Writer(s): Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin (see lyrics here)
Released: December 10, 2002
First Charted: November 30, 2002
Peak: 29 US, 21 RR, 4 A40, 115 AA, 9 MR, 9 UK, 7 CN, 28 AU, 5 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 1.70 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.4 radio, 419.18 video, -- streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“Coldplay haters are a dime a dozen” LR and much of why the band is criticized rings true: “they’re boring, Chris Martin writes lyrics that are meaningless at best and embarrassing at worst, they’ve inspired a generation…that tries to soar and mostly just whines.” DS
However, on songs like “Clocks” “there’s something to the construction of the song that can be admired.” DS The song taps into the “atmospheric English rock of the early ‘80s” TC with “dark melodies against the soaring strings.” TC It is “built around one of the most compelling piano riffs of the entire decade.” AB’00 It “burrows deep into the brain as it runs throughout the song and possesses a haunting, concerto-like beauty.” SS It “doesn’t progress like a standard Romantic melody, it interlocks and shifts with the tides.” DS “It’s almost unnerving, how Martin’s voice gets more delicate while the music gets more strident.” LR
The song wasn’t initially intended for A Rush of Blood to the Head, the band’s second album. Martin “had a crisis of confidence about the proposed release” NME’09 “en route to filing the tracklisting to label Parlophone” NME’09 and requested a two-month delay on the album’s release. At the suggestion of the band’s manager Phil Harvey, recorded “Clocks.” NME’09
The title alludes to “the world’s obsession with time” AMG while the lyrics pose the big question regarding our purpose for being here. Martin has said British rock band Muse served as the song’s inspiration, AB’00 and critics have noted how the album as a whole and this song in particular “drew upon the art-rock group Radiohead’s atmospherics.” SS However, U2 is the biggest band at play here since “Clocks” marks the moment when Coldplay thought “they could challenge U2 as The World’s Biggest Band.” PD
Last updated 4/12/2023.