Emerging from the Cold

One of the oldest rock ‘n’ roll clichés says a band may become successful overnight. For four college mates better known as Coldplay, the old adage has become reality twice — in two attempts.

Coldplay, which plays a sold-out show at Hard Rock Live in Orlando on Tuesday, have come a long way in a short time.

Chris Martin (vocals), Jon Buckland (guitar), Guy Berryman (bass) and Will Champion (drums) became pals attending the University College of London and began playing music together soon thereafter. Four years later — after their first two LPs generated heavy buzz in the United Kingdom — the band’s 1999 debut album, Parachutes, gained them not only critical acclaim but also decent mainstream success on the strength of the delicate love song “Yellow.”

Parachutes, which is considered by many critics to be one of the best albums of the last decade, introduced Martin as a well-crafted songwriter and showcased the band’s musical talent as a cohesive whole. More importantly, the album — abounding with influences á la Radiohead and Jeff Buckley — prompted critics and fans alike to suggest Coldplay as possibly the next in line to carry the legendary Brit-pop torch of musical influence and adoration.

During the two years that followed, the band toured Europe extensively in an attempt to capitalize on its vast overseas success. Coldplay even managed to squeeze in a small U.S. tour. All the while, critics ornamented countless top-ten lists with Parachutes as the album garnered various award nominations throughout the music industry.

But as the constant touring began to take the wind out of the band’s sails, even the bright spots were becoming requiems of some sort or another.

Success and its many consequences had seemingly taken its toll on the band, especially Martin.

In an interview with NME magazine’s James Oldham after an award show following the Parachutes tour, Martin said, “I was sat near Noel Gallagher and Bono … and I thought … ‘I’m not really rock ‘n’ roll.’ ”

Martin’s feeling of being a sheep in wolf’s clothing was not the only demon he and his band battled after their debut success. The band members became obsessed with death, and their relationships suffered because of an obscure sense of paranoia.

Fortunately, Coldplay solved these problems the only way it knew how. They made another album.

The 2002 release of the band’s long-awaited follow-up album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, may have been a strenuous process, to say the least, but their hopes and fears translated into a truly great album.

Their trials and tribulations during recording made for emotional tunes, and the period following the making of the album allowed the band to mend inner turmoil, come to terms with success and allow Martin to formulate a new outlook on life.

And it came just in time.

The release of A Rush of Blood to the Head marked Coldplay’s second bout with immediate success. The band went from semi-successful U.K. critic’s pets to being one of the biggest rock bands in the world today.

Fans across the globe have tapped into Coldplay’s sensitive innocence — the band doesn’t drink, do drugs or indulge with groupies — and how they apply their emotions to create experienced songwriting.

They may just be four regular guys, but their band’s ability to relate their irregular problems to those of their fans and convey them with emotive song has made Coldplay a force in today’s music industry.

Contact Nick Margiasso at oraclemargiasso@yahoo.com