the same without Rihanna. It was written with her in mind so it makes perfect sense. When you hear it, you will see and hopefully agree.

August 30, 2011 – submitted by Christina, Cyprus

Q. Dear Oracle, Was the Rock am Ring performance the only one that include Princess of China?

The Oracle replies:

Coldplay actually performed Princess of China live at Rock im Park, not Rock am Ring. Its live debut was at the family & friends show back in May at London’s Forum so it’s only had two outings.

June 15, 2011 – submitted by Lotfi, Algeria

Q. Why coldplay has withdrew Princess of China of the setlist… It seems to be a great song.

The Oracle replies:

It IS a great song so don’t worry, that’s not the issue. Tweaking the set list always happens at the start of touring whether that be festivals or their own live shows. Violet Hill has been added for instance and the order of songs was changed too. It’s all very normal to see what feels right an works well.


Once upon a time somebody ran
Somebody ran away saying ‘fast as I can
I got to go, I got to go’
Once upon a time we fell apart
You’re holding in your hands the two halves of my heart
Oh oh oh, ohohohoh

Oh ohohohoh, ohohohohoh, ohohohoh, oh

Once upon a time we were burning bright
Now all we ever seem to do is fight
On and on, and on and on and on
Once upon a time on the same side
Once upon a time on the same side in the same game
And why’d you have to go
Had to go and throw water on my flame?

I could have been a princess, you’d be a king
Could have had a castle and worn a ring
But no o o o oh you let me go o o o oh
I could have been a princess, you’d be a king
Could have had a castle and worn a ring
But no o o o oh you let me go o o o oh
You stole my star
La, lalala lalalala, lalalalalalala, lalalalalalala,
You stole my star
La, lalala lalalala, lalalalalalala

‘Cos you really hurt me, no you really hurt me
‘Cos you really hurt me, no you really hurt me
‘Cos you really hurt me, no you really hurt me
‘Cos you really hurt me, no you really hurt me

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Main Page Old


Coldplay from L-R: Chris Martin, Will Champion, Jonny Buckland and Guy Berryman

WikiColdplay is a sister-site of the Coldplay fansite and is the world’s first and largest dedicated Coldplay wiki site. There are currently 3,474 pages. WikiColdplay willl undergo a major redesign soon. Make sure to follow our twitter and like us on facebook! @wikicoldplay

Welcome Back & How to Sign-Up!

WikiColdplay is back and we need your help updating the wiki to modern times (ie. LP7) To sign up visit the sign up thread hereCheck out the pages that need updating below, just hit the edit button to update the information!

Pages that Need to be Updated – Difficulty

  • Discography – Easy Nearly finished, EP’s need descriptions.

  • Songs – Easy Thank you BiggerStronger for updating

  • Awards – Easy Thank you Alisbe

  • Miracles – Easy Thank you Alisbe, great job!

  • Unbroken – Easy Finished by Stephen
  • A Head Full of Dreams – coldplay’s unreleased seventh studio album

  • Ghost Stories – the sixth album released in 2014

  • Ghost Stories Live 2014 – the live album and a concert film available in stores now!

  • Miracles – a song by Coldplay which was written and recorded for the 2014 drama film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie.

  • Game of Thrones: The Musical – A special project, created for the first Red Nose Day fundraiser in the United States!

  • Coldplay Timeline – The Coldplay Timeline is a living history of the band, from their first rehearsal in 1998 to the present day.

  • Concert Reviews 2014 – Coldplay’s small tour promoting their sixth album Ghost Stories.


  • Concert Reviews 2011 – Coldplay’s multiple massive festival headline appearances for summer/autumn 2011 and ending with a European Arena tour!

  • Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay’s fifth studio album released in 2011.

  • Concert Reviews 2009 – up to date setlists, reviews, tweets and links to all the 2009 shows!

  • LeftRightLeftRightLeft (live album) – giveaway CD available at all the 2009/10 shows.

  • Prospekt’s March EP – The overspill of songs from the Viva La Vida era – leading to the release of this EP in November 2008.

  • Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends – Coldplay’s fourth album, released in June 2008.


Coldplay are an English rock band. Formed in 1997 in London, the group comprises vocalist/pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion. Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with their 2000 single Yellow, followed by the success of their debut album, Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Coldplay went on to be nominated for this prestigious award on two further occasions, once in 2003 and again in 2005. Coldplay have been one of the most commercially successful acts of the new millennium, selling over 40 million albums. The band are also known for hit singles, including In My Place and the Grammy Award-winning Clocks.

Coldplay’s early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of Parachutes, Coldplay have also drawn influence from other sources, including Echo and the Bunnymen and George Harrison on A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) and Johnny Cash and Kraftwerk for X&Y (2005). Both of these albums were released to great critical acclaim and commercial success. In 2002, A Rush of Blood to the Head was named as NME’s Album of the Year.

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 has also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Since December 2006, the band worked with producer Brian Eno on a fourth album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends. Released on 17 June 2008, recording sessions for the album took place during June 2007 to April 2008 and featured production by Jon Hopkins, Rik Simpson, Markus Dravs, and Brian Eno.

The band finished recording the fifth album, Mylo Xyloto in mid-2011. When Martin and Champion were interviewed by BBC Radio and asked about the album’s lyrical themes, Martin replied “It’s about love, addiction, OCD, escape and working for someone you don’t like.” When asked whether or not their fifth album would be out by the summer, Martin and Champion said that there was plenty of work to be done before releasing it. They confirmed several festival appearances before its release date, especially a headlining spot in the 2011 Rock Werchter, Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Rock in Rio, and Lollapalooza festivals. On 24 October 2011, they released Mylo Xyloto, which was met with favourable reviews.

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Brothers & Sisters (song)

This article is about the song. For the EP, see Brothers & Sisters EP.Tracksearch

The Oracle on Brothers & Sisters

April 16, 2012 – submitted by Andrew, United States of America

Q. I listened to Brothers and Sisters on YouTube and it sounds like a different mix than my CD. is that the case, or is it only my imagination?

The Oracle replies:

There are actually 3 versions of Brothers & Sisters – not mixes – although only 2 of those are available to buy.

There was the original demo of 1998 followed by the Fierce Panda single version in 1999. A re-recording of the song also appeared as a b side to Trouble in 2000.

January 24, 2012 – submitted by Oscar, United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle! My question is this: One of my favorite songs is Brothers and Sisters, and I’ve heard other versions of the song, so I was wondering if the band ever released it. Thanks, and I hope you answer my question.

The Oracle replies:

As far as I know there are only 3 versions out there; a demo that was never released, the Fierce Panda single that was and the later version that appeared on the Trouble single.

September 13, 2010 – submitted by Dan, United States of America

Q. I have a couple questions concerning one Coldplay song.

1) Was the Trouble single version of Brothers and Sisters originally recorded with the intention of putting it on Parachutes?


2) When was the last time ANY version of the song was played live / Why hasn’t it been played since?

This is why I ask:

I can’t help but think that the band hasn’t played it live in a long time because the single peaked at #107 on the UK Singles Chart, and as a result, they didn’t think it was good enough. 🙁

(I hope that’s not what they really thought). But considering that they were not very well known at the time when the single was released, I think that’s a rather unfair judgment to pass on the song (which, by the way, is an extremely epic song).

Very much obliged,

Dan The Coldplay Fan

PS The best version is the live version (27/10/99) because you can really feel the energy of the band through the music in the live recording. That’s precisely why I’m hoping and begging that they’ll play it live again when they go back on tour.

The Oracle replies:

No it wasn’t; it had already been released – as you know – so it wasn’t a contender. The original release was such a low key/limited release that it wasn’t likely to chart highly and that was not the purpose of the single.

It hasn’t been played for such a long time (tbc?) but that has nothing to do with sales results more that to be honest the song doesn’t really fit in the set as many of their other older songs do.

August 20, 2008 – submitted by Josh, United Kingdom

Q. Is Brothers & Sisters (on the Without Parachutes) really as Marxist as I think it is?

The Oracle replies:

Brothers & Sisters was a single released on Fierce Panda and was in no way Marxist! Without Parachutes is a bootleg by the way so is not an official Coldplay release.


Brothers and sisters unite
It’s the time of your lives
It’s the time of your lives
Break down, break down
Gotta spread love around
Gotta spread it all around

Brothers and sisters feel fine
It’s the time of your lives
It’s the time of your lives
No sound, no sound
Like this feeling you’ve found
Like this feeling you’ve found

But just stay down
‘Cos some sounds you’ll feel
So stay round
And some sounds you’ll feel

And it’s me, they’re looking for
And it’s me, I will never survive
But we’ll be around some more

Brothers and sisters unite
It’s the time of your lives
It’s the time of your lives
Break down, break down
Gotta spread love around
Gotta spread it all around

But just stay down
And some sounds you’ll feel
So stay ’round
And some sounds you’ll feel

And it’s me, they’re looking for
And it’s me, I will never survive
But we’ll be around some more

Brothers and sisters unite
Its the time of your lives
Its the time of your lives


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A Rush Of Blood To The Head Tour

From WikiColdplayA Rush of Blood to the Head tour poster

Coldplay’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head Tour was a global concert tour that supported the band’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. Officially, the tour ran for almost nine months in 2003, covering five continents in the process. In 2002, Coldplay also performed a series of concerts in Europe and North America to support the album. However, these shows were not advertised as being part of the official album tour.

The tour DVD Live 2003 was filmed at the Horden Pavilion in Sydney, Australia on July 21 and 22, 2003.

Headliners for the tour included extended appearances by Idlewild and Ash in 2002 and Feeder, The Music, Eisley, and Ron Sexsmith in 2003.


  • 4 External links

Show structure

Overall, Coldplay’s concerts during this period showcased its progression as a bona fide live act. The band began playing more shows in arenas and ampitheatres, moving away from the club venues that dominated earlier tours. Shows also had more elaborate stage and lighting effects. For example, strobe lighting for the song “Daylight” featured the image of a rotating sun superimposed over the stage. Taking a cue from U2’s recent Elevation Tour, Coldplay also adopted a series of back screens that displayed video footage of each band member simultaneously.

Other highlights included:

  • Lead singer Chris Martin sang with Ron Sexsmith on the track, Gold In Them Hills during the headling set.

  • Guitarist Jonny Buckland regularly played a harmonica solo on the track Don’t Panic. He tossed the harmonica into the crowd after the solo’s completion. Buckland also performed an original electric guitar introduction for the track.

  • The aformentioned back screens were unfurled mid-concert, usually during the beginning of One I Love.

  • At some shows, Martin sang lyrics after inhaling from a helium balloon.

  • Martin usually wore a Make Trade Fair t-shirt during 2002 shows to promote the Oxfam campaign. Make Trade Fair booths were present at venues, where concert-goers could sign petitions and learn about the campaign’s objectives.


Coldplay’s shows during this period was noted for its use of strobe lighting

The 2002 shows contained a rough 50/50 split in material from Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head. The official tour in 2003 focused on songs from the second album, as well as many unreleased tracks. For example, future Live 2003 single Moses and b-side Pour Me were introduced during the tour. Other new songs included Gravity, The World Turned Upside Down and Ladder to the Sun.

Coldplay also made a habit of covering other artists on the tour, often as outros to their own songs. Covers ranged from a tongue-in-cheek excerpt of Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” to the Louis Armstrong classic “What a Wonderful World”. Coldplay also regularly covered Echo and the Bunnymen’s Lips Like Sugar in its entirety, in homage of Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch’s role as a mentor during recording of A Rush of Blood to the Head.

The musical introduction to the concert featured selections from Brian Eno’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.

The following is a sample setlist, taken from a concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 11, 2003.

Main set

The Oracle on A Rush Of Blood To The Head Tour

June 22, 2010 – submitted by Natalie, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle!

I was going through some old issues of the Coldplay e-zine and came across an article where “the riddle of 1560” was mentioned. Please enlighten me, what is it?


The Oracle replies:

In 2003 there was a Coldplay competition based on the opening lyric from Politik followed by the number 1560 on the back page of the AROBTTH tour programme.

Giles Greenwood (who also designed the programme as well as other merch items) came up with the idea that drove thousands of fans crazy. Very few people worked out the answer to the riddle which was asking what the significance of that number 1560 was.

It was all connected to how many days it had been from the band signing to Parlophone to the last tour date on the AROBTTH tour.

December 10, 2009 – submitted by Jacob, Australia

Q. Dear Oracle

Could you please clarify this for me once and for all so that I may rest peacefully. What is the intro music to Coldplay’s 2003 tour concerts. Most people claim it’s a piece from Eno’s Apollo album but I don’t think they’ve ever actually heard that album because there is no part that sounds like that. Thank you!

The Oracle replies:

The band did indeed use Eno’s music from the film For All Mankind before they took to the stage. However, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks was the album released 6 years earlier that largely soundtracked the movie.

The actual piece the boys walked on to is called An Ending (Ascent).

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Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

From WikiColdplay’Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ single artwork

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (often referred to as ETIAW), was the first track to be announced as part of Coldplay’s fifth album era and is the seventh track on the fifth Coldplay album, Mylo Xyloto, released on 24th October, 2011.


  • 12 Lyrics


Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall was made available digitally and on-air at 12pm (BST) on Friday 3rd June, except in the UK where it was released at midnight on June 4th.


It emerged that Chris Martin collaborated with I Go To Rio tunesmiths Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson – whose original song was sampled on the dance track. The duo have a writing credit on Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall and Coldplay wrote on their website: “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall contains elements of I Go To Rio written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson.”

Chris was inspired to write the song after watching the film Biutiful by Alejandro Gonzalez. In the film, there is a nightclub scene – during which a track is playing in the background, based on I Go To Rio by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson. As a result, Allen and Anderson are also credited as writers on Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.

A statement[1] on Coldplay’s official site read: Dear friends, we’re about to play a bunch of summer festivals so it’s as good a time as any to put out a new song. ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ will be available digitally on Friday 3rd June at 12pm (BST), except in the UK where it’ll come out on the stroke of midnight between Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June. We’ll also stream it here on Friday and give it a run out at Rock Im Park. Love Will.

The announcement followed a number of teaser clues posted on the band’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Chart Success

The song debuted at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, selling 85,000 copies in its first week. It also entered the UK singles chart on Sunday 12th June 2011 at number 6.

Music Video

‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ video screenshot

Coldplay released the video online on and via their YouTube videos channel, ColdplayVEVO[2] in the early hours of 29th June 2011. The video shows the band playing across various backdrops sprayed with colourful graffiti. The video was shot between June 14th and 15th June 2011.

It was filmed at Millennium Mills[3], close to London City Airport. Millennium Mills is a derelict turn of the century flour mill in West Silvertown on the south side of the Royal Victoria Dock in London. The mills also appear as the setting for a number of other music videos, including “Ask” by The Smiths (1986) filmed by Derek Jarman on the north side of Royal Victoria Dock, “Fluorescent Adolescent” by the Arctic Monkeys (2007) and “Take Back the City” by Snow Patrol (2008). As of 2011, the building remains derelict and is a destination for Urban Explorers who enter the site at high risk.

See also: Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall – Music Video

First reference

Further to the November 2010 Q article[4] revealing the inspiration behind Coldplay’s fifth album being old school American graffiti and anti-Nazi movements, Chris Martin spoke to The Sun about some of the tracks within said album.

Aside from song titles beginning with the letter U, Chris revealed there are tracks slated for inclusion on the album including Hurts Like Heaven and Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, which will likely be the album closer. Describing the sound, Chris added that guitarist Jonny Buckland is coming into his own. He said: “‘Hurts Like Heaven’ is all Jonny. It only has two chords. The songs are group-y, its guitar-y. Johnny is coming out of his cocoon. We’re just trying some risky things.”

Chris said: “We’re hungry and very fired up. In five years we’ll be in our late 30s. You have to have your best work done by then. I’m trying to make sure there are three songs that start with the same letter. On the last album it was L. It might be U this time. One of them is Up With The Birds. It might be a duet, but we don’t know who with yet.”

First performance

Coldplay first performed Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall at a friends and family gig at The Forum, Kentish Town, London on 31st May 2011. They then continued to play it at the summer festival dates of 2011, beginning at Rock im Park Festival, Nürnberg, Germany.[5]

Recording at Glastonbury

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall continued to be played live at subsequent festivals of 2011, and an official recording was captured by the BBC at Glastonbury on 25th June 2011.

Coldplayer’ ratings

Fans’ rating of ETIAW on’s front page after 48 hours

Coldplaying received so many comments about the song in the ETIAW subforum[6], both good and bad, that it was almost impossible to keep up with them all. The polls, however, spoke for themselves. Almost 2400 votes were cast in 48 hours.

