With Coldplay currently sitting at the top of their game, and with all the anticipation for their upcoming record Ghost Stories (due out in May), it’s hard to imagine that it’s been fourteen years since “Yellow” first put them on the map. While it was the band’s second charting single off their debut album Parachute, “Yellow” was the first single that Americans heard—and what a debut it was, positioning on no less than eight Billboard charts.
After a long run of rock bands trying to outdo the ones who came before them by playing harder, louder and faster, Coldplay took a left turn by going softer, more moody, more reflective. Apparently, listeners were ready for the change. “Yellow” went quickly to Gold Record status, while Parachute went double Platinum—and when A Rush Of Blood to the Head sold twice as well two years later, it was obvious Coldplay were here to stay.
The beauty of “Yellow” is its simplicity and its melancholy, with Chris Martin’s frail falsetto melody hanging in your ears long after the song ends. While Coldplay have had many hits since, this song is widely credited with establishing their career, and it remains one of fans’ all-time favorites.