Not only has the college-formed quartet emerged as one of the most commercially successful bands of the 21st century with over 100 million in album sales, eight world tours, and numerous global chart-toppers, their genre-bending music has amassed a loyal fanbase that has grown with them ever since their debut in 1998.
Multiple Grammys, Sicbo and sold-out stadiums later, Coldplay still remains one of the indomitable forces of the music industry. While the band has witnessed a very public journey in the past 24 years, there are still some interesting facts about Coldplay you probably haven’t heard about.
When and where did Coldplay come from?
Formed in London in 1997, Coldplay consists of vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion, and creative director Phil Harvey. They met at University College London and began playing together from 1997 to 1998, initially calling themselves Big Fat Noises and Starfish.
After independently releasing an extended play, Safety, in 1998, the band signed a record deal with Parlophone in 1999. Their debut album, Parachutes, which was released a year later, included the breakthrough single “Yellow”. The powerful acoustics and Martin’s excellent vocals transformed Coldplay into an overnight sensation. They received a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in the following year, ensuring a befitting introduction to the changing landscape of the music industry at the turn of the millennium.
Following the success of their debut offering, there was no stopping the band. Coldplay released a total of nine albums over the past two decades, the songs of many of which have cultivated historic status.
Their first concert as Coldplay was at The Dublin Castle pub in Camden, London. The year was 1998 and the young bandmates were excited, having gotten the opportunity to start at the famous location which served as the origin point for artists including Madness, Blur, Supergrass, Amy Winehouse, and countless others. “Due to the tiny stages in venues such as this, it’s very common for bands to arrange to share drum kits. This was the intention on this night, but not quite how it worked out,” reads Coldplay’s official version, listed on their website’s timeline section.
The band that played previously were miffed with the promoter, leading up to them stealing the only-available set at the pub. Determined to continue, Will, the band’s drummer, went on to use the floor as the bass drum, and the rest as they say, is history! Drum roll please…or should we say floor roll?
In the spring of April 1999, Coldplay went on to sign their first record deal with Parlophone. It was signed at the Trafalgar Square in London. “In the pre-internet days, having a record deal was the absolutely defining difference between a band who were just “having a go” and one actually doing it “for real”, said the band.
As the tell-tale signs of impending stardom began to seep in, the band reasoned, “There was no YouTube, no social networks, and besides trading cassettes, no real way of getting your music out to people without a record company to help. Having a deal meant that people were going to hear about you and that things were going to happen.”
While some reports suggest that Coldplay’s tours are one of the most lucrative deals in music history, estimates point to north of the $1 billion mark from earnings. A few even point to a $2 billion number. If a report published on Seedly is to be believed, the band’s profits lean toward the higher digits. Take a look at the statistics of their many world tours, neatly establishing their dominance in the field.