This song, featuring massive-sounding church organ strains over a Chris Martin vocal, was recorded according to lead guitarist Jonny Buckland: "in a church up the road that's now a studio. In a huge room with a piano and organ going at the same time." (Source Q magazine July 2008)
Drummer Will Champion told Q magazine February 2008 that this was "drastically reinvented by ditching its "big Hip-Hop beat."
This was one of the first songs Coldplay worked on for the record. The band were originally inspired by the song "Sing" by Blur, which they were listening to in their dressing room before performing in a gig in Detroit. They tried to write a song like it and it ended up evolving in various ways with lots of different versions before the final recorded rendering. Chris Martin explained to MTV News: "That's often how we write, is we listen to something and we think it's incredible, and we feel stupid for not having anything as good as that, so we go and try to play it. And then, of course, because we don't know how to do that, we often come up with something new."
Chris Martin (from The Sun newspaper May 13, 2008): "The line in this song 'Just because I'm losing doesn't mean I'm lost' is what the whole record came out of because we were feeling down at the end of the last tour. That line arrived and it was, 'OK, that's how we kinda feel. We know we can improve."
The song's single version also featured alternative versions "Lost?" and "Lost@." Later in 2008, a new version of this tune titled "Lost+", with an added cameo from rapper Jay-Z, was included on Coldplay's EP Prospekt's March. Chris Martin quipped to Q magazine January 2009: "Say what you like about us, we might not be rock 'n' roll but we do more with punctuation than any other band."
This is not the first time that Martin and Jay-Z have worked together. The Coldplay frontman sung the hook on "Beach Chair," a track on the rapper's 2006 Kingdom Come album.
Coldplay and Jay-Z performed this at the Grammy Awards in 2009. Coldplay then performed "Viva La Vida
," which won for Best Song later in the show.
The single was Coldplay's first ever release to miss the UK Top 40.