Talk (song)

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This article is about the song by Coldplay. For other songs, see Talk (disambiguation).
"Talk"
Single by Coldplay
from the album X&Y
B-side "Gravity"
"Sleeping Sun"
Released 19 December 2005
Format 7", CD, DVD
Genre Alternative rock
Length 5:11 (album version)
4:29 (international radio edit)
4:05 (US radio edit)
Label Parlophone/EMI Records
Capitol/EMI Records (U.S.)
Writer(s) Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin, Ralf Hütter, Karl Bartos, Emil Schult
Producer(s) Danton Supple, Coldplay
Coldplay singles chronology
"Fix You"
(2005)
"Talk"
(2005)
"The Hardest Part"
(2006)

"Talk" is a song by British alternative rock band Coldplay. Built around a motif from Kraftwerk's 1981 song "Computer Love", it was written by all members of the band and appeared on their third album, X&Y. In the United States, the song entered at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 and elsewhere in the world its success varied. It peaked at number one in the Netherlands' Dutch Top 40, becoming the band's first number one single there.

The song received positive reviews, with critics noting the music's sound and memorable lyrics. Both the song and its "Thin White Duke" remix were nominated for the 2007 Grammy Awards, the latter of which won in the category of Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.

Background[edit]

Coldplay had difficulties with the recording sessions for months, as to the sound of the track.[1][2] They were skeptical in deciding to add "Talk" to the final tracklisting of X&Y.[1] During the recording sessions, which had seen the band scrap huge amounts of material, the song was left out when they sent early versions of the album to its record label, Parlophone. The song, however, made it to the track list, after it was properly mixed.[1]

Chris Martin singing "Talk" during the band's 2005 Twisted Logic Tour

When asked about the development of the song by NME.com, vocalist Chris Martin said, "From that version, [a version that NME.com heard, while visiting the band in the studio] we went and did a whole other version of it. A whole other song. What happened with the song 'Talk' is that it was all going great and then someone said 'That should be the first single' and we all just freaked out and scrapped it all. [...] We’ve just mixed it and it sounds great. I think we’ve had such pain getting to that place, I’m not sure anyone quite knows what to do with it anymore. When we heard it mixed properly, it sounded mega."[1]

The band received permission from the electronic music German band Kraftwerk to use the main riff from its song "Computer Love" (German: Computerliebe), from its 1981 studio album Computer World (German: Computerwelt), for "Talk", replacing Kraftwerk's synthesizers with guitars.[3][4][5]

The band recorded three separate versions of the single; the one recorded on X&Y was based on an early cut of the song.[6] A newer version of the track – with a different set of lyrics – was leaked onto the internet in early 2005.[7] The track was originally intended to be a B-side for the song "Speed of Sound", before becoming the last addition to X&Y's track listing.[3]

Composition[edit]

The track includes a hypnotic pace, with Will Champion adding a metronomic beat to the drums.[8][9] The song features a synthesizer hook notable from Kraftwerk's "Computer Love". It also adds a chiming note to more abrasive riffs during the breakdown near the end of the song.[8][9]

In the fourth line of the second verse, Martin sings with a trace of irony: "Or write a song nobody had sung/Or do something that's never been done."[10][11] In the third line of the third verse, Martin alludes to fear, but changes to joy: "Tell me how do you feel?/Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak/And they're talking it to me."[10] In the fifth verse, Martin summarises about an individual who is lost and trying to discover the unknown: "So you don't know where you're going/But you want to talk/And you feel like you're going where you've been before/You'll tell anyone who will listen but you feel ignored."[10]

According to Josh Tyrangiel of Time magazine, the meaning to "Talk" is based on how Martin "wants to teach us how to feel better about ourselves, and his lessons have the moral superiority disguised as sensitivity that marked Bono's mighty mullet period."[12] Tyrangiel interpreted the lyrics, "Are you lost or incomplete/ Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece/ Tell me how you feel", with Martin begging in the song.[12]

Release[edit]

Coldplay released "Talk" in the UK and US on 19 December 2005 as the album's third single.[13] The single was pressed with two B-sides: "Gravity" and "Sleeping Sun".[13][14]

"Talk" peaked at number 10 in the UK Singles Chart on 31 December 2005.[15] The song charted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number five on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks in 2005.[16] The song was released early in the Netherlands,[13] thus charting in the Dutch Top 40. It reached number one the closing week of 2005.[17] The band performed the song live at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon, Portugal, the 2006 Juno Awards in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the 2006 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California.[13][18]