Coldplayer’ reviews

Below are just a selection of Coldplayer’ reviews:

Since it’s been released, I’ve listened to Live 2003 a couple of times, Rock Am Ring live yesterday evening and ETIAW – in other words, I’ve listened to ETIAW probably more times than would be recommended, but I still love it! I don’t think I’llever set my virtual foot in the negative ETIAW thread! Compared to some of the older songs, I think ETIAW stands proud in the Coldplay catalogue… To me there’s real passion, and happiness for life that inspires this track, which makes it really enjoyable. I think the track could do without the bit that was sampled… But it goes well with the track, it doesn’t remove anything from it. If Chris wrote ETIAW or was inspired to write after hearing the original song, it makes some sense to include the sampling. That said, I’d like to hear an official version without it. I’m watching the Rock am Ring concert again (it took me 6 hours to download!) and I’m definitely looking forward to Every Teardrop is a Waterfall!! [thanks WH25]

As a Coldplay fan, I find this single very disappointing. This is weak, way under Coldplay’s full potential, so is Chris’ singing. It’s as if they only want to please the people who listen to hit radio and be number 1 in the hit lists. I was wrong at first by comparing ETIAW to gorgeous songs they made before, such as Spies, AROBTTH, Trouble and I Ran Away, songs that don’t use (catchy) melody samples that aren’t even their own (something they shouldn’t need at all). I was afraid they would be going this “big band with big hits” way. While I, and many other fans that have been following them for a longer time, am a huge fan mainly because of their moody, stripped down and goosebumps-inducing sound and deep lyrics, and also blowing-away rock, things ETIAW definitely doesn’t have. Now I realise that they can still do it, and ETIAW is just some kind of experiment and it proves that they can do whatever they want, although ETIAW could have been made by any commercial pop band. However that makes me afraid that people who are not fans will know Coldplay as a band that makes stadium-filling big songs, and they are missing out on the real Coldplay. [thanks Tryptophan]

ETIAW is incredible live! There is so much energy in the performance, and they all really seem to love the song. Chris kept smiling and even Guy (who I always find looks very serious on stage!) seemed really into it. It makes it an even better performance when the band is excited about what they are playing! While it may not be a musical masterpiece, it is still far better than half the crap out there. It is an uplifting tune with good lyrics, a catchy melody, and some lovely instrumental bits. It’s going to be fantastic for the festivals this summer as it is fun and easy to dance and sing along to. I think that Coldplay wanted to have some fun with this song, and they have definitely achieved that goal. [thanks Technicolor Sparks]

There is something positive about ETIAW for me. I won’t have to waste $.99 on the song. [thanks the_gloaming09]

My first listen was about a 6-7. Didn’t really know what to think about it. Then I found out about the sampling. Listened a few more times. Kind of grew on me. It sounds like Glass of Water and A Spell A Rebel Yell mixed together. I enjoy the song immensely. Very joyous and well constructed. But I do hope that LP5 will take on a different tone. When I heard the teaser for the chorus bassline, with the Radiohead-esque electronic sound, I was pumped. I’m just hoping for a slightly darker, more serious sound in LP5. A return to form, if you will. [thanks Squish92]

You guys thought Coldplaying’s reaction was intense, did you see what happened when Taiwan’s Parliament heard the song? [thanks matts05]

It is truly a very different and a bit too mainstream sound… I gues there’s nothing wrong with the band wanting to reach a different and bigger crowd. I personally don’t love it, and think is only a very fun summery dancin song, easily forgettable… but I think there’s nothing to be afraid about ’cause all the hard-root fans trully know Coldplay and know that we’ll still have them back…meaning we will hear the regular coldplay sound in the future. So, let them have their moment, it’s O.K. we haven’t lost them. Lyrics, for example, sound tipically deep and meaningful. Kudos for the band, keep up the great work. [thanks starearendil]

“So you can hurt, hurt me bad but still I’ll raise the flag” LOVE this lyric. Also in the beginning it mentions escaping into your favorite song. Who hasn’t done that? I know people have been trashing the lyrics but I think they are beautiful. I think people are stuck on this idea that since it is the new single and it’s been awhile since the last Coldplay release it needs to be a monumental, groundbreaking masterpiece. It’s a good solid song. And whats so wrong with it making people happy? That’s a good thing, the world needs more happiness. [thanks monkeeypantz]

I really dislike the song… First I was like…it’s nothing special but it might work. But now, it’s one of my least favorite Coldplay songs…Probably next to that old song No more keeping my feet on the ground…Which I can’t stand. Anyway… Having heard the other songs on YouTube I really hope that Every Tear won’t be on the album…Or if it is, that it will be a bonus track… Or at least NOT a single. Too lame for the leading single IMO. And yes, it disappoints me that they used the sample very much so! [thanks Strawberry Swinger]

I’m one of the fans who really likes ETIAW. Everyone is definitely allowed his or her opinion, and I can understand why fans who were waiting for the next “Yellow” are disappointed. However, spare some thought for the marketing aspects behind the single’s release. The single is meant to get people – some of whom may never have listened to Coldplay before – interested in the festival shows and in LP5. So the song had to be accessible to the casual listener, and the band went the danceable route to make it so. No, it’s not “Warning Sign” but it’s not crap, either. I have to smile a little and wonder, if media such as this had been around in 1967, we’d have had Beatles fans dissing “Sgt. Pepper” and longing for the times when we had lyrics such as “beep beep and beep beep yeah!” And seeing the videos from last night makes me even more eager for the album! [thanks JillyBlue]

I think the song is the sound of four people playing very tightly together and is actually a magnificent celebration song. If it is indeed the last song on the album, what a great way to end what could still be a rather intimate affair (we have heard only ONE song!). Also, in understanding Chris’ statement about making a final push to be the biggest band in the world, I think they have succeeded in making an organic sounding, yet large, pop song along the lines of U2. Love the energy, and am completely intrigued by their promotion (or lack thereof) for the album. Bands get tired of their tour/record cycle and want to switch up their sound and their strategy. They have redesigned everything, from stage, to clothes, to sound, and haven’t spoken one word about it like in previous campaigns. They dont need to repeat themselves or build hype after months of magazines and reporters living with them at the studio in building to the album release. They will simply let the music speak for itself. When a band the size of Coldplay say they want an album to come out with less fan fair, it’s hard to imagine how, but somehow, in typical Coldplay style, they have achieved just that. A large affair without any fan fair! Kanye tried this promotion style with his last album and in some respects it failed, the gamble didn’t work out with regards to album sales. But Google Coldplay and see how many sites are making the story up for the band. They haven’t had to do interviews with anyone and yet EVERY music source is writing long articles about the new single and forthcoming album. They are already getting all the promotion they need. It will be interesting to see if this works out for Coldplay. I hope it does. Good job boys. Haters gon hate! [thanks joshtimo]

It sounds so forced. they’re trying so hard to make this ridiculous dance epic summer singalong that will make everyone happy, but they tried to hard to do that instead of just making music the natural way it feels like they have the past four albums. this is so much more processed / commercialized sounding. I love the album Viva, along with all their other albums, and the song Viva was my least favorite on that album, it was popppish but at leassst it was original! That song sounds so much better now!!! [thanks Eh Steve!]

I think the reason why I am so disappointed with it is because I was expecting it be something it wasn’t. I first was thinking it could be something along the lines of acoustic, because as you said matts05, Chris has said the new album would be along the lines of intimate, and acoustic. The next thing I was thinking the song might be was a “punkish” song. I just got that kinda feel from the Artwork for the song, and the pictures of the band in the new clothes. But instead we got a dance song.. I guess I was just too hyped from all the little teasers the band put out weeks prior. I applaud the band for going down a new path. I tend to enjoy things that are new, and fresh. Thats why I loved VLV so much. It was a new sound, to a familiar structure of songs the band are well known for. I always loved Coldplay for singing about big things in life. Talking about the good, the bad, and the mysterious. This song talks about dancing the night away.. (Hmmm). I think this song will always be known for one of their biggest mistakes, like it or not. This song is just not my cup of tea. [thanks The Joker]

I am baffled as well. I like it. Is it The Scientist? No. Is it Clocks? No. But it’s really, really catchy, and that’s what Chris is best at, giving us songs to hum and sing along with. No, he doesn’t write Arcade Fire type lyrics. But give him a break. Will it be on the album? We don’t know, but I think Coldplay fans saying they’re going to give up the band completely if it’s on the album is a bit shortsighted. It’s ONE SONG, people. Enjoy it, dance to it, exercise to it, listen while you’re driving (Chris writes great driving songs). It’s really not that bad. We’re still Coldplay fans, after all. [thanks kittybitty]

I don’t totally dislike the song. That said, what a real fan does in my opinion is trusting the guys, that does not mean welcoming whatever they release as if it was gold even when it’s not that good, but thinking that if they wrote that song they had their reasons, be trying sth different, having a festival tune, or whatever, they had sth to express. I really can’t understand those who question their skills in such a dramatic way for ONE song that they don’t like, especially because the other new songs show the guys are still great. [thanks Steph589]

At first I was incredibly skeptical, maybe because I had built up the return to an unimaginable level, so I voted it a 6, maybe a low 7. After repeated listening, each time raising the volume just a tad bit louder, I would give it a solid 9. It’s not a Yellow or CLocks…yet. I disliked Violet Hill when it first came out, but after listening to it in the context of the entire album, I fell in love with it, so maybe that’s how it will become with this song. Also, Coldplay stated a while back that the album would be about Spray Paint Art…and Nazis. I actually listened to this song, picturing war refugees in Germany during WW2, and their expressions toward the war ending, and being able to sing and dance again. Their teardrops were a waterfall, but they were free, and thus joyous and hopeful. It’s not the Coldplay I’m accustomed to, but I do like it, and with each listen I like it more and more. [thanks danmets21]

I’m also no big fan of this song. So happy that the other new songs played at the festivals are way better than this one. I would also agree that it is the most flat song Coldplay ever made….I think Coldplay just did this track to jump onto the dance trend in popular music and as a seller for the new album. It does not even come close to Viva la vida, although I always considered this to be one of their worse songs. ETIAW starts in the beginning with this awful sample which I always associate with Verona Feldbusch (German fans will understand). Afterwards the verses always repeat this “stolen” melody, the vocals are not interesting, it is overproduced etc.. Yeah, live it functions a bit better but that does not change the fact that it will be on the studio album and sound very cheesy. The only things I appreciate about this song are the drums at the end and that it will be the final track on the album so I don’t have to skip! [thanks Sparks22]

Media reviews

“Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall”: B+ (Boston Herald)

Chris Martin does it again. He gives force to wimp music, beauty to base pop and the world another Coldplay anthem. The first bit of new music from Coldplay’s as-yet-untitled fifth album, an expected fall release, continues the band’s journey away from its dark, mopey Radiohead roots and toward the bright, modern universalism of U2. It also, oddly (and apparently intentionally) lifts the hook from Peter Allen’s “I Go to Rio.” Basically, the boys are joyous. And so is this stadium-rock track. “I turn the music up, I got my records on, I shut the world outside until the lights come on,” Martin sings over buoyant synths, ringing guitar and big drums. You can feel the love and hear the band’s next chart-topper all at once. [7]

“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is as sappy as its name suggests, and that’s great” (The Atlantic)

Chris Martin has a cold. Just listen to the guy. His vowels are long and thickly exhaled. His consonants are swallowed. That soft, nasal chest voice breaks every few words into an apologetic, crackling falsetto. There is a kind of permanent head cold in Martin’s voice and outlook, which might explain why he writes so much about feeling sorry for himself and finding cures. I was lost, I was lost oh yeah, but everything’s not lost, and I will try to fix you and also, stars. That is every Coldplay song in a sentence. Or, it used to be. Four years ago, the band teamed up with superproducer Brian Eno to make a record, Viva La Vida, that forced Martin and his bandmates to shrug off their mopiness. Sighing syths were replaced by rougher reverb, and symbol-crashing choruses gave way to primal thumps. The critics had a point: You can smear mud on sentimentalist sap, but you’re still dealing with sentimental sap. Even so, Eno convinced the group to drop the in-the-gutter-looking-at-the-stars motif and act like a rock band.

And today, the gang is back. Coldplay’s latest single, the dreadfully named “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” begins undreadfully. An angelic synth swell lays the foundation for a jangly electric piano riff that sounds like what you would get if Animal Collective remixed Peter Allen’s 1976 song “I Go to Rio” (thanks to Village Voice for the sharp eyes on the song credit, which lists Allen as a co-writer). Then everything gets very Coldplay. Martin’s voice, throaty and self-assured, kicks off a talk-sing verse. A guitar line takes the bluegrassy twiddle-diddle from the band’s “Strawberry Swing” and adds a few extra diddles. The monosyllabic thump of the kickdrum that dominated Viva La Vida comes back with clubby untz. There is a battle-hymn quality to the melody, a marching insistence that gamely sets up a chorus written to be sung and heard in a rock hall.

Must we talk about the lyrics? It will not surprise you to learn that a song titled “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” does not hold up well to textual analysis. As darkness is to Conrad, light is to Martin: He is pathologically incapable of writing two stanzas without multiple references to lights, stars, skies, or other bright shiny things guiding him, always, “home.” In the first two verses of “Every Teardrop,” we get two lights, one heaven, and one morning (Coldplay bingo!). There are “cathedrals in my heart,” and “every siren is a symphony,” and it’s all pretty horrible if you stop and think about it. But the point is, don’t stop and think about it. Martin’s words are more like percussion than prose, marking time, filling space, distinguishing verses and choruses. Listening to Coldplay for the lyrics is like reading a book for the page numbers. Insist on doing so and you’re missing the real work. Everything that Coldplay does is big. Even the “small” songs are stadium anthems. But the crux of Coldplay’s talent–yes, talent–is subtler than the music sounds. It is, very simply, melody. Or better yet, finding the balance between predictability and surprise that characterizes most successful melodies. Hundreds of bands play wistful choruses over the same four chords and don’t get much further than the garage or local bar. Most of them fail because their melodies are crap.

Chris Martin might be a soggy trunk of sap, but he is genetically incapable of writing abstruse melodies. They draw clear lines. They take a shape. They pose a question, and they give a satisfying answer. They open the chord and resolve the fleeting dissonance, and it’s all done deftly enough that the hook comes into focus just as it’s ending. Is this song any good? It’s a Coldplay song–a carefully orchestrated, melodically solid, hands-to-the-sky, all-around rousing rock anthem about, literally, crying. Does that make any sense? Of course not. Is that description abhorrent to you? Me, too. Which is why I’m carefully monitoring the volume on my earphones to make sure nobody hears me hitting the repeat button again, and again, and again. [8]

Coldplay take inspiration from Australian songwriter on comeback track (NME)

Coldplay’s long awaited comeback single ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’, which you can hear by scrolling down and clicking at the bottom of the page, takes a sample from Australian 1970s songwriter Peter Allen’s single ‘I Go To Rio’, the band have confirmed.

The track, which you can hear below, was released in 1976 on Allen’s fourth album ‘Taught By Experts’ and has since been covered by a number of high profile artists, including Peggy Lee. Allen, who died in 1992, enjoyed a successful music career in the 1970s and 1980s, releasing over ten solo albums. He has also seen his songs covered by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield and Olivia Newton-John. Coldplay have credited Allen as a songwriter on the list of writers for ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ on their official website, possibly as an extra precaution after they were sued by Joe Satriani in December 2008 over claims they plagiarized his 2004 track ‘If I Could Fly’ for their 2008 single ‘Viva La Vida’. The case was settled out of court. [9]

New Coldplay! And It’s AMAZING!!!!!!!! (Perez Hilton)

Wow. Wow. Wow. Chris and the boys really hit it out of the park! Not just a homerun but a grand slam! After a bit of a break in between albums, their brand new single is such a powerful, instant, undeniable, huge, global hit. It feels sooooo good on the ears! We can’t stop listening!!!! Coldplay at its best!!! [10]

New Song: Coldplay, ‘Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall’ (MTV)

Modern rock behemoths Coldplay just previewed the first single off their upcoming Brian Eno-produced fifth studio album, and it’s every bit as soaring as we’ve come to expect from the band. It begins with an airy riff taken from the 1976 song “I Go To Rio” by Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen, and spins it into something uniquely inspirational. Eno’s influence shows, as do echoes of U2 and solo-era Sting. The lyrics are intimate, describing the singer’s inner state as he listens to music and contemplates life: “I turn the music up, I’ve got my records on, I shut the world outside until the lights come on,” Chris Martin sings, meditatively. But as the song picks up, with grand orchestration and a recurring, triumphant guitar lick, you get the sense you’re being let in on something much more universal as he croons “every tear is a waterfall.”

We’re not totally sure what Martin could have to cry about (with multiple accolades, beautiful children and a movie star wife, his life seems pretty good), but I guess we all feel bummed sometimes. In any case, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” has major summer smash potential, so teary waterfalls, be gone, Coldplay! [11]

Coldplay’s New Single is Streaming, And So Are Chris Martin’s Tears (The L Magazine)

Sometimes things with stupid names are not as bad as they seem. Sometimes things with stupid names are great, despite their stupid names. And one should never judge a book, a song or a person by its stupid name because that would be narrow-minded and callous, right? Wrong. Well, wrong for today. Coldplay’s new single, “Every Tear is a Waterfall” is streaming from their website, and it is precisely as shmaltzy and terrible as it sounds.

The lyrics speak for themselves. From them, and what we can gather, this is how it came about: Chris Martin was sitting in his darkened apartment, listening to his records and crying. Then he decided to write a song about the experience. And that is how “Every Tear is a Waterfall” happened. How did this happen? How can this have passed through the hands of the band, the record label, the industry execs without someone going, “Uh, what?” And who decided this was good? Because if it was wifey and (apparently) now-country-singer Gwyneth Paltrow, that would be cause for real tears.

Coldplay has had some good songs with artistic integrity. They have. And great, transformative, era-making music has come out of musicians’ “blue” periods (i.e. Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, the list goes on). This is not one of those. Words fail. Listen for yourself. [12]

Coldplay in ‘not actually rubbish new song shocker’ (Holy Moly)

It’s all gone a bit rave-tastic. Well, a bit. It’s been a day for musical surprises, first Kaiser Chiefs released an album that you have to build yourself. Then we found out that Christina Aguilera and Adam Lambert were recording a duet* and then Coldplay released a new single, just like that. And we didn’t hate it. It’s not going to change the world, but once you’ve cleared the vomit from your mouth that arose when you read the title: Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, you have to admit, this is a pomposity free, pleasantly spangly tune. Could do without the bits where he goes “ooh!” though. There’s no need for the bits where he goes “ooh!”. It’s crying out for a banging Tony Lamezma remix, isn’t it? [13]

Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall, Guys: The Wisdom of Coldplay (Riverfront Times)

There’s a strange interview lurking somewhere in the unpopulated regions of the Internet in which Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher calls Coldplay singer Chris Martin a “plant pot.” It’s a weird thing to say for more than one obvious reason: What actually is a plant pot? Should Chris be offended? Would he even care? How many people actually listen to Liam’s insults? Does any of this make sense?

