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23 Best Coldplay Songs

by Assessor

British alternative rock group Coldplay has been one of the most influential and successful bands of the past 20 years. The group’s music spans multiple genres, and they’ve cultivated a worldwide audience with their harmonious tracks and stellar live performances. Here are the best Coldplay songs in no particular order.

“Paradise” by Coldplay

Song year: 2011

“Paradise” is a song from Coldplay’s fifth album, “Mylo Xyloto.” The song is about a girl who daydreamed about paradise when she was younger but quickly realized that life is full of difficulties and challenges as she grew older. As an adult, she still closes her eyes and tries to remember the paradise she dreamed about as a girl.

“Paradise” was an international sensation, peaking at number one on the UK singles chart and number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Something Just Like This” by Coldplay and The Chainsmokers

Song year: 2017

Throughout Coldplay’s career, the band has demonstrated a penchant for exploring new sounds and styles. This was on full display in 2017’s “Something Just Like This,” from the album “Kaleidoscope EP,” with the electronic music duo The Chainsmokers.

“Something Just Like This” combines the mellow sound of lead singer Chris Martin’s voice with the uptempo electro-pop beat of The Chainsmokers, creating a track that plays just as well at a house party as it does in a nightclub. The song hit number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Clocks” by Coldplay

Song year: 2002

With an unforgettable piano backing and Martin’s signature crooning, “Clocks” is arguably Coldplay’s signature song. The 2002 track from their second album, “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” established the group as bonafide stars.

The song’s meaning is debatable – the reference to clocks could be about the ephemeral nature of life or a failing relationship that is running out of time to heal.

The popularity of “Clocks” was a slow burn. While it had modest commercial success and peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song eventually won the prestigious Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

“Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

Song year: 2008

“Viva La Vida” is also a contender for Coldplay’s signature song. The iconic violin riff with orchestral backing is one of the most memorable song beginnings in history.

In the song, Martin sings in the first person as King Louis XVI of France, reminiscing about the power he wielded before the French Revolution. The band was inspired by historical themes for this song and the album of the same name.

“Viva La Vida” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the group a Grammy Award for the coveted Song of the Year at the 2009 Grammys.

“My Universe” by Coldplay and BTS

Song year: 2021

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It doesn’t always work out when two superstar A-List groups collaborate on a song, but it did on “My Universe,” the 2021 chart-topping hit from Coldplay with Korean pop sensation BTS.

The upbeat synth-pop track from the band’s “Music of the Spheres” album became one of the biggest hits of both groups’ careers. The song proved that talent and songwriting ability transcend genres, no matter how different the musical styles are.

“My Universe” is about being in love despite external forces challenging the relationship.

“Yellow” by Coldplay

Song year: 2000

“Yellow” was the song that started it all for the British rockers. The second single from the band’s debut album, “Parachutes,” became an international sensation that peaked at number 5 in the UK and introduced the band to a worldwide audience.

“Yellow” is a romantic love song. Martin sings about the beauty of the night sky and the shining stars, explaining to his romantic partner that everything in the world is for her. He concludes by promising that he would die for her.

“A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay

Song year: 2014

Coldplay teamed up with the late Swedish producer Avicii for the 2014 hit “A Sky Full of Stars,” from the group’s album “Ghost Stories.” The song features a classic, upbeat Avicii beat tailor-made for dancing in the clubs.

“A Sky Full of Stars” is a joyful and optimistic love song. Martin sings to a romantic partner she is a sky full of stars and that he wants to die in her arms.

The track was a critical and commercial success, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning the group a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

“Adventure of a Lifetime” by Coldplay

Song year: 2015

“Adventure of a Lifetime” might be the most fun song in the band’s extensive catalog.

The upbeat, dance-friendly anthem from the group’s album “A Head Full of Dreams,” is about appreciating the beauty and adventure of life. Martin sings to a romantic partner that if this life and adventure are all we have, then he wants to spend it with her.

The accompanying music video – with a group of CGI monkeys jamming out to the song’s lyrics – is arguably the group’s best to date.

“Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” by Coldplay

Song year: 2011

Anyone who has ever found joy blasting music in their headphones or speakers to drown out the outside world can appreciate the sentiment behind “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall,” the 2011 hit from Coldplay’s album “Mylo Xyloto.”

The joyful song is about resiliency and turning sad life events into celebrations of joy. A teardrop, representing sadness, can become a mark of beauty like nature’s waterfall. “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” hit number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the band Grammy Award nominations for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance.

“Speed of Sound” by Coldplay

Song year: 2005

Chris Martin takes an introspective dive on “Speed of Sound,” the song from the group’s third studio album “X&Y.”

Over a soothing piano and guitar riff, Martin alludes to discovering the wonders of life, wondering how long he has to wait to experience it all. He is in awe of the planets in the night sky, moving at the speed of sound.

The song reached number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned the group two more Grammy Award nominations.

“Lost+” by Coldplay featuring Jay-Z

Song year: 2008

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The song “Lost” was originally featured on Coldplay’s album “Viva La Vida.” Rap god Jay-Z, surprisingly a dedicated Coldplay fan, was so impressed with the track that he teamed up with the band on a reworked version of it called “Lost+.”

Coldplay re-released “Lost+” on the extended play “Prospekt’s March,” setting the foundation for a future career of norm-busting, genre-spanning collaborations with artists across the musical spectrum. “Lost+” might be the best Coldplay song to hear live because of Jay-Z’s powerful verse.

“Magic” by Coldplay

Song year: 2014

Chris Martin breaks out his best falsetto on the 2014 song “Magic,” the lead single from the album “Ghost Stories.”

Like so many of the band’s hits over the years, “Magic” is a love song. Martin is so overwhelmed with emotion when he’s with his lover that the only word he can use to describe it is magic. He assures her that he doesn’t want anyone else in the world but her.

