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Coldplay's Clocks crowned no.1 on BBC Radio 6 Music's countdown


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Coldplay have just been crowned no.1 by Steve Lamacq (a fitting person) as voted for by the listeners in BBC 6 Music's countdown of the greatest 100 songs from the past 10 years!


Will Champion was interviewed live about the achievement.


Twitter tag #6MusicGreatest






=== Here is the transcript (I have sore hands now) ===


Steve: Now: It won a Grammy for you, this track... but surely THIS is a bigger award!


Will: This is extraordinary, I was totally blown away. We've been listening to 6 Music since it started so our band's career and this station's career have kind of grown up in parallel. Just looking at this top 10, it's extraordinary, so many new and old bands.


Steve: It's a tough competition. Wherever you go in that list there is inventive and incredible music.


Will: Yeah, The Flaming Lips: that band changed everything for us when we first saw them at Glastonbury in 1999, and it was just stunning. They'd be my no.1.


Steve: One of the things you notice having listened throughout the day is how music has diversified and evolved so much. There have always been critics who've said 'we haven't seen much progression in music' ...but look at this list!


Will: An amazing 10 years of music


Steve: Now Clocks is an interesting one: was it the last thing you wrote on A Rush Of Blood To The Head?


Will: It was pretty much the last thing. I was speaking to the guys last night when we heard about this, and we all said 'not bad for a song without a chorus!'. I remember when Chris came in and played the bit on the piano. I said 'OK that's a good intro... now what about the rest of the song?' and he said 'No, it's like a hook, it doesn't have a vocal chorus'.


Steve: At the time there was kind of a feeling that the album maybe wasn't finished, or it was looking for something...


Will: That always happens to us at the end... you get to a point where it's finished and there's always a gap. This was a first successful attempt at writing a song where a melodic hook was the key to the song rather than a big swooping chorus or choral singalong. We've used the same technique on a couple of other songs. Our manager was talking about releasing it as a single and, I'll quote him, he said 'I'll eat my hat if that is a hit'... and here we are!


Steve: It became a very big part of the live set. I remember following you through the States as you played that album and it was a very important song in the set.


Will: Yeah it was. We decided to play Glastonbury 2002 before the album came out, and that was a kind of make or break moment. It was the moment we knew everything was alright when we stated playing Clocks, because the piano riff comes in and we'd spent every penny we had to do the show on this one enormous laser. We'd never seen it in action because you needed to get permission from air traffic control to actually switch it on. The lighting guy said 'yeah, it's going to be amazing', and we thought it was going to be a damp squib. And then we started playing this song and this big green laser came on... it went from being a tiny pin-prick and it just spread out over the whole place; it put a ceiling over the Pyramid stage and it was just stunning. From then on it's become a really important part of the live show.


Steve: As with any important song, there was nothing it wasn't 'on'. You couldn't have a football show for example without hearing it.


Will: It's weird, you tend to switch off... and there are adverts where they know that they won't be able to get the licence for the real song, so they pay someone to make a song that's very similar to it, but changing enough notes to it's not legally too similar.


Steve: So that's what Guy does in his spare time!


Will: Ah, so that's where he gets his money from! But you hear the phrasing [of the piano part] behind it... it's been an iconic thing for us, so you could hear it everywhere.


Steve: Wasn't it used in an episode of Family Guy?


Will: I'm afraid so! It's ubiquitous unfortunately; you can't escape it.


Steve: So when do you get some time off? I doubt any of you can leave Coldplay alone for long.


Will: It normally takes about three weeks off the road. We played our last show of this last tour on New Year's Eve, and by about January 17th I'd phoned up Jonny and said 'do you want to go down to the studio?'. So we're definitely starting to think again, even though we don't have a particularly solid idea, the idea of not playing music for any length of time is not worth thinking about. So we're enjoying playing music and just trying to see what's on the horizon.


Steve: Does it hold good memories for you, this particular song?


Will: Each album seems to have a song which acts like a keystone. It's like a passport for a whole different level of stuff. 'Yellow' was that one for the first record, and Clocks was definitely the song on the second record that allowed us to go to different places. It attracted a different type of person to the music and to the band, and we're so grateful that it turned out to be as successful as it was and I was totally wrong about it.


Steve: [Laughs] Well congratulations to the rest of the guys, I hope they're all well.


