Friday, August 31, 2012


Michael Jackson followed up the biggest album of all time with the tougher, leaner, electronic funk of this superslick pop sensation.  He began working on demos after the Victory Tour with the Jacksons in 1984 and continued to develop material over the next two and a half years, eventually coming up with over sixty songs and an ambitious idea for a triple album.  Quincy Jones convinced him to edit it down to a single album.  Jackson wrote nine of the eleven songs that eventually went on the album. 

'Bad' was the third (after 'Off the Wall' and 'Thriller') and last of Jackson's albums that Quincy produced.  This time around, Jackson got credit as co-producer.  The sessions took place at Westlake Recording Studios in West Hollywood, where a stage was built so that Jackson could dance while recording with an extensive cast of musical characters:  Nathan East on bass; Jimmy Smith on Hammond B-3 organ; Greg Phillinganes on synthesizer; Larry Williams on Midi saxophone; John Robinson, Miko Brando, Ollie E. Brown, N'dugu Chancler, Bill Bottrell, Bruce Swedien on drums; Douglas Getschal on drum programming; David Williams, Bill Bottrell, Eric Gale, Danny Hull, Steve Stevens, Dann Huff, Michael Landau, Paul Jackson, Jr. on guitar; Gary Grant and Jerry Hey on trumpet; Paulinho Da Costa and Ollie E. Brown on percussion; Stefan Stefanovic on keyboards; Kim Hutchcroft and Larry Williams on saxophone; Christopher Currell on Synclavier keyboards, digital guitar, and rubboard; John Barnes, Michael Boddicker, Greg Phillinganes, Christopher Currell, Rhett Lawrence, David Paich on synthesizer; and John Barnes on piano; with rhythm arrangement by Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and Christopher Currell; sounds engineered by Ken Caillat and Tom Jones; horn arrangement by Jerry Hey; synthesizer programming by Larry Williams, Eric Persing, and Steve Porcaro; and background vocals by Siedah Garrett, the Winans, and the Andrae Crouch Choir.  

When it came out, Jackson confessed:  "I feel rejuvinated kind of because after working on it so long – it’s so much work – alot of people they’re used to umm just seeing the outcome of work, they never see the side of the work that you do to produce the outcome and I feel rejuvinated and happy. It’s a jubilation really, that’s what it is. It’s like a celebration 'we’re done!'...I don’t even count the hours or anything. Every song is different. Sometimes it happens quickly, sometimes it happens slowly. No one can quite say what the creative process is because I have nothing to do with it almost because it’s created in space, it’s God’s work not mine."

Nine singles were released from the album, seven of which charted at number one.  In the US, he became the first artist to have five number one singles from one album.  'Bad' went to number thirteen in Mexico, three in Brazil and Czechoslovakia; two in Australia; and number one in Austria, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.  It garnished six Grammy nominations, winning two for Best Engineered Recording and Best Music Video.  It has sold over forty-five million copies worldwide. 

The single for "Bad" was released one week after the album.  
Jackson said:  "It is quite different than anything I have ever recorded before or ever written. It’s a bold statement to say but I mean it in all good will you know don’t take it too seriously. Yeah I’m saying, it’s like a way of saying “you’re cool, you’re alright, you’re tough” I’m not saying I’m criminally bad, of course that’s how people would take it. It’s a bold statement to make."  About the video he said: "It wasn’t really my idea it’s actually part of a true story where this kid...this kid who went to school upstate, in the country whatever, who is from the ghetto and he tried to make something of his life and he would leave his old friends behind and when he came back ummm on Spring break or Thanksgiving break his friends became so envious, jealous of him they killed him but in the film I don’t die of course so it’s a true story that we had taken from Time or Newsweek Magazine. Me as a black kid, it’s a sad story...Something like that is very sad because it’s all negative, it’s wrong. I think that’s life, to want to grow and become more, like you plant a seed and it grows into something beautiful and it never dies really. I think people should be that way."    It went to thirty-seven in Denmark; nine in Austria; five in Canada; four in Australia, France, and Sweden; three in Switzerland and the UK; two in New Zealand and Norway; and number one in Europe, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and three US charts (Hot 100, black singles, and dance club play).

"The Way You Make Me Feel"  went to twenty-nine in France; twenty-four in Sweden; twenty in Denmark; fifteen in Austria; thirteen in Australia; eight in Switzerland; seven in Italy; six in the Netherlands; three in the UK; two in New Zealand; and number one in Spain and on three US charts (Hot 100, R&B/hip-hop, and dance club). 

