Coldplay – 25 Impressive Facts You Didn’t Know
Coldplay are a British band that were formed in 1997 in London. Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland met the first week they both attended University College London back in September 1996. They spent the rest of the year planning a band and began writing songs together in 1997.
Guy Berryman and Will Champion joined later and the band was completed. If you are a fan of their work, keep reading because we have found 25 impressive facts about Coldplay you didn’t know.
Table of Contents
They Still Use The Tube
Chris Martin once travelled on the tube (subway) to his own band’s sold out gig at the O2 Arena in London. The carriage was full of Coldplay fans on their way to the show and yet nobody recognised him.
Some Members Of Coldplay Have Appeared In Films
Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland were both in “Shaun Of The Dead” Mainly because they’re good friends with Simon Pegg.
Chris also sang the Buzzcock’s song “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” on the soundtrack for the film. And he also appeared in an episode of the TV show “Modern Family”.
They’re Choosy When It Comes To Allowing Their Music To Be Used In Advertisements
Coldplay rarely allows any of their music or songs to be used in adverts. They turned down multi-million pound contracts from Diet Coke and GAP. Chris Martin said “We would not be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs’ meanings like that”.
However, they did allow the song “Higher Power” to be used in a 2021 advert for BMW’s ix and i4 electric cars.
They Spent More Than £4 Million On Colour Changing Wristbands To Give Away
During Coldplay’s 2001 Mylo Xyloto tour, they spent a reported 4.2 million pounds to give wristbands to the audience that changed colour in time to the music.
Joe Satriani Accused Them Of Plagiarism
Legendary guitarist Joe Satriani filed a lawsuit for plagiarism against the band. He claimed that Coldplay’s hit song “Viva La Viva” stole segments of his song “If I Could Fly”. The case was settled out of court with Chris Martin later saying “I find this topic hard to navigate because it makes me so emotional. All I will say in closing this is that I don’t steal people’s music, and I never will”.
The Song Yellow Was Inspired By A Phonebook
Coldplay’s 2000 hit song “Yellow” was inspired by a telephone directory, “The Yellow Pages”. Apparently Chris Martin was looking for a song title when he spotted a copy of the directory and the rest is history.
They Have A Former US President As A Fan
Former US President Barack Obama is a Coldplay fan. In 2012 he said he had their music downloaded onto his iPod. Chris Martin and his ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow are also friends with Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles-Carter.
The Song “Fix You” Was Written For Gwyneth Paltrow
Chris Martin wrote the song “Fix You” for his then wife Gwyneth Paltrow after the death of her dad. In the original recording you can hear Gwyneth’s dad playing keyboard.
Chris Martin Wrote A Song For Johnny Cash
The song “Til Kingdom Come” which was featured as a hidden track on Coldplay’s album “X&Y”, was written for Johnny Cash. He was supposed to record it with Chris Martin but Johnny Cash died before the recording date.
They Are Very Charity Minded
Coldplay donate 10% of all their profits to charity. The fund is held in a separate bank account that none of the band members can access. They endorse more than 30 charitable organisations including: Amnesty International, Migrant Offshore Aid Station and Global Citizen Festival. In 2009 they auctioned personal memorabilia and raised nearly £250,000 for Kids Company a London based children’s charity.
They Believe In Equality
Coldplay split their royalties equally between all 4 band members.
Chris Martin Sees Sounds As Colours
Chris Martin has a condition called synaesthesia which means he sees sounds as colours. It’s apparently not uncommon for songwriters to have this condition. Other famous artists with synaesthesia include Lorde, Pharrell Williams and John Mayer.
One Of Their Songs Has 5 Titles
Coldplay’s song “Lost!” taken from the album “”Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends”Is also known as the following;
Which features just Chris Martin on the piano
Which features a rap section by Jay-Z
Which is an instrumental version of the song
Which is a recording of the song performed live (at the United Center, Chicago on 22 July 2008)
The Band Are Superstitious
At least they are when it comes to odd numbers. Due to this superstition, they thought their 5th album (Mylo Xyloto) would be a flop. The album went on to become a number one hit in over 15 countries including the US and the UK.
Chris Had To Learn The Words To “The Scientist” Backwards
He had to learn to sing “The Scientist” backwards for the video of the song. He had to learn the phonetic movements to make it seem as though he was singing the words correctly.
