Biography

Coldplay

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'
Coldplay soon began recording their first album with producer Ken Nelson, with most tracks being recorded at Liverpool's Parr Street Studios. During that period, they had performed on the 'Carling Tour', now known as the 'NME Tour' which is well known for displaying up-and-coming acts. Although they had risen quickly from a small university band, their first three EP's had not included a hit record. That changed in March 2000, when the single 'Shiver' was released, as it got to number 35 on the UK Singles Chart. However, it was the release of the single 'Yellow' in June 2000 and a second showing at the Glastonbury festival which really shot Coldplay to national fame, along with some recognition in the US from colleges and alternative radio circles.

'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
After the impressive performance of their debut album, Coldplay returned to the studio in September 2001 to begin work on their second album 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head'. The album is said to be heavily influenced by the terrorist attacks of September 11th, which happened a week before the band began recording again. After having trouble focusing in London, the band moved back to Liverpool, where they had recorded much of the 'Parachutes' album. 'In My Place' was the first song recorded for the album, as it had already been written and performed during the Parachutes tour. According to lead singer Chris Martin, the song was important as "recording In My Place was the one thing that kept us going. Then other songs started coming". After revealing the name of the album via their official website, 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head' was released in August 2002, spawning several popular singles, such as 'In My Place', 'Clocks' and 'The Scientist'. From June 2002 to September 2003, Coldplay embarked on their first major world tour. They visited five continents and played over 100 shows in arena's and amphitheatre's, rather than the small club venues which had featured on their earlier tours. The shows were noted for their more elaborate stage and lighting effects and featured an equal split of songs from 'Parachutes' and 'A Rush Of Blood To The Head', along a collection of b-sides and covers. The show at Sydney's Horden Pavilion was recorded for the 'Live 2003' album and DVD.

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
In October that year, Coldplay decided to team up with innovative producer Brian Eno to begin work on their fourth album; which would become 'Viva La Vida And Death Of All His Friends'. Chris Martin had described the first three Coldplay albums as a "trilogy" and emphasised that the new album would follow a new Hispanic musical direction, influenced by the touring that the band had done in Latin America and Spain in early 2007. The first single release of the album was 'Violet Hill', which was made available for a free download via the band's official website in April 2008. The success that followed was not only another number one album spot but also the band's first UK number one single in 'Viva La Vida'. By the end of June the album had become the most downloaded ever. 'Prospekt's March EP' was released later that year, including music from the Viva La Vida sessions which had not made the cut for the main album. Coldplay toured the world once again between June 2008 and March 2010, playing over an incredible 170 shows; their biggest tour ever. The tour was planned to end in September 2009 as Coldplay played their first ever shows at Wembley Stadium, with support from Girls Aloud and Jay-Z; however, shortly after it was announced that Coldplay would add a final leg to the tour covering Latin America.

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.