So here we are reaching the end of the first series, hence, list on this young blog of mine. Admittedly, at 15 tracks, it’s a short list, given what I’ve always felt was a lack of quality material to draw from in 2000’s music releases. You’ve read the title and so you know the song I’ve ranked as number one. If you haven’t been following along from the beginning, I invite you to go back and check out the rest of the list here.
If you’re still with with me, I’ll begin. But first I want you to close your eyes (not literally, silly, you won’t be able to continue reading) and use your imagination. Yes, imagine that it is 2000 or if that fails, try to remember yourself and your musical tastes in and around that time. It is before Coldplay got huge. Before “Yellow” was seriously overplayed on radio stations everywhere. Before “Rush of cold blood to head”, “X&Y”‘, and each successive album thereafter, each one getting bigger and more bloated. Before the arena tours that saw the foursome trying to become U2. And failing. Before the millions and millions in record sales. Before Chris Martin’s marriage to Gwyneth Paltrow and the birth of Apple. Before all of it. And imagine (or remember) what it would be/was like to listen to “Yellow” for the first time.
Yeah. That’s the spot. That’s why it’s number one on this list.
I don’t have to imagine such a scenario because I remember the first time I heard it played on EDGE 102.1. My early morning alarm had gone off, tuned to the radio. Some other song was finishing and that solo acoustic guitar strum intro came on, followed by the messy, slightly off tune rhythm guitar and Chris Martin’s opening lines: “Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.” Yes, I recognized Pixies’ oft-recycled, loud-soft-loud logic, along with early Radiohead’s British alt-rock template, but it was all done honestly and passionately. And it was love at first hearing. So instead of jumping out of bed and into the shower as I normally would have done, I waited through another song to hear the announcer report the name of band and song. I duly jotted both down in the writer’s notebook that I used to keep by my bedside and headed off to work.
As soon as I got home, I dialled in to the internet, logged in to Napster, and a half hour later or so, I had “Yellow” on my desktop computer. I listened to it a dozen or so times. Ate dinner. Then, listened to it a couple dozen more times. Some time later, probably not very long after, I went out and bought Coldplay’s debut, “Parachutes”, and proceeded to play the hell out of that. Little did I know that all around the city, country, and world, many others were doing something similar and radio stations and music video channels were filling the voids in between. So when their first North American club tour reached Toronto, I was surprised when tickets sold out fast. I didn’t see them until five years later at a venue (Corel Centre) way bigger than their own capacity warranted, in my opinion.
But I’ll stop there before the ranting begins.
To sum up, “Yellow” is a great rocker that generated a lot of excitement back in 2000 and taken on its own, time really hasn’t changed any of that for me. Enjoy.