Coldplay are a UK alternative rock band who formed in 1996 and have released seven studio albums. The band, who comprise frontman Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion, have sold more than 80 million records worldwide.
Martin, Buckland and Berryman all met while studying at University College London and later added Champion to their line-up. Martin had also asked Tim Rice-Oxley to join the band as a keyboardist, but Rice-Oxley was already committed to his group Keane. Formerly known as Pectoralz and Starfish, in 1998 the band renamed themselves Coldplay, self-releasing 500 copies of their debut EP, ‘Safety’. In December 1999 Coldplay signed to independent label Fierce Panda and released the three-track EP ‘Brothers And Sisters’. After they had finished studying, they signed a deal with Parlophone, releasing a third EP, ‘The Blue Room’, followed by their debut album ‘Parachutes’ in 2000. The LP garnered positive reviews and commercial success off the back of the band’s breakthrough single, ‘Yellow’, and it was subsequently nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
Prior to the release of Coldplay’s second album, ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ in August 2002, the band headlined Glastonbury for the first of four times to date. Like ‘Parachutes’, the album was well-received and, among other accolades, it was voted Album Of The Year in NME. They released a live album and DVD of the accompanying tour in 2003. During this period Martin’s public profile was boosted significantly due to his relationship and marriage with actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2003. The couple had their first daughter, Apple, in 2004 and another child, Moses, in 2006.
Coldplay’s third album, ‘X&Y’, continued the band’s success, selling an estimated 8.3 million units in 2005, the year of its release. Despite the band’s huge album sales – ‘X&Y, ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ and ‘Parachutes’ all reached Number One on the UK Albums Charts – they did not produce a Number One single until their 2008 single ‘Viva La Vida’. The track was taken from the band’s fourth album, ‘Vida La Vida Or Death And All His Friends’, which was recorded with legendary producer Brian Eno. It was accompanied by an EP called ‘Prospekt’s March’
Since then, Coldplay have released the albums ‘Mylo Xyloto’ (2011), ‘Ghost Stories’ (2014) and ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ (2015). Despite being initially influenced by bands including Radiohead and U2, they have embraced a more pop-orienated direction in recent years and have collaborated with artists including Timbaland, Avicii, Beyoncé and Rihanna.
Upon its release, ‘Ghost Stories’ became the Number One album in over 34 countries. Shortly before the album’s release, Martin and Paltrow announced that they had agreed on a “conscious uncoupling”, with Martin subsequently revealing that writing music had been a comfort to him during their split.
Since its release in 2015, Coldplay have hinted that ‘A Head Full of Dreams’ may be their last album, with Martin telling Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, “I’d be surprised if there was another conventional Coldplay album.” The band are set to finish the world tour of the album in San Diego on October 8, 2017. The band will also release an EP called ‘Kaleidoscope’ in 2017.