Best of the Coldplay Oracle – 2014

The Best of Coldplay's Oracle 2014

‘The Oracle knows everything’. The Coldplay Oracle, the ultimate source of wisdom, answers fan questions on the official website and runs #TeamOracle where Coldplayers across the globe can give advise to real world personal situations. takes a look at some highlights from the ‘Ghost Stories’ era (so far), revealing facts that may have gone un-noticed or making you think ‘Oh yeah, I remember that’!

Ghost Stories facts

The oracle talks about Chris’ magic tricks, the ‘Midnight’ promo release strategy, the apparent ‘female vocals’ on ‘Another’s Arms’ and the out of focus image, one of the very first graphics to appear from the ‘Ghost Stories’ era.

10 April 2014 / submitted by Karolyn, Ecuador
Q. Hi Did Chris learned the magic tricks he did in Magic video? I mean, he really did that? Thanks, love you.
Chris was actually taught the magic tricks on set by magician, Joe Labero.

6 May 2014 / submitted by Johnny, United States of America
Q. I know Magic and A Sky Full Of Stars are the first two singles of the Ghost Stories era. What does that leave Midnight? How would this be classified?
Singles are usually taken from an album – but not always – and released for sale. Midnight was what they call in the biz, a promotional track.
The band premiered the video on the website but it wasn’t released as a single. Promo items such as digital downloads are commonplace but of course in this case, there was also the limited pressing of a 7″ for Record Store Day. That doesn’t make it a single though – despite it having a video.

19 May 2014 / submitted by Helen, Australia
Q. Dear Oracle,
Is it true that the female vocals in Another’s Arms are from Silver Chord by Jane Weaver?
I have known Jane for over 15 years and am jolly pleased to see people interested in her work after so long. Another’s Arms does feature a small sample from Silver Chord but it’s not Jane’s voice as far as I can tell. I’m beginning to think that’s a computer generated vocal.

July 30, 2014 / submitted by Maria, Bulgaria
Q.Hi Oracle!
I’ve noticed something a bit strange on the banner for Ghost Stories on iTunes – Chris’ face seems to be blurred or at least not focused by the camera when the photo was taken. Is there a reason for this? Was it done on purpose for Guy, Jonny and Will to stand out?
I think they all look a little out of focus. It’s just the way the photo turned out – probably because it was taken with little lighting. Incidentally, that photo was taken by Phil on his iPhone.

Best of Coldplay Oracle

The humble beginnings

The Oracle tells us about the early band mechanics, from their early band names such as Pectoralz and Starfish to tracks like ‘Brothers And Sisters’. Starting off with the unlikeliest of questions from our very own regular forum poster, Linus (before he registered on Coldplaying may I add! ;) )

March 26, 2014 / submitted by Linus, Sweden
Q. Dear Oracle,
I know this may seem like a stupid question, but I would really like to know… Was Chris high/drunk when he wrote Ode To Deodorant?
Given Chris doesn’t take drugs and rarely drinks alcohol, he was neither. I once asked Chris – granted, I didn’t know him very well at the time – if the song was about drugs but it really is about deodorant.

9 April 2014 / submitted by Sam, United States of America
Q. Hello, Oracle!
A while back I saw something (that I believe Jonny wrote) that said at “Coldplay”‘s first gig, they played one song twice because they only had a few songs. Do you happen to know which it was? Thanks!
On the 16th January, 1998, “Coldplay” played – under their previous name of Starfish – at The Laurel Tree, Camden.
The setlist was:
If All Else
So Sad
High Speed
An Ode to Deodorant

I’m afraid I don’t know which song was played twice. If I find out, I’ll update this post.

June 5, 2014 / submitted by M Davis, United Kingdom
Q. Is Brothers & Sisters considered to be an EP? Safety and Blue Room are listed as EPs on the website, but Brothers & Sisters is not.
That’s because the Brothers & Sisters in our Recordings section is referring to the song – not the EP.
Fierce Panda released the Brothers & Sisters EP (which the second image in Recordings is of) and then a re-recorded version appeared on the b side of Trouble (the first image) released on Parlophone.

Rare and live

‘Easy to Please’, ‘Twisted Logic’, ‘Rainy Day’ and ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ are just some of the great Coldplay songs which were never played live. Oracle goes over ‘Proof’, the ‘Crests of Waves’ soundcheck in Paris and ‘Prospket’s March’ during the Viva era. Both never made it onto the live stage, unfortunately.

19 May 2014 / submitted by Lea, Germany
Q. Dear Oracle,
did Coldplay ever played Proof live? I really like this song, it’s not very popular, but very perfect. I can play it on guitar and piano now, it sounds fantastic!
Greetings from Munich!
Yes, Proof was played nut only a handful of times during March, 2003.

June 12, 2014 / submitted by Ma edeh, Iran
Q. Hi!
I just wanna know why Coldplay played Crest of Waves for sound check? Does it have a particular reason?
Thank you :-)
I was at the sound check in Paris on 28 May where the band played Green Eyes & Crest of Waves. Green Eyes was played later in the proper show – as it was again tonight in Tokyo.
Sound checks are a rare opportunity to try old songs and if they work out, they may make an appearance in the show or at a later date but sometimes they play songs at sound check just for fun.

July 29, 2014 / submitted by Raoul, Italy
Q. All-knowing Oracle, I think the only Coldplay song that has never been played live is A Spell, A Rebel Yell (which I love). Is there a particular reason? Will we be hearing it someday?
Keep on oraclin’!
There are more songs that have never been played live. Famously, Twisted Logic was never played on the Twisted Logic tour.
Off the top of my head, I can’t recall ever hearing U.F.O, Up With The Birds, Ghost Story or All Your Friends played live either. I saw a clip of Prospekt’s March at a soundcheck but not sure if appeared in a set. There are a few b sides unplayed too.
There’s no particular reason – it can be one of many but it’s doubtful you’ll ever hear A Spell A Rebel Yell.

And finally…

Do you remember the news of Coldplay scraping their upcoming album inbetween the Viva and MX eras? The Oracle talks about this :

August 5, 2014 / submitted by Stuart, United Kingdom
Q. Is it true that the band nearly finished a new LP and then scrapped it to start again?
Yes but it wasn’t Ghost Stories. It was after Viva, the (non) album before Mylo Xyloto if you will. They’d recorded many songs – most of which were more acoustic sounding than anything. They changed direction and the concept of MX was born.

‘Home, home, where he wanted to go’? There seems to be a bit of a mix up between the classic films and the Coldplay eras!

18 March 2014 / submitted by Valentina, Denmark
Q. I was watching a recording of the Viva La Vida tour concert in Madrid and as the ET soundtrack music started I actually wondered why the band chose that particular track as introduction? Do they just like it or is there a reason that fit within the Viva thematic?

That music is not from E.T; it’s from Back to the Future – one of the band’s favourite films.

Coldplay - Back To The Future - ET

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