Lovers in Japan / Reign Of Love

Album: Viva la Vida (2008)

Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Chris Martin explained to Entertainment Weekly: "No one associates romance with Japan. Everyone thinks Japan is just about Hitachi and neon signs, but every time we're there, we see these amazing sunrises. It's very sexy."
  • This Indie-Pop tune blends into a layered piano based hymnal with fairytale lyrics. Bassist Guy Berryman explained to Q magazine July 2008 why they combined the two songs: "Couldn't we make our minds up? No, it's because we didn't want to have an extra number on the CD. To keep it concise at 10 tracks." Drummer Will Champion added: "We just preferred to have less titles and more stuff. The album as a whole has got the most on it, but it's the shortest. We wanted to make it almost impossible for you to not listen to it all in one go."
  • Drummer Will Champion told MTV News the story behind the piano sound on this track: "We were in a studio in New York, this place called the Magic Shop, and it had this thing called a tack piano there, which sounds like an old honky-tonk piano, where you put little tacks in the hammers, so it sounds like more of a harpsichord almost. And so we wanted to use that kind of sound, but we didn't have a tack piano, so rather than sample it, we went and bought an old piano from the shop up the road from our studio, and we bought a load of tacks, and me and (bassist) Guy (Berryman) and (guitarist) Jon (Buckland) spent a couple of hours pushing tacks into the piano hammers."
  • Chris Martin (from The Sun newspaper May 13, 2008): "We always wanted a song title which was two in one - buy one get one free. Part of the reason for having two titles in a couple of places with slashes is because Justin Timberlake did it on his last album. I just thought it was cool. You have to know how to steal and where to steal from."
  • Coldplay's EP Prospekt's March featured a new mix of this song titled "Lovers in Japan (Osaka Sun Mix)." In an interview on Coldplay's website, frontman Chris Martin said of the new version: "Well, we've been playing it live better than it is on the record. So the live version has informed this Osaka Sun version, which is just a bit more lively."
  • When performing this song on Coldplay's 2008 American tour, a shower of transparent confetti butterflies drops down from above the stage, and as they fall they glow in the stage lights. The effect was inspired by a visit Martin took to the butterfly section of a zoo with his children. He told Rolling Stone: "Even if the show's going s--t, I know that there's two moments that'll be fine. The song 'Viva La Vida' - and when the butterflies glow in the dark."

Comments: 4

  • Liesa from Roy, UtI love these songs, they just give a good feeling. Coldplay is such an amazing band.
  • Justin from Roseville, CaMy favorite ingredient of this song is the everlasting, echoing guitar in the background. It soars subtly and untouched throughout the song. Makes one dream of triumph in the face of present hardship. A glistening future that will come true, as long as one keeps pushing forward.
  • Drew from Buffalo, NyI know there not very similar but Pink Floyd's "Summer '68" piano line off of Atom Heart Mother sounds similar to me the "Reign of Love" but a lot slower.
  • Rachel from Boston<3, MaI LOVE these songs. Lovers in Japan has great lyrics and reign of love has beautiful piano work. Chris Martin is truly amazing :)
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he InspiredSong Writing

Before he was the champ, Ali released an album called I Am The Greatest!, but his musical influence is best heard in the songs he inspired.

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike + The Mechanics)Songwriter Interviews

Mike talks about the "Silent Running" storyline and "Land Of Confusion" in the age of Trump.

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

Name the Character in the SongMusic Quiz

With a few clues (Works at a diner, dreams of running away), can you name the character in the song?