Having spent the past 15 years as the UK’s biggest band, it was hard to imagine how Coldplay could take it to the next level in 2015. The group’s previous album, 2014’s Ghost Stories, had found Chris Martin at a melancholic ebb following his divorce from wife Gwyneth Paltrow. The world had moved on, so he was eager for Coldplay’s next record to reflect his newfound gratitude and contentment for life. Inspired by a 13th-century Persian poem by Rumi called The Guest House, Martin related to its message that emotions – both joy and despair – should be treated as guests one should welcome. By opening the door to these feelings, Martin’s zen-like outlook entered his songwriting, setting the stage for Coldplay to conquer the world once again with their seventh album, A Head Full Of Dreams.
Listen to ‘A Head Full Of Dreams’ here.
“We just wanted to embrace our love of joyful music”
As if immersed in the colours of a rainbow, A Head Full Of Dreams’ lead single, Adventure Of A Lifetime, made it immediately obvious that Coldplay’s new album would be a happier affair than its predecessor. A dance-pop firecracker tightly coiled around a corkscrew-like guitar riff from Jonny Buckland, the song, originally titled Legends, came about when Buckland was challenged to create a riff as catchy as the one guitarist Slash devised for Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child O’ Mine. “We just wanted to kind of embrace our love of joyful music and sort of let it free,” Chris Martin said. Released in November 2015, Adventure Of A Lifetime peaked at No.7 in the UK and was instantly regarded as one of the best Coldplay songs, kick-starting their new sonic voyage in intrepid style.
Embracing a sense of fun, the innovative music video for Adventure Of A Lifetime came about after a chance meeting with Andy Serkis, the actor who portrayed Gollum in Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and the founder of the motion-capture studio The Imaginarium. Enlisting Serkis’ help, the band spent six long months working on the big-budget animation promo, with Martin, Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion wearing mo-cap suits and posing as chimps dancing in the jungle. Lavishly produced, the video for Adventure Of A Lifetime was Coldplay’s most technologically ambitious undertaking at the time and has garnered well over a billion YouTube views.