Coldplay is still touring in support of its 2015 album, A Head Full of Dreams, bringing songs like “Hymn for the Weekend” and “A Head Full of Dreams” to life all over the world.
Just like these new songs are competing with old hits like “Clocks” and “Viva La Vida” for fans’ attention, we decided to put Coldplay’s songs to the test and rank the best ones.
A Head Full of Dreams is a good album, but we think its songs need a little more time to sink in before we can fully appreciate them. Our list is made up of songs from Coldplay’s first six albums.
Since their first album, Parachutes, came out in 2000, the band’s music has always been a way for them to learn more about themselves.
Here are the 10 best songs by Chris Martin and his band, from their early soft ballads to their swirling piano anthems to their experimental pop and even dance dreamscapes.
10. “We Never Change”
Over the past 16 years and seven albums, Coldplay has changed so much that it’s almost hard to remember them as the four guys who made Parachutes. Back then, people wore corduroy pants and Clarks Chukka boots, not neon shirts with graffiti on them.
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But the album that won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album and the BRIT for Best British Album was the one that started it all. “Yellow” was the sing-along megahit, but the LP is full of other great songs. One of them is “We Never Change.
“Martin says, “I want to live life and always be true. I want to live life and be good to you.” “I want to enjoy life and have people around me.” These are simple ideas that may be appealing to everyone, and the rising guitar tinkles make your chest flutter.
09. “Charlie Brown”
This is one of those songs that you’ll always hear on big network reality shows like America’s Got Talent or The Voice when something happy and inspiring happens.
But putting aside how popular “Charlie Brown” was, this song has a message about growing up and a lively beat that feels like they belong at the end of your favourite teen movie. It’s like going fast in a car under a clear night sky with your hair flying out the window.
The name “Charlie Brown” comes from a well-known Peanuts character with the same name. The song is from Coldplay’s concept album Mylo Xyloto, which came out in 2011. Each song in the album tells a story from the life of the main character, Mylo.
There is also a person named Fly who is Mylo’s lover. Mylo steals car keys in “Charlie Brown” so he can drive to a party. There, Fly and Mylo meet for the first time and start to like each other.
Chris Martin said to NME once, “I know that our lyrics aren’t very good. But I really like the ones for “Charlie Brown.” It’s easy to see why Martin likes them, with lines like “scarecrow dreams” and “Be a bright red rose coming bursting through concrete.”
08. “In My Place”
The modern electronic phase of Coldplay is cool, but we really miss the early 2000s. When the year 2000 was just around the corner, every Coldplay song had a strong emotional edge. Songs like “In My Place” made them a big deal in the alt-rock scene.
“In My Place” is from their masterpiece, “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” which came out in 2002. It’s about how some things about people can’t be changed no matter what. Martin tells people that their flaws can hurt their relationships with people they care about.
Even though he acts on impulse and doesn’t understand emotions, he asks his lover to “wait for him.”In My Place” was the second song on A Rush of Blood to the Head and the first single.
It won the 45th Annual Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Chris Martin has even said that this song was the one that made Coldplay want to make a second album after a time when they didn’t know what to do with their music.
This song from Coldplay’s first album, Parachutes, and another one from the same album that we’ll talk about later helped get the word out that these four guys were a band to watch at the turn of the 21st century.
Martin said that the song was written with a certain woman in mind, but he never said who. He also said it was a “stalking song” like The Police and Jeff Buckley songs. “Shiver” might be a love song from a stalker, but it’s a beautiful one.
It has its own life because of Martin’s intense vocals and the way the guitar riffs seem to skip along with the drum beat. When we hear “Shiver,” it gives us chills (no pun intended). Can you believe that this beautiful hit was only recorded once?
This beautiful, complex song is the grand finale of A Rush of Blood to the Head. It’s about how love can make up for a person’s flaws in a relationship. Coldplay wrote it while they were in Amsterdam, which is where the title comes from.
People think that this song is about Chris Martin’s attempt to kill himself because of the bridge, the noose, and the lines “star is fading.” However, there’s no evidence to back up that bold theory. It’s a hopeful piano ballad with a big guitar part at the end.
We can’t find the right words to describe how this song can make you feel. It’s a great way to end a vulnerable album about the human condition. If you haven’t heard it yet, you should do so right away.
05. “The Scientist”
“No one said it would be easy, and nobody said it would be this hard.” On the second single from A Rush of Blood to the Head, Martin sings a ballad that may be Coldplay’s most moving.
It starts with a piano solo by Martin, pleading about how complicated love can be: “Come up to meet you/Tell you I’m sorry/You don’t know how lovely you are.” He says that reason and logic will never be able to explain love.
He sings, “Science and progress don’t speak as loud as my heart.” As Martin’s falsetto croons to the heavens, the band joins in to make the song sound bigger and better.
04. “A Sky Full of Stars”
Most of Coldplay’s music is about universal feelings of love and freedom, but the band has tried different ways to package each album. Coldplay is in full Ibiza mode on this track from their 2014 album Ghost Stories.
The trance-like EDM beats and big drops are like a dopamine shower on the dance floor. “A Sky Full of Stars” is the band’s first straight-up EDM/dance song, and they kill it. It was written and produced with EDM superstar Avicii.
Coldplay’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, has a lot of songs about life and death. “Clocks” is another one of those songs. The lyrics talk about the big problem that people have: they are obsessed with time and the end of it, but they also want to enjoy every moment and “seize the day.
“Critics liked “Clocks,” and it won Record of the Year at the 2004 Grammys. With Martin’s falsetto vocals and that memorable piano melody that seems to spiral around in your head, you won’t even realise how much time has passed while listening to this hit.
The only thing we don’t like is that it’s no longer. “There’s nothing else like it,” Martin would sing.
02. “Viva La Vida”
Even though you can’t go back in time to the French Revolution, this epic track can make you feel like you’re in the middle of the June Rebellion.
“Viva La Vida,” which peaked at number one on both the Billboard 100 and the UK Singles Chart, is seen as one of the most important rock songs of the 2000s. It won Coldplay a number of awards, including Song of the Year at the 2009 Grammys.
“Viva La Vida” is told from the point of view of a king who has lost his empire to rebels. It is full of string instruments, piano, and church bell sounds.
The title comes from the Spanish phrase “Long Live Life” and comes from the last painting Frida Kahlo did before she died. Martin said this to Rolling Stone.
“She went through a lot, of course, and then she started a big painting that said “Viva la Vida” and put it in her house. I loved how bold it was… It just made sense.”
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01. “Fix You”
If you don’t want to cry, you probably shouldn’t listen to “Fix You.” Seriously, this song has so much heart that it might make you cry so hard you can’t stop. “Fix You” is the fourth song on Coldplay’s third album, X&Y, and the second single.
Chris Martin wrote it for his then-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, to help her feel better after her father died. This ballad sounds like Martin is talking directly to you, and even though it starts out with sad organs, it gets much brighter by the end.
When you’re going through hard times, “Fix You” can be hard to take in, but the ending makes it a good way to let off steam.
On a happier note, this song is so popular that the first line, “When you try your best and fail,” has become a meme in recent years. We’re just glad that this song has stood the test of time.