Trouble

Album: Parachutes (2000)
Charted: 10
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Songfacts®:

  • Originally titled "Spiderwebs," lead singer Chris Martin wrote this song about his callous behavior toward his bandmates, particularly Coldplay's Will Champion. Martin doubted Champion's abilities as a drummer and eventually fired him from the band in 1999. A few days later, Martin came to regret his hasty decision. He apologized to Champion and sheepishly asked him to rejoin.

    Martin explained to The South Bank Show in 2009: "We got signed, and we went to a studio, and we were doing OK, but this producer we were working with told us we weren't good enough, we weren't technically good enough. What bands often do in that situation is blame the drummer for going out of time or whatever. We didn't really know that music was supposed to be about the feel of it. We thought, 'Everything has got to be technically perfect because we have a record deal now.' So it ended up with us asking Will to leave. Three days went by, and we were doing our thing and playing with a drum machine and stuff and just felt really miserable."
  • Martin grew embarrassed of this song, calling it "cheesy" and comparing it to Celine Dion during a concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles in 2002. These comments upset the rest of Coldplay, with Champion later telling the band's biographer Gary Spivack: "We love these songs. We wrote them and are proud of them and to belittle them in front of thousands hurts the credibility of the music. It's all right to joke, don't get me wrong, but it was our songs that were the butt of it all. After a while, when Chris would do that, it started to affect how we played them too."
  • "Trouble" was recorded four times before Coldplay got a take they were happy with. Speaking to Sound on Sound magazine, the song's producer, Ken Nelson, explained the arduous process behind the Parachutes cut: "The backing track was recorded, and then each time, we'd add to it to see if it was working. But we decided on the first three versions that it wasn't really happening. For the last one, we got Pro Tools in, and it was recorded into Pro Tools with a shaker providing the rhythm. Will played drums, and Chris played piano in the little wooden room, and that was the backing track. The bass went down quite quickly, and then Johnny did his guitars."
  • Two music videos were made. The original UK version, directed by Sophie Muller (No Doubt, Garbage), finds the band in the Wild West, where Martin is held captive in a warehouse and tied to a chair. It was shot at a ranch in Newhall, California.

    Coldplay's label, Capitol, feared this video was "too dark" for the US, so a second version was made. Directed by Tim Hope, it features the band members as two-dimensional figures who get caught up in a tornado and land in suburbia. The clip won for Best Art Direction at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • The band performed this song with Elton John at the Gwinnett Civic Center Arena in Duluth, Georgia, in 2003. The concert was hailed as a breakthrough moment for Coldplay in the US, with Elton comparing their performance to U2. "I felt and everybody with me that night said, 'God, this is a big band,'" he told Interview magazine.
  • Trouble – Norwegian Live EP, a five-piece collection recorded live at Oslo's Rockefeller Music Hall in 2000, is named after this song. The EP, released exclusively in Norway, was Coldplay's first-ever live release.
  • In 2001, Rocky actor Sylvester Stallone asked Coldplay if he could use "Trouble" in his action film Driven, but the band declined. That same year, Coldplay also turned down a multimillion offer from The Coca-Cola Company to use the song in a television commercial for Diet Coke. The group feels that allowing their songs to be used in commercials would degrade their value to fans.
  • "Trouble" was the third single released from Coldplay's debut album, Parachutes, after "Shiver" and "Yellow." The song peaked at #10 in the UK. In America, the song barely "troubled" the chart, peaking at #115, although it did get a fair amount of radio play.

    Chris Martin told MTV News how the song saved the band from being a one-hit wonder. "We thought it was a great song, but not a single," he said. "We never thought it'd play in America. It's not exactly Korn."

