Author Topic: U2s influence on Coldplay  (Read 8914 times)

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Offline JSab

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U2s influence on Coldplay
« on: September 16, 2009, 06:10:53 AM »
Yes, much discussed, but I just thought like saying that I just noticed Coldplays song Amsterdam sounds like it
has a very similar chord progression (and repetition) of U2s song Dirty Day. They're very different songs, but similar
chord progression - yes i acknowledge its based on that extremely common "4 chord progression" but Dirty Day is a bit different
to With Or Without You (which uses the main common chord progression used by many artists over time - U2s was one of the earliest
songs in the comparison video i think :P so maybe they started it XD).

Isnt it funny how I came to like Coldplay - and then after coming to like them, i find out U2 is their main influence :P

I've seen some discussion about Coldplay having very similar drum beats and tunes to U2 songs, but if they're their main influence
then it makes sense - its interesting seeing what Coldplay do with certain aspects of U2 songs (most notably In My Place being said to have
a similar drum beat to Bullet The Blue Sky - I see a similarity, but its hardly the same, and the songs are completely different, so its cool seeing what they
did to the beat - I really like the main riff).

I havent listened to Coldplay in a while, and I've been finding I'm in a mood for songs with ambience - and just tonight I've been listening to Coldplay, and they
have ambience so I'll be enjoying that for a while.

Any other similarities you may have noticed in Coldplay and U2 songs? Or less specifically, other songs in general? Sneaky Sound Systems UFO is similar in parts to Duran Duran's Girls On Film.

I don't like to be one sided like some other people I've seen on this forum, saying "oh! they've stolen that persons song!" - I tend to have an open mind towards it and appreciate both versions.



Offline Nielsen

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2009, 08:25:16 AM »
*braces self for another pointless onslaught on Coldplay*

Brave of you JSab to make a Coldplay related  thread :P

Offline yam_yam

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 09:37:23 AM »
coming from a drummer and being very inspired by Larry, some of my beats in my band are U2 related. however, you can't copyright a drumbeat. Most drummers get by playing the 'bread and butter' beat for their whole careers.

Offline Joe G (Love You Like Mad Magazine)

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 09:44:54 AM »
I think I've posted this before but

"I need a compass, draw me a map
I'm on the top, I can't get back"---Coldplay, Square One

"And I have no compass, and I have no map
And I have no reasons, reasons to get back"--U2, Zooropa

Offline JSab

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2009, 10:32:25 AM »
Yeah I saw that Joe G, I don't like how its very very similar...

Its somewhat anti-creative to use other peoples lyrics, or tunes (satriani's guitar tune most notably), but I don't really think about it like that,
they have alot of other songs that are theirs, and I enjoy them, so thats really all that matters - if you enjoy it then good, if you dont, then good.

Yeah, this post will ask for alot of opposing things towards coldplay, I don't mind, its just my view, and to see if anyone else has a  similar view.


For yam_yam - yeah, that makes sense, cause almost every pop-rock song has the same sort of beat, its really lame. U2 propbably do it, I dont know, but I like to hear different drum beats to the usual, and U2 tend to have some really awesome distinctive drummings :)

Its just a pity Larry and Adam haven't done any solos in years - I love the drums in Boy, and I really like to hear Larry being able to play a solo - I first got to know U2 from their latest stuff, so I've listened to their stuff backwards :P.


Offline polyester shirt

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2009, 08:29:21 PM »
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I think I've posted this before but

"I need a compass, draw me a map
I'm on the top, I can't get back"---Coldplay, Square One

"And I have no compass, and I have no map
And I have no reasons, reasons to get back"--U2, Zooropa

This is a bit obscure, but it's still similar to ISHFWILF, and from the same song, Square One.

"But they're bleeding all the colors into one"

"Then all the colors will bleed into one"

Offline mattyk

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 05:11:32 AM »
Well, the one-string-guitar-solo in Fix You is an obvious one. Also, Violet Hill and The Playboy Mansion share the line "the banks became cathedrals".

Beyond the specifics though, Coldplay have always talked about how much U2 have influenced them, especially Chris Martin (see the piece that he wrote for Rolling Stone for their 500 greatest artists article). So many people on here hate on them for it, which I frankly don't get - why hate a band that are influenced by your favourite band? Especially when they write bloody good songs.

