The Story of... 'Fix You' by Coldplay

25 April 2024, 13:08

Coldplay's Fix You video
Coldplay's Fix You video. Picture: Coldplay

By Tom Eames

"Lights will guide you home / And ignite your bones / And I will try to fix you."

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'Fix You' by Coldplay is a powerful anthem that resonates with listeners worldwide.

The song, released as part of their 2005 album X&Y, carries a message of hope, resilience, and the transformative power of love and support.

Frontman Chris Martin penned the lyrics during a challenging period for the band, addressing their struggles with addiction and inner turmoil. The emotional rescue embedded in 'Fix You' has turned stadiums into secular churches, much like the impact of legendary artists like Bruce Springsteen and U2.

Through its soaring melodies and poignant lyrics, the song continues to touch hearts and uplift spirits.

  1. Who wrote 'Fix You' and what is the song about?

    Coldplay - Fix You (Live In São Paulo)

    'Fix You' was written by Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay.

    The lyrics of 'Fix You' address themes of hope, resilience, and the transformative power of love and support.

    The essence of this track revolves around themes of genuine affection, offering support during challenging times, and gaining wisdom from past errors.

    Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that Coldplay frontman Chris Martin penned it with her in mind, aiming to aid her through a difficult period.

    Their connection blossomed in 2002, shortly after Paltrow's father, the actor Bruce Paltrow, passed away.

    Reflecting on the song during an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in 2015, Paltrow shared: "'Fix You' was about him trying to put me back together after my dad died. I think it's pretty nice."

    Martin and Paltrow got married in 2003 and welcomed two children before parting ways in 2014.

    Speaking to USA Today, Chris Martin explained: "My father-in-law Bruce Paltrow bought this big keyboard just before he died. No one had ever plugged it in. I plugged it in, and there was this incredible sound I'd never heard before. All these songs poured out from this one sound. Something has to inspire you, and something else takes over. It's very cloudy."

    Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow in 2014
    Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow in 2014. Picture: Getty

    Chris also said that it was the song he's most proud of, telling Mojo: "Because it's so unlikely that that song would have come out of that period. The rest of that album I like, but I don't think it's great.

    "Whereas that song… it's the best one because it almost single-handedly got us through a really difficult two years. You could say it's too soft or whatever, but… it does exactly what it says on the tin. Even when I'm singing it, by the time I get to the end, I'm thinking, 'I like this'."

  2. Where was the music video filmed?

    Coldplay - Fix You (Official Video)

    Directed by Sophie Muller, known for her collaboration with the band on their 2002 video 'In My Place', the music video for 'Fix You' was shot during the final moments of two landmark concerts on July 4th and 5th, 2005, at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, marking Coldplay's inaugural stadium performances.

    Audience members became extras for the shoot, which required two takes each day to complete.

    The video's first segment features Chris Martin navigating the streets of London, commencing at Tooley Street beneath London Bridge station, against the backdrop of the slogan 'Make Trade Fair' projected onto the Royal National Theatre.

    The tunnels depicted are situated in and around King's Cross and St Pancras railway stations, coinciding with the redevelopment of the latter. Martin's journey culminates in a sprint across Waterloo Bridge, linking the South Bank with The Strand, as the electric guitar intensifies.

    He swiftly arrives at the Reebok Stadium, joining the band for the song's crescendo, during which the audience passionately sings along. The video concludes with Martin expressing gratitude to the crowd and bidding them goodnight.

    Debuting on August 1, 2005, the video earned a nomination at the 15th annual Music Video Production Association Awards in the Adult Contemporary category. Despite being filmed prior to the tragic events of the 7th of July, 2005 London bombings, it later served as a poignant tribute to the victims.

  3. How did it perform in the charts?

    'Fix You' has achieved significant success in the charts:

    • In the UK Singles Chart, it peaked at number 4 in September 2005 and spent a total of 122 weeks on the chart.
    • In the United States, it reached number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 18 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. The song also charted on the Billboard Pop 100 and Hot Digital Songs.

    In September 2021, 'Fix You' was ranked number 392 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

  4. Where has it appeared in films and TV?

    The OC - 2x23 - Fix You (Coldplay) Scene

    Among its uses in TV and film include:

    • The OC
    • Scrubs
    • Without a Trace
    • Cold Case
    • The Newsroom
    • You, Me & Dupree
    • Abominable
    • Gavin & Stacey

    The National Hockey League (NHL)'s Montreal Canadiens also use the song as the team's official entrance music before home games played at the Bell Centre.

  5. Who has covered it?

    BTS Performs 'Fix You' (Coldplay Cover) | MTV Unplugged Presents: BTS

    There have been many covers of 'Fix You' over the years, including:

    • BTS
    • Yellowcard
    • Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (a mash-up with 'Bridge Over Troubled Water, and was the 2015 Christmas number one)
    • Sam Smith
    • Camilla Cabello
    • Jacob Collier
    • Kacey Musgraves