Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Coldplay Songs of All Time - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Coldplay Songs of All Time

Selections include ‘Yellow,’ ‘Clocks’ and ‘Viva la Vida’

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Coldplay just released Mylo Xyloto, their fifth studio album, so it seemed like a good time to ask our readers about their favorite songs by the band. Judging by your response, it's safe to say that most of you haven't spent enough time with the record to consider any of its tracks your all-time favorite. But that's cool! Coldplay write the kind of songs that benefit from familiarity, so there's a good chance that if we ask the question again in a few years, more than a few of you would end up stumping for Mylo Xyloto cuts like "Paradise," "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" or "Hurts Like Heaven." 

Here are your picks for the 10 best Coldplay songs.

By Matthew Perpetua

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10. ‘Don’t Panic’

Coldplay arrived pretty much fully formed with "Don't Panic," one of their earliest compositions. The song, a somber shuffle lifted up by Chris Martin's keening "we live in a beautiful world" chorus, wasn't released as a single from their debut album Parachutes, but ended up reaching a large audience anyway when Zach Braff personally selected it to be included on the hit soundtrack to his film Garden State.

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9. ‘Warning Sign’

"Warning Sign," a cut from the band's second album A Rush of Blood to the Head, was never released as a single and hasn't been performed in concert since 2005, but it's become a big favorite among the group's hardcore fans. The gentle, sentimental tune has clearly inspired many fans too, including the cast and crew of this very well-made amateur music video.

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8. ‘Viva la Vida’

"Viva la Vida," the title track of the band's first collaboration with Brian Eno in 2008, balances Coldplay's taste for soaring melodies with a stately, relatively understated string arrangement. The song has the distinction of being not only the band's only Number One hit on Billboard's Hot 100 sales chart, but also the first Number One single by a British group since 1996.

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7. ‘Amsterdam’

One thing that separates Coldplay from most other arena-filling rock bands is Chris Martin's piano playing. It anchors some of their best-known songs in addition to deep cuts like "Amsterdam," the poignant ballad that closes out their second record, A Rush of Blood to the Head. In this video, you can watch the band close out their set at the V Festival in 2003 with a gorgeous, slow-burning rendition of the track.

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6. ‘In My Place’

"In My Place," the first single from the band's best-selling 2002 album A Rush of Blood to the Head, is a staple of the band's live set. It's usually played near the start of the show, with its cymbal-crashing intro beat giving way to one of their best and most memorable guitar parts. The intro is pretty rocking, but from there on out, it's one of their most lovelorn ballads.

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5. ‘Shiver’

It's maybe a little bit surprising that "Shiver," the relatively obscure first single from Coldplay's debut album Parachutes, made it this high on the list. Then again, the song establishes so many of the band's strengths – heartsick balladry, shimmering lead guitar, swooning falsetto – that it stands to reason that many of you would think they got it exactly right the first time around.

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4. ‘Clocks’

"Clocks," the A Rush of Blood to the Head track known for its swirling piano hook, driving beat and falsetto chorus, may be the ultimate Coldplay song. Frankly, it's surprising that it came in at only Number Four on this list. It could be that some fans – particularly hardcore devotees who catch all of their gigs – have gotten a bit sick of the band's closest equivalent to the widescreen grandiosity of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name."

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3. ‘Yellow’

Coldplay hit the big time with "Yellow," a sweeping ballad that many compared to Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" when it was released as the second single off their 2000 debut, Parachutes. But with a bit of hindsight, it sounds more like Jeff Buckley fronting Echo and the Bunnymen. Either way, it's one of the great rock ballads of the 2000s –instantly catchy and heart-melting without getting too syrupy or bombastic.

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2. ‘Fix You’

Coldplay's third album, 2005's X&Y, is generally considered to be the weakest of the band's five records, but it did produce "Fix You," one of their most iconic hits. It's a polarizing tune – while it's obviously popular enough to reach Number Two on this list, it's usually the first tune Coldplay haters mention when they rail against the band. Even if you despise the song, you've got to admit that it's used to great effect in this clip from an episode of The O.C. in which one of the show's villains drops dead from a heart attack in his swimming pool.

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1. ‘The Scientist’

"The Scientist" won this poll by a decisive margin – not too shocking, given that it's one of the band's signature singles and a staple of their live set. In this clip filmed at the Glastonbury Festival in England, Martin and the band gradually transition the song from a lonesome lament into a massive sing-along.

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