The other thing that U2 and Coldplay share is and absolute generosity and element of joy in their live show. Chris Martin, just like Bono, pours every inch of his soul into his performance onstage because he's chasing a connection, the same connection that bono was chasing when he climbed off the stage and into the crowd during Live Aid. It's a very generous thing for a performer to do, and a very uncool one, and I love both U2 and Coldplay for it.

Offline JSab

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 07:54:56 AM »
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Well, the one-string-guitar-solo in Fix You is an obvious one. Also, Violet Hill and The Playboy Mansion share the line "the banks became cathedrals".

Beyond the specifics though, Coldplay have always talked about how much U2 have influenced them, especially Chris Martin (see the piece that he wrote for Rolling Stone for their 500 greatest artists article). So many people on here hate on them for it, which I frankly don't get - why hate a band that are influenced by your favourite band? Especially when they write bloody good songs.

The other thing that U2 and Coldplay share is and absolute generosity and element of joy in their live show. Chris Martin, just like Bono, pours every inch of his soul into his performance onstage because he's chasing a connection, the same connection that bono was chasing when he climbed off the stage and into the crowd during Live Aid. It's a very generous thing for a performer to do, and a very uncool one, and I love both U2 and Coldplay for it.

I stupidly didnt see coldplay last year - no one would come with me :(

Your points are exactly right - why hate them if they're influenced by your favourite band? Thats probably why I like them, cause their sound is similar yet different, i guess it falls into a similar genre of music.

I dunno, its a bit silly for them to copy lyrics, but its only bits and pieces by the looks of it. I dunno, in a different perspective, it could be a good thing they use some things from U2's songs, cause it'll be familiar and easily likable.

Thats partly why I love U2 - they're even better live than they are studio, I reckon that is what a good artist is - if they can do a good live performance, then they have my vote, well, to an extent.

I saw Bob Evans as the support act for Eskimo Joe and I really enjoyed it, even though I had only vaguely recognised his songs. I then went on the listen to the recordings at home, and they're not so good anymore :P

Anyway, Coldplay are a good band, even if they do seem to copy some U2 stuff - though i havent really noticed it in heaps of their stuff - only a few songs

Offline silverbad

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2009, 12:40:53 AM »
the banks are cathedrals (Lemon, and Playboy Mansion) I don't know what song Coldplay has those lyrics in though.

Offline Johnny Amsterdam

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2009, 12:52:40 AM »
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Yes, much discussed, but I just thought like saying that I just noticed Coldplays song Amsterdam sounds like it
has a very similar chord progression (and repetition) of U2s song Dirty Day. They're very different songs, but similar
chord progression - yes i acknowledge its based on that extremely common "4 chord progression" but Dirty Day is a bit different
to With Or Without You (which uses the main common chord progression used by many artists over time - U2s was one of the earliest
songs in the comparison video i think :P so maybe they started it XD).

Isnt it funny how I came to like Coldplay - and then after coming to like them, i find out U2 is their main influence :P

I've seen some discussion about Coldplay having very similar drum beats and tunes to U2 songs, but if they're their main influence
then it makes sense - its interesting seeing what Coldplay do with certain aspects of U2 songs (most notably In My Place being said to have
a similar drum beat to Bullet The Blue Sky - I see a similarity, but its hardly the same, and the songs are completely different, so its cool seeing what they
did to the beat - I really like the main riff).

I havent listened to Coldplay in a while, and I've been finding I'm in a mood for songs with ambience - and just tonight I've been listening to Coldplay, and they
have ambience so I'll be enjoying that for a while.

Any other similarities you may have noticed in Coldplay and U2 songs? Or less specifically, other songs in general? Sneaky Sound Systems UFO is similar in parts to Duran Duran's Girls On Film.

I don't like to be one sided like some other people I've seen on this forum, saying "oh! they've stolen that persons song!" - I tend to have an open mind towards it and appreciate both versions.
I actually really liked the first 2 Coldpaly albums. I immediately noticed that they sounded a lot like U2. Although they didn't have the strong lyrics like U2 used to have, or the powervoice Bono used to have, they at least understood how to structure a good song. (alot of new bands don't  seem to understand that part of making music at all) But at some point you have to leave that what inspired you behind and transform your music into another beast and there where Coldplay fails in my opinion. They look to busy with copying their Hero's. Even some performances and moves are exact copy of Bono and band.

The last 2 coldplay albums have not been very good. The last one outsold U2 but as an album it falls short.

