With the release of their acclaimed debut album Parachutes, Brit-rockers Coldplay take up where The Smiths left off. Like their '80s predecessors, Coldplay writes and performs romantic, windswept pop that's as alluring as it is unfashionable. Yet for all its winning sentimentality, Coldplay's music is also informed by an enticing intellectualism. Songs like "Shiver" and "Don't Panic" feature lyrics brimming with optimism and philosophic insight. By capturing the complexity of real life, Coldplay has triumphantly positioned itself as the thinking person's rock band.
Coldplay's insinuating sounds are slowly conquering the world. Based on the chart-topping performance of Parachutes, Coldplay was named Band of the Year 2000 in many British music polls. Now the hoopla has reached the U.S., with the band earning critical kudos and impressive stateside album sales. On the singular strength of their debut album, Coldplay has rocketed into the U.K. pop pantheon inhabited by Radiohead, Oasis, Blur and Travis.
The members of Coldplay - singer Chris Martin, bassist Guy Berryman, guitarist Jon Buckland and drummer Will Champion - met at University College in London. The quartet printed 500 copies of an independently produced EP called Safety, and released the single "Brothers and Sisters" on a small U.K. label called Fierce Panda. In 1999, the band inked a deal with England's Parlophone Records, which resulted in the release of another EP, The Blue Room, followed by the single "Shiver".
The single and EPs created such a buzz that Parachutes debuted at number one in the U.K. Coldplay was nominated for an esteemed Mercury Music Prize, received the Q Award for Best Album, signed to Nettwerk America/Capitol and endeared themselves to stateside rock fans. The band's 2001 American tour will undoubtedly be a standing room only affair.