Chris Martin (Lead vocals, piano, rhythm guitar)
Jonny Buckland (Lead guitar)
Guy Berryman (Bass)
Will Champion (Drums)
Coldplay were formed in 1997 by Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland during their time at University College London (UCL). Shortly after, fellow UCL students Guy Berryman and Will Champion joined to complete the line-up. Chris Martin's longtime school friend Phil Harvey was recruited as the manager for the band, as is often referred to as the 'fifth member'. In the early stages, the band had used different names, such as 'Starfish' and 'Pectoralz', but settled on the name 'Coldplay' in 1998. Coldplay began by performing small gigs at local clubs in Camden, and had tried to include classics student Tim Rice-Oxley as a piano player for the band, but he refused due to already having commitments to Keane.
Coldplay released their first recordings on the Safety EP in 1998. Only around 500 copies were made, mainly being given away as demos for record companies. The EP had done its' job in that in December that year, the band had attracted interest from independent record label Fierce Panda. In February 1999, they released their first single; 'Brothers & Sisters', which was shortly followed up with a second EP.
After finishing their final university examinations, Coldplay signed their first major record deal with Parlophone in the spring of 1999. That year they had made their first, although small, appearance at Glastonbury and afterwards began recording their third EP, The Blue Room. For the first time, the band started to receive public recognition, as 5,000 copies of the EP were made available and the single from the record 'Bigger Stronger' was played on national radio. However, the time had been difficult for the band; Martin fell out with Champion, after kicking the drummer out of the band and then pleading for him to return. Thankfully, the band worked out their differences and decided on a set of rules to keep the group together; such included the fact that the band would share profits equally and that any member using hard drugs would be fired. To this day Coldplay are well known for getting on well with each other and for setting an example of how a world famous group can be "clean living".
|The breakthrough single 'Yellow'|
'Parachutes', the first studio album was released by Parlophone in July 2000. To the delight of Coldplay, it debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. In October, the band embarked on their first tour of the UK, playing 20 shows at mainly small venues and universities. The album was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize in September and in November was released in the United States, which by then singles 'Yellow' and 'Trouble' had become regular features on UK and US radio. The success of 'Parachutes' in America was slow initially, but it eventually reached double-platinum status. In February 2001, the band crossed the Atlantic for the first time, playing at a number of clubs in the US and Canada. 'Parachutes' eventually earned Coldplay's first Grammy Award in 2002 for the Best Alternative Album, just under two years after it had been released.
|A Rush Of Blood To The Head Tour|
Coldplay gained large scale recognition after the release of their second album. In December 2003 they were crowed the best artist and the best band of the year by Rolling Stone readers. Furthermore, 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' won Coldplay their second Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album of 2003, a year after they had won it with 'Parachutes' in 2002, this meant that Coldplay had become to the first act to win the same Grammy award two years in a row. They then received another Grammy Award in 2004, as 'Clocks' collected the Record of the Year.
2004 was however a quiet year for the band, who spent most of it out of the spotlight recording. X&Y, their third album, was released in June 2005 and followed the success of their first two albums by becoming the highest selling album of the year. Furthermore, it reached number one in 20 countries around the world and was one of the fastest selling in UK chart history. Critically, it was generally well accepted, but some said it was weaker than 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' and others highlighted the similarities of the music to that of U2. The album spawned an impressive six singles; 'Speed Of Sound', 'Fix You', 'Talk', 'The Hardest Part', 'What If' and finally 'White Shadows'. From June 2005 to July 2006, Coldplay embarked on their second world tour and also played at Glastonbury, The Isle Of Wight Festival and Live 8 in Hyde Park. Coldplay picked up two BRIT Awards for Best Album and Best Single in February 2006 for 'X&Y' and 'Speed Of Sound'.
|Showing off the Viva La Vida Outfits|
Currently, the band are said to be working hard on what will be their fifth album release, and the general feeling is that it will be released by the end of 2010, however nothing is set in stone. What is for certain though is that we know the four men won't be taking it lightly and as history suggests; Coldplay releases just get bigger and bigger. Who would bet against the next album following in the same way? We wait eagerly.