Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Coldplay’s “Clocks”

When you’re a songwriter, you never know if anything you write is going to resonate with the public. Take Coldplay, for example. In the early 2000s, Chris Martin was listening to a lot of songs by Muse and came up with a cyclical piano figure. But after that riff, he didn’t know what to do with it, so he set it aside and went on to work on something else.

That’s when a friend heard this scrap of a demo and told Chris and the band that they needed to finish what they started because this track was going to be a hit. Most of the band dissented, with drummer Will Champion declaring the song to be—and I quote—”a load or rubbish.” But they completed it just the same and dumped in onto A Rush of Blood to the Head. That’s when the record label picked it to be a single—and from there, things exploded.

The song Coldplay thought was a dog but became a hit? “Clocks.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38452 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.