Acclaimed British newcomer Coldplay plans to issue its debut album, "Parachutes," here in the States on November 7, and the band has just sent out the track "Yellow" to college and alternative radio outlets as the first American single.
Although "Yellow" will serve as the band's introduction to listeners on this side of the Atlantic (see "Coldplay Opens Up 'Parachutes' For U.S. Audiences"), the colorful tune was the second U.K. single, following "Shiver," which was released several months prior to the LP.
Coldplay drummer Will Champion recently told MTV News that the "Yellow" single was inspired by the time the band spent in a rural Welsh recording studio cutting material for the album, far from the bright lights and big city of London.
"We were recording 'Shiver' at the time," Champion recalled. "We had just finished it, I think, and we were all sitting around the studio in south Wales. We had been in the city for months, and you never get to see the sky properly when you're in the city, because of all the street lamps and that.
"When we were out in the middle of the country," he added, "in the middle of Wales, it was just absolutely clear sky. You could see all the stars in the sky. It was just an amazing setting. [Frontman] Chris [Martin] came up with the chord pattern. It started off a lot slower, more like a Neil Young kind of song, but when [guitarist] Jonny [Buckland] started playing on it and started throwing ideas in, he had that riff, and it sort of got a bit heavier. [RealAudio]
"We recorded it in the third session in Liverpool," Champion said, "and it was really difficult to record, because it worked at about five or six different tempos. It was a tough choice of choosing which tempo to play, because sometimes it sounded too rushed, and sometimes it sounded as if it was dragging. It was quite difficult to sort of hit it on the head, but eventually we had a great take and it happened from there." [RealAudio]
The video for "Yellow" features a rain-soaked Chris Martin taking an early morning beach stroll just as dawn breaks. Champion confided to MTV News that the rest of the band was supposed to appear in the clip, but inclement weather prompted a last-minute reconsideration of the concept by the U.K. directing duo of James & Alex.
"It's a long story," Champion began, "but basically what happened is that the original video was supposed to be all of us with loads of extras on this really sunny beach. But when we got there, it was absolutely pissing down with rain, so [the directors] just said, 'All right, we can't do this. All the extras have to go home.' And we said, 'Well, we've got to do something. We've got to get a video by the end of the day.' So they just said, 'Well, we'll try this,' and it worked. It was a fluke at the end, but quite a happy fluke." [RealAudio]
Coldplay has already completed a video for its next European single, "Trouble," and the band is currently in the midst of a U.K. tour in support of "Parachutes," with a North American trek tentatively set for early 2001.