Christmas Lights (song)

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"Christmas Lights"
Single by Coldplay
Released 1 December 2010
Format Digital download
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:02
Label Capitol, Parlophone
Writer(s) Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
Producer(s) Coldplay, Rik Simpson, Brian Eno
Coldplay singles chronology
"Strawberry Swing"
(2009)
"Christmas Lights"
(2010)
"Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"
(2011)
Music video
"Christmas Lights" on YouTube

"Christmas Lights" is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay released on 1 December 2010, as a digital download.[1] Described by the band as "a mid-tempo number" in the key of G major, the song was released to very positive reviews.[2] The cover art is by Yu Matsuoka Pol.[3]

Release and promotion[edit]

The single's release date was announced through the official Coldplay website on 24 November 2010.[1] A countdown in minutes and seconds to 1 December 8pm GMT, appeared on the homepage of the website, accompanied by an animated GIF of the album art.

Coldplay released three 'making-of' videos through their iTunes Ping page, showing the creation of the music video. Another video was also released on their website, giving a preview of the music video and the song itself, plus more 'making-of' footage.

It was originally thought that "Christmas Lights" would be a song from the band's fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto, but this was confirmed not to be the case by Coldplay's official fan-question answer system The Oracle on two separate occasions.[4][5]

For the week ending 18 December 2010, "Christmas Lights" both debuted and peaked at position number 25 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and position number 12 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart.

Music video[edit]

Screenshot from the video

The discussions about the video started about one month before its release. The original plan was to film a simple video at Oxford Street, as the place is mentioned in the song's lyrics. After that many other options were analysed, like a similar video to The Beatles' video for "All You Need Is Love", with the band and friends at the studio. But that idea was left out as Coldplay were in the middle of the production of Mylo Xyloto, and that could disrupt the flow of the recording. Another idea for the video included filming at the Willesden Music Hall. Finally they decided to invite the designer Misty Buckley to the project and the ideas for the final video started to take shape. After a meeting at the studio called The Bakery all the ideas had been set up and the only thing missing was the location for the shooting. Some places suggested were the tunnels under Waterloo and the roof of John Lewis. However they opted for the South Bank just five days before the shooting of the video, to tie in a line about the meeting of the sea and the city.[6]

Coldplay began filming the music video on November 24. The video appears to be one continuous shot, and while it might have been filmed with a single camera, all we know is that several hours and many takes went into the video. Whether this means the finished product is a mix of many clips seamlessly stitched together is unknown.[7] It begins with the starting up of a record player, and the camera panning across a multicoloured player piano, then the four members of the band. Martin begins to sing the first verse as the camera pans and zooms out to show the piano - which is now next to him - then back. Martin has changed his position, and the rest of the band are nowhere to be seen. Martin rises up from the stage where he is lying, then begins to play the piano, which is now on a stage in front of the Thames. Curtains open to reveal the rest of the band, who join in playing the song, accompanied by fireworks and three violin-playing Elvises (who are friends of the band: the British actor Simon Pegg, the 'fifth member' of Coldplay Phil Harvey and Tim Crompton, friend of the band and frontman of The High Wire).[8][9] One hundred fans of the band appear in the music video; they release coloured balloons from a boat on the Thames whilst singing along to part of the song.

"Credo Elvem Etiam Vivere" is written across the top of the stage. In Latin this means "I Believe Elvis Yet Lives".[10] This is likely connected to the three Elvises appearing in the video, which is, in turn, connected to the lyrics of the song.

The video was directed by Mat Whitecross, a long-time friend of the band and director of several of Coldplay's other music videos, such as "Bigger Stronger", "Lovers in Japan", "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"and more recently, "Paradise".

Just hours after the release of the video it was removed from YouTube after the IFPI claimed a breach of copyright,[11] despite the video being on one of Coldplay's official channels. However, as of 21 December 2010 this has been fixed.

Digital download single
No. Title Length
1. "Christmas Lights"   4:02

Charts and certifications[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Coldplay - Christmas Lights release". Coldplay.com. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Webb, Chad (24 November 2010). "Music - Coldplay to Release Christmas Song Next Week". 411mania.com. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Coldplay Oracle". 8 December 2010. 
  4. ^ "Coldplay Oracle - What Did You Mean...". Coldplay.com. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Coldplay Oracle - Is Christmas Lights...". Coldplay.com. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Slender Fungus (2010-12-11). "News - Interview with Mat Whitecross (Christmas Lights video director) - pt 1". Coldplay. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  7. ^ "Coldplay Oracle". 8 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Coldplay Oracle". 29 November 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Coldplay Oracle". 1 December 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Latin Mottos, Latin Phrases, Latin Quotes and Latin Sayings". Yuni.com. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  11. ^ "Image of Coldplay.com Home". 2 December 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Coldplay – Christmas Lights". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Coldplay – Christmas Lights – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Coldplay.
  15. ^ "Coldplay: Christmas Lights" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  16. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Coldplay – Christmas Lights". Top Digital Download.
  18. ^ "EHR top 40". Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  19. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Coldplay – Christmas Lights" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Coldplay – Christmas Lights". Top 40 Singles.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Coldplay – Christmas Lights". VG-lista.
  22. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  23. ^ ds. "Sns Ifpi". Ifpicr.cz. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  24. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Coldplay – Christmas Lights" Canciones Top 50.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Coldplay – Christmas Lights". Singles Top 60.
  26. ^ "Coldplay – Christmas Lights – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
  27. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  28. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Coldplay.
  29. ^ "Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100" (in (Japanese)). Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  30. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Coldplay.
  31. ^ "dutchcharts.nl - Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  32. ^ "FIMI - Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana - Ricerche e dati di mercato". Fimi.it. 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  33. ^ "Italian single certifications – Coldplay – Christmas Lights" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved 10 January 2013.  Select Online in the field Scegli la sezione. Select Week -- and Year ----. Enter Coldplay in the field Artista. Click Avvia la ricerca
  34. ^ Horansky, TJ (October 31, 2013). "Fearless Records release ‘Punk Goes Christmas’ commercial". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]