Top 6 songs by Coldplay (in order)

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6. Green Eyes (A Rush of Blood to the Head, 2002)

A beautifully understated song. Most of it’s just Chris Martin and his guitar. “I came here with a load / and it feels so much lighter now I met you / honey you should know / that I could never go on without you.” It sums up that feeling of falling in love (and was notably written when Martin was falling in love with Gwenyth Paltrow).

5. Midnight (Ghost Stories, 2014)

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A departure from Coldplay’s early brooding ballads and its late-stage stadium rock. Midnight’s the band experimenting with a new electronic sound. With minimal lyrics and a great atmosphere, it’s a song you can put on repeat for hours.

4. Yellow (Parachutes, 2000)

Yellow’s the first song I heard by Coldplay, and I imagine it was yours, too. The band released it as a single in 2000 — their first Top 40 hit. It’s an odd song for a radio hit. It’s slow, brooding and definitely something that’s hard to sing along with (if you want to stay in key). It’s compelling nonetheless, and manages to do one of the most important things a song can do: get stuck in your head. The repetition wears thin after a while, but it’s probably the first song anyone thinks of when they think of Coldplay.

3. Don’t Panic (Parachutes, 2000)

The opening song on Parachutes is a soft cloud-like head-nodder with a simple refrain: “We live in a beautiful world / yeah we do, yeah we do.” It landed on the soundtrack of Zack Braff’s Garden State, and got great critical reception with critic Adrian Denning writing, “Both the vocals and guitar are utterly beautiful. It’s a song to take solace from, draw comfort from, be quietly awed by.”

2. The Scientist (A Rush of Blood to the Head, 2002)

A song about breaking up that’s about as heavy as a grand piano. The driving, staccato chords and trembling overlaid vocals is Coldplay at its best. “Nobody said it was easy / no one ever said it would be this hard / oh, take me back to the start.” It’s the sort of song you can turn on, lay down on the living room floor and fall into.

1. Fix You (X&Y, 2005)

Perhaps the most emotional song in Coldplay’s music box, Chris Martin wrote the song for Gwyneth Paltrow when her father died. Gwyneth’s stepmother Blythe Danner says she weeps every time she hears it. It’s a testament to love, proof that we’ll try anything – even healing wounds that never go away – for love. “Tears stream down your face / when you lose something you cannot replace.”

Runners-up

Spies (Parachutes, 2000): This is one of my personal favorites by Coldplay, but I’ve never heard anyone else talk much about it. I think the song’s slow start probably dooms it to obscurity, but it’s a 5-minutes masterpiece.

Others: X&Y (X&Y, 2005), Til Kingdom Come (X&Y, 2005), Lost! (Viva La Vida, 2008), Paradise (Mylo Xyloto)

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