Coldplay Smashes Records on iTunes, In More Ways Than One

Chris Martin Coldplay
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Coldplay’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, was released in 2008. The album was produced by Brian Eno and Markus Dravs, and it marked a departure from the band’s previous sound. The album was inspired by the works of Frida Kahlo, Pablo Neruda, and Leo Tolstoy, among others.

Despite the change in sound, the album was a commercial success. In the United States, Viva la Vida debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 721,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan data confirmed Wednesday morning. While this falls below the first-week tally of 737,000 for the previous, mid-2005 release, X&Y, few are discounting the performance.

This time around, Coldplay was boosted by a record-setting digital performance. According to figures supplied by major label executives, digital album sales across various retailers topped 288,000. Of that, iTunes carries a commanding percentage, one that may have pushed past 275,000, according to a separate estimate. In total, nearly 40 percent of albums sold were digital, a remarkable chunk. Perhaps more impressive, the digital sales tally came against a free alternative, albeit from the more murky channels of BitTorrent.

Apple confirmed that Coldplay smashed both pre-sale and first-week digital album sales records. The strong online performance on Viva la Vida created a nice lift for previous albums. Sales of X&Y jumped by a factor of 40, and earlier titles also enjoyed multiples. That catalog effect also bled into the physical realm, part of a time-worn spillover on big-charting releases.

The album’s lead single, “Viva la Vida,” was released in May 2008. The song became a massive hit, reaching the top of the charts in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. The song’s success was due in part to its catchy melody and its use of orchestral instruments, such as the violin and cello.

The album’s second single, “Violet Hill,” was released in June 2008. Like “Viva la Vida,” the song was a hit, reaching the top 10 in several countries. The music video for the song was directed by Asa Mader and features the band performing in a dark, industrial setting.

In addition to “Viva la Vida” and “Violet Hill,” the album features several other standout tracks, including “Lost!,” “Lovers in Japan,” and “Strawberry Swing.” The album’s title track, “Viva la Vida,” won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2009.

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends was well-received by critics, who praised the band’s experimentation with new sounds and the album’s themes of revolution and rebirth. The album has since been certified six times platinum in the United States and has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

After the success of Viva la Vida, Coldplay continued to release successful albums, including 2011’s Mylo Xyloto and 2015’s A Head Full of Dreams. The band has also become known for their high-energy live performances, which often feature elaborate stage setups and audience participation.

In conclusion, Coldplay’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, was a commercial and critical success. The album marked a departure from the band’s previous sound and featured several standout tracks, including “Viva la Vida” and “Violet Hill.” The album’s record-setting digital performance helped to boost sales of previous albums, and the band has continued to release successful albums and perform to large audiences around the world.