Midnight (Coldplay song)

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"Midnight"
Single by Coldplay
from the album Ghost Stories
Released 17 April 2014 (2014-04-17)
Format
Recorded 2013; The Bakery and The Beehive (London, England)
Genre
Length 4:54
Label Parlophone
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Coldplay singles chronology
"Magic"
(2014)
"Midnight"
(2014)
"A Sky Full of Stars"
(2014)
Ghost Stories track listing
Music sample

"Midnight" is a song recorded by British alternative rock band Coldplay for their sixth studio album, Ghost Stories (2014). It was written and produced by band members Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin, with production assistance from Paul Epworth, Daniel Green, and Rik Simpson, and co-production from Jon Hopkins. A music video for the Ghost Stories track was released on 25 February 2014 as a teaser for the then-unannounced sixth studio album.[3] A "Midnight" 7-inch vinyl single was pressed by Parlophone for Record Store Day 2014. The single, featuring the track on a single side of the record, was released on 17 April 2014, becoming the second music release by the band in promotion of Ghost Stories. A live version of the song, recorded and filmed at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, was included in the Ghost Stories Live 2014.

Composition[edit]

"Midnight" was built over a previously unreleased original track produced by Jon Hopkins in 2003.[4] The track, named "Amphora", was never completed by Hopkins and was partly released by ambient/electronic music blog A Strangely Isolated Place on SoundCloud in early 2012, as part of their playlist "ASIP - 1.00.00".[5] The song also incorporates elements from a Jon Hopkins recording titled by Hopkins as "The Fourth State II", a reproduction of his 2008 extended play The Fourth Estate.

Recording[edit]

The song was recorded by the band during sessions for their sixth studio album in 2013, at their purpose-built studios The Bakery and The Beehive in North London, England, both originally constructed for work on their two previous studio albums, 2008's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and 2011's Mylo Xyloto respectively. Chris Martin's recorded vocals for the song were put through a vocoder.[6]

Reception[edit]

The song received mostly positive reviews from critics, who noted a change in the sound of the band and drew comparisons to Bon Iver and Justin Vernon. Al Horner of NME approved of the band's new musical direction and lauded the song as a "dive into icy electronic experimentalism".[7] Contactmusic.com's Lauren James similarly praised the song, writing: "gone are the crashing pianos, guitar and soaring vocals of the Brit rockers' more famous ballads, replaced with a pared back, minimalist electronic song".[8] Micahel Nelson of Stereogum concurred, commenting that the song brought out Coldplay "at their most spacious and ambient, stripped down to a ghostly essence."[9] Writing for PopMatters, Evan Sawdey rated the song 8/10 and summarized it as "chilly, this moody, and evocative".[10] Rolling Stone '​s Cory Grow compared Martin's vocals to Peter Gabriel "as he sings about darkness, while the synths build throughout the track before a skittery, rave-like keyboard line flits about noisy static".[11] Idolator's Carl Williot described the song as "a haunting electronic soundscape that not only lacks the band's trademark anthemic choruses and stadium-filling guitar lines, but boasts nary a hook and has few decipherable lyrics".[12] Lewis Corner of Digital Spy opined that the song was "subdued, murky, twinkling, but definitely not lead single material on first listen" and hailed the band for "never fail[ing] to shake up their sound and become even more successful with it."[13] Jamieson Cox of Time magazine felt the song "never blossoms into one of Coldplay's trademark climaxes, instead blurring into a phosphene cloud of synth melodies" but praised it for being "another step in a new direction for a band that's never been content with staying in place".[14]

Live performances[edit]

"Midnight" was first performed live by Coldplay on the opening night of the 2014 iTunes Festival at SXSW on 12 March 2014 at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. It was performed as the only song during the encore segment of the setlist. Bassist Guy Berryman played the laser harp and Will Champion a Reactable.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Midnight" was noted for its use of night vision filters.