The answers, after considerable deliberation, are as follows: I’m guessing just a pot for a plant, probably not, probably not, few and no. The last answer is the most important because it also applies to pretty much the entirety of the pot plant’s band’s new song, the tongue-out-of-cheek “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall.” Fortune cookie title aside, the song is the current zenith of two years of fans and skeptics waiting to hear what comes after Viva La Vida, which was produced by Brian Eno and significantly altered the band’s aesthetic and its crossover success. The aggressively low-pressure jam was released to Americans — the band’s fellow Brits have to wait another day — early this morning and, let’s be real, it’s groundbreaking. The early rise was worth it for the moments of stunning lyrical clarity, found in pure, Shakespearean lines such as, “I’d rather be a comma than a full stop” (Who wouldn’t?) and, “Maybe I’m the gap between the two trapezes” (Woah).The best part of that last one is that it functions as a rhyme with “knees.”

The single clocks in at exactly four minutes, which means you can listen to it fifteen times per hour, depending upon your speed at clicking “Play” and your knowledge of the Repeat option. At the very least, you have a minimum of fourteen chances an hour, and you probably should be doing that for at least three hours today in order to truly plumb the plant pot’s depth. As you listen to the song, we recommend making predictions for the full album, debating Chris Martin’s expression in the new press photos and considering the literal and figurative implications of every teardrop actually being a freakin’ waterfall. Shit gets deep. [14]

First song off their upcoming album finds the band in full-on uplift mode (MTV)

“You probably didn’t need that second cup of coffee Friday (June 3) morning if you heard Coldplay’s caffeinated new single, “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” It premiered while most of us here in the States were just waking up and is certainly the kind of tune that can jump-start a day. Vaguely trance-y, slightly meditative and most definitely sunny, “Teardrop” is basically four minutes of pure, unadulterated uplift. Beginning with shimmering synth stokes, building steam on guitars both strummed and bent skyward and kicking into high gear on a thumping, four-on-the-floor house beat, it is a song in a state of constant build, growing more massive with each passing second. It’s a single more eye-opening than a snoot-full of arabica. Frontman Chris Martin matches the wide-screen sonics with his lilting vocals, hitting the (many) “woah-oh-ohs” with aplomb and delivering refrains (“I turn the music up/ I got my records on”) with a wiry persistence. The latter only adds to the song’s dreamlike feel; the lines almost seem like a contemplative prayer, their repetition like layers in an ever-growing mantra that eventually leads to some sort of higher consciousness. The funny thing is, those lyrics — which are all about finding solace in music and strength in self — are also incredibly insular, and when paired with the unapologetically over-the-top music, they create a rather interesting dichotomy: This is, one can assume, a deeply personal song that Martin wrote for … everybody in the entire world.

Then again, that’s seemingly the only way Coldplay do things, and “Teardrop” is certainly a worthy addition to their inspirational songbook. It also seems to fit the theme of their still-untitled new album, which Martin described as being “about life, the good stuff, the bad stuff, everything.” And really, how can you sum up their brand-new single any better than that? So if I’m being a tad too professorial in my assessment of “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall,” you’ll have to forgive me … I guess I really miss that second cup of coffee.” [15]

Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall (Rolling Stone)

Chris Martin says Coldplay’s upcoming album is influenced by old-school New York graffiti, and in a recent photo the bandmates are dressed in neon chillwear like they just walked off the set of Breakin’ 3: A Brit-Pop Odyssey. But the first single doesn’t go for the sound of early hip-hop so much as its sense of year-zero possibility. Over a rave-tinged keyboard melody, leavened by producer Brian Eno’s rainforest-of-the-soul ambience, Martin sings of kids dancing until morning and heaven inside his headphones. When the drums kick in fully, it moves like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by way of the Velvets’ “Sunday Morning,” a flag-waving ode to change-as-inspiration: “I’d rather be a comma than a full stop,” Martin sings. Coming from a guy whose critics take him for a human exclamation point, it’s a welcome sentiment. 3.5/5. [16]

Coldplay, ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ – Song Review (Popcrush)

Coldplay‘s brand new single ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ is as big as its title suggests. It is not a ballad, but an uplifting, room-filling Brit pop song laced with the band’s rock ‘n’ roll edge. While Coldplay have endured plenty of Radiohead comparisons throughout their career, they’ve turned the corner here, going for stadium-sized hooks a la U2 with this bold, bright, guitar-driven new song that is steered by Martin’s inimitable voice. Thanks to its massive size and scope, the four-minute monster more than makes up for all the time fans had to wait for new music from the band.

At about the three-minute mark, ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ balloons with layered harmonies and faster guitar work. It’s as though vocalist (and Gwyneth Paltrow baby daddy) Chris Martin wrote the song with the express intent of performing in a stadium or at the Olympics. (Ahem — the 2012 Olympics will be held in London, so…) When Martin sings, “I turn the music / I got my records on / I shut the world outside until the lights come on / Maybe the streets alright / Maybe the trees are gone / I feel my heart start beating to my favorite song,” he pulls us into his world, where everything around you fades into the background while you focus on what you hear in your headphones. Speaking of which, you will pick up all the nuances of sound via a pair of earbuds. The song doesn’t fade out, either. It ends on a percussive note. You’ll want to listen to it over and over again. It’s a gorgeous mix of Coldplay’s knack for pretty melodies mixed with some escalating guitar work, despite not being nearly as polished as the band’s previous pop songs. The song comes in like a lion and goes out like one, too! 4/5 stars. [17]

The Singles Bar: Coldplay, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (Popdust)

It’s pretty simple, actually—if you like Coldplay, you’ll like this song. (And if not, what are you doing jumping to listen to a Coldplay song the day it gets released, anyway?) It’s got that big, stadium filling drum-and-guitar sound, a fantastically evocative synth intro (which reminds of Alice Deejay’s “Better Off Alone” to our ears, but then again, so does everything) and a crowd-pleasing, hands-in-the-air lyric about the almighty power of music (“I turn the music up / I got my records on / I shut the world outside / Until the music’s gone”). It gets bigger and more anthemic as it goes for its four-minute running time, and then suddenly it’s over. It’s thrills are far from unpredictable, but after the band’s two-year absence, you might be surprised as to how welcome they are nonetheless. Truth told, the compact swell of “Every Teardrop” doesn’t even sound so much like a comeback single as it does a concert opener, something to announce the band’s presence before delving into the real hits. But if so, we can’t wait for the rest of the gig—over a decade after their mainstream breakthrough, and with endless imitators in their wake, it’s as true now as ever that nobody does Coldplay as well as Coldplay themselves. POPDUST SAYS: 3.5/5 [18]

Music Review: Coldplay – “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” Single

Coldplay has released a new single which will be on their upcoming, as yet untitled fifth studio album. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” still retains their signature pop-rock sound, but yet is refreshingly new-and old at the same time, with electronic elements and Coldplay-esque production style (Brian Eno and Rik Simpson return as the production team). The song begins with the rave-like synthesizer riff, over a swimming pad. Chris Martin then comes in with rousing lyrics: “I turn the music up, I got my records on/I shut the world outside until the lights come on.” The words certainly make me want to get out under the sun and just party the day away. Cue the electric guitar intro riff, which is not too impressive. But I’ll let that slide. The pounding kick drums give “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” its anthemic quality. Each beat of the drum calls listeners to pump their fists in the air in unison to the rhythm of the song. The lyrics are not poetic or deep in any sense of the word, but yet are able to reach into the very soul of the listener. The repetitive synth lines and guitar strumming and “dance-rock” beat isn’t the most complicated. But it is the simplicity of the song and perhaps Chris Martin’s stretched “oohs” that resonate so much with me. I’m not really a huge fan of Coldplay, but this song makes me excited to hear what it has to offer in their upcoming album.[19]

Stereoboard: Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (Single Review)

The extent to which you appreciate the vibrant new Coldplay single can perhaps be gauged by objectivity. The band’s latest tunes, showcased at Rock AM Ring this week, have been received in ‘rapturous’ fashion according to one of their roadies. Meanwhile, you won’t have to search too hard on social networks to find the naysayers: “this one is ripping off so-and-so…”; “they want to be U2…” so on, so forth. Somewhat predictably then, the truth is that the ironically named ‘Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall’ is somewhere in the middle. Coldplay are far from bland, and whether you loved or hated Viva la Vida (and it’s needlessly long title), you had to admire their willingness to progress as a group. However, whichever way you look at it, this latest single is further proof that although Martin and co certainly don’t lack fear in regards to experimentation, their song writing can leave something to be desired. Lyrically, there’s some very clumsy stuff here, “Don’t want to see another generation drop/I’d rather be a comma than a full stop” being a particular culprit. The main melodic idea, mainly synth-based, is also a little uninteresting (even grating), but it does give Jonny Buckland a chance to shine with his underrated skills on the guitar. Once Chris Martin’s repetitive vocals disappear into the mix around halfway through, the track begins to pick up momentum, before its frustratingly abrupt finish. Some bands are well suited to this proclaimed role of ‘stadium kings’; just look at where Muse are. Coldplay are arguably even bigger, having played arenas across the world themselves for a good part of a decade, and there is no doubt that the anthemic nature of this track is very deliberate. ‘Every Teardrop…’ is far too linear to be considered alongside pop classics ‘Yellow’ and the Buckley-esque ‘Shiver’ (I still consider the latter to be their best song). Maybe it would be unfair to say that Coldplay have regressed, especially as this is the poorest of the new songs. But hey, let’s be objective: Coldplay are not the new U2, and they’re certainly not the new Radiohead, but they can definitely do better than this. [20]

Coldplay’s “Waterfall” Explores New Rhythmic Territory

Here’s the standard critical take on Coldplay’s new track, their first hint at their upcoming fifth album: Think really hard about every line, every word, every implication of every lyric and note. Prattle on about the transparent silliness of its lyrics, its lightweight, bouncy tune, its needless final measures–is drummer Will Champion just out to show us he can bang sticks on drumheads? And those lyrics–ugh! More clichés, more rhymes thrown carelessly together, more disjointed phrases stacked one on the other, a towering mess of poetic amateurism! Following this method, though, seems to miss the forest of Coldplay’s intent for the trees of their method. Let me explain. “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” is somewhat of a trap for Coldplay’s ever-present critics: the song bears its faults and shallowness so proudly that to bemoan them turns the joke on you. This is breezy, beautiful stuff, from the pulsing opening riff to the obligatory “ohhh ohhhs” of the final chorus. Chris Martin surely knows how to write things more weighty than this, yet he went the summer party route. No doubt his band’s busy festival season partly inspired that, but there’s something else going on here. It’s a thumbing of the nose at snobbery; a gutsy move, a kind of musical Light Brigade. Being a spectator never sounded so lovely. So what actually IS happening on this song? Well, those hoping for another “Speed of Sound” are in for disappointment. I regret to inform you, this is not a masterpiece. There’s plenty of fun to be had here, though, especially in the rhythm section where Mr. Martin has apparently handed over some of the creative
duties to bassist Guy Berryman and Champion. The martial stomp of “Waterfall” continues in the theme of Viva la Vida‘s “Lovers in Japan“, a delightful number quite similar to this newest single. This is a song to power your summer misadventures, particularly those accomplished on the open road. If you’re looking for pearls of sage wisdom, look elsewhere.[21]

The Oracle on Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

The Official Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall symbol

February 4, 2014 – submitted by Anna, Denmark

Q. Hey there!

I saw the ETIAW question and wondered, if the building from the music video is the same as the one from Fluorescent Adolescent by Arctic Monkeys?

And if so, was the location chosen to make some kind of connection between the two?


The Oracle replies:

Yes it’s the same location but no there is absolutely no connection other than it’s Millennium Mills and frequently used as a location for film, TV and music videos.

One of which was my favourite Snow Patrol song’s video, Take Back the City.

October 10, 2012 – submitted by Lindajarousi, Finland

Q. Hi. My friend seems to think there’s a bagpipe in Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. She claims it’s a bagpipe when Jon plays solo with electric guitar. She was so certain about her being right that I got suspicious, so please tell us whether it’s a bagpipe or a guitar. Thanks a lot.

The Oracle replies:

Bagpipes? Wow, I’ve never been asked that before or heard anyone mistake the guitar for them. Now I listen again, I can sort of see why your friend could think that but no, there are no bagpipes on that track or any other Coldplay song.

August 20, 2012 – submitted by Daniel, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle. I love how you’ve adopted the graffiti art form for the album. I was particularly interested in the music video for Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall which uses large quantities of graffiti. My question is, when you filmed the video at Millennium Mills, London, did you leave the graffiti behind, or was it just CGI? Thanks!

The Oracle replies:

The graffiti was real but no, it wasn’t left behind. The grafitti was removed by a team as each new shot was being set up.

Read more here.

April 10, 2012 – submitted by Ellie, United Kingdom

Q. In the building where ETIAW was filmed, was the graffiti kept on the walls, or did it have to be washed off?

The Oracle replies:

I have never been to the filming location as it’s behind a Private Property sign but a friend of mine who lives close by informs me that evidence of the video is left behind though not all of the graffiti remains.

October 6, 2011 – submitted by Colleen, France

Q. Hello oracle, I just happened to see the ETIAW video on a French TV music channel and the composing was credited to “Berryman” … I thought it was a strange way to put it, without the first name ! And was it only written by Guy ?? Thank you 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Song credits are usually listen by surname in alphabetical order (or full name in surname alphabetical order) which means Guy would be the first writer to be credited followed by Jonny, Will & Chris. I’m not sure why they only listed Guy but assume it’s because he is first in the credit roll but it should actually read Berryman, Buckland, Champion, Martin.

July 11, 2011 – submitted by Will, United States of America

Q. Good afternoon, Oracle!

Where was the music video for ETIAW filmed? I noticed at the beginning of the video one of the buildings looked awfully familiar to the Sears tower in Chicago.


The Oracle replies:

I can’t confirm where the opening shot is exactly, but yeah, it is actually somewhere in America. The rest is London’s Docklands as previously mentioned.

July 4, 2011 – submitted by Elise, France

Q. Dear Oracle,

I heard that ETIAW official’s clip was filming in Paris ? Is it true ? If it is, when the guys were filming and where was it exactly in Paris ?

Thanks a lot for your answer,

Best wishes.

The Oracle replies:

No, I think you may have misunderstood the reference to Paris in Roadie #42’s blog. It was referring to the graffiti artist whose name is Paris. It was filmed in London’s Docklands area.

June 16, 2011 – submitted by Amio, United Kingdom

Q. Would you explain a little about ETIAW video?

What is the sign that Phil has uploaded about the video?

The Oracle replies:

I love the way fans are hungry to know every single solitary last detail about what the band are doing but all I can tell you is the video – featuring the band – was shot at Docklands on Tuesday/Wednesday this week. I promise once you’ve seen it, I will tell you more. The photo that appeared was taken at the shoot so gives a hint of the feel.

June 9, 2011 – submitted by Daniel, Canada

Q. Dear Oracle

I really need to know, have Coldplay lost their touch? I know that they’ve collaborated with Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson to write Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, but do they now need to rely on other people writing their music for them? Is this the direction the band is headed?

The Oracle replies:

Er, Peter Allen is dead so that’s impossible! There has been NO collaboration. I don’t think people are quite understanding the song’s composition. To clarify: Chris was inspired to write Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall after hearing some chords in a nightclub scene in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film Biutiful (2010).

The chords in the film are part of a track that is based on I Go To Rio written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson, released by Peter Allen in 1976. If you look at a clip on YouTube you’ll hear the chords for yourself.

As for other people asking if Ritmo de la Noche by The Sacados should also be credited the answer is “no”. Firstly, that is a cover of Chocolate’s song by the same name who sampled I Go To Rio. Secondly, they both came later in 1990 so hopefully they should have credited Peter & Adrienne.

June 6, 2011 – submitted by Bowen, United States of America

Q. Hey Oracle!

I watched the live stream of Rock Am Ring on Saturday and loved all of it, the boys reminded me why they’re my favorite band in the world. All the new songs are great.

I know that someone has said that there will be “no video” for ETIAW. So I guess my question is two-fold. First, why not? And second, does this mean that it isn’t the lead single from LP5 (or even will be on it)? Thanks Oracle, you rock!


The Oracle replies:

As you rightly notice there is no video – at the moment. That doesn’t mean that whoever told you there’ll be “no video” is correct. There MAY be a video. There may not. Oooh I’m annoying aren’t I? It must appear that everything is shrouded in secrecy right now but it’s not meant to be.

I just want to clear up that no album track listing has been announced so whether ETIAW appears on the album remains to be seen and is not for me to speculate upon. Until the album is mastered and totally ready it would be pointless.

ETIAW is a single. It’s irrelevant whether it’s a lead single or not as the album is still a while off. A single does not have relate to an album or appear on one, it can stand alone (as Christmas Lights did) but that doesn’t mean that it will or won’t.

Ah sorry for being slightly cryptic guys, you know I couldn’t say even if I knew (which I don’t).

May 31, 2011 – submitted by Lucy, United Kingdom

Q. Can’t wait for the new song on Friday. But I’m baffled as to why it’s not available to the UK first? Were we not the fans that put them on the map in the first place? Do the loyal British fans not matter to the boys anymore?! Sob!

The Oracle replies:

The UK chart week runs from 00:01 Sunday to midnight Saturday so that is the reason behind a slightly later release on our home shores.