“Magic” hit number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Hymn for the Weekend” by Coldplay

Song year: 2016

Eight years after collaborating with rap legend Jay-Z, Coldplay linked up with HOVA’s superstar wife Beyonce on “Hymn for the Weekend,” a song from the album “A Head Full of Dreams.”

The band took an indie/rhythm & blues detour on the song, which is about feeling euphoric – like being drunk and high – when with a lover. With an assist from Queen Bey, Martin sings that his lover is like an angel from above who saved him during difficult times.

“Fix You” by Coldplay

Song year: 2005

Lead singer Chris Martin’s high-profile marriage to Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow is famously part of his inspiration for several songs. The 2005 song “Fix You” might be the best of the Paltrow-inspired songs.

In the sad-but-uplifting anthem, Martin promises Paltrow that he will try to help her get through the difficult times in her life – specifically the loss of a loved one. As she cries, he comforts her that he will try to fix her.

“Christmas Lights” by Coldplay

Song year: 2010

Leave it to Chris Martin to turn the Christmas season into a melancholy song about heartbreak.

In the 2010 track “Christmas Lights,” Martin sings about the moments after another Christmas fight with his lover. She’s gone now, and he’s heartbroken, walking through the streets and staring at the Christmas lights.

“Christmas Lights” reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remains a popular song around the holidays for those who aren’t feeling the Christmas spirit.

“The Scientist” by Coldplay

Song year: 2002

“The Scientist” is one of Coldplay’s most iconic songs. The 2002 piano ballad from the album “A Rush of Blood to the Head” is one of the band’s earliest hits, helping introduce the group to an audience that was just starting to learn the signature Coldplay style.

Like so many of the band’s songs over the years, it explores love, loss, and heartbreak. Martin laments that even though no one told him love would be easy, his heart still aches as goes through challenging times in a relationship.

“Higher Power” by Coldplay

Song year: 2021

“Higher Power” is the lead single from Coldplay’s album “Music of the Spheres.” While the song has a futuristic sound that is a departure from the signature Coldplay piano and guitar riffs, the lyrics touch on familiar themes from throughout the band’s history.

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Martin sings about the euphoria of life, living, and relationships. He describes his joy as electric and is grateful to be alive. Someone special in his life has a higher power that lifts him up.

“Higher Power’ earned the group yet another Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group performance.

“Prince of China” by Coldplay featuring Rihanna

Song year: 2012

With Coldplay and Rihanna on the same song, there was no way this wouldn’t be a hit. “Prince of China,” the 2012 collaborative effort from the album “Mylo Xyloto,” is an electropop/R&B song with an epic synth beat and melodious howling from RiRi on the chorus.

The accompanying music video features a mystical action sequence inspired by Asian fantasy movies, including a swordfight battle between Martin and Rihanna.

“Prince of China” was an international hit and hit number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Violet Hill” by Coldplay

Song year: 2008

Coldplay takes listeners into a cold, dark, somewhat dystopian December in the 2008 song “Violet Hill,” from the band’s album “Viva La Vida.”

The song is a protestation of war, with lyrics about a soldier who’s leaving to fight. He asks his wife to tell him that she loves him before he leaves, and wonders why she lets him leave at all if she truly loves him. Martin unleashes gripping imagery about being buried in armor and stowed in the bowels of a sinking ship.

“Talk” by Coldplay

Song year: 2005

Existential angst and fear of the future fuel the song “Talk,” from Coldplay’s 2005 album “X&Y.” Like many of the band’s songs, the lyrics are somewhat abstruse in the sense that they are open to interpretation. What is apparent, however, is that Martin wants to convey a sense of distress.

In the song, Martin sings to a friend who he addresses as a brother, pleading that he needs to talk to him. He is fearful of the future and doesn’t know what to do, so he hopes a good conversation with a trusted friend will bring relief.

“Midnight” by Coldplay

Song year: 2014

“Midnight” was a change in direction for Coldplay, who spent the previous decade wowing us with piano-laced, uplifting anthems. This song, from the album “Ghost Stories,” took on a chilling, eerie sound that would make great background music for a thriller movie.

The lyrics of “Midnight” are about the darkness of night, with Martin pleading with someone to leave a light on for him. The meaning is likely his description of enduring a challenging time in his life and hoping that someone can help him through it.

“Hurts Like Heaven” By Coldplay

Song year: 2012

Coldplay has made a career out of dabbling in different musical styles. In the upbeat song “Hurts Like Heaven,” from the “Mylo Xyloto” album, the band takes on a newly-frenetic pace with a guitar-centric backing and rapid-fire lyrical delivery.

Martin playfully chastises a romantic partner for using her heart as a weapon, while lamenting that his life isn’t his. With his signature melancholy mood, he describes feeling cold, nervous, and unable to relax.

“In My Place” by Coldplay

Song year: 2002

Chris Martin has found endless inspiration in his failed romances and conflict with previous romantic partners. The 2002 song “In My Place” was one of the earliest glimpses he gave us into his emotional torment.

The lyrics of the song are about the pain he feels following a fight with a partner. He regrets crossing a line in their disagreement and blames feeling lost and scared.

“In My Place” earned the band one of its earliest Grammy Award nominations in the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group category.

Top Coldplay Songs, Final Thoughts

Coldplay has been one of the most successful and prolific rock bands of the past couple of decades. The band’s ability to explore different music genres and collaborate with dissimilar artists, while continually cranking out critically-acclaimed radio hits, makes them one of the most unique acts of all time.

Coldplay continues to release new music and tour at a torrid pace with no signs of slowing down. While these are some of the best Coldplay songs, the library of their great music will continue to grow.

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