One of my absolute favorite bands of the last 20 years. Though I’ve been lukewarm toward their last 2-3 albums, I think they have a relatively strong catalogue, making it difficult to rank a Top 20 songs. Here’s my #Top20Songsof20Artist post for the world-wide beloved band Coldplay.
20. “Sunrise” (2019) – Everyday Life
Beautiful instrumental. Almost chose “Postcards From Far Away” instead, which is also a great peaceful instrumental.
19. “Politik” (2002) – Rush of Blood To The Head
Driving and urgent.
18. “Magic” (2014) – Ghost Stories
Finger snaps and a electronic beat make for a slinky love song.
17. “Death And All His Friends” (2008) – Viva La Vida
A rousing closer to their best overall album. These are my favorite lines…
“No, I don’t want a battle from beginning to end
I don’t want a cycle of recycled revenge
I don’t wanna follow Death and all of his friends”
16. “True Love” (2014) – Ghost Stories
The sour guitar solo that doesn’t quite meet pitch is my favorite touch to this sad tune. “Tell me you love me/And if you don’t just lie/just lie to me.”
15. “Shiver” (2000) – Parachutes
One of the more uptempo songs from their earlier catalog, I’m not certain they had a better indie-rock moment.
14. “Up In Flames” (2011) – Mylo Xyloto
I’m a sucker for ballads and this is another strong one. Falsetto aplenty.
13. “Lost!” (2008) – Viva La Vida
Hip-hop influenced pop.
12. “Violet Hill” (2008) – Viva La Vida
Love the guitar riff here, and there is some pointed lyrics that ring ever true.
11. “Clocks” (2002) – Rush of Blood To The Head
The piano melody in this one is divine.
10. “For You” (2000) – Single
A lesser known and very haunting single from early on.
9. “Sparks” (2000) – Parachutes
Mellow and chill. Such great vibe music for writing and late night study.
8. “Yellow” (2000) – Parachutes
He song that broke them big, I still like it.
7. “Viva La Vida” (2008) – Viva La Vida
What an incredibly catchy melody.
6. “Glass of Water” (2008) – Prospeckt EP
So very good, the best song from the EP hands down. Wish they would have fit it on Viva the album but I understand why it ultimately cut.
5. “Paradise” (2011) – Mylo Xyloto
This was Coldplay’s Rafter-raising era and few songs outside of “Fix You” and “Viva” did it better than this one.
4. “The Scientist” (2002) – Rush Of Blood To The Head
Sad, mournful, sweet, emotive. I dig it still all these years later. “Nobody said it was easy/No one ever said it would be this hard”
3. “Trouble” (2000) – Parachutes
More piano-led balladry and a fine tune it is.
2. “Fix You” (2005) – X & Y
Almost my #1, this somewhat cheesy lyric is outshone but such an uplifting build that’s near heavenly.
1. “In My Place” (2002) – Rush of Blood To The Head
Their most perfect song.
What about you, what are your favorite Coldplay songs?
My wife and I managed to catch Coldplay on their Viva la Vida tour in Belfast in 2008. They’re by far the biggest band I’ve ever seen live (if you don’t count the OC Supertones), and it was a pretty unforgettable experience. Viva la Vida is their standout album for me, Parachutes and Rush of Blood would be second and third, and like you I haven’t been that into their more recent output.
Here’s my top 20:
#18 Up In Flames
#16 The Hardest Part
#15 Yellow – didn’t catch it when it was ubiquitous, but it’s a great song.
#14 Shiver – their first album had a great sound, this is one of my favourites…
#13 Cemeteries of London – this and #12 are great examples of why Viva la Vida is easily their strongest album – every song is interesting. This one makes me think of foggy night-time scenes in a Charles Dickens novel.
#12 42 – bit hard to explain what this song sounds like: maybe like the answer to some deep philosophical question?
#9 Don’t Panic
#8 In My Place – worthy choice for your #1. I was once sitting in a coffee shop in Thailand trying to study language, and they were playing really annoying popular music (humbug!). After well over an hour of this, suddenly the drums to this song kicked in, and it felt like soothing balm for sore ears. Such a blissful moment.
#7 Paradise – just in case you haven’t seen it, treat yourself to “Paradise (Peponi)” by the Piano Guys and Alex Boye (needs to be with the stunning video on youtube).
#6 The Scientist – Coldplay doing their trademark Coldplay thing to perfection.
#5 Violet Hill – it’s very satisfying when a band waits until their fourth album to pull out a crunchy guitar riff. Perfectly timed.
#4 Aliens (Kaleidoscope EP) – easily my favourite recent song of theirs, it deals with its subject matter so compassionately (plus I’m a sucker for unusual time signatures)
#3 Viva La Vida
#2 Fix You – I’ve never experienced anything quite like singing the bridge to this along with 20,000 other people. I can see how people might get addicted to that kind of feeling, and I think it points to something deep within us – we were made to worship (I couldn’t help but self-analyse even as I was in that moment!)
#1 Trouble – I heard this song on the radio sometime in 2001, and was mesmerised – though I didn’t catch the name of the band (in Germany Coldplay were virtually unknown until their second album). When someone lent me their first two albums, on hearing this song I realised I’d been a Coldplay fan in waiting.
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