Offline iff133

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2009, 02:40:15 AM »
Not sure if it has been posted here before, but I found an interesting U2-related story on Coldplay`s website (yeees, I love them too, but I love U2 more, so don´t shoot me, lol). They have a section called the "Roadie blog" on their site where someone writes blogs and posts photos from every gig. Here`s a part of the entry from Coldplay´s 1st concert in Herning (Denmark), posted on August 19 on You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login:

"/.../ In a superbly bizarre twist, the band have flown into their first stadium show of this tour on U2's plane. Apparently, our regular ride is misfiring. I believe that the big end's gone, or something like that. The easiest way to deal with this it seems, was to take U2's "360 Air" jet for a spin. They're doing UK shows right now, so it's just sat about doing nothing otherwise.

I can confirm that, as one would imagine, those fellas truly travel in comfort and style. I'm writing this now on the flight out to Norway for today's show. Again, we're aboard 360 Air. As we walked across the tarmac to the plane there was a Ryanair flight boarding over the way. A few folks stopped on the steps to take photos of the U2 plane.

Quite what they thought watching a bunch of scruffy roadies climb aboard I have no idea. I expect though, they were even more confused watching a complete lack of U2, but instead Coldplay cheerfully climbing the steps. Again, not something I'd have pictured all those years ago when I first walked into the Forum in Kentish Town, London for my first day's work with the band.

It's been a long, strange trip indeed and one does wonder where it'll all end."

Offline JSab

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2009, 07:19:28 AM »
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Yes, much discussed, but I just thought like saying that I just noticed Coldplays song Amsterdam sounds like it
has a very similar chord progression (and repetition) of U2s song Dirty Day. They're very different songs, but similar
chord progression - yes i acknowledge its based on that extremely common "4 chord progression" but Dirty Day is a bit different
to With Or Without You (which uses the main common chord progression used by many artists over time - U2s was one of the earliest
songs in the comparison video i think :P so maybe they started it XD).

Isnt it funny how I came to like Coldplay - and then after coming to like them, i find out U2 is their main influence :P

I've seen some discussion about Coldplay having very similar drum beats and tunes to U2 songs, but if they're their main influence
then it makes sense - its interesting seeing what Coldplay do with certain aspects of U2 songs (most notably In My Place being said to have
a similar drum beat to Bullet The Blue Sky - I see a similarity, but its hardly the same, and the songs are completely different, so its cool seeing what they
did to the beat - I really like the main riff).

I havent listened to Coldplay in a while, and I've been finding I'm in a mood for songs with ambience - and just tonight I've been listening to Coldplay, and they
have ambience so I'll be enjoying that for a while.

Any other similarities you may have noticed in Coldplay and U2 songs? Or less specifically, other songs in general? Sneaky Sound Systems UFO is similar in parts to Duran Duran's Girls On Film.

I don't like to be one sided like some other people I've seen on this forum, saying "oh! they've stolen that persons song!" - I tend to have an open mind towards it and appreciate both versions.
I actually really liked the first 2 Coldpaly albums. I immediately noticed that they sounded a lot like U2. Although they didn't have the strong lyrics like U2 used to have, or the powervoice Bono used to have, they at least understood how to structure a good song. (alot of new bands don't  seem to understand that part of making music at all) But at some point you have to leave that what inspired you behind and transform your music into another beast and there where Coldplay fails in my opinion. They look to busy with copying their Hero's. Even some performances and moves are exact copy of Bono and band.

The last 2 coldplay albums have not been very good. The last one outsold U2 but as an album it falls short.

Thats a really good point, I didnt think about that :P. It makes so much sense and I understand. Haha I actually like their last two albums more than the first two. Coldplay have done really well, but your point is really something. Maybe Coldplay hasnt exactly learnt the difference between influence and copying? I dont know. I still recon they sound distinctively Coldplay, with U2 influence. - though have a listen to Winter - the starting strings and driving tune is very similar to Coldplays Viva La Vida.

I myself arent going to fuss about Coldplay, its just interesting to hear familar bits and pieces from U2, and I enjoy the music as Coldplays music, I dont mind if they havent seemed to move on from their heavy influence from U2, all that matters to me in the end is that they're making music that I can enjoy.

