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Rewriting a Coldplay Song: The Story Behind 42 (Rolling Stone article)


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An interesting story of the evolvement of Coldplay's studio recording of 42 has been published by a former Rolling Stone employee. Read the full article below:


Rewriting a Coldplay Song and Fouling T.I.'s Denali: One Writer's Fondest RS Memories

October 2, 2008


I recently left Rolling Stone after three years as a writer for the magazine. In that time, I had the opportunity to meet and interview some of the most talented and important artists of our time and become a small part of the legacy of one of America's most iconic magazines. Upon reflection, I've come up with five highlights of my time at RS — and a dishonorable mention that I can't hold onto any longer…


Earlier this year, I flew to London to visit Coldplay as they put the finishing touches on their new album, Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends, for a short profile.


Chris Martin and friends welcomed me to their cozy studio/clubhouse in a tiny section of North London near all of their houses. They were still debating which songs to include on the album and in what order, but had generally agreed to stop recording or re-recording for now. They graciously let me listen to a rundown of the strongest contenders for the album and asked for my thoughts afterwards.


I genuinely liked many of the songs and said so. Without much forethought, I mentioned that the middle section of "42" — a complex composition in three parts and a real highlight — sounded a bit like the last section of Radiohead's "Sit Down Stand Up" (ya know, "the rain drops, the rain drops...").


Martin stared intently for a second, then moved on and I didn't think anything of it. I had temporarily forgotten the band's reputation as Radiohead copyists, or hadn't realized how deeply Martin had internalized it (in his Rolling Stone cover story a couple months later, Martin said of Radiohead: "Sometimes I feel like they cleared a path with a machete, and we came afterward and put up a strip mall.")


In any case, when I returned to the pad later that night, Martin was coaxing reluctant guitarist Jonny Buckland back into the studio. Martin told me that after thinking about what I said, he wanted Jonny to overdub some guitars on the middle section of "42." "It's not that I mind sounding like Radiohead," he said. "It's just that when I hear the song in my head, that's not what it sounds like."


After I got back from London, I got an email from a friend of the band, who was in the studio that night, thanking me for doing them "a huge favour." "You encouraged us to go back and revisit that part of the song," he wrote. "We've now improved it a great deal — giving it a lot more energy and bite." I consider it my sole recorded legacy.




[thanks James]

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oh crap, it actually DOES sound a lot like "Sit Down Stand Up"! :stunned::laugh3:

i was too busy thinking that the beginning sounded similar to another song (Muse - "Ruled By Secrecy"). now i don't think i can look at "42" anymore without those thoughts wandering around in mind. :P


much thanks to that guy though; Johnny's guitar feature during that mid-section was a very good add.

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In that "short profile" bit at the top where he talks about all the songs he said that Chris sings "Baby it's a violent world" on "Life in Technicolor " . Can't wait for the EP with all the lyrics.


I've never really listened to any Radiohead apart from what comes on the radio so I'm not sure about any connections in 42. I just know I love that track!

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yeah the middle part does remind me a bit of sit down stand up, so it's a good thing that guy pointed it out, since i'm guessing it was even worse before (similarity).


but the 3rd part (2:50 mark) of 42 sounds like ANOTHER radiohead song, namely this one:


(wait until around 1:15)


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9_ngO76bso]YouTube - Radiohead - Cuttooth[/ame]

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