May 8, 2014

Coldplay, the band The Beatles could have been, loves libraries


Coldplay, the four Adonises of the Apocalypse. (Via Wikimedia)

Coldplay, the four Adonises of the Apocalypse. (Via Wikimedia)

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all bands that are not Coldplay are trash. And it is another truth universally acknowledged that Coldplay is the greatest band in the history of recorded music because “Clocks.”

You may have heard Coldplay absolutely kill it on SNL last week (they were so good they should be put in a jail for murder!) in support of their new album, Ghost Stories. But appearing on late-night sketch comedy shows and consciously uncoupling isn’t all that Coldplay is doing to promote Ghost Stories.

Last week, the band, which plays the kind of music Radiohead would make if Radiohead wasn’t comprised of robots who hate human emotion and warmth and love, announced a novel campaign: a scavenger hunt in which fans would hunt for lyric sheets to their new songs which had been hidden in libraries around the globe. According to Adweek, “the lyrics were hidden in nine different countries, one for each song on the record. Eight of the sheets have been found—in Mexico, Singapore, Finland, Spain, England, New Zealand, Ireland and the U.S.”

All nine lyric sheets—which also contained Wonka-esque “Golden tickets” to a Coldplay concert in London—have since been found by fans in Johannesberg, Dublin, Tauranga, Kent, Barcelona, Helsinki, Singapore, Mexico City, and New York (at the NYPL Main Branch).

And who wouldn’t want to discover Chris Martin‘s lyrics? This is, after all, a man who wrote the lines, “I swam across/ I jumped across for you/ Oh what a thing to do. /Cause you were all yellow” for Coldplay’s breakout hit, “Yellow.” (Fact: “Yellow” was written about the phonebook and is better than “A Day in the Life” and “I Want You Back” combined.)

This was, of course, a marketing campaign and its primary aim was to promote the newest Coldplay album and ensure it gets a 10.0 from the mustachioed crew at Pitchfork HQ. But it’s still nice to see the biggest, greatest, most EPIC band in the world encouraging fans to visit libraries—and to spend time exploring libraries (presumably ripping open every book in sight, hastily discarding anything filled with words not written by Chris Martin like the garbage that it is). Coldplay is the best. Libraries are the best. This is a victory for mankind.

We are all yellow.


Alex Shephard is the director of digital media for Melville House, and a former bookseller.