X&Y Biggest Release of 2005?
Originally posted on May 06, 2005 4:43 PM
"We didn't sit down and say, 'Let's write a stadium album,'" says Coldplay drummer Will Champion of his band's ambitious third CD, X&Y, due June 7th. "But we did gravitate toward that."
And even before Coldplay staged the new songs at this past weekend's Coachella Festival, their big-rock move was paying off: The single "Speed of Sound" hit Number One on iTunes' charts in fifteen countries a day after its April 19th release. Dave Alder, chief marketing officer for Virgin Megastores, says he expects X&Y to match or exceed the triple-platinum sales of 2002's A Rush of Blood to the Head: "This is the first event release of 2005, and probably the most anticipated release of the year."
Andrew Slater, president of Coldplay's label, Capitol Records, says the disc -- packed with dynamic drumming, fat stacks of layered keyboards, and singalong choruses -- "showcases the group at the peak of their powers."
But climbing to that peak took some work. "We went through so many different emotions and ideas," says singer Chris Martin. "We went down so many different paths." In fact, the foursome spent a year on initial recording sessions for X&Y -- only to ditch almost every note after they listened to the results. Recalls Champion, "We all went to a bar in Liverpool and said, 'We need to sort this out, because it's not right.' It sounded like four people playing different things and then chucking it into a computer to edit it and fix it."
So the band members retreated to a dingy rehearsal room in North London and reconnected. When they began recording again, they did so as a unit, playing live in the studio. "We learned how to be a band again, really," says Champion. "We got back that spark that we felt when we first joined a band together." They also absorbed new musical influences, biting the melody of Kraftwerk's "Computer Love" for the ethereal tune "Talk" (the German synth-rock pioneers granted permission after Martin wrote them a letter) and emulating New Order on the synth-splashed "Low."
The band is planning its most extensive world tour yet, which will hit arenas and amphitheaters in forty cities beginning in late summer. Says Champion, "We're basically hoping to make the best live show ever."
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