Reception[edit]

Coldplay performing "Talk" during their 2005 Twisted Logic Tour

Critics were positive towards the song. In the PopMatters review of the album, critic Adrian Begrand wrote: "It's the excellent, and much talked-about 'Talk' that has the band showing tremendous creativity, delving straight into mid-'70s krautrock, and piecing together a gorgeous pop song."[8] Bud Scoppa of Paste magazine wrote: "'Talk' stands out as an anthem in an album full of them."[19] Dan Tallis of the BBC noted that the track was "fantastic" and "positively gargantuan".[20] Jonathan Keefe of Slant magazine wrote: "'Talk' is given one of the album's most memorable melodies, but its impact is reduced by the song's structure, in which the lead guitar echoes Martin's vocal melody after every line, so that melody becomes tiresome well before the first chorus hits."[21] Despite the song's positive reception, Chris Martin has stated that the band's bassist, Guy Berryman, dislikes the song, and thus they no longer perform "Talk" live.[22]

The song was remixed by Jacques Lu Cont, with the title "Talk (Thin White Duke Mix)".[23] The song by Lu Cont won the coveted Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical award at the 2007 Grammy Awards.[24][25] "Talk" was also nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Rock Performance by a duo or Group with Vocals.[24]

The song was also used as the basis of a downloadable hoax track titled "Talk to David" produced as an April Fools' Day prank by the British newspaper The Guardian. This featured lyrics purporting to give support to Conservative opposition party leader David Cameron.[26] The song was featured heavily in the season two CSI: NY episode "Jamalot", in which the character Danny Messer plays the song as a ringtone on his cell phone.[27] The band's American record label, Capitol Records, paid for promotional consideration to place the song in the episode and for the character to talk about Coldplay.[27]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Talk" was helmed by director/photographer Anton Corbijn.[13][28] Filming of the video took place on 5 and 6 November 2005 at Ealing Studios, London, just before the band began their tour, Twisted Logic.[13] The black-and-white clip invokes a B movie science fiction theme, with imagery ranging from a flying saucer to 3D glasses. The main plot line of the music video features the band as astronauts landing on an alien planet, where they re-activate a dormant robot, who eventually eats them and their spaceship as they are attempting to fly away.

Track listings[edit]

UK Promo CD single (released in early November 2005)
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live) 4:29
7" Vinyl R6679
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live) 4:29
2. "Gravity" (Live) 6:12
CD CDR6679
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live) 4:29
2. "Sleeping Sun" (Live) 3:09
DVD DVDR6679
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live) 4:29
2. "Gravity" (Live) 6:17
3. "Talk" (Video) 4:59
4. "Speed of Sound" (Live) 4:29
5. "Behind-the-scenes footage from "Talk" video shoot" (Video) 2:00
The Remixes - 12" Vinyl & CD-5, (released 6 March 2006) 0946 3 54897 2 9/C2-54897/0946 3 46924 1 0/E1-46924
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Thin White Duke mix Live) 8:17
2. "Talk" (François K dub Live) 9:04
3. "Talk" (Junkie XL mix Live) 11:45
Australia CD Single Capitol C2-50717
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live) 4:29
2. "Sleeping Sun" (LIve) 3:09
3. "Gravity" (Live) 6:12
Canada & Japan CD Singles Toshiba-EMI TOCP-40185
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live) 4:29
2. "Sleeping Sun" (Live) 3:09
3. "Gravity" (Live) 6:12
US CD Promo Single Toshiba-EMI TOCP-40185
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Radio Edit) 4:05
2. "Talk" (album version) 5:12
US The Remixes digital EP (released 7 February 2006)
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Junkie XL mix Live) 11:45
2. "Talk" (François K dub LIve) 9:04
3. "Talk" (Thin White Duke mix LIve) 8:27

Netherlands[edit]

A special three part single was released over three weeks in December featuring live tracks recorded at the Gelredome in 2005.