Will: Not at all, and thank you for 12 years of looking after us... you've been a very nice man to us.

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Clocks voted 6 Music's Greatest Hit

1 February 2013 6:19 pm

Song tops poll of greatest songs of station's lifetime



Clocks has just been revealed as Number One in BBC Radio 6 Music's Greatest Hits poll.

We're totally blown away.

Thank you.




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Coldplay's Clocks is 6 Music's 'greatest hit'



6 Music listeners chose from a list of 100 tracks selected by staff


Male artists dominate a listeners' poll to find BBC Radio 6 Music's top 100 tracks of the past 10 years.


Coldplay top the list with their 2003 track Clocks, ahead of Arctic Monkeys' I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor and Elbow's One Day Like This.


More than 100,000 votes were cast in the poll which looks back over the 10 years since the station began in 2002.


"It's a good result for Coldplay, who were clearly one of the biggest bands of the decade," said DJ Steve Lamacq.


"But you can see the breadth of 6 Music's tastes in the rest of the top 10, including some bands who we've championed and who've broken through commercially like Elbow, and some brilliant groups who remain out there on the margins of pop like British Sea Power and The National."


Speaking on 6 Music, Coldplay's Will Champion said he was "totally blown away" by topping the poll.


"This is extraordinary. We've been listening to 6 Music since it started and I feel like our band's career and this station have grown up in parallel. This top 10 is amazing - what an amazing 10 years of music," he said.


Champion said that topping the chart was all the more surprising as "we all said not bad for a song that hasn't got a chorus".


"When I first heard it, Chris played the riff and I said 'that's a good intro what about the rest of the song?'


"I was scratching my head trying to find something that would fill a little gap in the record."


He added: "This was a first successful attempt at writing a song where the melodic hook was the key to a song rather than a big chorus. Our manager said it would never be a hit and here we are."


Complete article here

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Are Coldplay really the favourites of 6 Music listeners?

Coldplay's Clocks has been voted as the "Greatest Hit" of 6 Music's lifetime, but is the online poll actually representative of the station's listeners' tastes, asks Gary Rose






Today 6 Music unveiled its 100 most popular songs since the station began; and the biggest shock was just how conservative the top ten is. Ok, nobody expected Lower Dens (a choice clearly bearing the Tom Ravenscroft seal) to garner many votes, but Coldplay at number one? Surely not.


Of course, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, the Killers et al are good at what they do, but they're nothing you can't hear in any branch of Argos on a Saturday afternoon. Let's cut to the chase: they're not exactly "cutting edge".


When 6 Music listeners petitioned, pestered and harassed the BBC Trust to save the station from closure a few years back, were we striving to salvage the last remaining nationwide outlet for innovative, "alternative" music, or simply standing up for our right to listen to Coldplay's Clocks?


True, the shortlist was uninspiring, but I don't want to be too critical of the station; with Tom Ravenscroft, Jarvis Cocker, Marc Riley, Cerys Matthews and Gideon Coe on board it boasts some of the finest music broadcasters on the radio. However the fact is, in recent years its daytime output has often swerved dangerously towards the mainstream.


For instance, a couple of Saturdays ago I was surprised to hear (I kid you not) Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic. Whether or not this was a clever, ironic, postmodern gag is irrelevant. Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic is rubbish, and if I want to hear Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic I will purchase a copy of Big Tunes: Back 2 the 90s Vol II.


This is obviously an extreme example, and perhaps if the licence-fee payers want a more pop-centric 6 Music, featuring Coldplay and chums, then that's what they should get. But hold on, there might be more to this than meets the eye.


Coldplay are a hugely popular band; they have nine and a half million followers on Twitter. So when they tweet their fans, as they have done three times over the past few weeks, asking them to vote in the 6 Music poll, it's a powerful weapon in their battle against relative minnows like Mclusky and Peter Bjorn and John. Voting was easy too; just follow a link and click on your favourite. No need to register, and no need to prove you've ever listened to 6 Music.


So perhaps this top 100 is not as representative as it initially appeared. Maybe the panel selected the more middle-of-the-road entries as token gestures, not anticipating they would trounce the opposition through the power of social networking. That might be wishful thinking, but there MUST have been a few despondent sighs in 6 Music towers when the votes were tallied.






Whatever! (and they almost have 9,5 million followers :P)

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