The Ghost Stories era – Coldplay release sixth studio album (May)
Coldplay release sixth studio album – May 2014.
“Fix Yourself a spot of tea and a biscuit”
Chris and the rest of the band started out the album release month in comedic fashion, with a tongue in cheek preview to the appearance on Saturday Night Live TV in the US.
And then we almost saw the literal meaning of tongue in cheek as Chris, during a re-enactment of an ‘Amazing Spiderman’ kissing scene, took the place of Emma Stone instead of Andrew Garfield!! (watch from 3:45)
Coldplay capped off the….interesting show by performing their first and second singles from Ghost Stories, Magic and A Sky Full Of Stars!
Coldplay perform Ghost Stories concert in New York
As part of their intimate tour for the Ghost Stories era, the band arrived at the Beacon Theater for two shows. Their first performance was a ‘mini setlist’ in the early afternoon, which was the result of the huge demand for the show, in which tickets sold like hotcakes. The main scheduled show which was originally announced went ahead on the warm evening in New York, as delighted Coldplayers, a large portion travelling for farther afield to see their favourite band were treated to a slightly varied showing. Life Is For Living made its live return, for the first time since the end of 2011 and True Love received it’s first live play, to which Chris Martin prompted the fans not to record, in the same vein as A Sky Full Of Stars at Cologne .
Texasluvsjonny had posted her thoughts on the impressive Coldplay show.
Went back to venue and had awesome floor seat off Stub..but location was all about the Jonny so worth every cent! All the new stuff sounds amazing live. Oceans is just so beautiful. Really happy they played Life is for Living.
A Sky Full Of Stars was catching on very nicely with the concert-goers, as Christa42 reported:
A Sky full of Stars, my personal dark horse, is incredible!!!!!! It is going to be huge and not just huge cause the younger set and newbs and EDM ppl like it. It is going to be huge because everyone is going to love it. Your Mom, your babysitter, your cool cousin, your friend who works on Wall Street,your kids, Your snobby music friend. And you are going to dance! Dance like no one is watching dance. People were going nuts in the aisle and security had more to deal with than just little old me. It was insane in my section.
Another Arm’s leaks / The Indonesian iTunes incident
The release of Coldplay’s sixth studio album was just around the corner and the iTunes store of Indonesia, a country with many dedicated Coldplay fans, was the recipient of some controversy!
Accidents do happen and the mishap which occured was Another’s Arms being released instead of the planned release for Midnight. It resulted in the track being made available in Indonesia, where a very keen fan(s) downloaded the song after it was uploaded to purchase for a very short period. The track however, did not leak until a day before the album was expected to stream online.
Ghost Stories official streaming video on iTunes
The album was tipped to be streaming a week before its release, as members on the Coldplaying forums pointed out the patterns with recent releases at the time, including The Black Keys. On the Monday evening, most fans tuned into BBC Radio 1, as Zane Lowe replayed Chris Martin’s emotional interview but revealed full clips of the previewed tracks instead. At the same time as the first full listen of opening track, Always In My Head, the news sparked of the official streaming for Ghost Stories and as quickly as that, an album we had been waiting months for hit our ears for the first ever time!
The stream was broadcast through the iTunes homepage and featured an animation of Mila Fürstová’s artwork, the Czech born artist of the Ghost Stories era. You can watch the beautiful animation in motion below, with Always In My Head:
First reactions to Ghost Stories & deluxe tracks surface online
Media reviews and fan reactions were pouring in on all fronts, as the eventful landmark of a Coldplay album release had passed once more. The latest Coldplay reecording was given a positive reception from Billboard and Stereogum, with the former rating the album 85/100. Pitchfork were not so generous however, with a score of only 4.4/10.
Check out the official Coldplaying.com review of Ghost Stories, here.
The three bonus tracks, controversially only available on the U.S version of Ghost Stories, through US only retailer, Target were heard for the first time online, a few days after the iTunes streaming. All Your Friends, Ghost Story and O (Reprise) were highly popular among the total of 12 tracks on the full album, with Ghost Story the standout track, alongside True Love and O, according to the forums.
Chris Martin explains more about the new album
Coldplay’s frontman, just about to release an album containing songs which are of a very personal nature to him, had been doing the rounds across US radio stations, who were seeking to find out more about Chris, ahead of the May 19th release of Ghost Stories.
The singer amusingly likened the album to “An ice cream flavour” during his co-host session with Carson Daley of 97.1 AMP Radio:
With this one I feel like we made exactly what we wanted to make. It’s a strange feeling because we’ve only really achieved that once or twice before.To me, we’ve made a flavor of ice cream and we made it really well. Some people may not want that flavor that day or might not like ice cream. It doesn’t make me question that we should have made it. This is something we specifically designed. It isn’t for everybody. It’s never easy when someone says, ‘I really don’t like your music.’ In this instance, there’s nothing I can do about it, ’cause this is exactly what we were supposed to make.
And he also gave us further detail of the much discussed collaboration with Avicii:
This song came out in about five minutes, it just came through and the first person we thought of to help us produce it was Tim [Bergling], Avicii,” lead singer Chris Martin revealed while co-hosting on Mornings with Carson Daly. “He was very sweet and we pushed him so hard on it and I’m so grateful that he lent us his backwards baseball cap services.”
“That’s not really something that we could’ve done fifteen years ago,” he said of the song. “But now I just feel like, you’re just free to do anything you like.
