Saturday, June 28, 2008

Coldplay landed at #1 in the U.S. with “Viva La Vida”

Viva La Vida


Writer(s): Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin (see lyrics here)

Released: May 25, 2008

First Charted: May 24, 2008

Peak: 11 US, 13 DG, 11 RR, 11 AC, 16 A40, 111 AA, 12 MR, 11 UK, 4 CN, 2 AU, 10 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.14 US, 1.44 UK, 19.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.6 radio, 739.0 video, 1578.22 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Chris Martin, Coldplay’s lead singer, saw the phrase “Viva La Vida” on a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. He told Rolling Stone he “loved the boldness of it” and decided the use the phrase – which loosely translates to “long live life.” SF Guy Berryman, the band’s bassist said the song – which never actually uses the phrase “Viva La Vida” – was “about a king who’s lost his kingdom.” SF Martin echoed that idea, saying it was about a deposed dictator reduced to sweeping the streets. He saw it as a “turning-over-a-new-leaf kind of song.” SF He also explained that lines like “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name” referred to the “idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it.” SF Berryman also said the song reflects the idea that “We're human beings with emotions and we're all going to die and the stupidity of what we have to put up with every day.” SF

Musically, the song eschewed the band’s usual guitar or piano base for a riff consisting mostly of a string section and digital piano. WK IGN critic Chad Grischow said it was “their one and only foray into unabashed orchestral pop” but that it was “far too charming and lively to dislke and even harder not to love.” WK

Several acts accused Coldplay of plagiarizing the song. Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, claimed the song resembled his 1973 “Foreigner Suite.” SF Guitarist Joe Satriani filed a lawsuit accusing Coldplay of lifting the melody from his 2004 song “If I Could Fly.” The case was settled out of court. SF Music professor Dr. Lawrence Ferrara showed in a 2011 documentary how the melodies of all three songs resembled “Se Tu M’ami” by Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, who died in 1736. WK

Creaky Boards’ singer Andrew Hoepfner alleged Martin attended one of their concerts in October 2007 and lifted the melody from “The Songs I Didn’t Write.” It turned out “Viva La Vida” was written and demoed seven months before the night in question. SF Creaky Boards later suggested both songs might have been inspired by the video game The Legend of Zelda. WK Will Champion, Coldplay’s drummer, said, “It’s tough when people accuse you of stealing something, when you know that you didn’t…There are only eight notes in an octave and no one owns them. And there are probably about 12,000 songs that feature the exact same chord progression.” SF

Coldplay was the first British male group since Jesus Jones and Escape Club in 1991 to land a second top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. SF When the song went to #1, it made Coldplay the first British group since the Spice Girls (“Wannabe”) in 1997 to top the U.S. charts. SF The song, which won a Grammy for Song of the Year, was iTunes’ best-selling song of 2008> WK The band opened their 2016 Super Bowl halftime performance with “Viva La Vida.”


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Last updated 7/25/2023.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida hit #1 in UK

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends


Released: May 26, 2008

Charted: June 15, 2008

Peak: 12 US, 15 UK, 15 CN, 14 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.8 US, 1.5 UK, 10.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock/Britpop


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Life in Technicolor
  2. Cemeteries of London
  3. Lost! (6/21/08, 40 US, 1 AA, 10 MR, 54 UK, 55 CN)
  4. 42
  5. Lovers in Japan (11/3/08, 39 RR, 19 A40, 3 AA)
  6. Yes
  7. Viva La Vida (5/24/08, 1 US, 11 RR, 1 AC, 1 A40, 1 AA, 1 MR, 1 UK, 4 CN, 2 AU)
  8. Violet Hill (5/9/08, 40 US, 1 AA, 9 MR, 8 UK, 6 CN, 9 AU)
  9. Strawberry Swing (9/13/09)
  10. Death and All His Friends

Total Running Time: 45:49

The Players:

  • Chris Martin (vocals, piano, synthesizers, guitar)
  • Jonny Buckland (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Guy Berryman (bass)
  • Will Champion (drums, percussion, backing vocals)


