Monday, August 26, 2002

Coldplay released A Rush of Blood to the Head: August 26, 2002

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Released: 26 August 2002
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. Politik 2. In My Place (7/20/02, #2 UK, #17 MR) 3. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (7/14/03, --) 4. The Scientist (11/4/02, #10 UK, #18 MR, sales: 0.5 m) 5. Clocks (11/30/02, #29 US, #9 UK, #9 MR, sales: 1.0 m) 6. Daylight 7. Green Eyes 8. Warning Sign 9. A Whisper 10. A Rush of Blood to the Head 11. Amsterdam

Sales (in millions): 4.8 US, 2.8 UK, 15.8 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 5 US, 13 UK


Review: Coldplay’s “wonderfully assured debut” AZ album, Parachutes, put the group on the map when it emerged in 2000. However, while it topped the UK charts, its #51 peak in the U.S. coupled with minor pop hit “Yellow” (also a top ten at alternative rock) certainly didn’t suggest the group would some day compete for title of Biggest Band in the World. That song “didn’t follow the rock formula… similarly A Rush of Blood to the Head might not instantly grab listeners, but it’s not tailored that way.” AMG Others saw the band’s dominance coming. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis said, “It sounds like an album ready to take on the world, and win.” WK

The album is “initially inaccessible, but that’s what makes it intriguing.” AMG “Echoes of early post-punk showcase Coldplay’s ballsy musicianship…It’s not exactly rock & roll, but Radiohead, Echo & the Bunnymen, and the Smiths aren’t exactly rock & roll either, and they’re well-loved.” AMG Coldplay had “advanced to a stage where they outshine nearly every one of their rivals in terms of imagination and emotional pull.” AZ There was actually noise in the U.K. press after the debut that they might call it quits after just one album. The group was exhausted after touring to support Parachutes and frontman Chris Martin “insisted he was dry; …he hadn’t written a song in months.” AMG However, “somewhere lurked the beauty of In My Place. The spirit and soul of this ballad allowed Coldplay to pull it together to make a second album.” AMG As Martin said, “It was the song that made us want to do a second album. It kept us going and made us think we could still write songs.” WK

In My Place

“From the delicate, shimmery classic ‘In My Place’ to the piano surge of The Scientist, Coldplay exude an honest passion.” AMG Coldplay “let it all go on this” AMG “soulful, exhilarating journey, moving from the cathartic” AZ “U2-esque epic rock of…PolitikWK “to the hushed tones of” AZ “lovedrunk balladGreen EyesAMG “without once breaking its mesmerizing spell.” AZ The latter, along with “the disco haze of Daylight,” AMG “are divine examples of solid lyrical arrangements.” AMG Meanwhile “‘Politik’ and the stunning guitar-driven God Put a Smile Upon Your Face project a nervy edge to the band.” AMG

The Scientist

“Acoustics are drowned out by Jon Buckland’s riveting guitar work, and vocally, Martin has sharpened his falsetto, refining his haunting deliver…You can feel, hear, and touch the blood, sweat, and tears behind each song, and that’s exactly what Coldplay were going for.” AMG “Lush melodies and a heartbreak behind the songs are there, but also a newfound confidence.” AMG “Martin takes his voice on soaring flights, reaching places only Jeff Buckley previously dared to go. And the music is nearly flawless, a persuasive cross between Pink Floyd and the Verve…This is exquisite stuff.” AZ “Regardless of the band still being in their mid-twenties, they’ve made an amazing record…A Rush of Blood to the Head didn’t sugarcoat anything.” AMG

Rush garnered Coldplay its second Grammy for Best Alternative Album and “In My Place” landed a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group also landed the prize for Record of the Year for Clocks. A BBC listener poll in 2013 ranked the album the best of all time. WK


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