What Genre Is Coldplay?

What Genre Is Coldplay

Coldplay is a multi-award winning British rock/pop band. It first started as “Pectoralz” in 1996, in London, England. They took on the name “Starfish” in 1997 and then later renamed to Coldplay.

The question is: what genre is Coldplay?

When a question like what genre is Coldplay comes up, it is quite tricky to answer. It is because the band is not identifiable by a specific genre. It means that the music produced by the genre tends to cut across a wide range of genres. Thus, it is impossible to say that the band has a specific genre in which it specializes.

Continue reading to get more information on this topic!

The Band Coldplay

The band first attained international acclaim in the year 2000, after the release of the song titled “Yellow.” Since then, the band has gone on to dominate world stages, writing hit songs, touring the world and winning significant awards. They have eight studio albums to their credit.

Formation Of The Band  

Coldplay started as “Pectoralz,” and its founding members are Jonny Buckland and Chris Martin. The pair met at the University College in London UCL, around the end of the third quarter of 1996. Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland met at the school orientation exercise organized for the students, and they went ahead to make plans for the rest of the ongoing school session to start a band.

They called the band Pectoralz. In 1997, they had a name change to “Starfish” and their classmate Guy Berryman became one of the members of the band. The group started out performing in local clubs and small bars in the London Borough of Camden.

Phil Harvey is the band’s fourth member. Chris Martin brought him on to be the band’s manager. At that time, Phil Harvey –a longtime friend of Chris Martin- was a student of classical studies at the University of Oxford.

The band needed a percussionist, and this need saw the addition of Will Champion to the group. He is the fifth and last addition to Coldplay. Although having no prior percussion skill or experience, Will Champion learned quickly and grew into the proper fit for the role. Coldplay, as a name, was not an original suggestion of any of the band members. It was the name of another group. But the leader of the group, Tim Crompton, suggested the name to the then “Starfishes” who later took on the name Coldplay ever since.

Albums And Recordings

“Safety” is the title of the first official release of Coldplay. They produced five hundred copies of EP, and only 50 copies of which were available for sale to the public. The other four hundred and fifty copies were given out by the band members to their friends, relatives, and acquaintances. After signing their first record deal in December off 1998, with the record label Fierce Panda. Coldplay released a single in the year 1999.

In 1999 after graduating from college, they signed a record contract for five albums with Parlophone Records Limited, a German British recording company founded in Germany. It was during the span of this record deal that the band recorded their second EP. The biggest single off the EP was “Bigger Stronger.” It received massive airplay both in the UK and around the world.

Coldplay has eight official albums to their credit, excluding the singles and EP releases. The first album released in the year 2000 is titled “Parachutes.” It came out under the Parlophone record label, and it contained hit singles like “Don’t Panic,” “Shiver” and “Trouble.” The “Parachutes” album got as high as number 51 on the Billboard Top 200, and it was certified Double Platinum status. In 2002, it won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.

In 2002, Coldplay released an eleven-track album. The album titled “A Rush of Blood to the Head” also came out under the Parlophone record and even by Capitol Records in the United States of America. It is the group’s second studio album, and Ken Nelson – an English record producer- produced it. It is nine times a certified platinum album with hit singles such as “Clocks,” “God Put a Smile upon Your Face,” and “In My Place.”

X&Y released on the sixth of June 2005, is Coldplay’s third studio album. Recording the X&Y album took about a year, from January 2004 to January 2005. Coldplay and Ken Nelson produced the album. The album X&Y had two divisions.

The first division X housed six tracks, which included “Fix you,” “What if,” “Square one,” and X&Y. The second part of the album had a total of seven tracks with “The Speed of Sound” and “The hardest Part” amongst the list. A bonus track was added to the album, thereby making a total of fourteen tracks in the album. The X&Y album had a tour edition, and the album itself topped music charts around the world.

The 45 minutes long album contains ten tracks and is said to be one of Coldplay’s more successful albums. Viva la Vida is a multi-platinum album. It topped international charts and was ranked one of the biggest albums of the decade in Australia between the year 2000 to 2009.

The album Mylo Xyloto was released in October 2011. Also, Daniel Green, Markus Dravs, and Rik Simpson produced the electronica, Pop and pop-rock styled album. It was recorded from November 2008 to September 2011 at the Bakery and the Beehive studio, London. Mylo Xyloto has three bonus tracks in Japanese and fourteen original tracks on the album spanning 40 minutes. In 2012, there were three Grammy nominations for the songs’ Paradise” and “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” Mylo Xyloto album received a Grammy nomination in 2013.

“Ghost Stories” as well as another were released in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Ghost Stories, nominated in the Grammy in the Best Pop vocal category, is a 42 minutes nine-track album with a fusion of electronica and the synthetic pop sound produced by Timbaland, Madeon, and late ace producer Avicii. Singles like “A star full of stars,” “Ink,” and “True love” were the most popular songs from the album.

Coldplay’s seventh album got produced by Rik Simpson and Stargate, and it got released in December 2015. Singles like “Adventure of a life time” “Fun,” Everglow,” and” Up & up” contributed to the album’s massive success. A Head Full of Dreams has a Japanese bonus track titled “Miracles.”

A concert tour, the “A Head Full of Dreams tour,” was used to promote the album, and the tour spanned about two years. According to reports published in 2016, A Head Full of Dreams album got ranked as the sixth top-selling album for the year 2016.

“Everyday Life,” the number eight and most recent Coldplay album released in November 2019, is a sixteen tracked album divided into two segments of equal track numbers. The first half of the album subtitled “Sunrise” contains songs like “Arabesque,” “Daddy,” and “Broken,” while the second half of Everyday Life subtitled “Sunset” houses “Orphans,” “Old Friends,” and “Everyday life.”


Since its inception, Coldplay has had a total number of seven tours. Six of these tours are album concert tours. They went on the Parachutes Tour that commenced from the year 2000 up to 2001. There was also another tour that took place between the years 2002 and 2003. They held other tours from the year 2008 up to 2010. Other tours held took place in 2011 up to 2012, in 2014 and another in 2016 up to 2017.

Musical Genre

One could describe and classify Coldplay’s sound into musical categories such as Alternative rock, Pop music, Rock Pop, and Post-Brit pop. Chris Martin had, at some point, described the group’s music as ‘limestone rock’ and not hard rock. However, the earlier releases of the group saw their sound categorized as pop music. And Coldplay started a Brit-pop band. The recent description of Coldplay regards them as one of the all-time best alternative bands in history.

Roles Of Members Of Coldplay

Chris Martin, as the face of the band and the lead vocalist also plays musical instruments such as the harmonica, keyboards, and rhythm guitar. Besides being the bass player, Guy Berryman is also a backup vocalist, and he plays the harmonica, keyboard, and mandolin.

Jonny Buckland, the lead guitarist of the group also does back vocals, besides playing the keyboards and piano. Will Champion, -who was once kicked out of the band by Chris Marten-, is the group’s drummer and percussionist. He does well as a backup vocalist.

Will Champion learned how to play the bass, guitar, piano, and keyboard when he was growing up. The fifth member of the band, Phil Harvey, is acknowledged to be Coldplay’s creative director and manager.


We have examined the question, what genre is Coldplay? However, in the course of our analysis, we have not been able to point out a specific genre that it majors in categorically. The reason for this is that the Coldplay does not specialize in a particular genre.

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