A 5-minute music video for "Midnight", directed by Mary Wigmore, was premiered on music video hosting service Vevo at 6pm UTC (Midnight in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia time), on 25 February 2014.[2] The video was shot nearly in its entirety in thermal infrared imaging and negative imagery, incorporating various visual effects. The thermal infrared camera was a FLIR SC8303 with either a 25 or a 50mm prime lens, depending on the shot. The lenses were made by Janos Corporation. The wavelength range is 3 to 5 microns, or mid wave infrared. The thermal infrared video was recorded as HD-SDI on an Atomos Samurai Blade with a 480 GB solid state hard drive. Simultaneously, raw digital video was captured at 30 frames per second into FLIR ExaminIR software. The video was watched over 1 million times in less than 24 hours after it was posted on their Facebook page. Just two days later it reached 3 million views, later passing 13 million views on 21 April 2014.

Track listing[edit]

7" · Digital download
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Midnight"   Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin Coldplay, Paul Epworth, Daniel Green, Jon Hopkins, Rik Simpson 4:54

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from "Midnight" liner notes.[15]

Media usage[edit]

The song was featured on the drama TV series Under the Dome in season 2's seventh episode. The song was also used for the Exodus: Gods and Kings theatrical trailer.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[16] 25
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[17] 26
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[18] 8
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[19] 1
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[20] 27
Denmark (Tracklisten)[21] 3
France (SNEP)[22] 5
Germany (Media Control Charts)[23] 44
Hungary (Single Top 20)[24] 1
Indonesia (Music Weekly Asia)[25] 24
Italy (FIMI)[26] 2
Luxembourg Digital Songs (Billboard)[27] 1
Malaysia (Music Weekly Asia)[28] 23
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[29] 8
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[30] 11
Portugal Digital Songs (Billboard)[31] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[32] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[34] 48
US Billboard Hot 100[35] 29
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[36] 6

Accolades[edit]

Year Ceremony Award Result
2014 World Music Awards World's Best Song Pending

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Poland[37] 17 April 2014 7" Warner
United Kingdom[38] 19 April 2014 Parlophone
Canada[39] 29 April 2014 Digital download Warner
France[40]
Germany[41]
Luxembourg[42]
Netherlands[43]
New Zealand[44]
Spain[45]
Sweden[46]
Switzerland[47]
United Kingdom[48] Parlophone
United States[49][50] Atlantic
12 May 2014 Digital download (remixes) FFRR

Giorgio Moroder remix[edit]

"Midnight (Giorgio Moroder remix)"
Single by Coldplay
Released 21 April 2014
Format Digital download
Genre Dance
Length 8:37
Label Parlophone
Producer(s) Giorgio Moroder
Music sample

A remix of "Midnight" by Italian dance music producer Giorgio Moroder was released by Parlophone on 21 April 2014 as a digital download single.[51][52]

Critical reception[edit]

The remix version of the song has received positive reviews from music critics. Kory Grow of the Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Moroder turned an understated EDM track into a "dance floor banger" and "eight-minute affair with no time squandered": "One of Coldplay's most unassuming tracks off their forthcoming record Ghost Stories is now its most danceable." He also commented that the producer "adds a pounding bass-drum beat from the onset and then uses the synth filigrees toward the end of the track ... to build it into something that would have once backed Summer. Vocal 'aahs' and soft pads of synths, alongside robotic chanting in French, make the track more Moroder than Martin for the final four minutes."[53]

Mikael Wood of The Los Angeles Times wrote in similar tone, "The producer's lengthy reworking, which climaxes in a surging synth fantasia complete with robot voices, adds some verve to Coldplay's rather sedate original."[54] Tom Breihan of Stereogum noted that while the remix "might not have the same spacey majesty as peak Moroder, it still does a nice job translating the inward sweep of the original track into an orchestral disco pulse."[55]

According to Ryan Kristobak of The Huffington Post, Moroder transformed "Midnight" into "a dance-floor hit, without abandoning the song's Brian Eno/Bon Iver-influenced ambience."[56] Idolator's Robbie Daw commented, "Here Moroder lays a hypnotic click-click-click disco beat below the Kid A-esque atmosphere of the track, and the whole thing eventually builds into a tornado of majestic synths and menacing piano chords. And, of course, no modern day remix by Giorgio Moroder would be complete without the addition of his own ghostly robot vocals."[57]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Midnight" (Giorgio Moroder remix) Giorgio Moroder 8:37

