Before being tapped to play for an audience of more than 100 million people in this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, Coldplay’s reputation as charismatic and engaging performers helped them sell out stadiums and arenas all over the globe. To prepare for the spectacle of tonight’s show, check out five of the British band’s best music videos to date:
This piano-driven song from Coldplay’s 2002 release, A Rush of Blood to the Head, follows frontman Chris Martin as he walks through town — entirely in reverse. As Martin enters the woods where a young boy lays on the ground, the backwards effect builds suspense and the song swells until revealing Martin’s journey started at the site of a car accident he survived.
The lush orchestration on “Paradise” lends itself to a colorful portrayal of the band — dressed up as plush elephants that would give even Left Shark a run for his money — as they roam around London and eventually wind up on stage. The video, which features Martin riding a unicycle down the middle of the road, is as fun as its infectious “para-para-paradise” chorus.
“Princess of China”
Before teaming up with Beyoncé on this year’s “Hymn for the Weekend,” Coldplay recorded a song with a different pop diva: Rihanna. The video features imperial palaces, dramatic Chinese-inspired costumes and even a duel between Martin and RiRi herself.
Sixteen years after its release, nothing is as quintessentially Coldplay as “Yellow.” The video stays simple but beautiful as Martin walks on the beach as the sun rises behind him, lamenting about the stars and delivering saccharine lyrics about love.
This video is the peak of Coldplay’s creative, whimsical and colorful style. Martin, dressed in a rainbow superhero uniform, fights a giant squirrel, saves the girl and soars through the clouds in an animated chalk universe. The group later continues to explore comic book storytelling in their video for Mylo Xyloto track “Hurts Like Heaven.”