On a seperate occasion, with Radio station, KROQ, Chris expanded on the secret filming in Los Angeles back in March, where they filmed Ghost Stories for an upcoming TV special, for the cost of over $4 million:
We always wanted to do this film where we would build a 360 structure in a soundstage, like where they made The Wizard of Oz. And, so we did. And we made with our friends these projections and we just wanted to have an immersive…I think it comes from being up in Griffith Park and going up to the Observatory. Sometimes it’s nice to be wrapped up in something. And it sort of represents the album and it’s the same thing. If you need it, go in there. And if you don’t, don’t worry about it.
Coldplay release Ghost Stories, along with a breathtaking film!
May 19th 2014. The date had arrived and Coldplay release their sixth studio album and were set to top the charts worldwide yet again! In the UK, they were on course for a perfect six #1 albums in a row, now only one short of equaling a record set by The Beatles of seven albums hitting the top spot in a row.
Later on that night, NBC aired the Ghost Stories TV special across America and Canada, broadcasting the expensive studio the band had developed and where they created an evening of Magic for just hundreds of awestruck fans, including the breathtaking visuals of True Love (as seen below).
A Rush Of Blood To The Head classic returns as Coldplay rock LA once more!
Coldplay returned once more to Chris’ new home, Los Angeles as they rocked the Royce Hall, playing out the entirety of Ghost Stories live, just as they did back in March. Not only did they perform the whole album in celebration but they surprised die hard fans by bringing back A Whisper, for the first time since Seattle in 2002!
The whole set had started off surprisingly with Atlas which was pictured to originally be on the album during the Sky Arts documentary showing the making of Ghost Stories. The joyful Coldplay fans in LA saw the return of The Scientist and many classics followed before the new album was played in full followed by the return of Yellow to finish the encore in style!
LVI56 on the forums expressed their delight at the unique setlist:
Really took everyone by surprise to open how they did. I knew they sound checked A Whisper, but really didn’t expect it to be played. It was great! A guy sitting next to me tried to shazam it.
The Scientist <3
Yellow, making a comeback!
And the whole Ghost Stories. I kind of expected that.
The making of Ghost Stories
Sky Arts in the UK, who also aired the Ghost Stories film on the same channel, showed an exclusive filming of Coldplay at their bassist, Guy Berryman’s house. It was an intriguing look how Magic came to be and at the early stages of the album, when Atlas was shown on an old album draft. Drummer, Will Champion also talked more about the inner band chemistry and what drives them on to succeed, while Chris explains the very personal lyrics within Ghost Stories. Lead guitarist, Jonny Bucklands tells the story of his anticipation with the release of Ghost Stories.
Mr Champion’s Tambourine
Coldplay performed live on The Voice USA finals, just after the release of their sixth record. The stage setup wasn’t the usual though as we saw a series of pre-recorded clips on stage, creating an magnificent illusion, including Will Champion on tambourine duties!
Coldplay’s big weekend
The band returned to Glasgow, for Radio 1’s Big Weekend, during a one-off festival-like appearance in which Coldplay delivered a masterclass for! In contary to the understated and more intimate feel of the era, the British born band delivered a largely up-tempo set to the energetic Glaswegian crowd, including Mylo Xyloto hit, Charlie Brown.
CP #Bigweekend setlist Paradise Charlie Brown Magic Yellow Clocks ETIAW True Love Viva La Vida Oceans A Sky Full of Stars Fix You
— Coldplaying (@coldplaying) May 24, 2014
Magnifique Coldplay in Paris
As part of their Ghost Stories intimate tour, the band arrived at Casino De Paris, with a spring in their step. Coldplay performed a shorter set than per usual at just a length of 60 minutes but it was not short of quality moments, including the somber and atmospheric Oceans transcending into a giant dance party for A Sky Full Of Stars! (Note – Fix You was chosen over O as the final track on the night)
Another talking point of the Paris show was the soundcheck, as the band played A Rush Of Blood To The Head B-side, Crests Of Waves. It did not make the final cut however. Coldplay’s ‘creative boss’ Phil Harvey described the crowd as the “best theater crowd he has ever seen”. We have some stunning reviews on the forums for the Casino De Paris. Take a look!
Coldplay dominate the world charts, with Ghost Stories!
Coldplay were up to their usual record breaking tricks as their latest effort became the fastest selling album at the time, in the UK and US, in addition to many various other countries across the world! Ghost Stories sold a total of 168,000 copies on its first week in the UK and over 360,000 in the US Billboard charts!
Coldplay on the Graham Norton show
Chris and Jonny featured on British TV, as they re-appeared on the Graham Norton show for 2014. The pair were interviewed on the famous couch, which included the likes of actor, Tom Cruise and performed A Sky Full Of Stars The lead singer and guitarist revealed the band’s plans for a tour of Burkina Faso, tongue in cheek of course! Excerpt from the original article:
Graham Norton asked Jonny and Chris whether they are planning to do a big tour as the guys quickly replied with “no” in a comedic moment which saw Graham pause then go “ok”, “err..that’s an exclusive right there!” following with “and, you can’t buy tickets…now!” Chris hit us again with his sharp sense of humour that the band are infact “doing an extensive promo tour in Burkina Faso”!!! Oh Chris… The show finished with the brilliant red chair feature in which a lever can be pulled by the guests to eject the person featured from the chair. One person who wasn’t ejected was Nicole, a production coordinator who according to Chris Martin who we are not sure whether he is joking or not, works for the band! Anyhow, the story about projectile vomiting was rather interesting but I won’t go into further details!
Coldplay, basking in the glory of Ghost Stories, head much further easts to the shores on Japan and Australia for more live concerts! Join us soon with a look back at the Ghost Stories era in June 2014!