Coldplay are the latest critically acclaimed rock band to be signed to Parlophone Records... Following in the footsteps of label-mates Radiohead, Supergrass and Blur, Coldplay crossed-over into the pop chart with their 2nd single 'Yellow' in July 2000 and look forward to further success with their debut album released this summer.
I don't to go too far down the "only like the early stuff" route, not least because in this case it would be patently untrue, but the early Coldplay recordings, dashed off in cheap studios by a band who couldn't safely assume they'd even get to make a second album, certainly have a different quality about them from what went afterwards. I actually think it's rather to their credit that the band picked up on the possibilities of bigger budgets and slacker schedules that their success allowed them on subsequent sessions, but this single has a rawness about it that they could never really repeat; it's the apparent limitations of the recording (it has extraordinarily lo-fi production values for a 21st-century Top 5 hit) that help save it from sappiness. It doesn't wholly matter that the lyrics don't wholly make sense, and that we never really know what is yellow (Chris Martin has given various explanations over the years, one of which may even be true): Martin's full-throated vocal persuades us he knows. And that final downward swoop, though possibly R.E.M. inspired, is one of my favourite pop moments of that year.
Also appearing on: Now 47, 48, 53, 54, 55, 61, 62, 63, 70, 71, 79, 81, 82
Available on: Parachutes