"Man in the Mirror"  was not written by Jackson; but he identified with the message:  "It’s my philosophy too that if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change...People don’t look at themselves honestly. They don’t look at themselves and point the finger at themselves, it’s always the other guy’s fault or somebody else’s but you should change yourself, look at yourself, make better of yourself...I’m never totally satisfied. I always wish the world could be a better place…Hopefully that’s what I do with my music – bring happiness to people and to bring joy and bring peace in their lives...I pray a lot, yeah. I see a beautiful sunset and say “God, that’s beautiful, thank you” or a baby’s smile or butterfles wings or anything like that you know?"  It went to thirty-nine in Australia; twenty-three in Germany; twenty-one in the UK; thirteen in the Netherlands; ten in Austria; four in New Zealand; three in Canada and Ireland; and number one in the US.  After his death in 2009, the song re-entered the charts and did even better in some countries, entering the top ten in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

"I Just Can't Stop Loving You" features Siedah Garrett.  Jackson revealed:  "I was in a bed when I was doing that...I was laying in the bed with a cover and everything when I did that whole rap thing in the dark...I say 'a lot of people misunderstand me, because they don’t know me.' I guess thats true people believe alot of crazy stories they read, some is true, some is not."   It was Jackson's first single since 'We Are the World'.  Released more than a month before the album, it generated excitement all over the world, going to number twelve in France; ten in Australia; five in Austria; four in Sweden; three in Japan and New Zealand; two in Canada, Germany, and Switzerland; and number one in Belgium, Denmark, Europe, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and three US charts (Hot 100, black singles, and adult contemporary).

Jackson called "Dirty Diana"  "a life story of a groupie. I hate to say the word groupie but that’s what it is and it’s something that I’ve experienced and alot of people who grew up on the road experienced. Like me, I don’t remember not performing".  The single went to thirty in Australia; twenty-nine in Sweden; seventeen in Norway; nine in France; seven in Austria; six in Italy; five in New Zealand; four in the UK; three in the Netherlands and Switzerland; two in Denmark; and number one in Spain and the US.   

"Smooth Criminal" went to number twenty-nine in Australia and New Zealand; nine in Germany; seven on the US pop chart; six in Canada and Italy; five in Switzerland; four in France; three in the UK; two on the Eurochart and the US R&B/hip-hop chart; and number one in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.  

"Leave Me Alone" was a bonus track that was released as a single outside of the US, going to number thirty-seven in Australia; nineteen in Sweden; seventeen in France; fifteen in Austria; ten in Switzerland; eight in Italy; six in Norway; five in the Netherlands; two in the UK; and number one in Spain.

full album:

0:00 - Bad (Michael Jackson)
4:07 - The Way You Make Me Feel (Michael Jackson)
9:05 - Speed Demon (Michael Jackson)
13:07 - Liberian Girl (Michael Jackson)
17:00 - Just Good Friends (Terry Britten, Graham Lyle)
21:06 - Another Part Of Me (Michael Jackson)
25:02 - Man In The Mirror (Siedah Garrett, Glen Ballard)
30:21 - I Just Can't Stop Loving You (Michael Jackson)
34:34 - Dirty Diana (Michael Jackson)
39:16 - Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson)
43:33 - Leave Me Alone (Michael Jackson)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

ode to billie joe

Bobbie Gentry built a mystery and became a household name with this sensual Southern Gothic narrative.  Born Roberta Lee Streeter in Chickasaw County, Mississippi, she  taught herself guitar, banjo, bass and vibes and began writing songs at the age of seven.  She took her stage name from the film 'Ruby Gentry'.  Gentry studied at the Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles and got her demo tape to Capitol Records.  

Kelly Gordon produced the session at studio C in the Capitol tower where Gentry recorded 'Ode to Billie Joe' in less than an hour.  Arranger Jimmie Haskell was asked to add strings to her acoustic guitar performance, adding only two cellos and four violins.  The original version had eleven verses and ran over seven minutes; so the label edited it down and made it the B-side of her debut single 'Mississippi Delta'.  The DJ's knew better and chose it over the A-side.  Her sultry voice and the song's enigmatic storyline had the country buzzing.  Gentry considers:  “The song is sort of a study in unconscious cruelty. But everybody seems more concerned with what was thrown off the bridge than they are with the thoughtlessness of the people expressed in the song. What was thrown off the bridge really isn’t that important...Everybody has a different guess about what was thrown off the bridge—flowers, a ring, even a baby. Anyone who hears the song can think what they want, but the real message of the song, if there must be a message, revolves around the nonchalant way the family talks about the suicide. They sit there eating their peas and apple pie and talking, without even realizing that Billie Joe’s girlfriend is sitting at the table, a member of the family.”

