Coldplay, From Pectoralz To World Domination

Summing up the iconic career of British alt-rockers,[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Coldplay[/lastfm], is impossible to do in a few pages, but three facts present themselves as a pattern in Coldplay’s career: rapid-fire success, tons of awards, and non-stop critical acclaim. One thing is for sure: Coldplay’s career has been steadily going up since they started as a group of University kids in 1998.

Want to familiarize yourself with Coldplay’s massive career? Check out our year-by-year career retrospective before you watch their exclusive performance from the legendary stage of New York’s Ed Sullivan Theater for Live on Letterman, presented by AT&T, rethink possible.

The entire concert will stream live on Tuesday, September 20 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT, and you can watch it right here.

1996-97

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Photo by Justin Sullivan//Getty Images

  • In 1996, lead vocalist Chris Martin and guitarist Johnny Buckland formed a band called Pectoralz while still at the University College London.
  • When bassist John Berryman joined, the band changed their name to Starfish in 1997.

1998

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Photo by Dave Hogan//Getty Images

  • Will Champion joined as a drummer and the band renamed themselves “Coldplay” in 1998.
  • In 1998, Coldplay released their first EP Safety. Even today, Safety is a rarity that fetches thousands of dollars on Ebay.
  • In December 1998, Coldplay signed to independent label Fierce Panda.

1999

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Photo by Frazer Harrison//Getty Images

  • In February 1999, Coldplay released their second EP Brothers and Sisters on Fierce Panda.
  • The boys finished their University exams and signed to Parlophone Records for a five-record contract.
  • Coldplay makes their first appearance at Glastonbury and releases their third EP entitled Blue Room with single “Bigger Stronger” receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1.
  • After a bit of a falling out, Coldplay decided to make their band into a democracy like[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] U2[/lastfm], but said members would get kicked out if caught using hard drugs.

2000

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Photo by Mark Metcalfe//Getty Images

  • Coldplay’s Mercury Prize nominated début album Parachutes is released and debuts at #1 on the UK Album Charts. They break through the Top 40 with single “Shiver.”
  • “Yellow,” Coldplay’s second single released from Parachutes and their lead single in the United States, gives them international fame.
  • In June 2000, Coldplay embarks on a headlining tour. Parachutes is released in November 2000 on Nettwerk in the United States. Parachutes eventually reached double-platinum success in the United States.

2001

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Photo by Kevin Winter//Getty Images

  • Coldplay returned to the studio in September 2001 to record their sophomore album, A Rush Of Blood To The Head.
  • The band writes more than twenty songs for the album, inspired by the recording process.

2002

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Photo by Bryan Bedder//Getty Images

  • Parachutes wins Best Alternative Music Album at the 2002 Grammy Awards.
  • In August, critically-acclaimed album A Rush Of Blood To The Head is released. It is ranked as one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The album included singles like “Clocks” and “The Scientist.”
  • From June 2002 to September 2003, Coldplay embarked on their international A Rush Of Blood To The Head tour.

2003

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  • Coldplay wins Best Alternative Album two years in a row with A Rush Of Blood To The Head.
  • In December 2003, Rolling Stone chose Coldplay as best band and best artist of the year.

2004

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Photo by Frazer Harrison//Getty Images

  • At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Coldplay won Record Of The Year for “Clocks.”
  • For most of the year, Coldplay relaxed while working on their next album and creating a satire band called The Nappies.

2005

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Photo by Dave Hogan//Getty Images

  • In June 2005, Coldplay’s third album X&Y was released. It became the best-selling album of 2005 with worldwide sales of 8.3 million with critically-acclaimed singles like “Speed of Sound” and “Fix You.”
  • From June 2005 to July 2006, Coldplay went on their Twisted Logic Tour,playing dates like Coachella, Isle of Wight Festival, Glastonbury and Live 8.

2006-07

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Photo by John Shearer//Getty Images

  • Reports circulated that the band were taking a five-year hiatus.
  • In February 2006, Coldplay earned Best Album and Best Single honors at the BRIT Awards.
  • Proving the reports false, in October 2006, Coldplay began work on their fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, with producer [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Brian Eno[/lastfm].
  • The band tours Latin America in early 2007.

2008

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Photo by Dave Hogan//Getty Images

  • “Violet Hill” is released as the first single from Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends in April of 2008.
  • Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends is released in June of 2008. The BBC calls it “one of the fastest-selling records in UK history.”
  • In October 2008, Coldplay won two Q Awards for Best Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and Best Act in the World Today.
  • In November 2008, Coldplay’s Prospekt’s March EP is released.
  • In December 2008, Joe Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay in the United States District Court for the Central District of California which asserted that the Coldplay song “Viva la Vida” includes “substantial original portions” of the Satriani song “If I Could Fly” from his 2004 album, Is There Love in Space?.

2009

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Photo by Getty Images

  • Coldplay were nominated for four BRIT Awards in 2009: British Group, British Live Act, British Single (“Viva la Vida”) and British Album (Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends).
  • At the 51st Grammy Awards, Coldplay wins three Grammy Awards in the categories for Song of Year for “Viva la Vida”, Best Rock Album for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Best Vocal Pop Performance by a Duo or Group for “Viva la Vida.”
  • In October 2009, Coldplay won Song of the Year for “Viva la Vida” at The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Awards in London.

2010-2011

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Photo by Dave Hogan//Getty Images

  • Coldplay released only one single in 2010; “Christmas Lights”, in December.
  • In June 2011, Coldplay’s first single from Mylo Xyloto, “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” is released to radio. Other song set to appear on the album being released October 24th include “Princess of China”, “Major Minus”, “Hurts Like Heaven”, “Charlie Brown” and “Us Against the World.”


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