The Scientist (song)
"The Scientist" is a song by the British rock band Coldplay. The song was written collaboratively by all the band members for their second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head. It is built around a piano ballad, with its lyrics telling the story about a man's desire to love and an apology. The song was released in the United Kingdom as the second single from A Rush of Blood to the Head and reached number 10 in the UK Charts. It was released in the United States as the third single and reached number 18 on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 34 on the Adult Top 40 chart.
|Single by Coldplay|
|from the album A Rush of Blood to the Head|
|Released||4 November 2002|
|Coldplay singles chronology|
Critics were highly positive towards "The Scientist" and praised the song's piano ballad and falsetto. Several remixes of the track exist, and its riff has been widely sampled. The single's music video won three MTV Music Video Awards, for the video's use of reverse narrative. The song was also featured on the band's 2003 live album Live 2003 and has been a permanent fixture in the band's live set lists since 2002.
Lead singer Chris Martin wrote "The Scientist" after listening to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Martin revealed that while working on the band's second album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, he knew that the album was missing something. One night, during a stay in Liverpool, Martin found an old piano that was out of tune. He wanted to work on Harrison's song, "Isn't It a Pity", but he could not manage to do so. When the song came to Martin, he asked that the recorder be turned on. He concluded by saying that he came across this chord sequence and noted that the chord was "lovely". Martin recorded the vocals and piano takes in a studio in Liverpool.
When asked about the development of the song, during a track-by-track reveal, Martin said: "That's just about girls. It's weird that whatever else is on your mind, whether it's the downfall of global economics or terrible environmental troubles, the thing that always gets you most is when you fancy someone." The liner notes from A Rush of Blood to the Head, on the other hand, states that "The Scientist is Dan.", with Dan referring to Dan Keeling, the A&R man who signed the band to Parlophone.
"The Scientist" is a melancholic, piano-driven ballad written in the key of F major. The lyrics to the song allude to a man's powerlessness in the face of love. It begins with the main four-chord piano melody created by lead singer Chris Martin, transitioning to him singing the first verses. He is then joined by the rest of the band after the first chorus. In addition to the main piano melody, the music of the song is created by a string arrangement, harmony, acoustic guitar, with its rhythm being slow tempo drums and bass guitar riffs. Towards the end of the song, electric guitar riffs can be heard as lead guitarist Jonny Buckland switches from acoustic to lead guitar.
Coldplay released "The Scientist" in Europe on 4 November 2002 as the album's second single. The single was pressed with two B-sides: "1.36" and "I Ran Away." While preparing for the song as the album's second release, the band's US label felt the song failed to "provide enough of a blood rush for American listeners"; instead, they released "Clocks" as the second single in the US. The song was released on 15 April 2003 in the US.
"The Scientist" appeared on Australia Singles Chart at number 40 on 1 November 2003. It appeared on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks at number 18. The song peaked at number sixteen at Canada Singles Chart. The song peaked at number 10 in UK Top 75 on 17 November 2002.
"The Scientist" received widespread critical acclaim. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone Magazine, in his review of the album, wrote: "The fantastic piano ballad 'The Scientist' ... [has] a cataclysmic falsetto finale that could raise every hair on the back of your neck." Nick Southall of Stylus magazine wrote: "The piano that chimes through 'The Scientist' is captured perfectly, the warm depression of each individual key caught rather than a shrill ringing as is so often the case." Ian Watson of NME wrote: "'The Scientist' is a song inexorably linked with the endless night sky and the secret hopes and regrets of a hundred thousand strangers."
In 2003, "The Scientist" was featured on Coldplay's live album Live 2003. The song was covered live by Aimee Mann and released on a special edition of her album Lost in Space. Natasha Bedingfield, Alex Band, Eamon, and Avril Lavigne covered the song on Jo Whiley's Live Lounge radio show. Also, Belinda Carlisle did a live rendition on the ITV1 reality show Hit Me Baby One More Time. The British female quartet All Angels did a choral arrangement of the song on their album Into Paradise which was released in 2007. The chords to this song are replicated by Sum 41 in their song "Pieces." In addition, the American television show MADtv did a parody of the video, called "The Narcissist." Coldplay's original version plus a cover of the track performed by Johnette Napolitano and Danny Lohner were featured in the 2004 film Wicker Park. Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen performed an acoustic duet of the song at Oprah Winfrey's "No Phone Zone" rally in Los Angeles.