I turn the music up, I got my records on
I shut the world outside until the lights come on
Maybe the streets alight, maybe the trees are gone
I feel my heart start beating to my favourite song

And all the kids they dance, all the kids all night
Until Monday morning feels another life
I turn the music up
I’m on a roll this time
And heaven is in sight

I turn the music up, I got my records on
From underneath the rubble sing a rebel song
Don’t want to see another generation drop
I’d rather be a comma than a full stop

Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees
Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes
But my heart is beating and my pulses start
Cathedrals in my heart

And we saw oh this light I swear you, emerge blinking into
To tell me it’s alright
As we soar walls, every siren is a symphony
And every tear’s a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh
Is a is a waterfall
Every tear
Is a waterfall
Oh oh oh

So you can hurt, hurt me bad
But still I’ll raise the flag

It was a wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall
A wa wa wa wa wa-aterfall

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall

Every tear
Every tear
Every teardrop is a waterfall

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Shiver artwork

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.


  • 9 Lyrics

Chart history

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 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.'”


On later legs of the A Rush of Blood to the Head Tour, the song was dropped from the setlist. The band has joked that they have grown tired of playing it for the past seven years. [1]

In 2003, Shiver was featured on Coldplay’s live album Live 2003.[20]

Track listing

Music video

“Shiver” music video

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


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

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
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

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


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Hurts Like Heaven

Hurts Like Heaven single artworkHurts Like Heaven artwork, as seen in the pop-up version of the Mylo Xyloto album

Hurts Like Heaven is the second track of Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay’s fifth album released on 24th October 2011, and also the last single of the album, released on 6th August 2011. The accompanying video to the song was released on 8th October 2012, following a weekend of smaller promotion video releases obtained through the Xperia Lounge website.


  • 6 Lyrics (official)

First introduction

Further to the November 2010 Q article[1] revealing the inspiration behind Coldplay’s fifth album being old school American graffiti and anti-Nazi movements, Chris Martin spoke to The Sun about some of the tracks within said album.

Aside from song titles beginning with the letter U, Chris revealed there are tracks slated for inclusion on the album including Hurts Like Heaven and Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall, which will likely be the album closer. Describing the sound, Chris added that guitarist Jonny Buckland is coming into his own. He said: “‘Hurts Like Heaven’ is all Jonny. It only has two chords. The songs are group-y, its guitar-y. Jonny is coming out of his cocoon. We’re just trying some risky things.”

Chris said: “We’re hungry and very fired up. In five years we’ll be in our late 30s. You have to have your best work done by then. I’m trying to make sure there are three songs that start with the same letter. On the last album it was L. It might be U this time. One of them is Up With The Birds. It might be a duet, but we don’t know who with yet.”


In the article by Q Magazine published on 10th October 2011 entitled “First Impressions of… Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto”[2] they wrote: “The first track proper sets the tone for the rest of Mylo Xyloto, bursting in with an up’n’at’em urgency. The melodies, like the title, are a nod to the ’80s heroes they so successfully channeled on A Rush Of Blood To The Head, the Cure and Echo And The Bunnymen’s influence looming large as Chris Martin sings like he’s in a hurry; “I’m strangled with the feeling that my life isn’t mine” sings the most brilliantly neurotic man in music, Jonny Buckland’s guitars still set to the cosmic sparkle sound of the opener. The chorus – “you use your heart as a weapon/And it hurts like heaven” – is as upliftingly bittersweet as Robert Smith & co.’s best pop songs, whilst the “whoa oh oh” bridge provides the record’s first stadium-singalong moment.”

First performance

Coldplay first performed Hurts Like Heaven at a friends and family gig at The Forum, Kentish Town, London on 31st May 2011. They then continued to play it at the summer festival dates of 2011, beginning at Rock im Park Festival, Nürnberg, Germany (3rd June 2011), and again at Rock am Ring the following day (see below) [3]

The live performance of Hurts Like Heaven is synonymous with the appearance of the “Fuzzy Man” which was first seen on Coldplay’s YouTube channel, ColdplayTV in the lead up to the online and radio release of Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall. The instrumental song MX (Mylo Xyloto) has so far always preceded Hurts Like Heaven.

Music Video

Coldplay posted a 30 second teaser trailer on Twitter for their “Hurts like Heaven’ music video on the evening of Friday 5th October 2012. “The next single from Mylo Xyloto will be ‘Hurts Like Heaven’,” they tweeted. “Full video coming on Monday – watch the trailer now…”

The clip featured comic book style animation set to a futuristic dsytopian storyline and does not feature the band. Digital Spy described it as: “The futuristic animation contains flashes of neon, which have become the band’s trademark over the course of Mylo Xyloto’s promotions. The story also appears to feature male and female protagonists who, according to briefly displayed captions, fight a villain named ‘Major Minus’ and his army of ‘silencers’.[4]

Shortly after the preview clip was posted, Coldplayers found three more videos from the Xperia Lounge website that were made available as MP4 downloads, as follows: Hurts Like Heaven promo video[5], Storyboard video[6] and the Making of Hurts Like Heaven video[7].

The Oracle on Hurts Like Heaven

The offical Hurts Like Heaven symbol

August 8, 2012 – submitted by Greg, United States of America

Q. I was watching some early live versions of Hurts Like Heaven like this and Chris sang the part “On every street, every car, every surface are names” in a different way. And he seemed to do this for little while until changing it soon after the beginning of the festival tour last year.

The Oracle replies:

I just realized this isn’t a question so it’s not going to be an answers as er, yes, you’re right. Chris often does this; he may change either the way he sings or the lyrics as the tour goes on.

August 16, 2011 – submitted by Matthew, United Kingdom

Q. I know you can’t talk about it, but this concerns Hurts Like Heaven. With the album being announced and the billboard story, there’s a massive thing going around that HLH won’t make it to the album. Why?! It seems to be THE song for the album, and ties in with everything that has been promoted so far (running man, graffiti, opening song to the concerts!, etc). It’s my (and a lot of others) favorite song so far, and I guess that all I want is for Coldplay to know what a great song they have here, and that it deserves to be on Mylo Xyloto. I know you know nothing of final track listing, and you can’t say anything to us; but is there the chance that you can let the boys know that this song deserves everything it can get for the album? Thanks from a lot of fans.

The Oracle replies:

I have to say I think it’s great that you – and others – are worried that it won’t be on the album because you’ve heard it and love it but trust me, whether it does or doesn’t won’t matter when the album comes out. You’re right I can’t say but I will tell you a story. Just before X&Y was finished I heard that Talk was going to be left off. I felt I had to step in so texted Chris. The next thing I knew, it was being mixed and included on the album. Hand on heart I don’t know the tracklisting right now but if I did and Hurts Like Heaven wasn’t on, I wouldn’t text about it. I absolutely LOVE the song but I have faith that this is the album the band wanted to make and want to release so that’s good enough for me.

Lyrics (official)

The “Fuzzy Man” features in the live version of Hurts Like Heaven
Written in graffiti on a bridge in a park
‘Do you ever get the feeling that you’re missing the mark?’
It’s so cold it’s so cold
It’s so cold it’s so cold
Written up in marker on a factory sign
‘I struggle with the feeling that my life isn’t mine’
It’s so cold it’s so cold
It’s so cold it’s so cold
See the arrow they shot
Trying to tear us apart
Take the fire from my belly and the beat from my heart
Still I won’t let go
Still I won’t let go

Oh you- ooh ooh
Cos you do
Oh You use your heart as a weapon
And it hurts like heaven

On every street every car every surface a name
Tonight the streets are ours
And we’re writing and saying
Don’t let em take control
No we won’t let em take control
Yes I feel a little bit nervous
Yes I feel nervous and I cannot relax
How come they’re out to get us
How come they’re out when they don’t know the facts
So on a concrete canvas under cover of dark
On a concrete canvas I’ll go making my mark
Armed with a spraycan soul
I’ll be armed with a spraycan soul
And you ooh ooh
You ooh ooh
Cos you use your heart as a weapon
And it hurts like heaven

Woah oh oh oh, woah oh oh oh
Yeah it’s true
When you
Use your heart as a weapon
Then it hurts like heaven
And it hurts like heaven
Oh oh oh-oh

And it hurts like heaven
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

Continue Reading

Prospekt’s March EP

Prospekt’s March EP cover

Two Coldplay radio interviews aired on Saturday 30th August 2008 the UK, the first one on BBC Radio 2 with Dermot O’Leary and the second on BBC6 Music. During the second one Chris Martin confirmed details of future Coldplay releases to a well respected Steve Lamacq. An EP entitled Prospekt’s March was to be released from 19th November 2008 and the band would then wrap up the decade with a full length release in December 2009.

We reported on 1st August 2008 at [1] that the band had finished working on some songs that will be released in EP format sometime in March next year, so it appears that this EP has been brought forward by four months. It also appears that the news [2] we reported back on June 2nd about a new album release in 2009 is correct.

Coldplay’s new releases can be attributed to an overflow of material the band created with producer Brian Eno while recording Viva La Vida. “The Viva La Vida sessions were incredibly fruitful. They gelled brilliantly with Brian and recorded much more music than they could fit on one album,” a spokesman for the band’s EMI record label said.


Prospekt on Prospekt’s March EP

On 30th August 2008, two of the biggest bands in the world went head to head on BBC 6music as Coldplay chatted to REM’s Michael Stipe [pictured] live in the studio with Steve Lamacq.

Following reports that Coldplay planned to release a record this year it fell on Stipe to get to the bottom of the rumours: “Is it true?” he asked. To which Martin replied: “We’re going to put an EP out at Christmas called Prospekt’s March and we’re going to release an album next December to end the decade.”

Martin then turned to Will Champion and asked: “Is it [the EP] called Prospekt’s March or Prospekt’s Song?” Before adding: “Lets ask Michael Stipe!”

Stipe preferred Prospekt’s March and the band agreed. This EP will come only months after Coldplay’s 4th studio album Viva La Vida which was released in June this year. But as previously reported, the band recorded so much material during the writing of Viva La Vida they had more than enough for one album.

Listen to the interview at


  • Now My Feet Won’t Touch The Ground

Release date

Coldplay confirmed on 6th October 2008 (thanks to Anchorman via the release date of both the Prospekt’s March EP and the special version of the album containing the EP’s eight tracks, which will be called Viva La Vida Prospekt’s March Edition. The dates are as follows (the EP and the album are released on the same day in each country)…

  • Wednesday 19th November – Japan, Sweden (digitally on 21st)

  • Friday 21st November – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, South Africa

  • Saturday 22nd November – Australia

  • Monday 24th November – UK, rest of the world

  • Tuesday 25th November – USA, Canada, Spain


At the same time the tracklisting was announced, Coldplay said that the cover would be another Eugène Delacroix painting (similar to the cover art for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends). Indeed it is by Delacroix. It’s the ‘Battle Of Poitiers’ (1830). The complete painting can be seen online. [3]

Steve Lamacq talks about Prospekt’s March

Steve Lamacq caught up with recent Coldplay events on 30th August 2008 and wrote about them in his online blog. Here goes:

So what we suspected – but weren’t at liberty to confirm – turns out to be true. There will be another Coldplay album next year, currently set for release in December ’09. Chris Martin broke the news during a convivial chat with REM’s Michael Stipe and yours truly on BBC 6 Music on Saturday afternoon. What’s more surprising is that there will be a new EP, Prospekt’s March, released around Christmas… (“hopefully December 26th, something like that”).

All of which seems to confirm earlier suspicions that the sessions with Brian Eno for the current album Viva La Vida were so productive that they had songs to spare – although the band still claim the next album is far from finished. In the meantime, we got to hear a laid-back Coldplay democratically choosing the title for the EP, live on air, with the added bonus of Stipe having the casting vote.

Coldplay Spark New Online Interest Over New EP And Album News

Below are just some of the articles written across the world by the likes of NME, BBC, Gigwise et al. It might take you a while to read them all!

To summarise, Coldplay confirmed that they will be releasing an EP before the end of the year, followed by a new album at the end of 2009. Chris Martin announced the decision to release the EP only months after Coldplay’s fourth studio album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends. He told BBC 6Music: “We’re going to put an EP out at Christmas called Prospekt’s March and we’re going to release an album next December to end the decade.”


As previously reported, the band recorded so much material with producer Brian Eno during the writing of Viva La Vida that they had more than enough for one album. Chris previously revealed that the 2009 album will feature ‘Lunar’, a collaboration with Kylie Minogue that was deemed “too sexy” to be on Viva La Vida.

The Oracle on Prospekt’s March EP

April 7, 2010 – submitted by Dennis, United States of America

Q. In the Prospekt’s March booklet, there is a picture of the band running uphill with one person almost directly behind them and a lot of people way down the hill. Who are those extra people? Thank you, Oracle.

The Oracle replies:

All the ‘people’ in that photograph are actually the band members.

March 25, 2009 – submitted by Christi, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Forgive me if this is common knowledge but I’m a fairly new Coldplay fan. What are the paintings on the cover art of the Viva la Vida and Prospekt’s March?

The Oracle replies:

Both feature original paintings by Eugène Delacroix. The first being Liberty Leading the People, the latter is called the Battle of Poitiers.

October 28, 2008 – submitted by rohan, India

Q. How can I get the new Prospekt’s March cd without buying the Viva la Vida special edition ?

The Oracle replies:

I think a few people are a little confused. You don’t have to buy the album to get Prospekt’s March, you can buy it separately OR as part of a special edition of Viva la Vida as it says HERE.

In fact, we also announced that you’ll be able to order it from this very website.


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The Blue Room EP

The Blue Room EP Album Cover

The Blue Room EP was the third EP released by Coldplay, and their first release after signing with the Parlophone label in April 1999.

The version of “Don’t Panic” featured on this release is a different, more atmospheric version than the one that appears on the band’s debut album Parachutes. It also features two songs culled from their Safety EP: “Bigger Stronger” and a shorter version of “Such A Rush” – the original recording but without the music before Chris Martin’s vocals. The fourth track, “High Speed”, would also appear on Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes.

Only 5000 copies were manufactured in the original pressing. The EP is available in greater quantities after a 2001 re-issue.

Track listing

  1. “Such a Rush”


On October 8th 2010, the official Coldplay site [1] continued their new series of news articles that focus on interviewing the designers of some of the artwork to their previous releases. They featured Tim Moore, the man responsible for designing the cover of Coldplay’s first release for Parlophone, The Blue Room EP, which was released almost exactly 11 years before this interview was published, on October 11th 1999.

Hi Tim. So, how did you come to design the cover for the Blue Room EP?

It was a lucky one, I had just graduated from Edinburgh College of Art & was in London planning a trip to Japan funded by the Royal Society of Arts I was discussing my work with a friend who had popped round and was mates with Claire O’Brien at Parlophone. He gave me Claire’s contact details, I made contact and showed her my portfolio at EMI. Luckily she really liked my sketchbooks, so she held onto them and mentioned she would show them to a new band she was working with, I was called back into Parlophone soon after that & ended up meeting with Chris and the band at their flat in Camden.

Was it among the first covers you designed?

I had done a few covers for Electronic Music artists – Global Communication but yes it was early days in terms of my commercial work

What had you trained in at college?

I trained as a Graphic Designer on the Visual Communication course at Edinburgh College of Art. I did my dissertation on the visualisation of music & that subject continues to fascinate & inspire my work.

Was there a specific brief for the Blue Room EP?

Both the band & the label had some ideas of how they wanted the cover to look, I remember feeling pretty hemmed in by the process. At that time I had no studio of my own and laptops were a bit out of reach on my budget, so due to time restraints and the way it all turned out I did the design in the basement of the EMI building in Kensington. It was full of people busy artworking EMI communications, this gave me my first taste of the realities of Commercial art for major record labels.

Who was responsible for picking the image and why was it chosen?

Chris Martin had this book on the National Geographic Photographer David Doubilet called ‘Water Light Time’ published by Phaidon. It contains incredible images of marine life & I was also really interested in underwater photography so it was decided to work with several images from the book. We had to contact the photographer’s agent and request the rights to the eventual image, in the end the image of a delicate coral in the hand worked best within the 12-inch format.

Were there lots of different options for the cover?

Not really no. It was a choice between 5 potential images and the coral in the hand worked best within the frame. Then it was a case of working with type to best balance the information with the beauty of the image itself.

The Blue Room EP Album Cover as posted in Tim Moore’s interview on on 8th October 2010

Were the band involved with the process?

Not after the first meeting, no. I remember they gave feedback on the first visuals and liked the crop and the way in which the cover felt using a simple layout & clean typography. I remember wondering how I could work more of my own ideas on this job, but to be honest at this time pure typography alongside photography didn’t play to my strengths. This was a lesson to me & soon after I ended up working for one of Europe’s top designers for 3 years to greatly improve my typographic skills.

Were you a fan of Coldplay’s music? Obviously it was very early days for them.

I had never heard of them before I received an early copy of the EP & knew straight away that they had a sound that would go on to be very popular. It wasn’t my kind of sound, but I did appreciate the production even then, the Bigger Stronger & High Speed tracks felt like well-honed pop records. I was fresh out of college, & had been djing and producing underground dance music since I was 16 so I didn’t take the music as seriously as I might have. I would certainly take the cover in a new direction now, but hindsight is a luxury of the past.

How much time did you spend on the design?

Probably about a week as I also did a promo mail out in the form of the coral from the cover image. I remember thinking the CD worked best, as the Digipac opened up and the CD on body was the coral with the hand sitting behind it under the clear tray to make it seem as you were removing the coral from the hand. It’s such a beautiful image and ended up working well across formats with the tone of the EP.

Were you pleased with the finished result?

I learnt a lot on the job and it was great to work with an image of such power, but I had little creative freedom & when the vinyl came out the record company had placed this huge white limited edition box below the type in the lower left hand corner without consulting me, which completely messed the entire balance of the cover and just felt like such a careless thing to do… I was pretty shocked by that to tell you the truth.

And what do you think of it now?