3.979 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“To say there has been a lot of anticipation for Coldplay’s fourth album, Viva La Vida, is an understatement. Having enlisted legendary leftfield producer Brian Eno, borrowed their album title from a painting by renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and made tantalising remarks about sonic reinvention, the world has been curious (to say the least) to hear what the ‘new’ Coldplay might sound like.” DM

Viva La Vida definitely makes some departures from the band’s usual formula, which happens to be one of the most commercially successful rock-pop blueprints of recent years. The plangent chords, emotive melodies, stadium-rock rhythms and universal lyrical concerns remain, but Martin and co. have gone out on several limbs here, incorporating instrumental tracks (Life in Technicolour), using subtle North African and Latin elements (Yes, Strawberry Swing), and overhauling previously strict verse-chorus-verse structures in favour of slightly more avant arrangements.” AZ

“The old Coldplay still shine through (see tracks like Violet Hill and the title song) but even their classic sound feels more muscular and confident. The band’s new flourishes, cosmetic and self-conscious as they may be, are enough to make Viva La Vida a welcome break from the old routine.” AZ

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/26/2008; last updated 5/1/2022.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Journey’s Revelation released



Released: June 3, 2008

Peak: 5 US, 68 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Never Walk Away (2008, --)
  2. Like a Sunshower
  3. Change for the Better
  4. Wildest Dream
  5. Faith in the Heartland
  6. After All These Years (5/24/08, 9 AC)
  7. Where Did I Lose Your Love (2008, 19 AC)
  8. What I Needed
  9. What It Takes to Win
  10. Turn Down the World Tonight
  11. The Journey (Revelation)

Total Running Time: 66:08

The Players:

  • Arnel Pineda (vocals)
  • Neal Schon (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Jonathan Cain (keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
  • Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals)
  • Deen Castronovo (drums, backing vocals)


4.089 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Over the years, Journey has gone through a few incarnations, most notably their transition from a Latin-tinged rock group (due to a couple Santana alums) to the more pop-driven years with Steve Perry as their lead singer. When the band reconvened in 1996 after a ten-year hiatus, it looked like they were determined to restore their glory years by returning with the same line-up that had recorded their biggest hits, 1981’s Escape and Frontiers. Alas, the reunion didn’t last.

Perry left the fold. “New Yorker Steve Augeri seemed to be the perfect replacement…, his voice being a natural fit for Journey. Sadly that voice failed him. In 2006, after eight years and two albums with the band, Augeri left Journey amid rumours that he had lip-synced on stage. He was later diagnosed with a serious throat infection.” CRM

The predicament threw Journey into the hunt for a lead singer yet again. “Schon scouted literally hundreds of singers via online video website YouTube before finding the band’s new frontman,” JM Arnel Pineda. Once again, the band seemed like they were a cover band of themselves with a frontman who did an uncanny impression of Steve Perry. Ironically, the band decided to rework one of their songs with Pineda on vocals. However, they chose to do Faith in the Heartland Meanwhile, the remainder of the line-up included founding member Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who joined the band at the onset of their heyday in 1981. Returning for his third consecutive album was drummer Deen Castronovo, celebrating ten years with the band after first working with Schon and Cain in the short-lived late-‘80s/early-‘90s supergroup Bad English. Returning to the fold after a dozen years is bassist Ross Valory, a founding member who’d been with the band through their glory years and was part of their 1996 reunion.

Never Walk Away kicks Revelation off with the resilient air and upbeat optimism fans have come to expect from Journey, a melody-soaked and guitar-driven anthem sure to ignite the live circuit just as it lights up the new release. The heartwarming sentiment offered by Like a Sunshower gives a more poetic and reflective look at relationships. It’s an uncharacteristic ballad from the more hard rock-inclined Schon. There’s even an instrumental, The Journey (Revelation)…the band’s first instrumental since Departure (1980).” JM

“Cain’s keyboards elevate After All These Years to new emotional heights. What I Needed is a power ballad, driven by heavy guitars, reminiscent of the early Journey that so many bands have modeled themselves after. Deen Castronovo drums up a frenzy during the hard-driving rock song, Wildest Dream. The talented Castronovo also sings most of the high harmonies heard throughout the album, proving that not only is he an amazing drummer, but he’s a dynamic vocalist as well. Schon’s smoking guitars rip through this track with a cool, eastern flavor. Bassist Ross Valory is steady throughout, a stabilizing force through the albums more driven highs and heartfelt lows.” JM

Notes: -- Revelation was released as a three-disc CD and DVD package exclusively through Wal-Mart and Journey’s online store. The track listing on this page is only for the collection’s first CD, which contained all new songs. The other two discs in the collection are a CD of newly-recorded songs and a live DVD from a March 6, 2008 Las Vegas concert.