In 2011, Willie Nelson covered the song for a Chipotle Mexican Grill-sponsored short film titled Back to the Start, highlighting the problems of concentrated animal feeding operations. It also appears as the final track on his 2012 album Heroes. Nelson's version plays during the closing credits of the 2014 film The Judge. The song was used on 23 May 2011 episode of WWE Raw in a tribute video to wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage who had died three days earlier. The song was performed in the Glee episode "The Break Up" on 4 October 2012 by Cory Monteith, Darren Criss, Naya Rivera, Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Heather Morris and Jayma Mays. In 2014, Miley Cyrus covered the song at selected stops of her Bangerz Tour. Corinne Bailey Rae covered "The Scientist" for the soundtrack to the 2017 film Fifty Shades Darker. Conor Maynard covers a few verses of the song in his Acoustic rendition of Kris Kross Amsterdam & Conor Maynard - Are You Sure? ft. Ty Dolla $ign.
The music video for "The Scientist" was notable for its distinctive reverse narrative, which employed reverse video. The same concept had been previously used for Spike Jonze's 1995 music video for The Pharcyde's "Drop". The reverse video style had first been seen in 1989 for the video for the song "The Second Summer of Love" by Scottish band Danny Wilson. In order for Martin to appear to be singing the lyrics in the reversed footage, he had to learn to sing the song backwards, which took him a month. The video was filmed at various locations, including London and at Bourne Woods in Surrey, before the first leg of the A Rush of Blood to the Head tour. It was directed by Jamie Thraves. The video was shot between 30 September – 3 October 2002, premiering on 14 October.
The video opens, looking down on Martin who is singing, as he lies on his back on a mattress. As the camera shot pulls back, the mattress is revealed to be outside. A cyclist cycles past in reverse and Martin leaps up from the mattress. He walks in reverse through a city, out into the suburbs and eventually crossing a railway line and into woods, picking up his suit jacket as he goes. Upon arriving at his car, a black BMW, he gets in and briefly passes out. A woman, at first shown lying unresponsive on the ground in front of the car, is shown flying back in through the shattered windscreen. The car rolls back up a hill in the woods and through a broken fence, which joins back together as the car passes through it. As the video closes, the couple is shown driving back up the road. It is revealed that Martin's passenger had removed her seat belt, in order to put her jacket on, just before the car accident, causing her death. Irish actress Elaine Cassidy portrays the female passenger.
In 2003, "The Scientist" won multiple MTV Video Music Awards for Best Group Video, Best Direction, and Breakthrough Video. It was also nominated at the 2004 Grammy Awards for Best Short Form Music Video but lost to Johnny Cash's video for "Hurt". By May 2019 the video had received over 700 million views on YouTube.
|3.||"I Ran Away"||4:26|
|1.||"The Scientist" (Edit)|
|2.||"The Scientist" (video running backwards)|
|3.||"Lips Like Sugar" (Live, Echo & the Bunnymen–Cover)|
|4.||"Interview with band members"|
Charts and certificationsEdit
- "Coldplay — Going Out of My Head". VH1. 13 August 2002. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Scaggs, Austin (16 June 2005). "Q&A: Chris Martin". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Oldham, James (July 2002). "Coldplay Yellow Fever". Auckland, New Zealand Newspaper.
- "ShakenStir Interview about A Rush of Blood to the Head (September 2002)". ShakenStir. Archived from the original (Internet Archive) on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- "Coldplay — The Scientist". BBC Music. BBC. 18 November 2002. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- "Coldplay E-Zine: Issue 6" (PDF). Coldplay.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Parker, Nigel (23 August 2002). "Coldplay's Rush is near-flawless". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
- "The Scientist by Coldplay; sheet music". Musicnotes.com. 2002. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- Gray, Christopher (4 October 2002). "Phases and Stages — Record Review". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- "The State of Coldplay". Q. August 2002.
- Denning, Adrian. "Coldplay album reviews". Adrian Denning.com. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- "Coldplay Scientist B-Sides". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Archived from the original on 10 October 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- Wiederhorn, Jon (15 October 2002). "Coldplay Singer Questions Whether He's The Devil". MTV News. Retrieved 15 July 2008.
