You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Coldplay’s 20th Anniversary Celebrated in New Book, ‘Life in Technicolor’

In advance of the forthcoming documentary on Coldplay, “A Head Full of Dreams” — which arrives in theaters Nov. 14 and on Amazon Prime Video two days later — the woman who was among the first to discover the band has co-authored a book. “Life in Technicolor: A Celebration of Coldplay” by Debs Wild, the A&R scout who saw on of their first shows, and music journalist Malcolm Croft, arrives in bookstores today (Oct. 15). 

All of these projects are pegged to the group’s 20th anniversary (it actually formed in 1996 under the rather less-memorable name Pectoralz, then changed to Starfish before becoming Coldplay in 1998).

The coffee table book features color photos that tell the story of the band’s rise to stadium-sized stardom. Each section correlated to the making of each of Coldplay’s seven studio albums and includes spotlight chapters about each member of the band: drummer Will Champion, Bassist Guy Berryman, Guitarist Jonny Buckland, and lead singer Chris Martin.

Among the highlights: The introduction includes a scanned page from Wild’s personal diary the night after seeing Coldplay perform for the first time at the Cuba Cafe in Manchester. “Their sound is great – shame their look isn’t,” Wild wrote of her first impression of the band on September 14, 1998. “Pretty shabby. I know everyone bangs on about image and all that but I don’t care that the singer was wearing cords and a tank top over a t shirt. He had a mop of curly hair and braces on his teeth. The rest of the band didn’t look great either but they have something, something special.”

Reminiscing about that night, Chris Martin stuck up for his choice of outfit. “I normally wear a jumper for the first song so I can take it off,” he said. “It’s very important to take off a piece of clothing at a gig.”

After Wild fell in love with the band, she grabbed the card of Phil Harvey, Coldplay’s then-manager and honorary fifth member. Wild also passed along the band’s “Safety” EP was passed to friend Caroline Elleray, who worked in publishing. Soon after, the band signed its first record deal with British indie label Fierce Panda.

Two years later, their debut album was released in July of 2000, along with a song that remains one of their biggest hits — and the single that put Coldplay on the map — “Yellow.”

“It was a really clear, starry night,” said bassist Guy Berryman of the night Martin wrote the song.  “We all came out in absolute amazement because none of us had seen the sky look that clear. The number of stars was just ridiculous.”  

Six little-known facts about Coldplay:

  • It only took Coldplay 10 gigs as a performing band to get signed to their first record label (though they practiced alone in their dorm room for two years before that)
  • They were originally called Starfish.
  • The name Coldplay came from a close friend of the band, Tim Crompton, who was reading a book by Philipo Horky called “Child’s Reflections, Cold Play.” After going by “The Coldplay” at Phil Harvey’s instance for several shows, they finally became “Coldplay.”
  • At one of their first gigs at which they were competing for attention with another act, Chris Martin “decided to steal the show by taking his trousers off mid-performance to reveal some excellent height-of-Britpop Union Jack boxer shorts,” remembers musician Tim Rice-Oxley.
  • The hit single “Viva La Vida” almost didn’t make it onto the album.
  • “The Scientist” was written about Martin’s friend Dan Keeling, who had just gone through a bad breakup. His reaction to the song: “I feel worse now!”

More Music

  • Brandi Carlile61st Annual Grammy Awards, Show,

    Brandi Carlile Takes Dave Grohl Busking in Seattle (Watch)

    Not all the surprise collaborations happened at Coachella this weekend. Seattle’s foremost male and female musical exports, Brandi Carlile and Dave Grohl, teamed up for a mini-set Saturday afternoon in their hometown, setting up shop as buskers in front of the popular shopping site Pike Place Market. Unlike most of weekend 2 of Coachella, this [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Childish Gambino Concert Review

    Chance the Rapper Appears at Childish Gambino's Weekend Two Coachella Set

    Though Childish Gambino’s weekend two Coachella set didn’t vary too much from his electrifying first one, it did feature a new but familiar face. When Gambino popped backstage during a band feature, accompanied by the cameramen that made his set in part like watching a concert film on a massive screen, Grammy winning musician Chance [...]

  • Marketing Guru Sour Matt Brings Cannabis,

    A 4/20 Special: Sour Matt on Bringing Cannabis, Hip-Hop and Branding Together

    Sour Matt might be one of the most mysterious yet well-respected figures in the cannabis industry, as well as a growing force in the music business with which it intersects. With more than 100,000 followers on Instagram alone, he describes himself as “someone who likes to connect the dots, working with other creatives to build [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Will SmithNickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Show,

    Will Smith Joins Jaden to Perform 'Icon' at Coachella

    Parents just do understand the importance of Coachella. Jaden Smith was joined in the Sahara tent Friday night by father Will for a performance of “Icon” — as Instagrammed by the proud papa. The footage of Will Smith rapping was shot by Jaden, who turns his smartphone camera around just long enough to photobomb his [...]

  • Anderson .Paak performs at the Coachella

    Brandy, Jay Rock Help Anderson .Paak Light Up Coachella Weekend Two

    Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals took the Coachella stage at the second weekend of the storied fest as the sun descended, but the musician’s fiery set was more than enough to light up the audience. The performance, which featured pyrotechnics including fireworks and flames alongside the rapper’s slinky stage moves, was relatively heavy on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content