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First posted 10/10/2008; updated 8/9/2021.

Radiohead: A Retrospective, 1992-2003


A Retrospective: 1992-2003


Experimental alternative-rock group formed in Oxford, England in 1989. Members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood formed The Smile in 2020 with drummer Tom Skinner (Sons of Kemet).

The Players:

  • Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar)
  • Jonny Greenwood (guitar, keyboards)
  • Ed O’Brien (guitar, effects)
  • Colin Greenwood (bass)
  • Phil Selway (drums)

On the Web:



The Studio Albums:

Hover over an album cover to see its title and year of release. Click on the album to go to its dedicated DMDB page.


Under each album snapshot, songs featured on the anthologies are noted. If the song charted, the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.

Pablo Honey (1993):

  • You [3:29] (5/5/92 on Drill EP) B2
  • Creep [3:56] (9/21/92, 34 US, 37 CB, 25 RR, 20 AR, 2 MR, 7 UK, 30 CN, 6 AU) B1
  • Anyone Can Play Guitar [3:38] (2/1/93, 32 UK) B2
Go to the DMDB page for this album to read more about it.

The Bends (1995):

Go to the DMDB page for this album to read more about it.

OK Computer (1997):

Go to the DMDB page for this album to read more about it.

Kid A (2000):

  • Optimistic [5:15] (10/7/00, 10 MR) B1
  • Idioteque [5:09] B1
  • Everything in Its Right Place [4:11] B1
  • How to Disappear Completely [5:56] B2
  • The National Anthem [5:51] B2
Go to the DMDB page for this album to read more about it.

Amnesiac (2001):

  • Pyramid Song [4:49] (5/16/01, 13 UK) B1
  • I Might Be Wrong [4:54] (5/19/01, 27 MR) B2
  • Knives Out [4:15] (8/1/01, 13 UK) B2
Go to the DMDB page for this album to read more about it.

Hail to the Thief (2003):

  • There There (The Boney King of Nowhere) [5:25] (5/10/03, 14 MR, 4 UK, 12 CN) B1
  • Go to Sleep (Little Man Being Erased) [3:21] (8/18/03, 32 MR, 12 UK) B2
  • 2 + 2 = 5 (The Lukewarm) [3:19] (11/17/03, 15 UK) B1
Go to the DMDB page for this album to read more about it.

The Best of


Released: June 3, 2008

Recorded: 1992-2003

Peak: 26 US, 4 UK, 10 CN, 10 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.3 UK, 1.15 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: experimental alternative rock

Tracks: (1) Just (2) Paranoid Android (3) Karma Police (4) Creep (5) No Surprises (6) High and Dry (7) My Iron Lung (8) There There (9) Lucky (10) Optimistic (11) Fake Plastic Trees (12) Idioteque (13) 2 + 2 = 5 (14) The Bends (15) Pyramid Song (16) Street Spirit (Fade Out) (17) Everything in Its Right Place

Tracks (Special Edition, Disc 2): (1) Airbag (2) I Might Be Wrong (3) Go to Sleep (4) Let Down (5) Planet Telex (6) Exit Music (For a Film) (7) The National Anthem (8) Knives Out (9) Talk Show Host (10) You (11) Anyone Can Play Guitar (12) How to Disappear Completely (13) True Love Waits (live)


3.280 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)

About The Best of:

This compilation pulled from Radiohead’s first six studio albums. The special edition added a second disc of material pulled from the same albums with two non-album cuts included: “Talk Show Host” from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, and “True Love Waits,” a recording from the I Might Be Wrong: The Live Recordings EP.

Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Talk Show Host (1/22/96, --) B2
  • True Love Waits (live, 8/20/01) B2

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 6/3/2022.