On August 26, 2002, Coldplay released their second album “A Rush of Blood to the Head”. As the album turns 15, celebrate with these 10 little known facts.


But first, set the mood:


1. It was released two months late.  The album was set for a June 2002 release, but after finalizing their demos, the band begged their record label to extend the release date so they could keep working on it. According to frontman Chris Martin, the first cut sounded like “rubbish”.

2. The first single became a spoof. Coldplay released “In My Place” as the album’s first single, and the video later became a Bad Lip Reading spoof. It also inspired the rest of the album (the original, not the spoof).


3. “Clocks” was inspired by Muse. According to the band, they were inspired by the futuristic rock band to create an impressive instrumental piece. When Martin showed the band his piano riff, guitarist Jeff Buckland picked up a guitar and immediately began jamming. Martin said, “He picked up his guitar [a sure sign that he likes a song] and played these brilliant chords … It was like a chemical reaction process.”

4. But the song almost didn’t make the cut. The band had no idea what to do with “Clocks” when it was first written, so they called it “Song for #3” and stashed it away for their next album. Their manager, Phil Harvey, took a listen, loved it and told them to get it polished up and included on the record.

4. “The Scientist” was inspired by George Harrison. Martin had been listening to Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”, when he found an old out of tune piano while meandering through Liverpool. He wanted to play Harrison’s “Isn’t It A Pity” but couldn’t remember all the notes, so he came up with the melody of “The Scientist” instead.

5. The Scientist’s real name is Dan. In the album’s liner notes, it states that “The Scientist is Dan” – referring to Dan Keeling, a talent scout at Parlophone Records.

6. Iconic album artwork. Norwegian fashion designer Sølve Sundsbø designed the album’s artwork using a 3D scanner, which was pretty unheard of in 2002. Royal Mail included the artwork on a 2010 stamp celebrating the 10 most iconic album covers over the past 40 years. Led Zepplin, Blur, New Order, Bowie and more were also included.

7. Dark album. The album is definitely not Coldplay’s most uplifting album. Many songs are about life and love, but all share the underlying theme of the uncertainties we face in life. Many users on Reddit say the album tells the story of a suicidal man.

8. One of the best. In 2012 Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album as #466 out of their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

9. Awarded. The band won three Grammys for the record, including Best Alternative Music Album (they won it the year before for Parachutes, too), Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “In My Place” and Record of the Year for “Clocks”.

10. Overall, the album did okay. Since 2002, the album has gone on to become 9x Platinum with 22 million copies sold worldwide. It is also the 8th biggest selling album of the 21st century in the UK. So yeah, it did okay.


Filed under: A Rush of Blood to the Head, Clocks, Coldplay, Muse, The Scientist