Charlie Brown (Coldplay song)

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"Charlie Brown"
Coldplay Charlie Brown.jpeg
Single by Coldplay
from the album Mylo Xyloto
Released 23 January 2012 (2012-01-23)
Recorded 2008–11
  • 4:45 (Album version)
  • 3:46 (Radio edit)
Label Parlophone
Coldplay singles chronology
"Charlie Brown"
"Princess of China"
"Charlie Brown"
"Princess of China"
Music video
"Charlie Brown" on YouTube

"Charlie Brown" (originally titled "Cartoon Heart") is a song by British rock band Coldplay. The song was released as the third single from their fifth studio album Mylo Xyloto.[1][2] The single was listed by Q magazine as their track of the day on 2 December 2011. The music video for the song was released on 2 February 2012, as well as a live version on 6 December 2011.


According to the band, "Charlie Brown" was the first song recorded during sessions for the band's then-upcoming fifth studio album, with the intention of being included on what later became Mylo Xyloto.

The lyrics of an early version of the song included a mention of Charlie Brown, the famous Peanuts character. The character's name, however, "was left out of the final recording but the name stuck as the band couldn't think of an alternative."[3] During the writing and recording sessions of Mylo Xyloto, the song took on other names, such as "Cartoon Heart", before eventually being titled "Charlie Brown".[4] It was written by Chris Martin in his daughter's doll's house. The doll's house was converted into a studio when Martin's daughter said she didn't like it.[5]


During an online interview with the Australian publication Sunday Herald Sun, Coldplay said they were making two records, describing "Charlie Brown" as the centre-piece of the stripped down album the band intended to make along with the electric one they were already calling as Mylo Xyloto. They then decided to combine both of the albums because bassist Guy Berryman said that he "will not allow this song to be played on an accordion," as it was originally planned to be.[6]

Coldplay first performed "Charlie Brown" at a "friends and family" gig at The Forum, Kentish Town, London on 31 May 2011. They then continued to play it at multiple shows in 2011, beginning with the Rock im Park festival in Nürnberg, Germany on 3 June 2011 and again at Rock am Ring festival the following day, which was the first live broadcast of the song officially authorised by the band and management. The song became very popular among the festivals crowd. Drummer Will Champion said it had happy memories of playing it over the summer.[7]


The song was met with positive reviews from critics. In an article published by Q magazine on 10 October 2011 entitled "First Impressions of... Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto", they wrote that "'Charlie Brown' is one of the best things Coldplay have done" and likened the song to the style of U2's The Joshua Tree and "the heady holler-alongs of Arcade Fire".[8] They also name it as their track of the day on 2 December 2011.[9] BBC music called Charlie Brown "one of those Coldplay-patented sun-breaking-through-clouds moments" and gave praise to Buckland's guitar riff.[10] Billboard called the song one of the "album's best track(s). Chorus riff will haunt every corner of your mind. Oriental flair recalls "Viva La Vida" album."[11]

Under The Radar praised the song and said "Mylo Xyloto's finest anthem, 'Charlie Brown,' shoots for The Suburbs with the clumsy line 'Stole the key/took a car downtown to where the lost boys meet/took what they offered me' but redeems itself with a massive, ascending guitar hook that I can't help feeling would have sound-tracked any climactic scene from Friday Night Lights beautifully."[12] PopMatters said that the song "absolutely crackled with energy" and felt "it shows the band having stumbled upon one of those great, instantly recognisable melodies that sounds better with each reiteration—who would’ve thought a guitar and a xylophone could sound so epic when paired together."[13] Will Hermes of Rolling Stone had mixed feelings for the song, and gave the song two and a half stars out of five in his preview of numerous songs from Mylo Xyloto, saying that the song "triangulates Springsteen, U2 and Arcade Fire in a hood-rat oratorio that roars even if Chris Martin's delivery feels too gentle."[14]

"Charlie Brown" was chosen as ESPN's title song for the commercials and introduction videos of its coverage of Euro 2012.

Coldplay performed "Charlie Brown" at the 2012 BRIT Awards, the song opened the show and subsequently climbed up the UK chart to No30 on Sunday 26 February 2012. Meaning Coldplay had two songs in the UK Top 40 former UK No1 hit "Paradise" and "Charlie Brown".

"Charlie Brown" was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

Music videos[edit]

On 6 December 2011 Coldplay uploaded a promotional, music video for "Charlie Brown" to their official YouTube account, which utilised footage from a collection of concerts they had performed throughout the band's 2011 Summer Festival Tour. The video was directed by Mat Whitecross and Mark Rowbotham. In the description section of the music video, the band's drummer Will Champion announced that a "proper" video would be released at a later stage.[15]

Screenshot from the final video, showing Antonia Thomas and Elliot Tittensor.