Offline Johnny Amsterdam

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2009, 01:18:51 PM »
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Yes, much discussed, but I just thought like saying that I just noticed Coldplays song Amsterdam sounds like it
has a very similar chord progression (and repetition) of U2s song Dirty Day. They're very different songs, but similar
chord progression - yes i acknowledge its based on that extremely common "4 chord progression" but Dirty Day is a bit different
to With Or Without You (which uses the main common chord progression used by many artists over time - U2s was one of the earliest
songs in the comparison video i think :P so maybe they started it XD).

Isnt it funny how I came to like Coldplay - and then after coming to like them, i find out U2 is their main influence :P

I've seen some discussion about Coldplay having very similar drum beats and tunes to U2 songs, but if they're their main influence
then it makes sense - its interesting seeing what Coldplay do with certain aspects of U2 songs (most notably In My Place being said to have
a similar drum beat to Bullet The Blue Sky - I see a similarity, but its hardly the same, and the songs are completely different, so its cool seeing what they
did to the beat - I really like the main riff).

I havent listened to Coldplay in a while, and I've been finding I'm in a mood for songs with ambience - and just tonight I've been listening to Coldplay, and they
have ambience so I'll be enjoying that for a while.

Any other similarities you may have noticed in Coldplay and U2 songs? Or less specifically, other songs in general? Sneaky Sound Systems UFO is similar in parts to Duran Duran's Girls On Film.

I don't like to be one sided like some other people I've seen on this forum, saying "oh! they've stolen that persons song!" - I tend to have an open mind towards it and appreciate both versions.
I actually really liked the first 2 Coldpaly albums. I immediately noticed that they sounded a lot like U2. Although they didn't have the strong lyrics like U2 used to have, or the powervoice Bono used to have, they at least understood how to structure a good song. (alot of new bands don't  seem to understand that part of making music at all) But at some point you have to leave that what inspired you behind and transform your music into another beast and there where Coldplay fails in my opinion. They look to busy with copying their Hero's. Even some performances and moves are exact copy of Bono and band.

The last 2 coldplay albums have not been very good. The last one outsold U2 but as an album it falls short.

Thats a really good point, I didnt think about that :P. It makes so much sense and I understand. Haha I actually like their last two albums more than the first two. Coldplay have done really well, but your point is really something. Maybe Coldplay hasnt exactly learnt the difference between influence and copying? I dont know. I still recon they sound distinctively Coldplay, with U2 influence. - though have a listen to Winter - the starting strings and driving tune is very similar to Coldplays Viva La Vida.

I myself arent going to fuss about Coldplay, its just interesting to hear familar bits and pieces from U2, and I enjoy the music as Coldplays music, I dont mind if they havent seemed to move on from their heavy influence from U2, all that matters to me in the end is that they're making music that I can enjoy.
True

Offline Johnny Amsterdam

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 10:19:44 AM »
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"But they're bleeding all the colors into one"

"Then all the colors will bleed into one"

That's just more of a good ol' fashioned cliché isn't?  Its hard to claim plagiarism on it.  Just two examples of fairly average lyric writing.

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The last 2 coldplay albums have not been very good. The last one outsold U2 but as an album it falls short.
I'll try to listen to Viva  again. maybe I was wrong.

Each to their own of course but I thought Viva La Vida was maybe Coldplay's best work.  Yeah, it outsold U2 but, in my opinion, its a lot better than No Line.  Sure, Coldplay haven't done anything to the standard of The Joshua Tree or Acthung Baby.  They probably won't either. Very few bands do. But Viva La Vida isn't too shabby in my view.

Also, I always hear how Coldplay haven't progressed.  99% of people who bag Coldplay pull this out.  I think songs on the new album like 42, Death and All His Friends, Cemetries of London are a pretty far cry from Yellow.  No, they haven't morphed into a totaly different band.  Yes, they still sound maybe a little too much like their influences (which I might add are more varied than most people on this forum give them credit .) But there is progression there.  Baby steps to be sure, but its happening.

Offline LOGAN B

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Re: U2s influence on Coldplay
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 12:27:34 PM »
Coldplay have only made four albums. They have been around for about a decade. U2 didn't hit that pocket of brilliance until their 5th album The Joshua Tree and followed with Achtung Baby. Give Coldplay a chance to prove themselves. They have potential to be great but they seem to be afraid to take risk at this time. Viva IMO is a safe album. It's filled with U2 influnce and that's a safe bet cause we all love U2 already.