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bertok, Nina (19 May 2014). "Coldplay – Ghost Stories". musicOMH. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Montgomery, James. "Coldplay Pull A Beyoncé With Surprise Release Of New Single, 'Midnight'". MTV. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Young, Alex. "Listen: Coldplay’s new single "Midnight"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "'Midnight': Coldplay zaskakuje w najnowszym singlu" ['Midnight': Coldplay surprises in the latest single] (in Polish). Interia.pl. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014. ... The song was produced by Jon Hopkins, who developed one of his ideas from 2003 ... 
  5. ^ "ASIP – 1.00.00". A Strangely Isolated Place. Retrieved 6 April 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^ "Midnight is amazing! But it sounds like Chris's voice has autotune in some parts. I thought Coldplay doesn't use autotune?". Coldplay "Oracle". 5 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Horner, Al (25 February 2014). "Can Coldplay Reinvent Themselves As Icy Electronic Experimentalists? New Track 'Midnight' Reviewed". NME. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  8. ^ James, Lauren (25 February 2014). "Coldplay Almost Unrecognisable In Surprise Single 'Midnight': Is Sixth Album Release Imminent? [Video]". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  9. ^ Nelson, Michael (25 February 2014). "Coldplay – "Midnight"". Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Sawdey, Evan (5 March 2014). "SINGLE REVIEW: Coldplay's "Midnight"". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Grow, Cory (25 February 2014). "Coldplay Ease Into Chilly New Track 'Midnight'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Williot, Carl (25 February 2014). "Coldplay Premiere Surprising New Song "Midnight": Watch The Video". Idolator. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Corner, Lewis (25 February 2014). "Coldplay's new song 'Midnight': What does it mean?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Cox, Jamieson (25 February 2014). "Watch the Video for Coldplay’s Haunting New Single "Midnight"". Time. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Coldplay (2014). Midnight (7" vinyl). Parlophone. 825646308781. 
  16. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Coldplay – Midnight". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Coldplay – Midnight" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – Midnight" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – Midnight" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Coldplay. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Coldplay – Midnight". Tracklisten. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Lescharts.com – Coldplay – Midnight" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Officialcharts.de – Coldplay – Midnight". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  24. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 10 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Top 30 Singles Chart Indonesia". Music Weekly Asia. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Coldplay – Midnight". Top Digital Download.
  27. ^ "May 3, 2014 – Luxembourg Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "Top 30 Singles Chart Malaysia". Music Weekly Asia. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Coldplay – Midnight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  30. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Coldplay – Midnight". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  31. ^ "May 3, 2014 – Portugal Digital Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  32. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Coldplay – Midnight" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Coldplay – Midnight". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  34. ^ "Coldplay: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  35. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Coldplay. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  36. ^ "Coldplay Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Coldplay. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  37. ^ "Coldplay RSD — Midnight". Warner Music Poland. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  38. ^ Billboard staff. "Record Store Day Unveils 2014 Releases: David Bowie, Jay Z, Coldplay, Haim + More". Billboard. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  39. ^ "Midnight (2014)". 7digital (CA). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  40. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in French). 7digital (FR). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  41. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in German). 7digital (DE). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  42. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in French). 7digital (LU). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  43. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in Dutch). 7digital (NL). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  44. ^ "Midnight (2014)". 7digital (NZ). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  45. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in Spanish). 7digital (ES). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  46. ^ "Midnight (2014)". 7digital (SE). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  47. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in German). 7digital (CH). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  48. ^ "Midnight (2014)". 7digital (UK). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  49. ^ "Midnight (2014)". 7digital (US). Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  50. ^ "Midnight [FFRR]". Beatport. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  51. ^ "Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix) - Single by Coldplay". iTunes (GB). Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  52. ^ "Giorgio Moroder remix of Midnight out now". Coldplay.com. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  53. ^ Grow, Kory (21 April 2014). "Dance Legend Giorgio Moroder Gives Coldplay's 'Midnight' a Disco Remix". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  54. ^ Wood, Mikael (21 April 2014). "Listen: Giorgio Moroder enlivens Coldplay's 'Midnight' in new remix". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  55. ^ Breihan, Tom (21 April 2014). "Coldplay – "Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix)"". Stereogum. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  56. ^ Kristobak, Ryan (21 April 2014). "Giorgio Moroder's Remix Readies Coldplay's 'Midnight' For The Dance Floor". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  57. ^ Daw, Robbie (21 April 2014). "Coldplay's "Midnight" Remixed By Giorgio Moroder: Listen". Idolator. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 

External links[edit]