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 Coldplay.com, 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. Billboard.com 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. Altsounds.com 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”. About.com 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

Continue Reading

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 Coldplaying.com 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.

Continue Reading

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


Continue Reading

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).

Continue Reading

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 Coldplay.com 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 Coldplaying.com’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 Coldplay.com, 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

Continue Reading


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 Hybridmagazine.com reads, “‘Shiver’ is a delightfully laid back tune, full of that great guitar sound that I have come to appreciate this band for.” Spencer Owen of Pitchfork Media noted, “It’s the only truly decent song on Parachutes, but simultaneously, it’s the only one that blatantly shows its influences. In fact, the influence can even be pinned to a single song: Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace.'”


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


Continue Reading

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 Coldplaying.com [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 http://www.badongo.com/vid/858982


  • Now My Feet Won’t Touch The Ground

Release date

Coldplay confirmed on 6th October 2008 (thanks to Anchorman via Coldplay.com) 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.”

  • http://www.gigwise.com/news/45753/coldplays-chris-martin-tabloid-newspaper-has-kept-me-off-drugs

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.


Continue Reading

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 Coldplay.com 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