The official music video for "Charlie Brown", to which Champion was referring was filmed with director Mat Whitecross throughout November and December 2011. Additional filming was made in mid to late January 2012.[16] The "Xylobands" conceptual creator for the Mylo Xyloto Tour posted on Twitter that there would be photos from the video uploaded on 2 February 2012 and that the official music video would be posted on VEVO the following morning on 3 February 2012.

The music video for "Charlie Brown" was released on VEVO, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and their own website at 03.00 am on 3 February 2012. On YouTube, the video received over 700,000 views within the first 24 hours of its release.

The video was also met with acclaim from critics, who praised its visuals, themes and fast-paced editing.[17]

The video features Shameless star Elliot Tittensor and Misfits star Antonia Thomas.

Track listing[edit]

Promotional CD single[18]
No. Title Length
1. "Charlie Brown" (Radio Edit) 3:49
2. "Charlie Brown" (Album Version) 4:48
Digital download - Remix[19]
No. Title Length
1. "Charlie Brown" (David Audé remix) 6:43
Digital download - Remix[20]
No. Title Length
1. "Charlie Brown" (Jacques Lu Cont remix) 6:18
Digital download - live version[21]
No. Title Length
1. "Charlie Brown" (Live from the BRITs) 3:50

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Mastered at Gateway Studios, United States.


Chart (2011–12) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[23] 78
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[24] 2
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[25] 2
Brazil (Billboard Brasil Hot 100)[26] 41
Brazil Hot Pop Songs[26] 11
France (SNEP)[27] 148
Iceland (RÚV)[28] 7
Ireland (IRMA)[29] 20
Israel (Media Forest)[30] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[31] 25
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[32] 16
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[33] 52
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[34] 22
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[35]
[not in citation given]
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[36] 4
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[37] 15
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[38] 23
Venezuela Pop Rock General (Record Report)[39] 11


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Ireland (IRMA)[40] 3× Platinum 45,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[41] Silver 200,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide[42] 14 November 2011 Contemporary hit radio (select stations) Parlophone
United Kingdom Digital Download
United States[43][44] 23 January 2012 Adult album alternative radio Capitol Records
24 January 2012 Modern rock radio
United Kingdom[21][45][19] 22 February 2012 Digital download (Brit Awards performance) Brit Awards Ltd.
25 February 2012 Digital download (David Audé remix) EMI


  1. ^ "Muziek Coldplay – Charlie Brown – 3FM – Serious Radio". 3FM. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Coldplay – Charlie Brown". Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Dear Oracle, Why is the song Charlie Brown named Charlie Brown? Thanks!". Coldplay "Oracle". 3 November 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Alex Young (4 June 2011). "Watch: Coldplay debuts new songs in Germany". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Coldplay's Chris Martin admits he wrote 'Charlie Brown' in daughter's doll's house". NME. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Coldplay is the playing field". The Herald Sun. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Coldplay (6 December 2011). "Coldplay – Charlie Brown (live)". YouTube. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "First Impressions of... Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto". Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  9. ^ "Coldplay – Charlie Brown – Track Of The Day". Q. Bauer. 2011-12-02. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Hermes, Will (19 August 2011). "Song Review: Coldplay, "Charlie Brown"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Coldplay – Charlie Brown (Live) on YouTube
  16. ^ "Coldplay estrena vídeo del tema 'Charlie Brown' en Videos". 2 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 September 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b "Charlie Brown (David Aude Remix) [EMI UK]". Beatport. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b "Coldplay win Best British Group at the BRITs". 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  22. ^ Charlie Brown (liner notes). Coldplay. Parlophone. 2011. ICPN:5099973170723. 
  23. ^ [1] ARIA Report 1151. Retrieved 2012-05-19
  24. ^ " – Coldplay – Charlie Brown" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  25. ^ " – Coldplay – Charlie Brown" (in French). Ultratip.
  26. ^ a b BPP, ed. (October 2012). "Billboard Brasil Hot 100 Airplay". Billboard Brasil (35): 84–89. 
  27. ^ " – Coldplay – Charlie Brown" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  28. ^ "Coldplay Chart History". RÚV. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "Chart Track: Week 12, 2012". Irish Singles Chart.
  30. ^ "Coldplay – Charlie Brown Media Forest". Israeli Airplay Chart. Media Forest.
  31. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Coldplay" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  32. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  33. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201208 into search.
  34. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  35. ^ "Coldplay Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Coldplay Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Coldplay Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
  38. ^ "Coldplay Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard.
  39. ^ "Pop Rock General". Record Report. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. 
  40. ^ "Irish single certifications – Coldplay – Charlie Brown". Irish Recorded Music Association. 
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Coldplay – Charlie Brown". British Phonographic Industry.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Charlie Brown in the search field and then press Enter.
  42. ^ "Global Repertoire Labelcopy Document Report". 2 January 2012. 50999 731707 2 3. 
  43. ^ "Future Releases on Triple A Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  44. ^ "Future Releases on Alternative Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  45. ^ "Pressparty: Coldplay gave song to 'Garden State' movie for free". Pressparty. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 

External links[edit]