Jump to content
🌙 COLDPLAY ANNOUNCE MOON MUSIC OUT OCTOBER 4TH 🎵

Should Coldplay use backing tracks?


MosesTheMarshmallow

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 68
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

What do you guys think? There are a lot of arguments for and against them, but I have a lot of conflicted feelings that I hope this thread can help towards resolving.

 

For:

-Chris gets to dance more

-Less mistakes (well, not necessarily: see In My Place at Main Square)

-Bigger, better sound.

-No need for extra musicians on songs like VLV, LIT.

-Most bands use them (or extra musicians)...power "trios" come to mind like Muse and Green Day.

 

Against:

-More honest, which is part of the appeal of Parachutes, which had NO backing tracks.

-Unnecessary in some cases, especially on AROBTTH songs. The Scientist doesn't REALLY need those strings.

-The band could certainly play the parts live; for example, instead of Chris dancing around at the end of Fix You, he could just sit down and play organ.

 

Note: this thread is not about whether they use backing tracks, because it's abundantly evident that they have on nearly everything since AROBTTH.

 

Anyways, discuss!

 

 

If they intend on keeping live arrangements of songs even remotely similar to the recorded versions they pretty much have to. Even if they made an effort to cut them down and added additional live musicians, there's still a lot of stuff in some of their tracks that can't practically be replicated in a touring environment without using tracks. (for example strings, they're not going to tour with an orchestra)

 

TBH, I think they're moving in this direction a bit. the Ghost Stories material does feature more live playing than a lot of previous material. (for instance the parts they play on the laser harp and some of Will's doubled electric drums would likely have been overdubbed in the past)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I voted for NO.

 

When I want to hear the backing track (+ singing) I will just listen to the album. It would be great if they played live without a backing track but I don't think they ever will again. It's much harder to perform without backing tracks and I think they can't do it anymore. :S Coldplay always say that they want to improve blah blah but.... then they are playing with backing tracks and it doesn't really fit for me. Who cares if not every single instrument will be audible on stage? The most ridiculous things are the laser harp and the "reactable" during Midnight. They are just playing the backing track and Chris sings over it. I wouldn't mind to hear a piano versions of Viva La Vida (it's such an easy song to play on the piano and that would sound great too) ETIAW or whatever.... The days of true live music are gone. Everybody uses backing tracks and Coldplay sadly don't make an exception.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ghost Stories has honestly made me feel worse about the backing tracks for a few reasons:

-The silly ghost piano in Magic and ASFOS

-The vocoder in Midnight is just a backing track of vocals

-The synth riff in True Love that Jonny should play but doesn't play until the end

-Every single song on the album has a backing track. Even Fly On - there's a sound that happens when Chris sings the "oooooooohhh" that unisons with the ooooohhh melody. I'm pretty sure none of the live instruments are making that happen. Even Oceans - the strings after the first chorus.

-In a few videos, you can see Jonny miming the acoustic guitar part in ASFOS.

-Abundant synth and guitars on backing tracks in ASFOS (yes, Jonny is playing live, but there's other stuff happening on top of it)

 

The more I watch videos of the band playing things live, the more it seems improbable that there's some kind of "play then loop" thing because a lot of these parts aren't designed to be loopable - such as Lost (like, what happens once you get to the chorus?) or ASFOS (you can actually see Guy stop playing the piano a few seconds before the loud part in order to get the bass ready).

 

I'll admit the stuff in Midnight (flute solo thing) and Another's Arms (vocal sample, vrooooo noises) are pretty cool and I can see why some of that can't be replicated perfectly without some backing tracks, but otherwise I see this album as a step further into very-reliant-on-backing-tracks land. Which is indeed an interesting direction to head and I hope the boys take a break from it at least for one album's worth of songs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all of the technology artists have at their disposal they add a variety of sound effects and melodies with computers and not the normal instruments they use during a live concert. In order to play these songs live they have no choice other than to alter the original art. After all it's Coldplay's music. Who's to tell them what they are doing is wrong. That would be like telling Leonardo Da Vinci that he shouldn't have used the colors he painted the "Mona Lisa" with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you guys think? There are a lot of arguments for and against them, but I have a lot of conflicted feelings that I hope this thread can help towards resolving.

 

For:

-Chris gets to dance more

not sure if this is a good thing tbh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For backing vocals, I really don't like those, as the four of them have terrific voices and Jonny and Guy need to sing more! For backing tracks, I say yes, but only for the songs they really need them, like Viva la Vida. I definitely don't want them dragging a string section around on tour or having some random guy up there playing the extra parts though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jonny plays the strings in Oceans, you can see in the Live Lounge version where they first ever played it (aside from the NY show).

 

I'm talking about the first bit of strings where Jonny is playing guitar. The strings are coming in as a backing track behind Jonny's guitar and I don't think Guy is playing the keyboard there. Though perhaps one of them triggers the sample. Just to be technical about it of course...this is the kind of backing track where I'm on the fence. It's just kind of an embellishment to Jonny's playing.

