Yellow ~ Coldplay

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Coldplay_viva1Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London (UCL). After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a drummer, backing vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, completing the line-up. Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member.  The band renamed themselves “Coldplay” in 1998,  before recording and releasing three EPs: Safety in 1998,Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999 and The Blue Room in the same year. The Blue Room was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.

They achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single “Yellow” in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year,Parachutes, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band’s second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002), was released to critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including NME‘s Album of the Year. Their next release, X&Y, the best-selling album worldwide in 2005, was met with mostly positive reviews upon its release, though some critics felt that it was inferior to its predecessor. The band’s fourth studio album,Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely positive reviews, earning severalGrammy Award nominations and wins at the 51st Grammy Awards.  On 24 October 2011, they released their fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto, which received mixed to positive reviews, topped the charts in over 34 countries, and was the UK’s best-selling rock album of 2011.  On 16 May 2014, they released their sixth and newest album, titled Ghost Stories, topping the iTunes Store albums charts in over 100 countries.

The band have won a number of music awards throughout their career, including eight Brit Awards—winning Best British Group three times—five MTV Video Music Awards and seven Grammy Awards from 25 nominations. Coldplay have sold more than 80 million records worldwide. In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s.  Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, The Secret Policeman’s Ball, Sport Relief and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Yellow

Yellow” is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay. The band wrote the song and co-produced it with British record producer Ken Nelson for their debut album, Parachutes (2000). The song’s lyrics are a reference to band vocalist Chris Martin’s unrequited love.

The song was recorded in March 2000, and released in June that same year as the second single from Parachutes, following “Shiver”, and the lead single in the United States. The single reached number four in the UK Singles Chart, giving the band their first top-five hit in the United Kingdom. Helped by heavy rotation and usage in promotions, the song thrust the band into massive popularity. “Yellow” has since been covered by various recording artists worldwide, and remains one of the band’s most popular songs.

“Yellow” was written in a Rockfield studio in Wales called the Quadrangle, where Coldplay began working on their debut album, Parachutes. One night after finishing recording “Shiver”, the lead single of the album, the band took a break and went out of the studio.  Outside, there were few lights on and the stars in the sky were visible and “just amazing”, according to the song’s co-producer, Ken Nelson.  He told the band to look at the stars, which they did. Vocalist Chris Martin was inspired by the sight and the song’s main melody, consisting of a chord pattern, popped into his head. At first, Martin did not take it seriously “as he relayed the tune to the rest of the band in his worst Neil Young impersonation voice”. Martin has said, “The song had the word ‘stars’ and that seemed like a word you should sing in a Neil Young voice.”  The melody “started off a lot slower”, according to drummer Will Champion, and it sounded like a Neil Young song.  Not long after, despite not taking the song seriously, Martin’s idea worked out when he had developed the tempo of the verse. When guitarist Jonny Buckland started playing it and supplemented it with his ideas, they had created the riff, “and it sort of got a bit heavier”.

While composing the song’s lyrics, Martin could not find the right words. He was thinking of a specific word, which he deemed a missing key word in the lyrics, to fit the song’s concept. He looked around the studio and found the telephone directory Yellow Pages, which happened to be situated nearest to him.  Martin later titled the song “Yellow” as a reference to the directory. The lyrics progressed from there with the band collaborating. Bassist Guy Berryman came up with the opening line “Look at the stars”. That night, having quickly composed the song, the band recorded it.

A much different origin of the song was told on The Howard Stern Show in November 2011. Chris Martin explained to Stern that he was impersonating Neil Young while entertaining guests when he came across the first chord of the song, which stuck with him for a bit then in a Neil Young voice he sang “look at the stars”. Martin went on to further explain that the word “yellow” has absolutely no meaning whatsoever and while writing the rest of the song he tried his best to change yellow to something else since every lyric before yellow made no sense but in the end the word “yellow” just sounded right. Martin also told Stern that through the years depending on the attitude and manner of whoever interviews him, he would make up some story about a song or album titles just to move on to the next question. Martin applauded Stern saying “I like you, Howard, so that’s the first time I’ve ever told anyone the truth behind ‘Yellow’.”

Yellow – Coldplay

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And everything you do,
Yeah, they were all yellow.

I came along,
I wrote a song for you,
And all the things you do,
And it was called “Yellow”.

So then I took my turn,
Oh what a thing to have done,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into
Something beautiful,
You know,
You know I love you so,
You know I love you so.

I swam across,
I jumped across for you,
Oh what a thing to do.
‘Cause you were all yellow,

I drew a line,
I drew a line for you,
Oh what a thing to do,
And it was all yellow.

Your skin,
Oh yeah your skin and bones,
Turn into
Something beautiful,
And you know,
For you I’d bleed myself dry,
For you I’d bleed myself dry.

It’s true,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine for you,
Look how they shine.

Look at the stars,
Look how they shine for you,
And all the things that you do.


41OK1we9hLL._SS280 From the 2000 album, Parachutes:

Play Yellow - by Coldplay

Yellow ~ Coldplay


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