My favourite band in the world is Coldplay.
Therefore, this blog post will be all about Coldplay (Coldplay haters, now is your time to leave!).
Coldplay have been active since the late 90’s, so since I was about 4 years old.. I’m not one to diss their new latest couple of albums but I think we can all safely say that the best and most authentic ‘Coldplay’ music was their earlier releases in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
My Dad has always been a Coldplay fan so I’ve grown up listening to them and developed a preeeetty deep obsession with their music. They’ve had a significant influence on the music that I write.
I thought I would introduce you to my Top 10 favourite ‘lesser-known’ Coldplay songs of all time. This is a hard task because there are so many and they are all astoundingly good… but I shall do my best!
We all know their classics from over the years but here are my top picks, that you may not have heard of, which deserve a bit of attention!
1. Safety EP (1998) This was Coldplay’s first ever public release and has three songs on it, all of which really need to be on this list… So I’m cheating a little bit but I’ll keep it short.
– Bigger Stronger
The chorus of this song is so anthemic. I adore it. I’ve been obsessed with this song for a while. The rhythm section is actually quite funky in this song, especially towards the end.
– No More Keeping my Feet on The Ground
Another stunner of a song. It’s really interesting to me hearing the ‘sound’ they had way back when they first started and how it’s evolved since then.
– Such a Rush
This song is incredibly tender but it surprises you at the end. You’ll have to listen to the end to hear it ;) Something that really excites me in a song is a full-on crescendo, or buildup of instruments and intensity and then BOOM.
2. Only Superstition (B-Side, 1999)
This song was the follow-up to their first EP. This is one of their more complex songs – structurally, harmonically and rhythmically. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate Chris Martin’s incredible vocals. His falsetto is so pure, yet he also belts it out when he needs to. His voice just draws you in with it’s ‘gravelliness’. Gotta love it.
3. Careful Where You Stand (B-Side, 2000)
You may have noticed that many Coldplay songs start with delicate acoustic guitar playing. Then the electric guitar comes in. DON’T JUDGE. I respect that they have their own signature stylistic things that they do to build up a song, and their layering of instruments is part of what makes their songs so captivating. I love these old Coldplay tracks because they sound so raw. This song in particular doesn’t even utilise drums or bass yet still hits you pretty hard in my opinion.
4. I Ran Away (B-Side, 2002)
This song is so brilliant. The chorus is huge! I’m not sure how they do it but pairing Chris’s gentle vocals with this really fat instrumental sound just WORKS! Such an atmospheric sound, which is in fact a word that could be used to describe a lot of Coldplay songs. Another random fact about Coldplay – they love their string sections, which is showcased toward the end of this song. I actually thought they could have done better with the string arrangement but hey it definitely fills out the sound effectively. Still rocks it.
5. We Never Change (Parachutes, 2002)
Beautiful ballad. That’s about all there is to it. The lyrics are simple yet meaningful, and Chris’ falsetto (which I adore) is sooo good! The outro of the song could possibly be one of my favourite outro’s ever. Have a listen and you’ll see what I mean.
6. Twisted Logic (X&Y, 2005)
The B section of this song has a riff that I cannot get out of my head!!!! (The structure of this song is AABAABB) I’m reluctant to call the B section a chorus because it feels more like a bridge.. I keep accidentally writing a song using this same chord progression and then having to rewrite it! Chris often writes songs about political or world issues and this song talks about our mistreatment of the planet: “Created then drilled and invaded/ If somebody made it someone will mess it up/ And you are not wrong to ask who does his belong to/ It belongs to all of us.” You have to respect that songwriting. Profound.
7. The Hardest Part (LeftRightLeftRight, 2009)
This live performance kicks it up a notch from their album version (X&Y, 2005) which to me always sounded a little clunky. It strips the song down to it’s barest form, piano and vocals performed by Chris. His piano playing is so full and rich with those colourful chords that are what make me love Coldplay so much! Something I love about Chris’ voice is the raw emotion that just flows out when he sings. So so so beautiful. I may or may not cry every time I hear it.
8. Major Minus (Mylo Xyloto, 2011)
This song is a real cracker! There’s something about it which immediately draws me in, the guitar part is almost percussive and really rhythmically engaging. The song showcases Jonny Buckland’s ever-brilliant gat solos, catchy as always. Another thing about this song that I love is the pulsating bass-line which just drives the song home. Dayum.
9. U.F.O (Mylo Xyloto, 2011)
This song demonstrates something Coldplay does best, short transitional acoustic numbers as a bridge between songs on an album. This one has just acoustic guitar and strings to accompany the lead vocals, a really beautiful arrangement. Chris’ vocals are so stunning and the melody weaves it’s around the guitars so so nicely. I LOVE IT. It’s one of those songs I’ll listen to over and over again.
10. Atlas (Catching Fire soundtrack, 2013)
Their latest release! This is an an epic track which to me brings back the best of the ‘Coldplay sound’ – starts with a haunting piano intro and Chris’ raw vocals and blossoms into a huge sweeping arrangement which just rocks it to be honest! I love the constant buildup throughout this song. What’s cool is that the vocal line is relatively simple and sparse and the song is carried by the huge accompaniment. You can hear how their sound has evolved so much since they first started out yet it still retains the essence that is ‘Coldplay’.
Cheers for reading guys, hopefully you got some inspiration from these songs and perhaps I’ve even converted you into a Coldplay fan if you weren’t one already. I feel like a music reviewer or something. Haha. Maybe next time I’ll do Top 10 Radiohead songs ;)