Midnight (Coldplay song)

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"Midnight"
Coldplay - "Midnight" (Record Store Day).png
Single by Coldplay
from the album Ghost Stories
Released17 April 2014 (2014-04-17)
Format
Recorded2013
StudioThe Bakery and The Beehive (London, England)
Genre
Length
  • 4:54 (album version)
  • 3:27 (radio edit)
LabelParlophone
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Coldplay singles chronology
"Magic"
(2014)
"Midnight"
(2014)
"A Sky Full of Stars"
(2014)
Music video
"Midnight" on YouTube

"Midnight" is a song by British 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 and 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.[1] A promotional "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" has been described as an ambient[2][3][4] and folktronica[5] song. It was built over a previously unreleased original track produced by Jon Hopkins in 2003.[6] 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".[7] 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.[8]

Reception[edit]

Critical 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".[9] 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".[10] Micahel Nelson of Stereogum concurred, commenting that the song brought out Coldplay "at their most spacious and ambient, stripped down to a ghostly essence."[11] Writing for PopMatters, Evan Sawdey rated the song 8/10 and summarized it as "chilly, moody, and evocative".[12] 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".[13] 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".[14] 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."[15] 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".[16]

Accolades[edit]

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

Promotion[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.[17] 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 31 million views by 24 June 2015.

"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.

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

Track listing[edit]

7" and digital download
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Midnight"4:54

"Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix)" was released digitally in April 2014.[18] Three other remixes are included on "A Sky Full of Stars" CD single released in June 2014.[19]

"Midnight (Remixes)"[20]
No.TitleLength
1."Midnight" (Phones 4AM Remix)10:56
2."Midnight" (Henrik Schwarz Remix)8:41
3."Midnight" (Giorgio Moroder Remix)8:37
4."Midnight" (Jon Hopkins Remix)10:05

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from "Midnight" liner notes.[21]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Italy (FIMI)[42] Gold 15,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Poland 17 April 2014 7" Warner [43]
United Kingdom 19 April 2014 Parlophone [44]
Canada 29 April 2014 Digital download Warner [45]
France [46]
Germany [47]
Luxembourg [48]
Netherlands [49]
New Zealand [50]
Spain [51]
Sweden [52]
Switzerland [53]
United Kingdom Parlophone [54]
United States Atlantic [55]
12 May 2014 Digital download (remixes) FFRR [56]

Giorgio Moroder remix[edit]

"Midnight (Giorgio Moroder remix)"
Coldplay - Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix).jpg
Single by Coldplay featuring Giorgio Moroder
Released21 April 2014
FormatDigital download
GenreDance
Length8:37
LabelParlophone
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Giorgio Moroder
Coldplay singles chronology
"Magic"
(2014)
"Midnight (Giorgio Moroder remix)"
(2014)
"A Sky Full of Stars"
(2014)
Giorgio Moroder singles chronology
"Carry On"
(1992)
"Midnight (Giorgio Moroder remix)"
(2014)
"74 Is the New 24"
(2014)
Audio sample
"Midnight (Giorgio Moroder remix)"

A remix of "Midnight" by Italian dance music producer Giorgio Moroder was released by Parlophone on 21 April 2014 as a digital download single.[57][58]

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."[59]

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."[60] 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."[61]

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."[62] 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."[63]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."Midnight" (Giorgio Moroder remix)Giorgio Moroder8:37

Terence Blanchard cover[edit]

American jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard covered the song in his 2015 studio album Breathless.[64]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young, Alex. "Listen: Coldplay's new single "Midnight"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  2. ^ Bertok, Nina (19 May 2014). "Coldplay – Ghost Stories". musicOMH. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  3. ^ Young, Alex (March 2, 2014). "Coldplay announce new album Ghost Stories, release first single "Magic"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Ryan, Patrick (March 3, 2014). "Coldplay announces new album 'Ghost Stories'". USA Today. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  5. ^ "Pitchfork - Ghost Stories review - Coldplay". 12 January 2015.
  6. ^ "'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 ...
  7. ^ "ASIP – 1.00.00". A Strangely Isolated Place. Retrieved 6 April 2014. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ Horner, Al (25 February 2014). "Can Coldplay Reinvent Themselves As Icy Electronic Experimentalists? New Track 'Midnight' Reviewed". NME. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  10. ^ James, Lauren (25 February 2014). "Coldplay Almost Unrecognisable In Surprise Single 'Midnight': Is Sixth Album Release Imminent? [Video]". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  11. ^ Nelson, Michael (25 February 2014). "Coldplay – "Midnight"". Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  12. ^ Sawdey, Evan (5 March 2014). "SINGLE REVIEW: Coldplay's "Midnight"". PopMatters. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  13. ^ Grow, Cory (25 February 2014). "Coldplay Ease Into Chilly New Track 'Midnight'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  14. ^ Williot, Carl (25 February 2014). "Coldplay Premiere Surprising New Song "Midnight": Watch The Video". Idolator. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  15. ^ Corner, Lewis (25 February 2014). "Coldplay's new song 'Midnight': What does it mean?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  16. ^ Cox, Jamieson (25 February 2014). "Watch the Video for Coldplay's Haunting New Single "Midnight"". Time. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  17. ^ Montgomery, James. "Coldplay Pull A Beyoncé With Surprise Release Of New Single, 'Midnight'". MTV. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
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  19. ^ "discogs". A Sky Full Of Stars CD Single.
  20. ^ "discogs". Midnight (Remixes).
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  50. ^ "Midnight (2014)". 7digital (NZ). Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  51. ^ "Midnight (2014)" (in Spanish). 7digital (ES). Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
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  58. ^ "Giorgio Moroder remix of Midnight out now". Coldplay.com. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  59. ^ Grow, Kory (21 April 2014). "Dance Legend Giorgio Moroder Gives Coldplay's 'Midnight' a Disco Remix". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  60. ^ Wood, Mikael (21 April 2014). "Listen: Giorgio Moroder enlivens Coldplay's 'Midnight' in new remix". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  61. ^ Breihan, Tom (21 April 2014). "Coldplay – "Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix)"". Stereogum. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  62. ^ Kristobak, Ryan (21 April 2014). "Giorgio Moroder's Remix Readies Coldplay's 'Midnight' For The Dance Floor". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  63. ^ Daw, Robbie (21 April 2014). "Coldplay's "Midnight" Remixed By Giorgio Moroder: Listen". Idolator. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  64. ^ "Terence Blanchard Featuring The E-Collective – Breathless". Discogs. discogs.com. Retrieved 21 December 2016.

External links[edit]