The cover is really the photograph & the photograph is excellent so it certainly works as an arresting image & fits the music well in terms of the mood, with almost ten years having passed there are lots of things I would change especially the type on the back – it makes me cringe. It’s probably the worst bit of typesetting I have ever let out into the world but as a cover it works well.

The EP goes for quite a bit on eBay now – do you still have a copy?

Yes I still have copies of the CD and vinyl release + some very rare and rather basic blank colour versions that have a varnished finish to them. I was lucky enough to be given the 0001 copy of the 12 inch so if anyone wants the first ever limited release of Coldplay’s Blue Room EP on Parlophone make me an offer! It’s been in my portfolio for some time, so it’s pretty mint.

Do you tell people about your role in Coldplay’s career?

It’s always been a useful door opener when it came to working for other labels & design companies, but it’s nearly ten years ago now so I don’t tend to bring it up that often. I am still proud to have been involved though.

Have you designed many covers since?

I have designed quite a few, but mainly for independent labels as on the whole that’s where I find a lot of the music I love. I designed the Nigeria Special series for Soundway records & created designs for other releases on that label. I Art Direct the House music label Prime Numbers out of Manchester, I also designed much of the early firecracker records releases & I am currently working on a new label for Electronic Sound records.

Are you still designing? What do you work on these days?

As Art director of Nth Creative I get to design lots of different things which is how we like it, although we make sure thats it’s for things we like which sometimes reduces the big fees but keeps us inspired & engaged. I design logos for companies such as Canongate books, websites for Galleries & a lot of work for the music industry. I am currently designing my brother’s new record label, I have just finished the cover for my new record which is out now… It’s a track called Shake Your Body Down by Discreet Unit on Prime Numbers. I am also trying to get time to design our new website as the current site is about 3 years out of date. I am a visiting lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art, although since moving to Cornwall the visits have become less frequent. And when I get the time beyond all that I am doing up an old barn in Cornwall which I hope to turn into a studio in the very near future.

And do you still keep an eye on Coldplay’s progress?

I listen to a wide spectrum of music, but to be honest Coldplay’s sound is not regularly on my system. I did like the last album & could certainly hear the effect Brian Eno had in terms of the production, it’s great that they have been so successful & I hope it all stays positive for them.

The Oracle on The Blue Room EP

April 3, 2013 – submitted by Erin, United States of America

Q. Hey guys

I am totally wondering about the Blue Room e.p. and Brothers and Sisters e.p.

Are these the first Coldplay recordings or just demos? Thank you in advance! (PS you guys are awesome!)

The Oracle replies:

Brothers & Sisters was a band demo that was released as a single by Fierce Panda. There was a subsequent version of Brothers & Sisters recorded for the b side of Trouble.

Coldplay’s first release for EMI was The Blue Room. It contained a couple of tracks from their professionally studio recorded Safety ep demo.
So to answer your question, both eps are made up of both.

Coldplay’s demos were all of high quality though so it’s hard to see them as demonstration when they were so good.

February 1, 2012 – submitted by Caleb, Malaysia

Q. Hey Oracle, I just bought Coldplay’s The Blue Room E.P for GBP 20.00 and the item is in good condition but it have a little defects on the back cover. Since this is my first time buying things online, I want to make sure that the purchase is a good purchase. Therefore, I want to ask you about The Blue Room E.P. Can you please tell me how many of them were produce and are they considered as rare items? 🙂

Thanks in advance for your help! 🙂

The Oracle replies:

It would depend from which batch the cd you have is from. The initial run of the E.P was 5000 which is considered low and would make the item somewhat rare. It was re-issued a couple of years later which means it was more readily available and therefore cds from that batch wouldn’t be considered to be rare.

I don’t have access to serial numbers so can’t help you work out whether yours is from the earlier or later pressing.

December 21, 2011 – submitted by Britt, United States of America

Q. Hello, Oracle! I have a CD copy of the Safety Room EP, but I’m not sure if it’s the original 1999 version or the 2001 re-release. Is there any way to tell the difference?

The Oracle replies:

Unless I am going mad, do you mean The Blue Room? The Saftey EP was never re-released… It was ‘released’ in 1998 too so that would rule it out. It’s hard to know with The Blue Room but I’m not sure it would make much difference in financial worth or investment terms.

November 12, 2010 – submitted by Karen M, Colombia

Q. Q.Dear Oracle

the hand that is in the picture of the Blue Room EP is from one of the guys? Or is from another person?



The Oracle replies:

Anchorman recently interviewed the designer of the Blue Room EP’s cover; the hand in the photo does not belong to anyone in the band.

The article explains the picture was sourced from a magazine.

September 25, 2010 – submitted by Dan, United States of America

Q. Good day to you Oracle,

I was wondering if the name for The Blue Room Ep stemmed from an unreleased song with that name; quite like LeftRightLeftRightLeft (Coldplay’s live album from the Viva La Vida Era).

As always I appreciate your time and consideration.


P.S. How Is Your Life Today?

The Oracle replies:

There was never a song called The Blue Room; it doesn’t exist, unlike Leftrightleftrightleft that does but hasn’t been released (as you say).
The Blue Room got its name from the studio where it was recorded.

p.s My life today is great. Thanks for asking!

April 16, 2010 – submitted by Baran, Germany

Q. Dear Oracle,

The Blue Room ep there are 5,000 copies, I have a promo of The Blue Room and wanted to get you ep questions whether this is or whether it really is just a fake. The ep has no image and only in white above and below the name in blue Coldplay The Blue Room ep

Moreover, still stuck two stickers on it. In front the phone numbers of Kevin McCabe, Mike Walsh and Jackie Jenkins are on it. On the back side is a sticker on it on the band’s history.

One more quick question, I have a Brothers & Sisters Cd original unopened wrapped in foil, will you have this, perhaps, because it has all started with this CD, so to speak?

The Oracle replies:

The first run of the Blue Room EP was limited to 500 copies and what you have is a promo copy from EMI so is not a fake exactly although different of course from the released version in appearance only. Promos usually state “not for resale” on them.

I have never seen a foil wrapped promo of Brothers & Sisters; it wasn’t released in one and it would be unusual for it to be.

September 1, 2009 – submitted by Nikki, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

How much is The Blue Room EP worth?


Around the £40 mark but can of course reach more in online auctions.

August 12, 2009 – submitted by sam, Australia

Q. Oracle,

Who’s hand is it in the Blue Room EP cover?

Who’s idea was it?

Why is that version of Don’t Panic so different and cool? Who made them change it to the version on Parachutes?

The Oracle replies:

It isn’t a band member; it’s a deep sea diver. The design company Blue Source, erm, sourced the photo. Mark Tappin who used to work there still has a creative input on Coldplay artwork.

The first version of Don’t Panic was recorded with a different producer to the album. Chris Allison worked with the band before Ken Nelson was brought it for Parachutes. The band and label preferred the material with Ken’s production.

April 3, 2009 – submitted by Jean Baptiste, France

Q. Dear Oracle. I recently bought the Blue room EP and I was wondering : “to who belongs the hand on the cover ?” Chris? Will? Guy? Jonny?


The Oracle replies:

The design company chose that shot and it isn’t actually a photograph of anyone in the band.


Continue Reading

Mince Spies

Mince Spies

Mince Spies (2001, released only to the pre-Parachutes Coldplay fan club, consists of a cover of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and a remix of “Yellow”, limited to 1000 copies worldwide).


The Oracle on Mince Spies

August 21, 2012 – submitted by Marcus, Hong Kong

Q. A simple question. Is it still possible to buy Mince Spies? And if yes where?

The Oracle replies:

Not unless anyone is selling their copy somewhere on the Internet I’m afraid. Very occasionally they turn up on a well-established auction site or an online store for rare collectibles. I just looked and couldn’t find one.

July 24, 2009 – submitted by John, United States of America

Q. I own a copy of Coldplay’s Mince Spies CD. How many other people own this CD?

The Oracle replies:

It was limited to a 1000 copies but that doesn’t mean that 999 other people own it. For instance I have 2 and there are a few stray copies. Still, fewer than 1000 people with a copy does make this a highly collectible and rare item.

June 29, 2009 – submitted by Benjamin, United States of America

Q. Is there such a thing as Mince Spies?

The Oracle replies:

There is if you mean a limited edition CD that the band gave away to fans at Christmas 2001.

It featured two tracks: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Yellow (Alpha Remix).

January 7, 2009 – submitted by Daan, United Kingdom

Q. Happy New Year, Oracle!

I am embroiled in an imbroglio; exactly which version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” did Coldplay record for the limited edition EP Mince Spies, back in 2001? Was it the one that you have on the time line on this site, which is also the one that was recently (re-)aired, and put up for download, by Radio 1, who said Chris had come especially to record it in their studio, or is it the version where Chris says at the beginning of it “This is take 4 of Have yourself a merry christmas, just for *something sounding like “Kay”* Rock, Los Angeles. Ready?”, which is also the version to be found on Youtube, adorned by a cover of the EP, when you search for “Coldplay have yourself a merry little christmas”?

I know I have a habit of writing criminally long sentences. Apologies.

The Oracle replies:

It was the former version you mention. Recorded for a radio 1 Christmas show session that appeared on the Mince Spies CD. The latter was a recording for an American radio station KROQ.

August 22, 2008 – submitted by Tyler, United States of America

Q. Is there a fanclub?! Because I would love to further support my favorite band XD

The Oracle replies:

There isn’t a fan club. Kudos to a group of people who ran Coldplayground, which was a fan club for fans by fans that ceased to be in December 2001. The Mince Spies CD was given away with that last ever issue as a Christmas present and thank you to the members for their support. That CD has become quite a collector’s item.

Continue Reading



Trouble” is a piano-based ballad that underwent many stages of development. In September 1999, the song was dominated by fast guitar riffs and aggressive vocals reminiscent of Supergrass. This version can be previewed on the Tour Diary of the Live 2003 DVD. By November, live performances of “Trouble” began to incorporate the piano. At the final recording sessions for Parachutes, the song was slowed down to its current form with the new guitar and percussion pieces.

Trouble is the third single from Coldplay’s debut album Parachutes. This was the band’s second Top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart. Regional singles were released for UK/Europe, Norway (Live EP), and Australia (Double A-side). Promo releases included the UK, USA, and Taiwan.


  1. “Brothers & Sisters (New Version)” – 4:50

  2. “Shiver (Jo Whiley’s Lunchtime Social)” – 4:23

Cover images

UK/European video

“Trouble” music video

The original UK/European version of “Trouble” was directed by Sophie Muller, a frequent collaborator with artists like No Doubt, Eurythmics, and Blur.

In the video, Chris Martin is bound by his hands and feet to a chair in a freezing cold, dark warehouse at night. The other three band members are standing on an upper-floor balcony in dim light, watching Chris struggle with the ropes tying him to the chair. A black BMW and various other cars repeatedly circle Chris, their headlights shining and casting a silouhette of Chris singing.

Eventually another chair on the balcony is revealed when Jon Buckland and Will Champion turn on Guy Berryman and start fighting him. They drag him over to the chair as Chris spins on his seat and sings, while watching Guy getting incarcerated. Guy is tied to the chair in similar fashion to Chris and his head forced by hand to look forward. At this point, Chris’s struggling causes his chair to tip over, and Chris hits the ground on his side. He sings the final line of the song {“They spun a web for me…“), before the darkness suddenly turns to daylight.

A beautiful sunrise is then revealed, but as the camera zooms out, it is revealed to be fake and part of a large theater set, with Chris still lying on his side, tied to the chair.

US video

“Trouble” US Version

In October 2001, a newer version of “Trouble” was created for US audiences and it featured the entire band. The video is directed by Tim Hope and follows the motif of “Don’t Panic” by showing the band as two-dimensional cut-outs. The band are aboard a horse carriage that cruises along a forest. On the top of a mountain we see a woman inside a house, watering the plants. A little crow flies from the carriage up to the house, where it transforms into a more menacing bird. It flies over the house and turns into a black cloud, which pours rain onto the land. The rain burns little holes on the things it falls into, and crow feathers protrude from the holes. Finally a tornado grabs the house and lifts it from its foundations placing it along others in a more suburban setting.

Its lush visuals earned Tim Hope an MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction in 2002. It was also nominated for Breakthrough Video.

The Oracle on Trouble

April 11, 2012 – submitted by Ryan, Australia

Q. Hi Oracle,

I was just wondering why are there two music videos for Trouble?

The Oracle replies:

The first Troublevideo was deemed too dark for the U.S audiences so a second one was made. The second bears more than a passing resemblance to their video for Don’t Panic as both were directed by Tim Hope.

September 4, 2009 – submitted by Kevin, United States of America

Q. Hello great and wise Oracle!

I know there’s an alternate Trouble video that was rejected in the States for being “too dark”. Now that Coldplay is as big as they are, do you think this video will see the light of day again??

The Oracle replies:

That video was the original not the alternative so it hasn’t been hidden away; should be easy to find online given that it wasn’t banned or anything.

September 23, 2010 – submitted by Frances, Mexico

Q. Hi Oracle :B


My question is… is the girl from the Trouble video the same of The Scientist video ?

thanks for answer !!

The Oracle replies:

As mentioned before Elaine Cassidy is the actress in the The Scientist video. As I am sure you know there are two video for Trouble; there isn’t a girl in the original video and Elaine didn’t appear in Tim Hope’s alternative U.S version so the short answer is no.

January 23, 2009 – submitted by Mary Anne, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Coldplay got a major start in the US with Trouble. But out of curiousity, was there a time that Trouble was not the mellow piano ballad that we’re used to hearing now (released on the Parachutes LP)? And if so, is there a way that I can find a copy of the song? Thank you for your time. 😀

The Oracle replies:

I know not of a time that Trouble was not a mellow piano ballad… There has only ever been this version. The only other time I have heard Trouble played another way was a very short clip on their Live 2003 DVD of a sound check but it was never performed.

August 21, 2008 – submitted by Navid, United Kingdom

Q. Dear oracle

Why did the band wanted to make two different videos for Trouble? and I still don’t know which ones the official one!

The Oracle replies:

It wasn’t the band’s decision to have 2 videos for Trouble. The U.S label commissioned the second one because it was thought that the original one (you know, the one featuring Chris tied to a chair) was too dark for the American market, so a lighter, brighter alternative version was made.


Oh no, I see
A spider web is tangled up with me
And I lost my head
And thought of all the stupid things I’d said

Oh no, what’s this?
A spider web and I’m caught in the middle
So I turned to run
And thought of all the stupid things I’d done

I never meant to cause you trouble
I never meant to do you wrong
And I, well if I ever caused you trouble
Oh no, I never meant to do you harm

Oh no, I see
A spider web and it’s me in the middle
So I twist and turn
But here am I in my little bubble

Singing and I never meant to cause you trouble
I never meant to do you wrong
And I, well if I ever caused you trouble
Oh no, I never meant to do you harm

They spun a web for me
They spun a web for me
They spun a web for me…


Continue Reading

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights single cover

Christmas Lights was a song written by Coldplay in time for Christmas 2010. Described by the band, the song will be “in the key of G”, before adding that it is a “mid-tempo number”.


  • 6 Lyrics


Christmas Lights was available on iTunes from 8pm (GMT) on Wednesday December 1st, according to the official Coldplay website.[1]

To announce the release of Christmas Lights a handwritten note was posted on the official Coldplay website dated 24 November 2010.[2] As well as telling fans that the song is written in the key of G, the release date and that it will be available on iTunes, a portion of scrawl had been scribbled out which fans have worked out to read: “We are doing the video right now. It is a mid-tempo number.”


A few days before releasing a new single called “Christmas Lights”, Coldplay braved the cold weather to film its music video at the South Bank of River Thames in London. They are seen performing the song on a small theater-inspired stage with red velvet curtains.

Several Elvis Presley impersonators play violins (including Phil Harvey and Simon Pegg), and a boat full of Coldplaying members[3] holding colorful balloons and singing the song in a choir-like fashion was floating on the river. “The idea for the video was like a magical, surreal theater show with loads of tricks packed in,” frontman Chris Martin said.

In the meantime, fans could take a sneak peek through the behind-the-scenes footage[4]. Additionally, several on-set pictures have hit the web to provide closer look.[5]

Coldplaying Choir

The band also invited one hundred lucky fans to be part of the video and sing a small portion of their new song. The loyal one hundred flew to London from all over the globe for this special boat trip across the River Thames and an exclusive first listen to the much anticipated new track from Coldplay. The devoted fans gladly braved the blistery winter chill on the outdoor boat deck holding balloons in the air which were to be released whilst singing in a choir-like fashion.

Top of the Pops Appearance

On Wednesday 8th December, a few hundred people were able to see Coldplay film their appearance for the Christmas edition of “Top of the Pops”. They played “Christmas Lights” four times. Some of the members of Coldplaying were lucky enough to attend and their reviews can be found on the following page 8 December 2010: Filming for Christmas Top of the Pops, BBC TV Centre, London, UK. The Christmas edition of “Top of the Pops” is usually aired on Christmas Day in the UK.

The Oracle on Christmas Lights

December 13, 2011 – submitted by Paul, United Kingdom

Q. I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of the CD of Christmas Lights since 2010… is there a chance you are going to sell it or stock it in any way shape or form, really wanna own it

The Oracle replies:

Does it have to be a physical copy? We don’t have any. There were a limited number made but we didn’t make them available for purchase. Anyway, the track is 59p this week from iTunes!

December 12, 2011 – submitted by Simon, United Kingdom

Q. Went to see the boys in Manchester they were unbelievable best I’ve ever seen them, but one problem they didn’t play Christmas Lights 🙁

How come they haven’t been playing it?

The Oracle replies:

The Manchester gig was on the 4th December which is a little early to be rolling out a Christmas song, no?

They performed it at Dingwalls last Tuesday but only as that is being broadcast this week on Radio 2 – a much more acceptable date to be playing festive songs I feel.

