Column: Why A Rush of Blood to the Head is Coldplay’s best work


Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head on vinyl. Photo by Ali Watts.

Ali Watts
Oxford Stories

I can vividly remember the first time I listened to the album. I had to have been in middle school, 12 or 13 years old, and my mom was driving my siblings and me to school as she blared the CD throughout the car. We listened to Coldplay’s CDs every day in the car, and with every song, I fell in love with their music.

Coldplay is a British rock band comprised of four members. There is lead singer Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer Will Champion. They all met in England at the University College London in 1996. They officially became Coldplay in 1998, and they released their first debut album Parachutes in 2000. Parachutes is a chilling album and extremely beautiful, but that is not the album that made me fall in love with their music.

Coldplay’s second album was released in 2002 – A Rush of Blood to the Head. Coldplay began recording this album only a week after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. The band admitted it was a hard transition from the first to the second album, but their motivation for the second album stemmed from their single “In My Place,” which was the first song written for this album.

The number one song from the album “Clocks” was written late one night by lead singer Chris Martin. “Clocks” is still being played on the radio after 16 years since it was released. This was the first song I listened to from this album, and it is still one of the most beautifully written songs I have ever heard. “Clocks” was voted by Billboard as the best song Coldplay has ever released. Many would agree this was the song that changed everything for Coldplay.

A Rush of Blood to the Head includes a total of 11 songs, and it has received several nominations and awards since it was released. Coldplay has received three Grammy awards for the album including the 2003 Grammy for Best Alternative Album, 2003 Grammy for Best Rock Performance, and the 2004 Grammy for Record of the Year. Rolling Stone voted the album in their top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012, and it placed 21st on their list of the Top 100 Albums of the 2000s.

Coldplay’s second greatest hit single off of the album is titled “The Scientist.” Because of this song and “Clocks,” the album remained on the United Kingdom Albums Chart more than a year after it came out. This was the first Coldplay album that got them into the Top 5 in the United States music charts, and this album has been certified 5x Platinum with more than 5 million sales.

The entire album includes songs “Politik,” “In My Place,” “God Put a Smile Upon Your Face,” “The Scientist,” “Clocks,” “Daylight,” “Green Eyes,” “Warning Sign,” “A Whisper,” “A Rush of Blood to the Head,” and “Amsterdam.”

One thing about the song “Green Eyes” that a lot of people do not know is  Chris Martin wrote this song about his wife at the time.


The song list off of Coldplay’s album A Rush of Blood to the Head. Photo by Ali Watts.

Coldplay now has a total of seven studio albums, but still, none of their new music compares to the masterpiece they created with their second album. Out of all albums, A Rush of Blood to the Head has sold the most copies worldwide.

There were originally more than 20 songs written for this album, but it was eventually narrowed down to 11. “Clocks” was almost not included in the album, and Coldplay was just going to wait and keep it for their third album. Their manager insisted that it was crucial to add it to the second album, and he made the right decision.

I think one thing that makes this album so special and precious to me is every song was written from the heart of the band. Most artists today on the radio have their songs written for them, and they have no emotional attachments to their own songs. That is my favorite thing about listening to Coldplay because I can always feel true emotions through their lyrics.

Another thing that draws me to their music is it is so relatable. They write and sing about heartbreak, love, friendship, and the world we live in. Their music is for people of all ages and cultures, and they tour all over the world to make sure people from all over get to enjoy their music.

Coldplay gets an A+ on A Rush of Blood to the Head because I know if I am ever having a bad day, all I have to do is listen to that album, and my day will instantly get better. This album goes down as the best Coldplay album ever created, and I will never get tired of listening to the amazing lyrics and beautiful instruments of this album that made me fall in love with Coldplay’s music.

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