Lovers In Japan


Lovers in Japan single cover

Lovers In Japan is a track included on Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends and is the fourth single from that album.


  • 8 Lyrics

Lovers In Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)

The single version of the song, known as the “Osaka Sun Mix”, also features on Coldplay’s Prospekt’s March EP. On Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, the song is combined with another, separate song, Reign Of Love, in the same track. The only difference between the album version and the Osaka Sun Mix is the inclusion of additional backing vocals by Chris Martin, heard during 1:45 – 1:53, and some different musical arrangements, beginning at the 2:56 mark. Additionally, there is an acoustic version of the song that appears on the Lovers in Japan single, as well as a leaked demo version of the song that is much faster, with some alternative lyrics.


  1. “Lovers in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)” – 3:57


Coldplay released Lovers In Japan in the US on 4th November 2008 as the fourth single of their fourth album. The song is also featured in the band’s Prospekt’s March EP from 2008, entitled Lovers in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix), when it was released on 21st November 2008. Chris Martin in discussion about the song, said: “We’ve been playing it live better than it is on the record. So the live version has informed this Osaka Sun version, which is just a bit more lively.”

Lovers In Japan appeared on Billboard’s Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks chart in the peak position of 32 on 29 November 2008. The track peaked at number 10 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. The song appeared in Billboard’s Pop 100 chart, in the peak position of 65. Although the song did not chart on the UK Singles Chart, as it was released as a radio-only song in the US, the song peaked at number 41 on the Japan Hot 100 Singles chart.


Critics were positive towards the song. Alexis Petridis of The Guardian review of the album, wrote: “Chris Martin’s melodies … shine: even his loudest detractor could hardly deny his way with a tune as evidenced here by ’42’ and ‘Lovers in Japan’.”

Evan Sawdey of PopMatters noted that the song is “stunning, jaw-dropping highlight”. He added that “Martin pounds away at a bouncy toy-piano melody … leading into a chorus where guitarist Jonny Buckland gets to unleash what might be the catchiest guitar riff he’s written… (and yes, he absolutely bathes in the moment).”

Joey Guerra of the Houston Chronicle added that Lovers In Japan was a “joyous, romantic anthem that combines wistful rock riffs and gorgeous piano“. He also wrote that the song is one of the disc’s best moments. Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald reported that the piano sound in Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love hints at the 1968 song “Lady Madonna” by The Beatles, “before taking a neo-classical, Chopin-does-Britpop route”.

Jeff Crawford of the City Messenger wrote, “…Lovers In Japan and Strawberry Swing rank among the band’s best work“.

Josh Hathaway from The Plain Dealer wrote that Lovers In Japan/Reign Of Love works “in just the opposite direction with ‘Lovers’ playing like an update of vintage Simple Minds, an almost anthem that never fully takes flight, before giving way to the gentle ‘Reign of Love'”.

Music video

Chris Martin light paints the word “Lovers” in the music videoA music video for the single, directed by Mat Whitecross in London, was released on 31 October 2008 through iTunes Store, where it was available free for a week on the American and Canadian iTunes. The video utilises the “Osaka Sun Mix” version of the song.

The first half of the video shows the band playing in a courtyard while each member writes certain words from the lyrics in glowing neon on the screen. During the chorus, the camera spins around in circles to go along with the lines “They are turning my head out”. The video ends with butterfly-shaped confetti raining on the band, as happens when each chorus is played at live concerts, along with the words “The End” on the screen behind the band, as they take a bow.


When asked about the development of the song, during a track-by-track reveal, Will Champion said: “We were in a studio in New York, this place called the Magic Shop, and it had this thing called a tack piano there, which sounds like an old honky-tonk piano, where you put little tacks in the hammers, so it sounds like more of a harpsichord almost. And so we wanted to use that kind of sound, but we didn’t have a tack piano, so rather than sample it, we went and bought an old piano from the shop up the road from our studio, and we bought a load of tacks, and me and Guy and Jon spent a couple of hours pushing tacks into the piano hammers.”

Lovers In Japan is a more upbeat, less dense number that sees Martin feeling less oppressed. Key lyric: “I have no doubt one day the sun will come out.”

Entertainment Weekly printed an article on Coldplay and the new album with a new song slant on some of the songs – from the band’s perspective. Here is the excerpt of Lovers In Japan: “No one associates romance with Japan,” says Martin of the song that most resembles the familiar wistful Coldplay style. “Everyone thinks Japan is just about Hitachi and neon signs, but every time we’re there, we see these amazing sunrises. It’s very sexy.”

On the album, Lovers in Japan shares track #5 with another, seperate song, Reign Of Love.

An acoustic recording of the song was given away exclusively to those who pre-ordered the album through iTunes.

The Oracle on Lovers In Japan

August 30, 2012 – submitted by Jacqueline B , United States of America

Q. Hello Oracle!

Could you confirm for me whether or not part of the Lovers in Japan music video was shot at 33 Portland Place in Marylebone, the same place used in The King’s Speech as Lionel’s office?