Oh and they did give it an airing on Saturday at the O2 as part of the Under 1 Roof night. It was interrupted by a certain Mr. Alan Partridge…

December 8, 2011 – submitted by Stan, United States of America

Q. Will they be playing Christmas Lights at any of their upcoming shows?

The Oracle replies:

On 1 December Will wrote “Christmas Lights being dusted off for the festive season” on the band’s Twitter. It has been performed live this week already and I have a feeling it will be again…

May 9, 2011 – submitted by Junior, Australia

Q. G’day Oracle. I noticed in the song Christmas Lights that some of the lyrics used in the song were also from the unreleased song Wedding Bells. Does this mean we will never see a finished version of Wedding Bells? It would be a shame if it wasn’t. Keep up the good work!

The Oracle replies:”

I very much doubt it myself but never say never. It isn’t uncommon for a song to end up with lyrics from a previously written one as they often lend themselves better. If Wedding Bells ever does make the light of day, I would say there’d be some adjustment to the lyrics.

December 30, 2010 – submitted by Blake, United States of America

Q. Dearest Oracle,

Is the video performance of Christmas Lights from the Live Lounge available online? I’ve looked everywhere with no luck.

Thank you!

Everywhere Blake? Are you sure about that? Here it is! Enjoy…

December 29, 2010 – submitted by Imrano, Singapore

Q. Hey Oracle!

Is the piano in the Christmas Lights video hand painted by the crew making the video or was it already painted when it arrived on set? It is stunning!

The Oracle replies:

Beautiful isn’t it? It was hand painted by an artist prior to the video shoot.

December 28, 2010 – submitted by Aimee, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

I hope you are well, yes? I’ve watched the Christmas Lights video numerous times, and I just love it. How on earth did the fans on the boat find out about it?! And why wasn’t I invited? Ok, so I live far off on the other side of the pond . . .

Thanks and Merry Christmas! : )

The Oracle replies:

Once the idea for the video was confirmed we called on for help to recruit fans to be part of the boat scene. In fact there were fans who travelled from the ‘other side of the pond’ as it wasn’t restricted to U.K residents.

December 27, 2010 – submitted by Valentina, Colombia

Q. Hello again Oracle… 🙂

On Christmas Lights video the vinyl on the beginning, does it really exist? Is it available for purchasing?

Thank you and happy new year. Greetings.

The Oracle replies:

That record was merely a prop and the fantastic authentic central label on the vinyl was made by the multi-talented roadie, Miller.

December 21, 2010 – submitted by Valeria, Mexico

Q. Dear Oracle:

Can you tell me who are the 3 Elvises that appear on the Christmas Lights video?

p.s. Merry Christmas

The Oracle replies:

I’ll assume that you mean the live version that was posted today? Anchorman did reveal who they were during the live blog from the show on Sunday night but from left to right we have Phil Harvey, Steve Strange (the band’s live booking agent) and Anthony Martin (Chris’ dad). Last night in Newcastle there were only 2 Elvises; brilliantly portrayed by Ant & Dec.

As previously answered the official video features Phil Harvey, Simon Pegg & Tim Crompton.

December 16, 2010 – submitted by Emilda, Malaysia

Q. How are you Oracle? I have questions for you; it’s all about the Christmas Lights video:

1. When was the video was filmed?

2. Are those fireworks real?

3. Are they filming outdoors or indoors?

thanks so much!

The Oracle replies:

You may know where it was filmed as I have previously mentioned it and we now have the interview with Mat up on this website but recording took place on Thursday 25th November, less than one week before it was aired for the first time.

The fireworks weren’t set off that night and so aren’t “real” in terms of being live.

The entire filming took place outdoors on a specially designed set and of course a boat.

December 16, 2010 – submitted by Jens, Denmark

Q. Hello omniscient Oracle!

Hope you’re having a great day.

I know this is a pretty irrelevant question, but I’m just asking it anyway. 🙂

In the new Christmas Lights video, who’s hand is it that puts the pickup on the record in the very beginning?


The Oracle replies:

It’s a popular question Jens although the answer is not very exciting – no offence to the owner of the hand. It was a member of the filming crew so no-one we collectively know and love.

December 15, 2010 – submitted by Gretchen, United States of America

Q. Hello, Oracle!

I have two questions: 1) Is Oxford Street a real street and if so can you tell us about it and why someone would ‘take their feet’ there if they were feeling troubled? And 2) Are you tired of answering questions about Christmas Lights yet?!

I suppose that was technically 3 questions, so forgive me for that! 😉

Merry early Christmas, Oracle!


The Oracle replies:

Oxford Street is most likely the busiest shopping street in London and home to many large chains and department stores. It’s pretty famous for its Christmas displays in shop windows and the lights that adorn the street. It’s not necessarily somewhere you’d take your troubled self, in fact it’s probably best avoided unless you want to be jostled around a fair bit – it’s insanely populated most days let alone during the run up to Christmas. It can be synonymous with Christmas and I always see the lyric as referring to where one would have once gone to buy your loved one a gift.

I’m actually enjoying answering questions about the song Gretchen and there’s plenty more in the Oracle’s bank…

December 15, 2010 – submitted by Brad Scott, United States of America

Q. Do you remember when Coldplay was featured on 60 Minutes? Chris played a few notes of Christmas Lights for the interviewer (forgot his name). Why are the lyrics on the release of Christmas Lights different than the ones that Chris sings on the 60 Minutes clip from many months ago?

The Oracle replies:

Songs can sometimes go through many changes before the final track is recorded – even then they can be modified for live shows – Talk is an example of trying out different intros and lyrical changes. Obviously this isn’t a blueprint but in the case of the version of Christmas Lights played on 60 minutes, that was then a work in progress.

December 13, 2010 – submitted by Chris, United Kingdom

Q. Hi Oracle, I was listening to the interview that Chris and Jonny gave on XFM. Chris was being very mysterious about the new album, BUT I do remember him joking about February 9th as a release date for Christmas Lights. I’m just wondering if this is a secret coded release of information for us very intrigued fans?? I hope so! 🙂



The Oracle replies:

A couple of people have written in asking why Chris mentioned a February release date in radio interviews on the night Christmas Lights was released.

Just to clear this up he was referring to the fact that Christmas Lights isn’t a song that you can release at any other time of year, such as February. A few fans got excited thinking he was talking about the album; he wasn’t.

I guess this would be a good time to answer another question I was asked:

“Is Christmas Lights inherently a love song with Christmas context or a Christmas song with love context?” I’d say it’s the former and as it wasn’t written for the next album it made sense to release it at the start of the festive season – although some shops seem to think that is in October…

December 9, 2010 – submitted by Javier M E, Spain

Q. My cousin watched your Christmas Lights video and asked what Elvis had to do with Christmas. Of course I know Elvis Presley sung lots of Christmas songs, but I answered him that it might have been a mistake in the transcription or reading of the video script: Maybe the script writer intended to show THREE ELVES (like Santa’s helpers) and someone read THREE ELVIS??

The Oracle replies:

Hahahahaha! That’s funny! If you listen to the lyrics of the song – or you can read them here – you will hear (or see) there is actually an Elvis reference in the song so it’s no mistake.

December 9, 2010 – submitted by Eman, Lebanon

Q. Dear Oracle,

I see in a previous question you clarified that the building in the Final scene in the video of Christmas Lights was St. Paul’s Cathedral not a mosque, but what about at 1:14 in the video isn’t that a mosque??

Also I’m guessing that Mat Whitecross directed the video of Christmas Light, did I guess right?

Thank you,

Eman = Faith

The Oracle replies:

The cardboard scenery you mean? Well, I had just thought it was maybe an Arabian skyline with no particular religious leanings at all. The song has no undertones alluding to it.

December 8, 2010 – submitted by Emily, United States of America

Q. Oracle!

Who did the art work on the Christmas Lights cover?

The Oracle replies:

December 8, 2010 – submitted by Kathryn, United States of America

Q. Where was the music video for Christmas Lights filmed? Many thanks! 🙂

The Oracle replies:

It was filmed at Southbank in London on the River Thames. This also answers other questions asked:

The building in the final scene is not a mosque nor is it The White House it is in fact St. Paul’s Cathedral.

December 8, 2010 – submitted by Pranav, India

Q. Has the Christmas Lights video been shot in one shot? 🙂

The Oracle replies:

A few people have asked this and apparently the word on the street is that it was a single shot video. There might have only been one camera (to be confirmed) but I can assure you that the video was not filmed in just one take.

They didn’t ‘wrap’ until around 3 in the morning.

FYI: For those who wish to know, ‘wrap’ is the term used when the final filming has taken place. My favourite example of the word being used is at 3 minutes 55 seconds in this.

December 2, 2010 – submitted by Marie, Czech Republic

Q. Dear Oracle.

What does it mean the sign above the curtain in the video Christmas Lights? Thank you

The Oracle replies:

Ha ha, a few people have been asking this. In the Christmas Lights video the words above the stage curtain say CREDO ELVEM ETIAM VIVERE. This means “I believe Elvis lives” in Latin.

December 2, 2010 – submitted by Nathanael, Ireland

Q. Hi Oracle, I’ve heard some rumours that Coldplay were forced to release Christmas Lights by EMI. Is this true?

The Oracle replies:

Utter rubbish Nath! It’s a slightly long story to explain how that could/would work with some bands/labels but here that just wouldn’t be and wasn’t the case.

December 1, 2010 – submitted by Joseph, United States of America

Q. What did you mean when you said that Christmas Lights wasn’t ‘penned for the new album’ in a response to Peter from Ireland? I looked through Coldplay’s release history, and with the exception of the Parachutes album, a brand new single has only been released a month or less before a new album. This makes me think, “well hey Coldplay will have their album out for Christmas!” (And they better if they value my happiness.) I realize you couldn’t tell us even if you did know when the next album comes out, but I just wanted to know what you meant in your other response. Thanks! 🙂

The Oracle replies:

Can I categorically say here and now that Christmas Lights is a stand alone song and has absolutely no bearing on what is to follow. Nor is it any indication of any kind as to when the album will be released. Please don’t treat it as any previous single which is usually a prelude to an album; this is not the case.

I know that is both vague and specific but hey, let’s just enjoy it!

The short answer is no.

December 1, 2010 – submitted by Santiago, Mexico

Q. Is it me or is Simon Pegg appearing on the video of Christmas Lights playing the violin?

Thanks a lot

The Oracle replies:

One of the Elvises – playing violin – is indeed Simon Pegg. (The other two are Phil Harvey & as mentioned yesterday, Tim Crompton).

November 30, 2010 – submitted by Kris, United States of America

Q. Is the Christmas Lights single going to have other songs on it? Like the previous singles?

The Oracle replies:

No, the track will just be released as a sole song with no extra tracks or b-sides.

November 30, 2010 – submitted by Jacob, United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle!

Have you been able to hear the entire Christmas Lights song or are you having to wait just like all of us?

The Oracle replies:

I was lucky enough to hear it a few weeks ago but it’s not long now until everyone will hear it… It’s rather exciting!

November 30, 2010 – submitted by Devin, Netherlands

Q. Will the single Christmas Lights only be available on iTunes, or will it be in the shops too as a CD?


The Oracle replies:

The track will not be available to buy on CD in shops but to all those asking, it will be available on iTunes worldwide.

November 29, 2010 – submitted by Christina, United States of America

Q. Dear Oracle,

Who in the world is the third Elvis in the Christmas Lights video?! I can recognize Phil and Simon Pegg, but I don’t know who the third one is. He looks a lot like Guy, but it is definitely not Guy!

Thank you, have a nice day!

The Oracle replies:

It’s funny because from the photos I can see how the 3rd Elvis looks like Guy but obviously that’s impossible!

The other Elvis is someone some of you may know – it is in fact Tim Crompton.

November 29, 2010 – submitted by Peter W, Ireland

Q. Oracle, is Christmas Lights an old song (Dec 2009) or is it a new album. While watching a video on YouTube I spied the titled and some Coldplay-esque art. The video was from December 2009.

The Oracle replies:

Yes Peter the idea for the song started a while ago and there were snippets of it available on the Internet e.g YouTube via video/interview footage. The song isn’t penned for the new album however; it’s just a single release that happens to be out this week – “cannot wait” – that we’ve had teasers of over the past year or so.

May 13, 2010 – submitted by Angelica, Philippines

Q. I heard a bit of a song on YouTube and it goes like this: “six feet of snow and water deep wish you would let your troubles sleep”…something like that… is there anyway that they could continue working on it and the release it…cause i really did like it.

The Oracle replies:

You were close enough with the lyrics. That song, Christmas Lights, was indeed worked on but as with all work in progress, whether it’s ever officially released in any form remains to be seen. Plans constantly change during the writing and recording process so what starts as a clear song or album idea can frequently change back, forth and back again. Check out Roadie #42’s Blog (#119 – 16.04.10) to see what I mean.


Christmas night, another fight
Tears we cried a flood
Got all kinds of poison in
Poison in my blood

I took my feet
To Oxford Street
Trying to right a wrong
Just walk away
Those windows say
But I can’t believe she’s gone

When you’re still waiting for the snow to fall
Doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all

Up above candles on air flicker
Oh they flicker and they float
But I’m up here holding on
To all those chandeliers of hope

Like some drunken Elvis singing
I go singing out of tune
Saying how I always loved you darling
And I always will

Oh when you’re still waiting for the snow to fall
Doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all

Still waiting for the snow to fall
It doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all

Those Christmas lights
Light up the street
Down where the sea and city meet
May all your troubles soon be gone
Oh Christmas lights keep shining on

Those Christmas lights
Light up the street
Maybe they’ll bring her back to me
Then all my troubles will be gone
Oh Christmas lights keep shining on

Oh Christmas lights
Light up the street
Light up the fireworks in me
May all your troubles soon be gone
Oh Christmas lights keep shining on

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What If


What If” is the second track from Coldplay’s 2005 album, X&Y. It was released as a single 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. More discussion on the commercial CD What If Tom Lorde Alge Mix can be found here Coldplaying thread


  • Belgium CD 00946 3 66951 2 9

  1. “What If” (Tom Lord Alge mix) – 5:07

  2. “How You See The World” (live from Earls Court) – 4:16

Cover images

  • Belgium CD


  • It has been said by the tabloid media that this song was about Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s relationship. But since, when played live, Chris Martin places an apple on his piano, it has been speculated that this song is really about his daughter, Apple.

The Oracle on What If

June 14, 2012 – submitted by Melina, Mexico

Q. Is this the What If official video? Because the guy who is playing the piano doesn’t look like Chris.


P.S. Hope you come to Mexico soon!

The Oracle replies:

I’ve never seen that video before and while 7,634,258 is an impressive number of views, it’s nothing to do with us. Not only is the guy not Chris but there wasn’t an official video for What If made.

May 24, 2012 – submitted by Fokke, Switzerland

Q. Dear Oracle,

Like yourself, I love the song What If from X&Y. I don’t think they ever played this song live. Do you know why?

I will go to to concert in Zurich this Saturday and obviously hope that you can influence the guys to put this on their playlist 🙂

Best regards from a Dutch guy in Switzerland.

The Oracle replies:

It was played during the Twisted Logic tour back in 2005 but it wasn’t a permanent fixture on the setlist.

Last December it reappeared, much to my delight, on the European leg of the tour after a lengthy hiatus.

July 23, 2010 – submitted by Roberto, Italy

Q. Hi Oracle, I was watching on You Tube some Coldplay’s concerts and then I found this video Is this a promo video or what? Because the Chris Martin’s part is original! I would like you answer me to uncover the truth! Thanks a lot, greetings from Italy.

The Oracle replies:

It is not an official promo video. There has never been a video of someone else miming to Chris’ vocal part – that’s not him. Yes the song is the original but many people create their own videos for songs.

May 20, 2009 – submitted by Joshua, Switzerland

Q. Dear Oracle,

I have a rather interesting questions.

Wikipedia and the Wiki at seem to be under the illusion that ‘What If’ was released as a single, with Wikipedia also stating ‘White Shadows’ as another. Evidently, the Wikipedia has no wiki pages leading to the two – which would lead one to think someone has incorrectly edited the Coldplay page… until I realised that the Coldplaying Wiki had supplied cover artwork for What If. It even included a brief description of where it has been released. Has someone played a elaborate prank? It would seem so, as the code on the cover art is off-centered, unlike the others.



The Oracle replies:

Sometimes singles are released in very few territories and that may be physical, digital or radio release only. That’s the case with the above singles. What If was released to radio in France, for example, and White Shadows was released to coincide with the Latin American tour of 2007.


What if there was no light.
Nothing wrong, nothing right.
What if there was no time?
And no reason or rhyme?
What if you should decide
That you don’t want me there by your side.
That you don’t want me there in your life.

What if I got it wrong?
And no poem or song..
Could put right what I got wrong,
Or make you feel I belong
What if you should decide
That you don’t want me there by your side
That you don’t want me there in your life.

Oooooh, that’s right
Let’s take a break jump over the side
Oooooh, that’s right
How can you know it if you don’t even try?
Oooooh, that’s right

Every step that you take
Could be your biggest mistake
It could bend or it could break
But that’s the risk that you take
What if you should decide
That you don’t want me there in your life.
That you don’t want me there by your side.

Oooooh, that’s right
Let’s take a break jump over the side.
Oooooh, that’s right
How can you know it when you don’t even try?
Oooooh, that’s right

Oooooh, that’s right
Let’s take a break jump over the inside
Oooooh, that’s right
You know that darkness always turns into light
Oooooh, that’s right.

Continue Reading

The Hardest Part


The Hardest Part” is the fourth single from Coldplay’s 2005 album, X&Y. The song was released to UK radio and download sites on 3 April 2006 and was released internationally on CD in Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia in May and June 2006. The international version of the single was made available in the UK on 19 June 2006. In France and the French speaking portions of Belgium and Switzerland “What If” was released instead of “The Hardest Part”, and a Belgium commercial CD featured the same B-side, “How You See the World” recorded live at Earls Court.