Comments: 19

  • Human from EarthMaybe this song is about a person who has fallen into a trap and realizing there is no escape reflects on past mistakes and harm done and wishes to apologize, to make peace in the end.
    "They spun a web for me" - Normal people don't usually find themselves the victim of a conspiracy. Therefore this lyric reflects someone who suffers from mental illness such a drug addiction, where "they" typically refers to the inner demons. Those susceptible to drug addiction are plagued by voices that speak much louder than those of reason.
    "And I lost my head" - When a person reaches the limits of sanity feelings of being lost or abandoned begin to send warning signals. But this is only the beginning stages of insanity, they still retain the memory of who they were and how they got to this far.
    "But here am I in my little bubble" - It's a lonely world trapped inside your own head when you've lost touch with reality and can no longer distinguish illusion from truth, the dream world from the waking world of the living.
  • Jules from NevadaI've listened to this song many times I guess without truly "feeling" the lyrics. For me, today it struck a deep chord within my soul. Been in a troubled marriage/relationship for almost 20 years. Two years ago I decided to be a bit more blunt without fear of his hurtful words. "Unless or until we really work together to learn to communicate, this marriage isn't going to make it", I said" Years and years of promises, concerns, doubts, hurt feelings and disallusionment coursed through my inner soul. All I wanted was for him to see, the way I could , not hide from the fact we didn't really make each other happy. Once again I gave him another chance just because he said he would think about going to counseling with me. Every morsel of goodness we had left I continued to just have faith. Yes, things got a bit better though it was over a year later. I know he loves me and I him but at what point do I just stop being so afraid to live without him and just finally move on? Sorry for all of the rambling all I can say is I still feel guilty for hurting him, in advance. I only wish he could own up to his part so I can forgive him and move on. I have not only apologized and changer into a much kinder person than I was and feel he doesn't even see it. I'm tired of being invisible to the exclusion of others out of fear. Time to put on my big girl pants even though I'm almost 60! COLDPLAY music has helped me personally on many occasions. I truly respect music poets like Chris Martin. Without them so many millions of ppl. would not be so inspired, someone like me............#wakingupin3d #thanx4therealitycheck #coldplayrulesagain
  • Zep from TurkeyThe song definitely has an apology theme to it. Yet everyone can interpret it differently. It speaks to me because it reminds me how I hurt everyone I love and drove them away when I was depressed. I never meant to hurt them. Yet I did. This song describes what I feel everyday. I feel like I'm caught in a spider web. And clearly I have nothing better to do other than to write these things as a comment on the internet.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI LOVE this song! Love the beggining, the piano, his voice...I could go on forever!
  • Liesa from Roy, UtThis song is amazing, it's just so beautiful. Coldplay is AMAZING :)
  • Michael from Panama City Beach, FlTo me its simple,almost like 'quiet'punk rock or something-just in the sense that its so to the point!But don't those kind of songs usually speak the loudest? The emotions within hit like a tidal wave-I was astonished at the haunted character Chris was so naturally able to portray,and yeah,could definitely relate to the 'junkie' aspect but could just as well be a heartfelt breakup. Also, the video accompaniment was 1 of those rare ones that fit the song perfectly,I thought.I dont know, these guys seem to know what they're doing...
  • Christal from Ap, Txfrom the very first time I heard this song I associated it with my son who suffers from a drug addiction. If things are bad I cant listen to it, but I do really love it.
  • Patrick from Berwyn, Ili know this isnt the exact interpetation, but i can view it as someone with a bad drug history and just saying sorry to everyone for putting them through what they went through, its as though that person has just come to realize what they had done and how they got there and they just feel sorry.
  • Rob from London, United KingdomGo to the timeline section on the coldplay website. Jan 2000 has a brief clip of a song called Spiderwebs. Chris Martin describes how 'a good song grew from and embarassing pile of manure...'. listen to the last few seconds, which is where the main lyric and subsequently the riff for Trouble originated from.
  • Richel from Santa Ana, Cahe's sorry for the difficult time that he'd put the girl through because he's overwhelmed with what he's going through rite now...
    coldplay never fails to amaze me
  • Michael from Houston, TxI really enjoy this song, but it just sounds totally copied off of Jealou Guy by John Lennon, does anyone else hear that?
  • Cari from Knebworth, EnglandChris Martin dedicated this song to his brother during a live performance, some years ago now, at Glastonbury Festival. He explained that his brother had asked for the time off of work to attend the festival to see his brother perform but was denied the leave by his boss, so he walked out.
  • Anubhav from New Delhi, Indiai'v never heard a more emotional song in my life!
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaSomething that I wouldn't usually say because Coldplay is the softest band I listen to is that this has a really, really good awesome piano riff.
  • Steve from Birmingham, EnglandThe guitar in the middle eight sounds like Johnny Marr, indeed that section is like the Smiths doing an impression of Coldplay.
    The most memorable time I heard it was on the Metro in Newcastle upon tyne and a girl was playing it on a violin, the sound sweeping up the tunnel was magical.
  • Faruna from Shanghai, ChinaYup this song is great and reminds me of some wrongly done relationship...
  • Gabe from Utica, NyThis song is really great. I wanna learn the whole piano. I only know a little bit. Anyway, I disagree about the of someone being part of the meaning to this song. This song is very well put together.
  • Jill from Charleston, IlThis song is beautiful...that piano intro to it floors me everytime *sigh* :)
  • Dusan from Berkely, Iafirst off i am writing this article while i am listening to this great song. I think this song is about a man who loses someone important to him and is reflecting about it. He thinks about all the stupid things hes done and said. He never meant to cause this person trouble but evidently he did. But he means well in everything hes done. Becasue he never meant to do you harm. When he says he is in the middle of a spider web i think he means he is in the middle of a difficult situation in life. I completely love every aspect of this song because it brings back personal memories of me with a person that i was close to. But it just didnt work out. You guys know how it is right lol. Well that is just my interpetation on it i could be way off base here. But what is important is what the song means to you. It could have a hundred different meanings to a hundred different people. okay, thanks for your time everyone i hoped you enjoyed this reading. thanks and bye yet again.
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