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.

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