Like the previous single from X&Y, “Talk”, had been a tribute to Kraftwerk, “The Hardest Part” was intended by Coldplay as a stylistic nod to R.E.M.. In fact, according to the band, they felt “The Hardest Part” resembled R.E.M.’s 1991 hit “Losing My Religion” so much that they almost left it off the album.


  • 10 External links


Coldplay released The Hardest Part in the US and UK on 3 April 2006 as the fourth single of their third album. The single was pressed with a B-side, How You See The World, recorded live at Earls Court. The international version of the single was made available in the UK on 19 June 2006. Regional singles were released for Canada, Europe, Australia, and a different version for Taiwan. Promotional singles were released in the UK and US. The track peaked at number 37 on Billboard’s Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.

Although the song did not chart on the UK Singles Chart, as the song was released as a radio-only song, the single peaked on the Italian charts on 11 May 2006 at number 19 and spent a week in the chart. Afterward, the song peaked on the New Zealand Charts at number 34 on 21 August 2006.

In 2009, a live piano version of The Hardest Part appeared on Coldplay’s live album LeftRightLeftRightLeft.

Production and composition

The previous single from X&Y, Talk, was a tribute to the German band Kraftwerk; similarly, The Hardest Part was intended by Coldplay to acknowledge American band R.E.M. When asked why the song paid a tribute to R.E.M.’s lead singer, Michael Stipe, Chris Martin said: “I’ve lost all respect for fame, but I haven’t lost all respect for respect. So the one great thing about being famous is that I get to meet people who I respect. Our relationship is akin to a dog and its master. I’ll always look up to him.”

The band felt the track resembled R.E.M.’s 1991 single, “Losing My Religion”. The Hardest Part was left out of the album track list when the band sent an early version of the album to their record label, Parlophone. The track, however, was included when X&Y was finalized. When asked about the song’s meaning, Martin referred to it as a “terrible song, good video”. He does not give any reason for this statement, other than a short explanation of how the video was recorded.

The Hardest Part features a piano ballad sound. The song starts with a repeating two-note piano riff, and features an instrumentation of a singsong guitar. It also includes a slow tempo with a drumming rhythm. The track ends with the band playing the repeated instrument riffs.

Media reception

Critics were positive towards the song. In the Entertainment Weekly review of the album, music contributor David Browne wrote that the song “is imbued with the sense of regret and letting go that we’ve heard from the band before, but with added musical muscle.”

Michael Hubbard of MusicOMH wrote: “A Message and The Hardest Part sound like companion pieces, both big songs.” Critic Kelefa Sanneh of Rolling Stone noted that the song gets “less catchy as it goes along”. Adrien Begrand from PopMatters wrote that “The Hardest Part” is a “pleasant slice of R.E.M. style pop.” Cameron Adams of the Herald Sun reported that the song sounded “like the Smiths meets REM.” David Cheal of The Daily Telegraph noted, “…’The Hardest Part’ is lovely, straightforward, instantly accessible pop-rock”.

Track listings

  1. “How You See The World” (live from Earls Court)

Cover images

Music video

“The Hardest Part” Music video

The music video for “The Hardest Part” was shot on 3 March 2006 in St. Petersburg, Florida at a yacht marina. The video is similar to Weezer’s video for Buddy Holly, in that uses a clip from a short-lived 80s program “Attitudes” on the Lifetime network, and has the band digitally inserted. The band essentially plays beside a stage where an 84-year-old lady and her 25-year-old male friend put up an incredible act of athleticism, despite her age. Actress Linda Dano, who played “Felicia Gallant” on the soap opera Another World, is also featured via the Attitudes footage. The video was directed by Mary Wigmore. Another version of the video features a cameo from Chris Martin’s father, Anthony Martin, but was never broadcast. It premiered on Wednesday, 22 March at 11:05 p.m. on Channel 4 in the UK.

Chart Performance

In the U.S., “The Hardest Part” entered Billboard’s AC chart, peaking at #37. It’s being played on Triple A radio, reaching #18 on the Radio & Records Triple A chart.

The Oracle on The Hardest Part

September 10, 2010 – submitted by Kaley, Ireland

Q. Q.Yet another question for you Oracle.

I was watching the Hardest Part music video. Was that an actual gig that Coldplay went to or was it set up for the music video?

Much love!

The Oracle replies:

The Hardest Part video’s live performance was set up purely for the video; technically some audience members are extras.

August 17, 2009 – submitted by Karen, United States of America

Q. Dear Coldplay

A question, and a heartfelt thanks to you…

I’m wondering why you selected my grandmother’s (Barbara Moseley) dance video for your song The Hardest Part? I have loved your music since the beginning, and was so happy when you chose her video for so many reasons I can’t explain here.. I will forever be in your debt for bringing her back to me in this way. Your music is poetry brought to life…most sincerely, Karen

The Oracle replies:

Wow! Awesome to hear from you Karen. How strange that I just read a question asking if Barbara was in fact a stunt woman!

It wasn’t actually the band who chose the clip; it was the video’s director Mary Wigmore.

I have answered a couple of questions about your Grandmother that you may have missed so have a look here and here. Thanks for getting in touch!

June 5, 2009 – submitted by Andy, New Zealand

Q. Dear Oracle,

On the new album, whose lovely voice is it doing the harmonies on The Hardest Part? When I saw the show I do not remember anyone else being on stage, but perhaps I was just distracted by Chris?

Gratefully yours,


The Oracle replies:

I sort of answered this only yesterday but perhaps I wasn’t clear. Anyway, as Chris performs this song from Stage B it’s easy to miss that Will is singing backing vocals behind his drums on the main stage.

June 4, 2009 – submitted by Andrew, United States of America

Q. Oh wise Oracle,

I just went to the Darien Center concert yesterday and it was by far the best concert I have ever been to in my life. I was wondering though, how come Chris played The Hardest Part acoustically? Hope you answer!

P.S. – When the band came and played in the back area of the crowd it was amazing I could have reached out and touched them!

The Oracle replies:

This started back on Saturday 30 August 2008 when Coldplay performed an intimate live concert for BBC Radio 2. Chris announced that they were playing it that way as the band were divided on their opinion of the song. Two members like it; two don’t so he and Will performed it acoustically. It then became a part of the live show and proves to be a popular version.

April 15, 2009 – submitted by Kiran, Canada

Q. At a BBC radio gig, Chris started playing the Hardest Part on his own, then called it an ego trip. He went on to say two of the guys liked The Hardest Part (one of them being him, I assume) and that two of the guys weren’t too fond of it. So who’s on what side?

The Oracle replies:

Chris and Will are on the pro side with Jonny & Guy on the other. All members favour the acoustic version though.

October 31, 2008 – submitted by Whisp, New Zealand

Q. Hello. we were recently priviledged enough to stumble across Coldplay’s “Hardest Part” video and to let Barbara the 84 year old dancer into our lives. Is there anywhere that we might obtain some further information about the legend herself (and perhaps a tad about Spencer her tanned, g-string clad companion)? thanks oracle, you’re a champ. Whisp and Thong xxx

The Oracle replies:

That video was made 16 years after Barbara (R.I.P) and Spencer appeared on the Attitudes show. There’s not much information about the pair, which is a shame, but you can see a variation of the routine here.

September 4, 2008 – submitted by Ana, Mexico

Q. Chris recently said that two of the Coldplays did not like the hardest part and other 2 who like it.

Who are those who like it?

The Oracle replies:

You refer to last Saturday (30th August) when the band played a gig at the BBC theatre. Chris remarked that only 2 of them liked the song. As he and Will started he turned around to Guy & Jonny who weren’t participating and gestured that it was obvious which 2 didn’t.

However, I know die-hard fans may be confused as Chris has commented in the past that The Hardest Part was a terrible song, good video.

Unfortunately Ana as you’re from outside the U.K you won’t be able to watch footage from the show, but you can read about it and see photos on the Radio 2 website.

August 15, 2008 – submitted by Miriam, United States of America

Q. I was wondering- in Coldplay’s music video The Hardest Part, was it the bands idea to to have that those 80’s dancers in it? How did that come up and is it supposed to be funny? I was trying to find an “inner meaning” but I can’t seem to find one.

The Oracle replies:

There isn’t an inner meaning. Basically Mary Wigmore, the video’s director had been waiting for the right project to come along so she could use the footage. It was originally from a U.S talk show called Attitudes. The clip was taken from a 1990 episode in Miami featuring Gene & Barbara (the latter died a few years ago) and was spliced with the band’s performance. It is supposed to be funny but of course no way patronizing to the amazing dancers.


And the hardest part
Was letting go not taking part
Was the hardest part
And the strangest thing
Was waiting for that bell to ring
It was the strangest start

I could feel it go down
Bittersweet I could taste in my mouth
Silver lining the clouds
Oh and I
I wish that I could work it out

And the hardest part
Was letting go not taking part
You really broke my heart, oh
And I tried to sing
But I couldn’t think of anything
And that was the hardest part, oh, oh

I can feel it go down
You left the sweetest taste in my mouth
You’re a silver lining the clouds
Oh and I
Oh and I
I wonder what it’s all about

I wonder what it’s all about

Everything I know, is, wrong
Everything I do
It just comes undone
And everything is torn apart
Oh and thats the hardest part
That’s the hardest part
Yeah that’s the hardest part
That’s the hardest part.

Continue Reading

Violet Hill

Violet Hill single cover

Violet Hill is a track included on Coldplay’s fourth album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends and the album’s first single, released on May 5, 2008.

One of the strongest of the new songs, the band was considering giving it away as a special promotion in coming weeks and then leaving it off the album. However it was later revealed that not only would Violet Hill end up being on the album, it would be the first single. Opening with a jagged distorted guitar riff, the song announces a new template: The stalking, bluesy beat fits nicely with Chris Martin’s earthy vocals and plaintive lyrics: “If you love me, won’t you let me know?”

The band also announced on April 28, 2008 that the single would be released from the official Coldplay website on April 29 for a week free of charge before the paid download on May 5. The song received its first radio play on April 29, 2008, on BBC Radio 1 at 12:13. Coldplay’s new single ‘Violet Hill’ was downloaded for free by over 600,000 people in the 24 hours since it was made available at 12.15pm on April 29.

Chris Martin described the song as having a “chalky, pastel feeling” which he said reminds him of his childhood. “Imagine a pseudo guitar-like circus music with a pinch of Chicago… It’s something new from us and you will be impressed.”


  1. “A Spell A Rebel Yell” – 2:46

European release (CD)

  1. “Lost?” – 3:39

First Release Of Violet Hill Causes Websites To Crash

Coldplay’s new single ‘Violet Hill’ was downloaded for free by over 600,000 people in the first 24 hours when it was made available online at 12.15pm on Tuesday April 29, 2008. In the first 12 hours it was downloaded by 300,000. This figure doubled overnight as other countries logged on to, the source of the free download. The single was made available free for a week and then released as a paid-for digital single on May 6, 2008.

Meanwhile, were keen to point out that the Coldplay figures are a record, exceeding even the most popular track from the Radiohead album, In Rainbows, that was streamed for free back in October. That notched up 22,000 listens in 12 hours.’s figures are based, obviously, on the traffic that is scrobbled among users, so these are only a minimum figure. But in 23 hours, there have already been 33,523 listens of Violet Hill – equivalent to 1 listen every 2.4 seconds. That’s despite Coldplay’s server wobbling about a bit under the weight of requests yesterday. has already claimed a significant 119% rise in the number of click-throughs to Amazon’s retail site since it introduced free streaming for the big four music labels.

Trending of Violet Hill

During Coldplay’s headlining performance on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury festival on 25th June 2011, Violet Hill trended on Twitter worldwide after the song had been played.


Critics were positive towards the song. In the Los Angeles Times review of the album, critic Todd Martens wrote: “The song’s first guitar crush arrives after a lengthy ambient intro, and brings an electrifying jolt to the striking piano melody. Martin brings a booming confidence to his vocals that has been more evident in Coldplay’s live shows than on record.”

Simon Vozick-Levinson from Entertainment Weekly wrote: “‘Violet Hill’ opens with a thin synth wash that’s very Music for Airports, and proceeds from there to some droning, stabbing guitar textures that sound cooler than most any Coldplay tunes I can think of.”

Kristina Feliciano of Paste magazine wrote: “You know you’re in for a different kind of Coldplay experience when Chris Martin ditches his anguished falsetto for a deep, doomy basso profundo, as he does on ‘Violet Hill'”.

Mikael Wood of Spin magazine wrote: “‘Violet Hill’ pulls a similar fake-out, bludgeoning a delicate Eno-style soundscape with big Black Sabbath guitars.

Darcie Stevens of the Austin Chronicle wrote: “While the band’s fourth LP begins light and pretty, its power breaks late-album with Old West tangent ‘Violet Hill'”. The song appeared on Rolling Stone’s Hot List for May 2009, with the magazine calling it “a (relatively) hard-rocking attack on Fox News’ America”.

After the song’s release, Violet Hill was featured in the music video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, as downloadable content, and in Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits. The single was covered by Pendulum, when they were guests in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge. The song has been mixed by Michael Brauer, who also mixed Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes. It was also featured on an episode of the UK soap opera, Hollyoaks.


The official video for Violet Hill was nominated for Best UK Video as well as Best Special Effects for the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. The track was also nominated for two Q awards in the categories of Best Track and Best Video; the song lost in both categories to Keane’s “Spiralling” in Best Track and Vampire Weekend’s “A-Punk” in Best Video, respectively. The song was nominated for two Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group.

First ever review messageboard member locust7 [1] revealed on 18th April 2008 that he had already heard Violet Hill, almost two weeks before it was actually released on the internet. Although his sources were not revealed, his review turned out to be true, describing the song precisely. Here’s his review:[2]

I know many of you are not going to believe me, but I’ve already heard Violet Hill. I’m not going to give away many details of how I did it, only that it was via an ipod, and a few days ago. And I see that everybody is so eager to know, that I think you finally deserved to share this with me. Believe or not, I’m going to give my impressions about it. It’s awesome! The lyrics are the part that I can’t remember precisely, because English is not my native language. The chorus is the same that Rolling Stone explained. However, the song does not start with the jagged guitar Rolling Stone said, but with an atmospheric intro of about 15-20 seconds very Eno-esque. Then the guitar and piano begin to sound. Their riffs are heavier, faster and louder than ever. I don’t think I’ve heard Buckland studio work this hard (live you always hear it louder and lower), but it’s very attractive combined with the piano.

Chris voice is his low voice of the Parachutes era, but seems to be just stronger, muscular, not delicate till the end of the song. Not a single falsetto note here. Also, the bass and drum sound different from general past Coldplay songs. Here they define the whole rhythm by themselves, especially Will’s work. It’s very distinctive and it has an intense effect between verses, and especially after every chorus. You think the drums are going to end, but they follow and remark these moments. You’ll recognise very well this part of the song: bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam (six or seven times I think).

There’s an intermediate guitar bridge before the final chorus, a continued riff, in which sometimes I thought of a Pink Floyd Dark Side or Pulse era, atmospheric soundful but at the peaks of the guitar distorted. After the final chorus, there’s the end, a coda of 35-40 with Chris only on the piano and singing low. Here his voice is delicate but not mellow. Seems to express he’s broken inside, sadder and lonelier than ever, and the song slowly fades after the last word and note and dissapears into atmospheric as well, bringing you loneliness but strength. The structure of the song is very Coldplayish, but the general sound is different, in the way of being more mature, stronger and epic without pretending it (unlike some X & Y songs). The instruments are very well integrated, much better than other times, but in many parts, an instrument carries by itself the song. Eno Production makes them sound louder, stronger but not pretentious. It feels both natural evolution, and I hope for the rest of the songs, seems to announce a more adult themed work and the step beyond we were awaiting.

Overall I give it 9,5/10. Ok. That’s all folks. As I said, I know some will believe me and some will not. I’ll be called liar by some, I have no doubts. But when all of you will be able to hear the song, and it’s sooner than you expect, you’ll know it’s true.

And it was.

Music Video announced an exclusive broadcast of Coldplay’s new video for the forthcoming single, Violet Hill. It was due to be broadcast on UK’s Channel 4 on May 13 at 11.05pm, however, this never occured, with the video instead being posted on the band’s official website, along with an alternative Dancing Politicians version by Mat Whitecross, which spliced images of prominent politicians with images of the band taken from the official video.

The official video for Violet Hill was filmed in Sicily, Italy. It was originally thought that only ‘Prospekt’ was present in Italy, but Italian media that it was the whole band, ready to film a video for the first single of the fourth album. The film set was a very restricted area located in Enna (the Italian city at the highest altitude), near Nicoletti lake.

The video itself features the band performing the song with various instruments, dressed in their now familiar military outfits. On occasion, members of the band distort their faces with a magnifying glass. It ends with Chris Martin attempting to walk on snow, and failing somewhat.

Alternative Music Video – Dancing Politicians

An alternative music video, named ‘Dancing Politicians’, was posted on Coldplay’s official website on 17 May 2008, directed by Mat Whitecross. The video is made up of clips, sometimes looped, featuring various politicians and scenes of war, along with clips of the band in Ada Mader’s version of the video, as well as firework displays at the end. It prominently features George W. Bush, presenting clips of him in a mocking manner. Prominent personalities, such as Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, Hugo Chávez, Robert Mugabe, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Boris Yeltsin, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Tony and Cherie Blair, and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are featured in this alternate video. This video is shown on a small on-stage TV screen at live shows, including the band’s 2008 Viva la Vida tour.