- "Coldplay — The Scientist at Top40-Charts". Top 40-Charts. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Artist Chart History — Coldplay". Billboard. Archived from the original on 5 April 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
- Jones, Alan (12 March 2008). "The 20 biggest selling albums of the 21st century". Music Week. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
- "Official UK Top 75: 17/11/02". Vibe Waves. 17 November 2002. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
- "Sølve Sundsbø's best shot". The Guardian. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- Sheffield, Rob (26 August 2002). "A Rush Of Blood To The Head". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Southall, Nick (1 September 2002). "Coldplay — A Rush Of Blood To The Head Review". Stylus. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Watson, Ian (31 October 2002). "Coldplay: The Scientist". NME. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- NME.COM. "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". NME.COM.
- "100 Best Songs of the 2000s". Rolling Stone. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- Magill, Jeff (21 November 2003). "Review: Mighty rush from world's best band". Europe Intelligence Wire. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
- "Blender:The 500 greatest songs since you were born". Blender. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- "Natasha Bedingfield "The Scientist"". Imeem. Retrieved 3 September 2008.[dead link]
- "Run For Cover(s): Letters A to E". Feedshow. 2 July 2005. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Avril Lavigne "The Scientist" – Coldplay Cover". Mixtape Maestro. 9 July 2007. Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Living Legends Music: Belinda Carlisle". Living Legends. Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- Semioli, Tom (29 May 2007). "Johnette Napolitano — Running Scarred". Amplifier Magazine. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- Jewers, Jack (21 November 2007). "All Angels, Into Paradise". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "Coldplay vs. Sum 41 ANTI-plug". Newmoanyeah. 24 January 2005. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- "MADtv (season 9)". Mad TV. Season 9. Episode 905. 1 November 2003. 60 minutes in. Fox.
- Wicker Park (DVD). Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. 2005.
- "The Scientist by Coldplay". Song Facts. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- "Kris Allen & Allison Iraheta Don't Phone It In On 'Oprah' Duet". Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "Willie Nelson Covers Coldplay's 'The Scientist'". Taste of Country. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- "'The Judge' Ends With A Willie Nelson Coldplay Cover". The Huffington Post. 6 September 2014.
- "[VIDEO] Cory Monteith + Glee cast perform Coldplay's 'The Scientist'". 103.5 KTU.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Wass, Mike (11 January 2017). "'Fifty Shades Darker' Soundtrack Features Halsey, Tove Lo & Nicki Minaj". Idolator. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
- Conor Maynard (6 March 2017), Kris Kross Amsterdam & Conor Maynard - Are You Sure? ft. Ty Dolla $ign (Acoustic), retrieved 10 March 2017
- Kaufman, Gil (1 August 2006). "The Story Behind Coldplay's 'The Scientist'". MTV News. Retrieved 21 September 2009.
- "Coldplay — The Scientist". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved 3 September 2008.
- Though it was filmed in England, the car driven in the music video features a Wyoming license plate which had a design that was in use from 1983 to 1988 (although the car itself is right-hand drive). The vehicle in the video was a BMW E28 5 Series, manufactured from 1982 to 1988.
- "The Scientist" at wikicoldplay.com
- "Old and new battle for MTV awards". BBC News. BBC. 27 July 2003. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
- Sal Cinquemani and Eric Henderson. "Forecast: 46th Annual Grammy Awards". Slant. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
- "Australian-charts.com – Coldplay – The Scientist". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Austriancharts.at – Coldplay – The Scientist" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – The Scientist" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
- "Ultratop.be – Coldplay – The Scientist" (in French). Ultratip.
- "Coldplay – Awards (Billboard Singles)". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- "Lescharts.com – Coldplay – The Scientist" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Offiziellecharts.de – Coldplay – The Scientist". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
- "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
- "Chart Track: Week 46, 2002". Irish Singles Chart.
- "Hits of the World - Italy". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 7 December 2002. p. 78. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Coldplay – The Scientist" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Polish Singles Chart |".
- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Coldplay – The Scientist". Singles Top 100.
- "Swisscharts.com – Coldplay – The Scientist". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- "Coldplay Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
- "Coldplay Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
- "Coldplay Chart History (Alternative Songs)". Billboard.
- "Certificeringer | ifpi.dk". IFPI Denmark. Archived from the original on 2 May 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- "Italian single certifications – Coldplay – The Scientist" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 25 June 2017. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "The Scientist" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
- White, Jack (29 November 2018). "Coldplay's Official Top 20 biggest songs on the UK's Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
- "British single certifications – Coldplay – The Scientist". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 November 2018. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type The Scientist in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American single certifications – Coldplay – The Scientist". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 21 February 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.