CD1 (digipak) (released 2 December 2005) E2-49093
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (LIve In Holland) 4:27
2. "Swallowed in the Sea" (Live in Holland) 4:22
3. "God Put a Smile upon Your Face" (Live in Holland) 4:22
CD2 (released 9 December 2005) 3490962
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live In Holland) 4:11
2. "Square One" (Live in Holland) 5:13
3. "Clocks" (Live in Holland) 7:05
CD3 (released 16 December 2005) 3490972
No. Title Length
1. "Talk" (Live in Holland) 5:20
2. "Til Kingdom Come" (Live in Holland) 4:27
3. "Fix You" (Live in Holland) 7:10

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005–06) Peak
Position
Australia (ARIA)[29] 20
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[30] 24
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[31] 16
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[32] 21
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[33] 38
Denmark (Tracklisten)[34] 14
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[35] 18
France (SNEP)[36] 34
Germany (Media Control Charts)[37] 29
Ireland (IRMA)[38] 18
Italy (FIMI)[39] 25
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[40] 20
Polish Singles Chart[41] 1
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[42] 8
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[43] 56
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[44] 28
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 10
US Billboard Hot 100[45] 86
US Billboard Alternative Songs[45] 5
US Billboard Adult Pop Songs 10
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs[46] 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "'Talk' drives Coldplay crazy". NME News. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  2. ^ Willman, Chris (2005-03-27). "Summer Music Preview: Coldplay". Entertainment Weekly. 
  3. ^ a b Cohen, Jonathan (2005-04-04). "Coldplay Finalizes New Album Track List". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  4. ^ Dalton, Stephen (2005-06-16). "Werk in progress". The Age. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  5. ^ "Martin Sent Kraftwerk Begging Letter". ContactMusic.com. 17 July 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Coldplay E-Zine: Issue 14" (PDF). Coldplay.com. July 2005. Archived from the original on 8 August 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  7. ^ Simpson, Dave (2005-04-07). "New Coldplay album sets puzzle for fans". The Guardian (guardian.co.uk). Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  8. ^ a b c Begrand, Adrian (2005-06-05). "Coldplay: X&Y Review". PopMatters. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  9. ^ a b "Coldplay — Talk". Last.fm. December 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  10. ^ a b c "Talk Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  11. ^ Moreau, Kevin Forest (2005-06-07). "Coldplay: X&Y - 2005". Shaking Through. Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  12. ^ a b Tyrangiel, Josh (2005-06-05). "X&Y and Too Much Zzzzz". Time. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Coldplay E-Zine: Issue 16" (PDF). Coldplay.com. December 2005. Archived from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  14. ^ "Talk by Coldplay". Yahoo! Music (Yahoo!). December 2005. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  15. ^ a b "Coldplay: Artist Chart History" UK Singles Chart.
  16. ^ "Artist Chart History — Coldplay". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  17. ^ a b "Nederlandse Top 40 – Coldplay search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ Tyrangiel, Josh (2006-02-09). "The Best and Worst of the Grammys". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  19. ^ Scoppa, Bud (2005-06-01). "Coldplay — X&Y — Music Reviews". [[Paste (magazine)|]]. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  20. ^ Tallis, Dan (2005-06-05). "Coldplay — X&Y". BBC Music (BBC). Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  21. ^ Keefe, Jonathan. "Slant Magazine Music Review: Coldplay: X&Y". [[Slant (magazine)|]]. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  22. ^ Britt, Hannah (2011-10-31). "Interview: Coldplay’s Chris Martin". Concrete. The University of East Anglia. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  23. ^ "Talk (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)". Last.fm. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  24. ^ a b "49th Grammy Awards" (Web). Grammy Award Official Website. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  25. ^ "The Grammy Winners". The Washington Post (Associated Press). 2007-02-11. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  26. ^ "Lyrics: Talk to David". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. 2006-04-01. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  27. ^ a b Serpick, Evan (2005-12-15). "Coldplay Lead Rock TV Takeover". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  28. ^ Montgomery, James (2005-10-26). "Coldplay Convince Anton Corbijn To Helm 'Talk' Video". MTV News (MTV Networks). Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  29. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Coldplay – Talk". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  30. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Coldplay – Talk" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – Talk" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  32. ^ "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – Talk" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  33. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert {{{year}}}{{{week}}} into search.
  34. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Coldplay – Talk". Tracklisten.
  35. ^ "Coldplay: Talk" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  36. ^ "Lescharts.com – Coldplay – Talk" (in French). Les classement single.
  37. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Coldplay > Talk – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  38. ^ "Chart Track: Week 51, 2005". Irish Singles Chart.
  39. ^ "Classifica Mix e Singoli - Classifica settimanale dal 13/01/2006 al 19/01/2006" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Archived from the original on 28 January 2006. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  40. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Coldplay – Talk". Top 40 Singles.
  41. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  42. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Coldplay – Talk" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  43. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Coldplay – Talk". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  44. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Coldplay – Talk". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  45. ^ a b "Coldplay > Charts & Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  46. ^ "Hot Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. April 1, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]