Coldplay had their first hit songs in 2000 and rose through the decade to become one of the world's most beloved pop-rock bands. Their hits could be heard all over the world and at a wide variety of events. These are 10 of the best Coldplay songs.
Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" is a grand songwriting and recording achievement. The lyrics center on contemplation of being swept from a position of power and esteem and are filled with historical and religious references. Musically, the song soars along on a percussive beat overlaid with a gorgeous string arrangement. "Viva La Vida" won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and was nominated for Record of the Year. It went to #1 in the US and the UK.
"Clocks" is built around one of the most beautiful pop piano riffs of all time. Coldplay put the song together in the very late stages of recording the album A Rush Of Blood To the Head. The urgent lyrical theme fits the speed with which the band recorded the song. "Clocks" won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. It was used in a wide variety of commercials, movies and TV shows. "Clocks" became very familiar to US music fans even though it only reached #29 on the charts.
This was the breakthrough hit single for Coldplay. Reportedly the title "Yellow" came up somewhat randomly in an effort to title the song. Chris Martin found the yellow pages telephone directory and "Yellow" became the song's title. The rest of the lyrics were then built around the title. The song hit #4 in the UK and then broke into the top 10 of the modern rock chart in the US.
Coldplay's Chris Martin says the inspiration for "Fix You" began with the sound from a keyboard left behind after his father-in-law Bruce Paltrow died. The song slowly builds through lyrics aiming to help someone overcome adversity. "Fix You" was a top 5 pop hit in the UK and reached the top 20 of the US modern rock chart.
"The Scientist" is a song built around regret. The desire to go "back to the start" echoes throughout the song. The accompanying music video runs in reverse depicting the events leading up to a tragic accident. Coldplay hit the top 10 in the UK and Canada with the song while reaching the top 20 on the US modern rock chart.
Chris Martin of Coldplay has said that "Speed Of Sound" was inspired by the band listening to music by Kate Bush. The drumbeat was inspired by Kate Bush's song "Running Up That Hill." "Speed Of Sound" was released as the lead single for the album X and Y. It reached the top 10 on the US pop singles chart becoming the band's biggest hit single to that point.
"Violet Hill" is considered to be Coldplay's first anti-war protest song. It is also more heavily rock-oriented than most of the band's songs. "Violet Hill" was initially released as a free download via Coldplay's official web site and was downloaded over two million times in one week. It then became the first official single from the album Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends. "Violet Hill" reached the top 10 in the UK and the top 40 in the US.