Coldplay is an alternative rock band from London, England. Having released three successful albums, Coldplay has also achieved great success with their singles, such as "Yellow", "Speed of Sound" and the Grammy-winning "Clocks".
Rock Bands - Coldplay
Coldplay's early material was poorly received by many critics as an imitation of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, while also drawing comparisons to U2 and Travis. Since the release of the band's debut album Parachutes (2000), Coldplay has 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), the band's latest release.
Coldplay is one of very few current British music acts to achieve major success in North America. Despite Coldplay's large worldwide popularity, the band has remained protective of how their music is used in the media, refusing its use for product endorsements. In the past, Coldplay turned down multi-million dollar contracts from Gatorade, Diet Coke, and The Gap, who wanted to use the songs "Yellow", "Trouble", and "Don't Panic" respectively. According to Martin, "We wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we sold the songs' meanings like that."
Since 2002, Coldplay have been active supporters of various social and political causes. They have been visible advocates of 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.
Rock Bands - Coldplay
The members of the band met at Ramsay Hall, a hall of residence at University College London in September 1996. Martin and Buckland were the first members of the band, having met one another during freshers' week. They spent the rest of the year planning a band; at one point Martin had considered forming an *NSYNC-inspired boy band called Pectoralz. Eventually, Berryman joined the ranks, without consideration of what musical direction the band was taking. On 8 January 1998, the band's line-up was complete when Champion joined the band to take up percussion duties. The multi-talented Champion had grown up playing piano, guitar, bass, and tin whistle; he quickly learned the drums, despite having no previous experience with that instrument. At the time, the band performed under the name Starfish. Eventually, the band took the name Coldplay from a mutual friend. Another UCL student, Tim Rice-Oxley, was offered a job as Coldplay's keyboard player, but he refused since he was already committed to Keane.
In 1997, Coldplay was performing small club gigs for local Camden promoters and the delight of their budding fanbase. Wanting more creative freedom, Martin recruited school friend Phil Harvey, who was studying Classics at Oxford, to act as band manager. Harvey helped the band raise money needed to record a demo. Harvey managed the band up until and including the release of their sophomore album A Rush of Blood to the Head. On May 18, 1998 the band released 500 copies of the EP Safety. Most of the discs were given to record companies and friends; only 50 copies remained for sale to the public. In December, Coldplay was signed by indie label Fierce Panda, after founder Simon Williams had attended the band's gig that evening. The result was the three track EP Brothers And Sisters which was quickly recorded over four days in February 1999. The disc was released in April, only 2,500 copies were pressed in a very limited release. Interest in the band was slowly growing across the UK, helped by regular airplay from BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and BMG Music Publishing, which had signed the band to a development deal.
Rock Band Coldplay
After completing their final examinations, Coldplay was signed to Parlophone for a five-album contract in the spring of 1999. After making their first appearance at Glastonbury, the band went into studio to record a third EP titled The Blue Room. The disc was released in October, and 5,000 copies were made available to the public. The recording sessions for The Blue Room were tumultuous. Martin kicked Champion out of the band but later pleaded with him to return and due to his guilt, Martin (a self-proclaimed non-drinker and non-smoker) went on a drinking binge. Eventually, the band worked out their differences and put in place a new set of rules to keep the group intact. First, the band declared an all-for-one approach; Coldplay was a democracy, and profits were to be shared equally, taking a page from bands like a-ha, U2 and R.E.M. Second, the band would fire anyone who used hard drugs.