A Rush Of Blood To The Head

A Rush of Blood to the Head is the second album by Coldplay, released on August 26, 2002 in the UK and on August 27 in the U.S.. It was as successful as its predecessor, Parachutes, debuting at #1 in the United Kingdom, moving 273,000 copies, and at #5 in the United States, moving 144,000 copies in the first week.

A Rush of Blood to the Head won the 2002 Grammy for Best Alternative Album. The album received generally good reviews, and many critics considered it better than Coldplay’s first album, Parachutes. In 2003, the album was ranked number 473 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The album includes “guitar-pop” singles (“In My Place“), ballads (“The Scientist“), and acoustic songs (“Green Eyes“). However, the U2-esque epic rock of the album’s opening track “Politik“, the synth-driven “Clocks“, and the loud guitars of “A Whisper” were seen to extend the band’s musical range. The album also had greater use of piano than Coldplay’s debut album or that of many other rock bands popular at the time. “Clocks,” a song centered around a cyclic piano riff and included on the album only at the last minute, ultimately became the band’s largest hit to date, earning the band a Grammy for Record of the Year.

A Rush Of Blood To The Head: Album Reviews



All songs written by Berryman/Buckland/Champion/Martin.

  1. Politik” – 5:18
  2. In My Place” – 3:48
  3. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” – 4:57
  4. The Scientist” – 5:09
  5. Clocks” – 5:07
  6. Daylight” – 5:27
  7. Green Eyes” – 3:43
  8. Warning Sign” – 5:31
  9. A Whisper” – 3:58
  10. A Rush of Blood to the Head” – 5:51
  11. Amsterdam” – 5:19

Cover Art

The cover art for A Rush of Blood to the Head was designed by photographer Sølve Sundsbø. Sundsbø had been hired by fashion magazine Dased and Confused in the late 1990s to produce something with a “technological feel, something all white”. As an artist, he tried to do “stuff that hasn’t been done before, which is virtually impossible”; he suggested taking shots using a three-dimensional scanning machine.

The model for the shot wore an all-white makeup because it produces the “best results”; for the image, the model wore a twill-coloured cape. The computer could not read the colours so it was replaced with spikes, and the head in the image was chopped because the machine only scanned 30 centimetres. The editor of the magazine liked the image and eventually featured it in one of their publications. Chris Martin saw the image in the magazine and approached Sundsbø for permission to use the image as the cover of A Rush of Blood to the Head. For the album’s singles, Martin asked Sundsbø what he could do; the latter suggested scanning the head of each member of the band. The album cover was among the ten chosen by the Royal Mail for a set of “Classic Album Cover” postage stamps issued in January 2010.


Year Award Category
2002 Q Awards Best Album
2003 Brit Awards Best British Album
2003 Grammy Awards Best Alternative Music Album
2003 Grammy Awards Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (In My Place)
2003 Grammy Awards Record of the Year (Clocks)


art_inmyplace In My Place

  • Released: 5 August 2002
  • Producers: Coldplay, Ken Nelson
  • Video Director: Sophie Muller
  • Chart position: #2 (Canada, UK), #3 (Latvia), #17 (US Modern Rock)
art_thescientist The Scientist

  • Released: 4 November 2002 (UK), 11 November 2002 (US)
  • Producers: Coldplay, Ken Nelson
  • Video Director: Jamie Thraves
  • Chart positions: #1 (Peru), #6 (Latvia), #10 (UK), #18 (US Modern Rock), #16 (Canada), #40 (Australia)
art_clocks Clocks

  • Released: 24 March 2003
  • Producers: Coldplay, Ken Nelson
  • Video Directors: Dominic Leung
  • Chart position: #1 (Latvia), #2 (Netherlands), #7 (Canada), #9 (UK Singles Chart, U.S. Modern Rock), #28 (Australia), #29 (U.S. Billboard Hot 100)
art_godputasmileuponyourface God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

  • Released: 14 July 2003
  • Producers: Coldplay, Ken Nelson
  • Video Director: Jamie Thraves
  • Chart position: #13 (Latvia), #43 (Australia), #38 (NL), #100 (UK Import)


The album was released in various countries.

Country Date Label Format Catalog
Japan August 12 2002 Toshiba-EMI CD TOCP 66020
United Kingdom August 26 2002 Parlophone LP 5405041
CD 5405042
United States August 27 2002 Capitol CD CDP 7243 5 40504 2 8

Certifications, peaks and sales

Country Peak position Certification (if any) Sales/shipments
Argentina 1 2x Platinum 80,000+
Australia 5x Platinum 350,000+
Austria 10 Platinum 30,000+
Belgium 2x Platinum 100,000+
Brazil Gold 50,000+
Canada 4x Platinum 400,000+
Denmark 1 Gold 20,000+
Finland 4 Gold 16,708+
France 4 2x Gold 200,000+
Germany 3x Gold 450,000+
Mexico Platinum 150,000+
Netherlands 3 Platinum 80,000+
New Zealand 2 4x Platinum 60,000+
Norway 1
Portugal 8 Platinum 20,000+
Sweden 5 Gold 30,000+
Switzerland 1 Gold 20,000+
United Kingdom 7x Platinum 2,100,000+
United States 4x Platinum 4,400,000+

The Oracle on A Rush of Blood to the Head

January 24, 2011 – submitted by Veronica, Argentina
Q. Dear Oracle,
Recently you have answered a question from Stephen affirming that there’s a song of AROBTTH that was “sort of dedicated to a flower”. Could you tell us which is it?
Thanks a lot and greetings from Argentina!
The Oracle replies:
I’ll tell you the song yeah, it’s Warning Sign.

January 19, 2011 – submitted by Stephen, United Kingdom
Q. I was a little unwell when it came out but I developed a theory that every song on A Rush of Blood to the Head was dedicated to a flower. Was I mad?
The Oracle replies:
You were indeed mad Stephen although… one track was sort of dedicated to a flower.

July 5, 2010 – submitted by Jay, United Kingdom
Q. Dear Oracle,
I have been trying to work this out for months now, and I had the idea to ask you.
What is the Rush of Blood to the head Album artwork based on?
Thanks in Advance
The Oracle replies:
Watch out for Anchorman’s look at AROBTTH in a future installment of his Cover Artwork series…

October 24, 2008 – submitted by Hector, United States of America
Q. Who came up with the album cover of Coldplays 2nd album, A Rush of Blood to the Head? It’s amazing.
The Oracle replies:
The cover is the creation of Norwegian artist Solve Sundsbo.

August 21, 2008 – submitted by hera, United States of America
Q. On the cover of A Rush of Blood to the Head, it says; The Scientist is Dan. What does that mean?
The Oracle replies:
Dan Keeling was the guy who signed them to Parlophone. He was their A&R man before he moved on a few years ago. Dan not only bore inspiration for the song of the same name but also the album in terms of being quite harsh with his honest opinions during recording. Referring to him as The Scientist was a compliment even though The Scientist isn’t a biographical song about Dan.