 'Ode to Billie Joe' went to number seventeen on the country chart, eight on the black singles chart, seven on the adult contemporary chart, and number one on the pop chart.  The song sold seven hundred and fifty thousand copies in its first week and knocked the Beatles' 'All You Need Is Love' out of the number one spot.  The accompanying album 'Ode to Billie Joe' became the album to end the fifteen week reign of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' at the top of the US album chart.  The success of 'Ode to Billie Joe' led to eight Grammy nominations, winning Best New Artist for Bobbie Gentry as well as Best Female Pop Vocal Performance; plus a win for arranger Jimmie Haskell.  It has sold over three million copies worldwide.   The song was adapted into a novel and screenplay by Herman Raucher, which became a television movie directed and produced by Max Baer, Jr.  in 1976. 

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "Y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well, Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
"There's five more acres in the lower forty I've got to plow"
And Mama said it was shame about Billy Joe, anyhow
Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good up on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billy Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

And Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
"I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know it don't seem right"
"I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge"
"And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And Mama said to me "Child, what's happened to your appetite?"
"I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite"
"That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, dropped by today"
"Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way"
"He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge"
"And she and Billy Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

A year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billy Joe
And Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge
And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

extra 'lost' verse:

“People don’t see Sally Jane in town anymore
There’s a lot of speculatin’, she’s not actin’ like she did before
Some say she knows more than she’s willin’ to tell
But she stays quiet and a few think it’s just as well
No one really knows what went on up at Choctaw Ridge
The day that Billy Jo McAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge”

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

best of my love

The Emotions danced their way to the top in a beautiful way with this disco celebration.  The group started in Chicago as the Hutchinson Sunbeams with sisters Jeanette, Wanda and Sheila Hutchinson singing gospel in church choirs. 'Best of My Love' was written by Maurice White and Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire.  White used to play drums with the Hutchinson sisters in Chicago before he started Earth, Wind & Fire; and, when the Stax label went under, he took them into his Kalimba Production company and got them signed to Columbia Records.  White produced their 'Flowers' album to some success, and when Jennette left the band to focus on her own family, youngest sister Pamela joined the group for their next album 'Rejoice'.  White co-produced the album with Clarence McDonald.  The single 'Best of My Love' features members of Earth, Wind & Fire:  McKay on guitar, Larry Dunn on synthisizer, Fred White on drums, and Verdine White on bass,  as well as the Phenix Horns with Don Myrick on saxophone, Louis Satterfield on trombone, and Rahmlee Davis and Michael Harris on trumpet.

'Best of My Love' hit number four in the UK and went to number one on the US R&B and pop charts, strangely only peaking at number eleven on the dance chart.  The song knocked Andy Gibb's 'I Just Want To Be Your Everything' out of the number one spot and spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.  It was replaced by Andy Gibb for another week and then came back to the top for one more week, again dethroning Andy Gibb.  'Best of My Love' was one of the biggest pop songs of 1977, going platinum in the US and silver in the UK.  It won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Single.

Doesn't take much to make me happy
and make me smile
Never never will I feel discouraged
Cause our love's no mystery
Demonstrating love and affection
That you give so openly yeah
I like the way ya make me feel about you baby
Want the whole wide world to see
Whoa whoa, you got the best of my love
Whoa whoa, you got the best of my love
Whoa whoa, you got the best of my love
Whoa whoa, you've got the best of my love
Goin' in and out of changes
The kind that come around each day
My life has a better meaning
Love has kissed me in a beautiful way
And oh yea (my love, my love)
oh yea (my love, my love)
Oh you got the best of my love
Whoa whoa, you've got the best of my love
Whoa whoa, you've got the best of my love
Whoa whoa, you've got the best of my love
Demonstrating sweet love and affection
That you give so openly yeah
The way I feel about ya baby can't explain it
Want the whole wide world to see
Ohhh but in my heart
You're all I need
You for me and me for you
ohhh, it's growin' every day ooooh
ohhh, oh oh oh oh oh
you've got the best of my love
ohhh, oh oh oh oh oh
you've got the best of my love
ohhh, givin' you the best of my love 
my love ohh my love
ohhh, givin' you the best of my love 
my love ohh oh yeah
ohhh, oh oh oh oh oh
you've got the best of my love

