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Coldplay

"Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"

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71
June 3, 2011

Chris Martin says Coldplay's upcoming album is influenced by old-school New York graffiti, and in a recent photo the bandmates are dressed in neon chillwear like they just walked off the set of Breakin' 3: A Brit-Pop Odyssey. But the first single doesn't go for the sound of early hip-hop so much as its sense of year-zero possibility. Over a rave-tinged keyboard melody, leavened by producer Brian Eno's rainforest-of-the-soul ambience, Martin sings of kids dancing until morning and heaven inside his headphones. When the drums kick in fully, it moves like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by way of the Velvets' "Sunday Morning," a flag-waving ode to change-as-inspiration: "I'd rather be a comma than a full stop," Martin sings. Coming from a guy whose critics take him for a human exclamation point, it's a welcome sentiment.

Listen to "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall":

Chris Martin Says New Coldplay Disc Is About Love and OCD

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    Song Stories

    “Try a Little Tenderness”

    Otis Redding | 1966

    This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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