Chris Martin Can’t Cook
In an interview with Graham Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow once said that she did all the cooking because Chris was a disaster in the kitchen, she said “He cooked twice and both times the fire brigade came”.
They Once Paused A Show Because Of A Tambourine Player
During a show Coldplay performed in 2011, Chris Martin paused the song they were performing to ask a member of the audience to stop playing a tambourine.
Chris said to the fan “Let me be honest with you, we tried tambourine on the recording and had to scrap it-so we have been playing it for 10 years with no tambourine. It probably sounds great, but I’m just used to it without tambourine. Don’t take it personally”.
They Played At Steve Jobs Memorial
Coldplay performed at Apple Inc.’s private Steve Jobs memorial in thanks for all his support during his lifetime. Norah Jones also performed at the same event.
They Did A Cover Of 2000 Miles For Charity
Coldplay recorded a cover of the Pretenders song “2000 Miles” and donated the profits to Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence campaigns.
They Don’t Like Their Album “Parachutes”
Despite the success of the album “Parachutes”, peaking at number one in several countries including the UK, Coldplay don’t like it according to Chris Martin. He also said “We know that’s terrible music and we always try to think about what we can do next”.
They Used To Be Called Pectoralz
When the band first formed they called themselves “Pectoralz” which then changed to “Starfish” before becoming Coldplay.
They Are An Eco-Friendly Band
In 2019 Coldplay revealed they would take a break from touring until their concerts were “environmentally beneficial”. In 2022 they made a pledge that they would “cut the tour’s direct emissions by more than 50% compared to our previous tour (2016-17)”
Their subsequent shows featured a kinetic dance floor and stationary bikes and the band made reforestation pledges which involved planting and protecting trees. This included one tree planted for every ticket sold.
They Hold A Record At The Brits
Coldplay hold the record for most Brit Award nominations for a band, they currently have 30 nominations of which they have won 9 awards.
Chris Got Arrested In Australia
In 2003, Chris Martin got arrested for attacking paparazzi reporters in Australia by smashing their car windscreen. He then attacked paparazzi in New York in 2008. He was reported as saying “Get the f#@* out of here, man-have some respect”.
They Only Released 500 Copies Of Their First EP
In 1998 Coldplay released their first EP “Safety”. There were only ever 500 copies released and these rare early examples of the band’s work can fetch anywhere between £80 to £300 per copy.
Do You Know Any More?
We have found 25 impressive facts about Coldplay, do you know any more? We’d love to hear them, share them with us in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Coldplay’s first EP was called “Safety” which was released in 1998 and was limited to 500 copies.
In 2007 Coldplay covered the Pretenders song “2000 Miles” with the profits going to the Future Forests and Stop Handgun Violence campaigns.
The Coldplay song with 5 different versions and 5 different titles is “Lost!” All versions include the word “Lost” but have different symbols (+, @, ?, -) for different versions.
The Coldplay song that contains the words “Singin’ come out upon my seas, cursed missed opportunities” is “Clocks” which is taken from the album “A Rush of Blood to the Head”.
Chris Martin did play a cameo role in a Simon Pegg film, but it was “Shaun Of The Dead” not “Run Fat Boy Run”.
The former US President who said he was a Coldplay fan and had their music on his Ipod was Barack Obama.
The Coldplay song that contains the lyrics “When you lose something you can’t replace, when you love someone, but it goes to waste” is “Fix You” which is taken from the album “X&Y”.
The song that Chris Martin wrote for Johnny Cash was “Til Kingdom Come” which is taken from the album “X&Y”.
Coldplay donate 10% of all their profits to charity.
The Coldplay song that contains the lines “So then I took my turn, oh, what a thing to have done” is “Yellow” which is taken from the album “Parachutes”.
Chris Martin wrote “Fix You” for his then wife Gwyneth Paltrow after the death of her dad.
Chris Martin got arrested in Australia in 2003 for attacking paparazzi.
The Coldplay track “Paradise” is taken from the album “Mylo Xyloto”.
Coldplay’s debut album was called “Parachutes” which was released in 2000.
“Silencia” is the name of the planet on Coldplay’s concept album “Mylo Xyloto”.