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

come on pilgrim

The Pixies made their propulsively pioneering premiere with the tantalizingly twisted teenage tension of this mini album drawn from their self made demo.  'Come On Pilgrim' started out as a seventeen song demo that the band recorded at Fort Apache studio in Roxbury, Massachusetts in March of 1987.  Studio owner Gary Smith produced the sessions with Black Francis (Charles Thompson) on guitar and lead vocals; Kim Deal (Mrs. John Murphy) on bass and vocals; Joey Santiago on lead guitar; and David Lovering on drums.  The band's manager Ken Goes was also the manager of the Throwing Muses and delivered the demo to the president of the British 4AD label, Ivo Watts-Russell.  Impressed with the power of the songs on the demo, he decided to remix eight of them for a mini album, rather than have the band re-record them.  

Francis admits:  "I hate to dumb it down too much, but basically I'm the guy who just shows up with the chord progressions, so obviously I'm going to play the chords, many times chunky as they typically are in rock music, and he is the "lead guitar player" so he is gonna play higher and more single note stuff. Sometimes he does a solo, and sometimes a repeated riff, a motif. So we start out from a sort of Joe Blow place…I'm the rhythm guitar player 'chugga chugga chugga' and he's the lead player 'reeneeneeneenee' you can reduce it all to that. That's not to say that we play in a conventional way, although sometimes we play a combination of really conventional stuff and oddball stuff. That's probably true about the Pixies in general. It sounds kinda normal, but there are subtle oddities going on. I would say that Joey is the 'unsung hero' of the Pixies...maybe not now but in the earlier days, a lot of magazines were personality driven and they wanted to talk about the grouchy lead singer, or the drunk bass player, and what's going on between those our guitar player got left on the back burner. I think there are several things that Joey does though that has made his style stand out. He'll play something that's seemingly very simple, and his whole subtle touch just sort of makes it sounding classy and makes it pop out in the song."

Santiago recalls: "Back in the old days, I'd just record Charles on his acoustic, or the practices with a cassette tape, remember those things. Then I'd take it home and practice, and come up with my stuff."

Kim Deal had moved from Dayton, Ohio (where she played in clubs with her twin sister Kelley) with her husband John Murphy and saw an advertisement for a bassist that liked both Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul & Mary.  That was when she took up the instrument:  "The thought just excited me. That I could pick up this thing and go, ooh, it's got four strings! This one goes all the way up there! And all the way down there! I also liked the idea of making music that sounded as real as I could, without any frills."

'Come On Pilgrim' became a defining moment for alternative music.  Lowering says:  "In 'alternative', I can only classify it as being just different. We're different in some way and I think that being different is the key to anything and whether it be our song verses, loud verses, loud choruses, that sort of thing. As well as the chemistry of the band, I think plays a key part, how opposite we are of each other in our musical tastes. I think that's what really makes us different as far as the sound of it. All of us combined that's what really does it. The pixies have to be us four. That's it."

Francis considers: "When I started out I was very much into abstraction and very short songs, and a certain type of surreal thing in my songs...When you're young, you tend to try to be a more avant-garde type of guy, and when you do it long enough, you want to go where others have gone before and hold your own. You're not as embarrassed to embrace formulaic or highly stylized things. When you're young you're trying to avoid horrible cliché's and mediocre music, so the last thing you want to do is 'hey, let's do a country and western song''re all about breaking everything up. You do things for awhile, and you're less conscious of people thinking your dorky. I think you learn respect for some of the forms of music that will live on...The first Pixies stuff represents my earliest songwriting, and as they say, you have your whole life to write your first album, and six months to write your second, so the first two Pixies records represent a lot of the writing that started when I was a young teenager."


'Come on Pilgrim'

full mini-album:

All songs by Black Francis except "Levitate Me" by Black Francis/Kim Deal/David Lovering/Jean Walsh

"Caribou" – 3:14
"Vamos" – 2:53
"Isla de Encanta" – 1:41
"Ed Is Dead" – 2:30
"The Holiday Song" – 2:14
"Nimrod's Son" – 2:17
"I've Been Tired" – 3:00
"Levitate Me" – 2:37

'The Purple Tape' 
full demo album:

