Along the road to international stardom, Coldplay discovered that you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, the remnants of which are strewn across a new documentary charting their not uncomplicated rise to the top. Head Full of Dreams follows them from humble beginnings in a student flat in London’s Camden Town to some of the biggest and brightest stages in the world.
Inspired by this release, Alan Corr described the fortunes of “the most divisive band of the last 20 years” in an essay for Arena. After 80 million albums, world-class collaborations and stunning stadium shows (not to mention the truly inspired Red Nose Day sketch Game of Thrones: The Musical – worth a look for a chuckle), no one is doubting that the band enjoys phenomenal success and “near-religious fan adulation”. The flip side of that coin is that, at the same time, Coldplay have some pretty strong detractors, who have included David Bowie and Brian Eno at times, or as Alan put it, “for these people, it is not all yellow, it is all beige.”
“Where is their struggle and their pain cry proto-punk purists… They became the band who swept away rock music’s right to be obnoxious and ushered in a new era of trembling sincerity and inclusivity.”
“The band’s position as a kind of posh U2 irks a lot of people, especially those who reckon one U2 is quite enough already,” quipped Alan but at the end of the day, who is having the last laugh?
“After all their designer existentialism and lack of outsider cred, it’s clear that Coldplay don’t really care what the haters think, and that’s pretty rock n roll as far as I’m concerned.”
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