The Ghost Stories Era – Introduction (January)
Ghost Stories era: The introduction.
Review by Coeurli. First part of the 12 months of 2014 review series
2013 saw the end of the Mylo Xyloto era, the band’s first song release for a movie, a break in live performances and a great desire from fans to finally get a new album. Reports from late 2013 suggested that the band were working on their sixth effort, but little did we know a new era would start and end in just a year! We start our journey of the Ghost Stories era in January, when rumours were spreading everywhere.
But first, let’s see what happened outside of LP6..
# Chris buys Banksy’s Heart Balloon for 650K$ (£395K) at Sean Penn’s annual fundraising event for Haïti
On 11th January, Chris and Gwyneth took part in Sean Penn’s Help Haïti Home Gala at the Montage in Beverly Hills. Bidding against E! Show host Chelsea Handler, Chris was really having a good laugh and won the auction and Banksy’s 39×48′ wood panel…at a record price of 650K$! Turns out the Xylobands may have not completely ruined them afterall!
The event raised money for the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation, which manages a camp for the most vulnerable populations after the disaster that happened in January 2010, and helps them build a brighter future.
# Golden Globes ceremony: Chris was there (with Gwyneth), as Atlas, their first-ever song written for a cinematographic piece, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was nominated for Best Original Song…only to see U2 get the prize for Ordinary Love, wich served Nelson Mandela’s biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. During his speech, U2 did acknowledge and thanked Chris..who helped them making the song!
# GRAMMY Awards 2014: Atlas was also nominated for 2 GRAMMY Awards, as Best Music Film and Best Song Written For A Visual Media. The ceremony took place on 26th January. Both categories were treated before the main telecast show, and unfortunately Coldplay didn’t get any award.
Now let’s get to it: Ghost Stories!
#On the forums, speculation on the band’s sixth album had started a long time before 2014, as the thread for LP6 was created in August 2011, even before the release of Mylo Xyloto, the band’s fifth effort! Still, speculation was going particularly strong at the beginning of 2014, as Coldplayers were getting impatient and debated on possible sounds, atmosphere , release dates or even strategy – could Coldplay pull a Beyoncé and release an entire album at once without any single nor previous warning?
Head here for a good laugh!
#This speculation was greatly fuelled and encouraged by various reports from people working in the industry:
– In late December: Digital Spy was one of the firsts to state an estimate for the release of Ghost Stories, based on a source from Kylie Minogue’s label (thanks Tash). At this point, rumours from media and the forums were feeding each other, as they stayed very vague – The Guardian was amused to read LP6 would sound like “a mixture of old and new Coldplay” – and only mentioned a release near April/May, which actually turned out to be right!
– According to various reports from media and tweets mid-January, the band was in recording sessions in LA.
– Mark Poston, the Managing Director of both Warners Bros and Parlophone Australia mentioned in an interview to The Music Network that a “new Coldplay record [would be] coming soon”.
He said: “A Coldplay record is coming soon, which is exciting. As a band, they’re really keen to reach new heights and make their best record ever” (thanks gai).
And let’s not forget Anchorman, who posted old music videos such as Talk, Don’t Panic or Life in Technicolor II, carefully choosing quotes such as “Time for some music boys and girls!” (for LiT ii). What a tease!!
# But perhaps the most incredible rumour on LP6 this January revolved around the title.Whilst speculation was going as usual, with the occasional Wikipedia joke (George Ezra’s Older Adolescent…really?!), a tweet revealed what would turn out to be the real title for LP6, Ghost Stories!
Some of us laughed at how ridiculous and fake this story definitely was (I for one am glad I didn’t make any bet or promise that I would shave my head if it was true ), others started to think of what it could mean for the sound and atmosphere of the upcoming album. With the title for LP7 revealed live on radio by Chris himself a few weeks ago, it looks like our favourite frontman has trouble keeping album titles secret!
#We also had false hopes with that Q Magazine article entitled “Q gets inside Coldplay’s triumphant return”, as the March 2014 edition revealed its cover and was then published near the end of the month…
While Coldplayers were getting excited on finally getting proper news and perhaps some inside details on Ghost Stories, which at the time was still officially known as “LP6”, the article turned out to “only” be a review of the incredible show Under 1 Roof, that Coldplay gave us in December 2013, featuring appearances of the likes of Lily Allen, Robbie Williams or Ricky Gervais as David Brent.
To sum up, whilst January 2014 was rather quiet on the official front, the speculation towards the release of Ghost Stories was getting strong and we finally had hints from inside that the album was on its way and would be ready “soon”…But how soon? The game was on!