Monday, August 27, 2012

don't it make my brown eyes blue

Crystal Gayle cried her way into our hearts and the top of the charts with this jazzy country crossover.  'Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue' was a sequel of sorts to her first single 'I've Cried the Blue Right Out Of My Eyes' that was written by her older sister Loretta Lynn.  Richard Leigh wrote the song; but his publisher was going to give it to Shirley Bassey instead of Gayle, even though she had a number one country hit with another of his songs 'I'll Get Over You'.  Producer Allen Reynolds convinced songwriter Leigh to let him have the song for Gayle instead.  They recorded at Jack's Tracks in Nashville. Hargus "Pig" Robbins on played keyboards came up with the piano riff; Charles Cochran played the horn parts on a Wurlitzer. Gayle's first vocal take became the single. Reynolds recalls:  "It came so fast that she wasn't sure that she had done her best job. I had to let her try to sing it again on two or three different occasions until she was comfortable with the original, and that's what we went with. Everything on that recording was the original take as it went down, except the string section I added later."  It was the leadoff single for her album 'We Must Believe in Magic'.

'Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue' became a worldwide success, going to number five in the UK; four on the US adult contemporary chart; two on the US pop chart; and number one on the Canadian adult contemporary, country, and pop charts.  It became her second US country number one.  It became her biggest hit and her signature song and won her a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.   

I don't know when I've been so blue
Don't know what's come over you
You've found someone new
And don't it make my brown eyes blue

I'll be fine when you're gone
I'll just cry all night long
Say it isn't true
And don't it make my brown eyes blue

Tell me no secrets, tell me some lies
Give me no reasons, give me alibis
Tell me you love me and don't let me cry
Say anything but don't say goodbye

I didn't mean to treat you bad
Didn't know just what I had
But honey now I do
And don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes blue

Tell me no secrets, tell me some lies
Give me no reasons, give me alibis
Tell me you love me and don't let me cry
Say anything but don't say goodbye

I didn't mean to treat you bad
Didn't know just what I had
But honey now I do
And don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes blue

Don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes blue

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a rush of blood to the head

Coldplay came back from the brink to reinvent themselves with this triumphant emotional aftermath.  'A Rush of Blood to the Head' took some time to get started after the exhaustion of their extensive tour for their debut album 'Parachutes'.  Lead singer Chris Martin remembers:  "Three months after 'Parachutes' took off, we went through a strange period of not really knowing what we were doing. One thing kept us going: recording 'In My Place'. Then other songs started was the song that made us want to do a second album." 

The band produced the sessions with Ken Nelson with Martin on vocals, guitar, and keyboards; Jon Buckland on guitar; Guy Berryman on bass; and Will Champion on drums.  Recording began one week after the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  Buckland says: "We started recording in London. It was the first time we had been in London for any period of time, so we weren't really focused."

Martin considers: "We were getting reacquainted with normal life. We hadn t seen our friends for a long time; there were bills to be paid... So we decided to go to Liverpool where we did some of 'Parachutes'. Once we got up there we became obsessed with recording...It s really nice to work when everyone is sleeping or busy doing something else. It feels like you' re doing something in secret. If a song arrives, the most amazing thing for me is running upstairs and getting Jonny to come down and have a listen. In Liverpool, it was often just me and Jonny working on the weekends. Then on Mondays we would have something new to show Guy and Will, our bassist and drummer. It was really fun. It was back to how it was when we were living together in college, you know?...We didn 't think about anybody else except the four of us while we were making 'A Rush of Blood to the Head'." Buckland adds: "We were away from all the record companies and anyone else. We didn 't really go outside."

'A Rush of Blood to the Head' went to thirty eight in Mexico; ten in Austria; five in Sweden and the US; four in Finland, France and Spain; three in Portugal; two in Belgium; and number one in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Europe, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK.  The album won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album and the Brit Award for Best British Album.  It has sold over fifteen millions copies worldwide. 

"In My Place" went to one hundred and seventeen in the US; sixty-five in Germany; sixty in France; forty-three in the Netherlands; twenty-four in New Zealand; twenty-three in Australia; seventeen in Norway; and number two in Canada, Ireland, and the UK.  It won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Martin says: "‘In my Place' is the oldest pivotal song. Just when we were finishing our last record, ‘Parachutes', we were in Liverpool in this little room that had been great on the last record and the record was basically finished so we were all packing up and ready to go. And the album was coming out in about a week. It was a really fine- timing thing, and I was just sat at this organ that my friend lent me, this pump organ, that you have to sit and pedal like that, you know, that was really designed for sea- shanties and drunken sailors but I wasn't either so I was thinking, let's try a sea-shanty, I don't know if I have to do the actions, but these chords just came out and it was at a time when it was just a bit too late on the last record we suddenly discovered things like Jimmy Cliff and all that and even ‘Whiter Shade of Pale'. I'm not saying it's as good as that, I'm saying it's better, no, I'm not, and so that tune we've had pretty much since the end of the last record. But we knew we really liked it and so it's been the lynchpin of this record. Around which everything else has been written."