 

Sometimes I find myself enjoying the backing tracks, for example in Hurts Like Heaven (the yes, I feel a little bit nervous... part). And it gives a good vibe to the song, so I voted YES :)

 

Ooh I do like that bit too. :)

 

not sure if this is a good thing tbh

 

More energy and audience interaction, one could argue. Though personally I'm a huge fan of Chris's guitar dancing and piano-humping.

 

For backing vocals, I really don't like those, as the four of them have terrific voices and Jonny and Guy need to sing more! For backing tracks, I say yes, but only for the songs they really need them, like Viva la Vida. I definitely don't want them dragging a string section around on tour or having some random guy up there playing the extra parts though.

 

[video=youtube;nn096G5jek0]

 

This is the one video I could find where you can genuinely hear Guy's voice and indeed he sounds great.

 

I wasn't convinced that voices were on backing tracks until the Charlie Brown-stopping at this show:

 

[video=youtube;kzENxPtyoT0]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I voted for NO.

 

When I want to hear the backing track (+ singing) I will just listen to the album. It would be great if they played live without a backing track but I don't think they ever will again. It's much harder to perform without backing tracks and I think they can't do it anymore. :S Coldplay always say that they want to improve blah blah but.... then they are playing with backing tracks and it doesn't really fit for me. Who cares if not every single instrument will be audible on stage? The most ridiculous things are the laser harp and the "reactable" during Midnight. They are just playing the backing track and Chris sings over it. I wouldn't mind to hear a piano versions of Viva La Vida (it's such an easy song to play on the piano and that would sound great too) ETIAW or whatever.... The days of true live music are gone. Everybody uses backing tracks and Coldplay sadly don't make an exception.

 

Not so at all. They are both 100% legitimate instruments. In fact, Chris and Guy are 2 of something like only 5 laser harp players in the UK at the moment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More energy and audience interaction, one could argue. Though personally I'm a huge fan of Chris's guitar dancing and piano-humping.

True, sometimes his dancing is ridiculous though, haha. But, let him be Chris :D It's rly funny sometimes and yeah definitely more audience interaction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think they can use it. But they're starting to over-use it. If you look at the songs they play live, out of the 15 played songs (Last full concert) There are only 4 songs without backing tracks; Clocks, GPASUYF, Green Eyes and Fix You (But I'm not completely sure if all the vocals are live during the last part). And especially their most recent songs have huge amounts of backing tracks. For songs like Viva I completely understand, otherwise they need to have an entire orchestraon stage. But for songs like Magic, AIMH, AA, CB and ASFOS it's really not necessary I think. ( ASFOS for instance, Chris could easily play the beginning live on piano and then switch to acoustic guitar for the middle part and just then play the backing track piano). Same goes for all those clapping and tambourine sounds. I would like to just hear Will play them and nothing else.

 

[video=vimeo;98320625]http://vimeo.com/98320625

 

 

What bothers me is that in this performance (and a lot of others as well) you can cleary see and hear what's a backing track and what they're playing live. For instance, in the studio version of ASFOS Guy doesn't play his bassline all the way through the middle. Live he usually does. Guy IS playing the whole part but you don't hear it (So his bass isn't even turned on!?) It's real a shame if you ask me.

 

I think a lot of songs just don't need that many backing tracks... (The piano in Magic? Why couldn't Chris just sit and play it live while Jonny plays guitar?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think they can use it. But they're starting to over-use it. If you look at the songs they play live, out of the 15 played songs (Last full concert) There are only 4 songs without backing tracks; Clocks, GPASUYF, Green Eyes and Fix You (But I'm not completely sure if all the vocals are live during the last part). And especially their most recent songs have huge amounts of backing tracks. For songs like Viva I completely understand, otherwise they need to have an entire orchestraon stage. But for songs like Magic, AIMH, AA, CB and ASFOS it's really not necessary I think. ( ASFOS for instance, Chris could easily play the beginning live on piano and then switch to acoustic guitar for the middle part and just then play the backing track piano). Same goes for all those clapping and tambourine sounds. I would like to just hear Will play them and nothing else.

 

[video=vimeo;98320625]http://vimeo.com/98320625

 

 

What bothers me is that in this performance (and a lot of others as well) you can cleary see and hear what's a backing track and what they're playing live. For instance, in the studio version of ASFOS Guy doesn't play his bassline all the way through the middle. Live he usually does. Guy IS playing the whole part but you don't hear it (So his bass isn't even turned on!?) It's real a shame if you ask me.

 

I think a lot of songs just don't need that many backing tracks... (The piano in Magic? Why couldn't Chris just sit and play it live while Jonny plays guitar?)

 

 

Guy's bass is probably just turned down in the live mix there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would love to see Chris play the guitar (like we saw in that crowd video from the music video shoot) or piano in A Sky Full Of Stars. He could play piano on Magic, too.

 

This is a little bit off-topic...

....but, while their concerts are tremendously awesome, I feel like they are too "produced." I don't mind the lasers, fireworks or whatever, but i would love to see some improvisation musically. When Jonny has a solo, I want him to play something new, on-the-spot every night, not the exact guitar solo we hear on the album version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...