A Spell A Rebel Yell vinyl release

A free Coldplay 7″ vinyl single was given away with the May 7 issue of NME. The vinyl includes Violet Hill and non-album track A Spell A Rebel Yell, and is not available anywhere else.

Krissi Murison, deputy editor at the NME, said Chris Martin contacted them directly: “He called up our editor one night from the studio, he said ‘I have just written this song [A Spell A Rebel Yell] and it’s the pefect song. NME readers are gonna love it, we have to get it out there.'”

A Spell A Rebel Yell is absent from the commercial CD release of Violet Hill however, which includes Lost? as its b-side instead.


Reviews of Violet Hill have in the main been positive, even from those most sceptical of Coldplay’s direction. One read:

Well, they promised us different, and I can confirm that Coldplay have delivered something different. But is it good? Hell yeah. Even speaking as a determined Coldplay hater, Violet Hill sounds dark, foreboding, and heavy. Less of the piano-sturbation, and Chris Martin retires the falsetto in favour of a more earthy vocal tone.

Violet Hill is a song rich in texture: fuzzed-up power chords, wailing string bends in the background, and some very atmospheric drumming from Will Champion. This most definitely rocks. If this is a sampler of Coldplay’s new direction, then it’s certainly enough to persuade me to listen to the album. Unlike other Coldplay songs I’ve heard, this has balls.

Gentlemen… well played. Thumbs up.

You can read many of the reviews at

Song Facts

Lead singer Chris Martin told Entertainment Weekly that this was Coldplay’s first attempt at a protest song. He added that the song is a nod to The Beatles, and Violet Hill is a street near Abbey Road.

After this song was offered as a free download for a week on in April, such was the demand that the site crashed. The week after this song was made available free for download, it still sold sufficient copies for it to debut at #8 on the UK chart and #40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Drummer Will Champion told Q magazine about this song’s bluesy Lennonesque sound: “We really tried to make it sound like this great big machine that was slightly knackered. Something that’s slow and grinding. I’m sure people won’t get that! A psychedelic title? Violet Hill is a road in St John’s Wood (North-west London).”

Chris Martin revealed to Rolling Stone magazine that this was inspired by self-proclaimed “traditionalist” political commentator Bill O’Reilly. He said: “The first line in that song is the first line of any song we ever wrote. Years ago, when Guy [Berryman, bassist] heard that first line and that first little melody – ‘It was a long and dark December’ – he said, ‘OK, I’ll join the band.’ But we just didn’t have the other 49 lines until last year. And then one day I was watching Bill O’Reilly, and I was like, ‘I know how to finish that song.’ My best friend, Tim, he’s a musician in a band called the High Wire, but he also has to work in a bar. He was having trouble with his boss, and it made me think that so many people spend their lives being told what to do by people that they just don’t like. So it was that idea, and watching Bill O’Reilly, and all these words just came out.”

Guy Berryman explained to MTV News how this came close to being left off the album: “It was one of the older songs we had been working on, and we had sort of moved it to one side from the list of songs that were going to be on the record. And there’s this secret fifth member of the group, [manager] Phil Harvey, and he really championed it, as well as a few other people, so quite rightfully so, we dragged it back into the short list.”

Two videos were made for this song. One of them, which was filmed on top of Mount Etna in Sicily was the first promo ever to receive a simultaneous premiere on VH1, MTV and The N. The other alternative video (named “Dancing Politicians”) was described by Chris Martin to MTV News as “our favorite video we’ve ever made.” He added: “We just thought it was funny that in the run-up to elections, everybody dances. And we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to make a video of just politicians dancing?’ So we did.”

The Oracle on Violet Hill

February 15, 2011 – submitted by Frisby, United States of America

Q. All I’ve got to say is lolwut…?

Please explain…xD

The Oracle replies:

All I’ve got to say is what on earth does lolwut mean? Actually, don’t answer that I really do not wish to know…

Anyway, what’s there to explain? You must have missed this alternative video when the single was released. Two were made and this one was directed by Mat Whitecross – long time friend and collaborator.

August 26, 2010 – submitted by Emmett, Canada

Q. Hey Oracle!

I found this video on the Coldplay YouTube channel from EMI and I was wondering if it’s something that the boys had made, like is it a Coldplay production? Or just something they found they thought was cool and put up?

Thanks! Have a good day! 😀

The Oracle replies:Mat Whitecross met the band at UCL and directed their first video for Bigger Stronger. He has gone on to make some amazing films and at the start of the Viva campaign came up with this alternative video for its first single, Violet Hill.

The EMI/Coldplay YouTube account only shows official videos so this was a commissioned piece.

July 2, 2009 – submitted by Natale, Australia

Q. Hi Oracle

I was wondering apparently there are two videos for Violet Hill and Viva la Vida

Which are the official videos?

Also the other ones were they just jokes or just a tried ideas?

Hope you answer.

The Oracle replies:

There are indeed two videos for both of those tracks and both are official. They were far from jokes, they were just alternative videos. Trouble had two videos for different reasons. To find out why, click Trouble in the tag cloud.

May 27, 2009 – submitted by Mandy, Australia

Q. Dear Oracle,

Was the Violet Hill single with A Spell a Rebel Yell available anywhere outside the UK? I’m desperate and resorting to ebay.

The Oracle replies:

The combination of those two tracks on a physical format (7 inch vinyl) was only available as a free giveaway with the NME; unfortunately they cannot extend the offer outside of the U.K

April 27, 2009 – submitted by jake, United Kingdom

Q. Hey, in one of your interviews on YouTube, the guy interviewing you said that Jonny’s daughter came up with Violet Hill? is that true or was it a joke? ‘Cause my sheet music said written by you four. Violet Hill rocks!

V i v a v i v a!

The Oracle replies:

Given that she was a baby at the time it’s impossible! Her name is Violet, though Violet Hill is a place. You sheet music is correct.

January 27, 2009 – submitted by Ben, United States of America

Q. kk, 2 questions.

1: My dad won’t believe me that the “dancing politicians” version of Violet Hill on youtube is official. Would you mind giving me proof of this so i can win this arguement once and for all?

2 Why is there a delay in posting the LiT ii music video to iTunes? I want to buy it so i can show all my buddies…

The Oracle replies:

1 Yes it is. The same chap who filmed the Bigger Stronger video made it. Seems both band and director have done pretty well. Mat Whitecross also directed the Lost!/Lost? videos amongst others.
2 Although the single isn’t officially released it’s on there. Ah but you’re in the States and it’s not available outside the U.K right now.


Was a long and dark December
From the rooftops I remember
There was snow, white snow
Clearly I remember
From the windows they were watching
While we froze down below
When the future’s architectured
By a carnival of idiots on show
You’d better lie low
If you love me
Won’t you let me know?

Was a long and dark December
When the banks became cathedrals
And a fox became God
Priests clutched onto bibles
Hollowed out to fit their rifles
And the cross was held aloft
Bury me in armor
When I’m dead and hit the ground
My nerves are poles that unfroze
If you love me
Won’t you let me know?

I don’t want to be a soldier
Who the captain of some sinking ship
Would stow, far below
So if you love me
Why’d you let me go?

I took my love down to violet hill
There we sat in snow
All that time she was silent still
So if you love me
Won’t you let me know?
If you love me
Won’t you let me know?

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Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey (born Philip Christopher Hammond Harvey, 29 August 1976) is Coldplay’s former and first, manager. Still heavily involved with the band, he usually goes on tour with them, as well as joining them in the studio. He is considered to be Coldplay’s fifth member, being cited as such in the linear notes of many of their albums. In 2002, before the release of A Rush of Blood to the Head, Phil took a hiatus from the group, and ceased to be their manager. During this time he lived in Argentina and Australia, studying psychology at the latter. He would return in 2006 and from then on has been called the “5th member”. He has appeared in the videos for Life in Technicolor II, Christmas Lights and Paradise.

As Coldplay’s Manager

The Oracle on Phil Harvey

August 6, 2013 – submitted by Zach, United States of America

Q. Do you know if we’ll ever hear Phil sing or play any instruments on any album or track?

The Oracle replies:

Phil has picked up a guitar in the past few years but other than his 3 video cameo roles, there’s been nothing else performance wise. If he was to perform on a track I can’t see him wanting to appear on stage (I’m dicounting the times he dressed as a violining Elvis) but he certainly has an ear that he lends in all senses.

January 15, 2013 – submitted by Amelia, United Kingdom

Q. Phil Harvey is always referred to as the ‘fifth member of Coldplay’ but do you know if he regrets not ever becoming an actual member of Coldplay, as in an onstage member?

Thanks, and Happy Christmas!

The Oracle replies:

There was never a time that Phil was considering that position, so no, he doesn’t.

He’s as much part of the band as Chris, Jonny, Will & Guy but it’s always been behind the scenes. Phil has appeared in videos and onstage as Elvis during Christmas Lights but Phil has never been in the band as a playing musician.

He is musical though which is why his input is such an integral part of the role of 5th member.

January 2, 2013 – submitted by Tzukeet, New Zealand

Q. Hi!

On the very beautifully drawn Christmas well-wishing card from Coldplay, who is the person in Jonny’s thought bubble? With a ‘P’ on him?

Happy New Year!

The Oracle replies:

When Anchorman first showed me that photo I must have been on a go slow not to immediately realize that it’s P for Phil!

August 29, 2012 – submitted by Alessandro, Italy

Q. Dearest Oracle,

Today, watching again the video of Life In Technicolor ii, I saw a character that looked very similar to Colplay’s beloved secret member Phil Harvey.

I am referring to the guy who is holding a camera and making a video of the “concert”.

Is that guy actually Mister Phil Harvey or mine was just an impression?

Thanks in advance


The Oracle replies:

It is indeed Phil (today also known as the Birthday Boy) in a nice little cameo role. He was also in the Christmas Lights & Paradise videos.

April 18, 2012 – submitted by Meagan, United States of America

Q. Does Phil tour with the band or does he only work with them in the studio?

The Oracle replies:

Both. There may be the odd occasion when Phil’s not on tour but generally he is. He’s not always sat in every studio session either, but he’ll be around and very much a part of it all.

April 16, 2012 – submitted by Lisa, United Kingdom

Q. Since I read the question concerning the AROBTTH singles’ cover art, I have been itching to ask if the album cover was Solve Sundsbo’s portrait of Phil Harvey? Coldplay does have five official members and I was wondering if he was depicted on the album cover as Jonny, Will, Chris, and Guy were for the single artwork.

I hope your day is filled with joy!


The Oracle replies:

Phil isn’t depicted in any of the AROBTTH artwork – not singles or album.

Although we now call Phil the 5th member of the band, that wasn’t the case when AROBTTH was released; he was then their manager before taking a hiatus from all things Coldplay.

January 30, 2012 – submitted by Karl, Lebanon

Q. Dear Oracle who never answers my questions, on the demo cassette tape of Ode to Deodorant is written the number of Phil Harvey the fifth member of Coldplay since the demo was sent to promoters.

Does he still have the same number?

The Oracle replies:

To be honest I didn’t reply because I assumed that if you wanted a quick answer, you’d have just called the number?

No, Phil changed his number years ago. He sent it as he was their manager at the time.

February 24, 2011 – submitted by Gise, Argentina

Q. When did Phil Harvey live in Argentina, and for how long?

Say hi to the guys for me… Have a really nice day and thank you

Ps. I work in a bar and EVERYDAY on my playlist have Coldplay OFC..!

The Oracle replies:

I’m thinking it was 2003. He took his extended haitus in 2002 before the release of A Rush of Blood. Given he was at a London show on his birthday later that year, Argentina must have been the following year. He stayed there for 6 months.

December 28, 2010 – submitted by Jenny, United States of America

Q. What does the pH at the end of Coldplay’s tweets mean?

The Oracle replies:

It’s Phil’s sign-off so it stands for Phil Harvey or rather, phil Harvey.

July 23, 2010 – submitted by Jeff, United States of America

Q. Will you please tell me where is Phil Harvey(the mysterious 5th member) is in the Life in Technicolor ii music video. He holds a video camera is a clue you have given to us but there are 3 people holding cameras.

The Oracle replies:

Phil is spotted on the left hand side at 1 minute 55 seconds wearing a cream Arran sweater (another clue I also gave).

July 5, 2010 – submitted by Margaret, United Kingdom

Q. Oracle, is it true that 5th band member Phil moved to Australia for a few years?

The Oracle replies:

It is indeed true. He left the UK in 2002 and eventually made it to Australia where he studied Psychology.

I have it on good authority that he became a fan of Mrs. Ashmead’s home cooking whilst there.

June 29, 2010 – submitted by Katie, United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle,

Since your judgement is probably more accurate than mine, do you agree that Phil looks like a slightly older Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (from the Dutch team)?

The Oracle replies:

I can see what you mean as there’s a similarity but it was hard to find a larger version of photo were they looked the same.

This one was the best I could find.

June 21, 2010 – submitted by James, United States of America

Q. Is the fifth member Phil really a dog? If so, what kind?

The Oracle replies:

Blimey where on earth did you hear that?? Phil is most certainly NOT a dog!

November 2, 2009 – submitted by Jordan, New Zealand

Q. Hey Oracle!

I was looking at the cassette tape for Ode to Deodorant, and it has Phil’s number on it. Could I still contact him on it, or is he guilty of false advertising after all these years?


The Oracle replies:

The only thing Phil’s guilty of is changing his phone number many years ago so, no, you wouldn’t be able to contact him on the cassette’s out of date info.

October 16, 2009 – submitted by Alan, South Africa

Q. Hi Oracle

Had Phil had any previous experience in management? It seems quite fascinating that someone inexperienced could take the band so far. Was Phil just smart and talented enough to learn the ropes quickly?


The Oracle replies:

Phil had no previous experience of management or music business. Apart from being smart and talented Phil was never afraid to ask questions and therefore progressed at a fairly rapid rate with the band. He also took advice and always kept the band at the forefront of any decision.

September 28, 2009 – submitted by Caitlin, United States of America

Q. Dearest Oracle,

Who is the fifth man standing on the stage with the boys at the end of their final concert on the Viva tour? This picture was placed in the blog overflow for Saturday and in it, Guy’s hand is covering his face. I was wondering if it was Phil or someone else.

Thank you so very much!

The Oracle replies:

Yes that was Phil Harvey in the pre-last night at Wembley group huddle.

September 8, 2009 – submitted by Elizabeth, Mexico

Q. Hello Oracle!!!

This question just came to my mind a second ago…. Why doesn’t Phil have his own puppet if he’s the fifth member of Coldplay?

Thanks for answering all these questions, know it’s a lot of work!!!

Have a nice day!!

The Oracle replies:

As Phil is in the video where we first saw the puppets, it would be very strange to have a puppet of him in it too! Granted he isn’t appearing as himself but it’s a cameo appearance nonetheless.

August 4, 2009 – submitted by Rachel, Canada

Q. Dear Oracle,

I am currently watching my tenth run of the Live 2003 Tour Diary today, and I haven’t noticed Phil anywhere! Is he in the diary or not?
Thank you.

The Oracle replies:

Wow, good effort Rachel! Phil took a hiatus in 2002 just after the recording of the second album. He doesn’t appear as he wasn’t touring around the DVD filming.

May 8, 2009 – submitted by Angela, United States of America

Q. Hi Oracle,

Why does Phil Harvey play in the back and not on stage?



The Oracle replies:

Phil doesn’t actually play in the band on or off the stage. He’s referred to as the 5th member but not in terms of being a musician. Matt McGinn is the only person outside of the band to have done that during live shows. For example he played guitar offstage on Yellow during the Twisted Logic tour.

April 16, 2009 – submitted by Nico, Qatar

Q. In a previous oracle question, you answered when the bands birthdays were. But we noticed that missed Phil’s birthday even though he is the 5th member. So we were just wondering when his birthday was?

The Oracle replies:

I’m sure he’ll appreciate the question and therefore won’t mind me telling you it’s August 29th.

April 7, 2009 – submitted by Aleksandar, Serbia and Montenegro

Q. Dear Oracle,

Is Phil Harvey pretty???

The Oracle replies:

We don’t tend to use the word pretty to describe boys (unless they look like girls perhaps), but Phil is definitely handsome.

February 9, 2009 – submitted by karman, India

Q. All knowing Oracle who is Phil Harvey and Roadie #42 im kinda new to the site but absolutely love Coldplay and congrats to them for winning 3 Grammys.

The Oracle replies:

Phil Harvey is the “5th member” of the band and is their closest confidante. He was their manager in their early days and steered their career during the first 2 albums. Roadie #42 is crew member extraordinaire who not only writes blogs for our delectation but does a host of other jobs too.

January 21, 2009 – submitted by Simon, Netherlands

Q. Hi Oracle, is it true that Coldplay’s fifth member made an appearance in the new Life in Technicolor ii video?

The Oracle replies:

Indeed it is. One of the chaps holding a video camera is wearing a cream sweater, similar to Aran style and that is Phil Harvey.

October 10, 2008 – submitted by Rafael, Philippines

Q. Who is Phil Harvey? His name appears in the credits of Viva La Vida as a band member but he’s only credited for “wise words” in X&Y. I don’t seem him in the photos in the sleeves of any of the albums and his name doesn’t even appear in the first two. Is Phil Harvey the Oracle?

The Oracle replies:

Phil met Chris and bonded as best friends at school. Phil subsequently became Coldplay’s first manager. He took a break after the recording of A Rush of Blood… and came back on board after X&Y. He takes a creative role and is a trusted member of the team hence being referred to as the 5th member of the band. But no, he is not I and I am not he.

September 12, 2008 – submitted by Thibault, France

Q. Dear Oracle, “the manager Phil Harvey is a childhood friend of Chris Martin”, is it true ?

The Oracle replies:

Yes, Chris & Phil go way back. He’s not their manager though. He was up until A Rush Of Blood… He returned in 2006 and is considered to be the band’s 5th member.

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