"The Scientist"  hit number forty in Australia, twenty-six in Germany, twenty in the Netherlands, fifteen in Ireland, ten in the UK, and six in Canada.

Martin: "And there was a sort of feeling that it was I reckon we thought it was alright and then I don't know what you were doing, maybe you were doing guitar tracks. I was sitting at the piano, this really old battered piano that was really out of tune. And I'd just heard 'All Things Must Pass' by George Harrison , there's a song called 'Isn't it a Pity' and there's like a circular chord sequence. This is all very anal, but I was thinking I'd really like to have a chord sequence that goes round and round and you don't know where it ends and then this chord sequence just arrived and I thought this is really lovely. And then the whole song just came out and I don't know where from and we recorded it then and there and that was, the piano and vocal is from the day it was written and just that's it that's what made and the best moment of the entire record for me was when after Johnny had heard it. This was about three weeks later when we'd come back to this song. I just heard through this wall, l I heard this riff this like and it was what he does at the end and that's my favourite bit of music on the record even thought I probably wouldn't ever listen to it again, probably, but that was a great moment because he you know he's brilliant."

"Clocks" reached sixty-five in France, fifty in Germany, twenty-nine in the US, twenty-eight in Australia, fifteen in Ireland, thirteen in New Zealand, nine in the UK, seven in Canada, two in the Netherlands. It won a Grammy for Record of the Year.

Martin: We were just about to hand the record in but it was sounding rubbish, but we thought oh, we have to do it because we wanted to release it then and some of our record company guys came in and basically everyone decided we'd got to put it back, take a bit of pressure off and Phil, our figurehead or fifth member, he said, ‘Listen you should record that song ‘Clocks', because I was just ‘Oh, no, we're going to save this one', which is a real mistake to do I reckon because you know I might be shot tomorrow and so quite rightly he said, ‘Put that song on because it's good' and that was the newest to go on, ‘Clocks'. It goes ‘Ding,dong, ning, nong'. That just arrived. I don't know where that came from but I do know where the good bit came from because I was showing it to Johnny. This is the amazing thing about our band. You play something, you think, that's all right, I like that like this. I'll keep it going, and then to Johnny he'll sort of lollop in in his elephantine, not elephantine, what's the word? gazelle-like way. He does, quite slowly but with incredible grace come in like that. You say, ‘Come on. Listen to this song and you get him in there and if he picks up a guitar then he likes it and it's good, that's a good sign if you're playing something and he picks up a guitar. And then he put on these brilliant chords and then the chorus came out and it all sparked off and then Guy came in and put on his bass line and that sparked off another bit like a big chemical reaction our song- writing process and it's really exciting and that was the last one to happen and that was mega, that was really good fun, you know, because there was no pressure on that song. We thought you don't have to do it but we finished it and we thought no, that's got to go on."

"God Put a Smile upon Your Face"  made it to one hundred in the UK, forty-three in Australia, thirty-eight in the Netherlands, and thirty-five in New Zealand.

Berryman: "When we came to record it in the studio we struggled because there was something just not quite right about it and I wasn't happy about where we'd left it and where we were happy to leave it and we couldn't put our finger on what it was and so it was a really nice day one day, me and Chris were just trying, I was actually just trying to record bass at the time and me and Chris were just sitting down trying to brainstorm it and work out what was wrong and so I started trying to just do a few different bass lines and stuff. Between the two of us we came up with just this kind of groove, which stays on the same note as opposed to change, it's quite technical but it kind of added a bit of bounce to the song and it made it roll along in a much more fluid way. It was a bit mechanical before and it's just interesting how something small like that can really change the whole vibe of a song. It was just nice because from there on it was one of our favourite tracks and it almost didn't get on the record but it's now one of our favourite tracks."

'A Rush of Blood to the Head' 
full album:

All songs written and composed by Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, and Will Champion. 

1. "Politik"   5:18
2. "In My Place"   3:48
3. "God Put a Smile upon Your Face"   4:57
4. "The Scientist"   5:09
5. "Clocks"   5:07
6. "Daylight"   5:27
7. "Green Eyes"   3:43
8. "Warning Sign"   5:31
9. "A Whisper"   3:58
10. "A Rush of Blood to the Head"   5:51
11. "Amsterdam"   5:19