A much anticipated fly on the wall TV programme about the life and works of Coldplay has had to be controversially shelved, after it became impossible to distinguish the short soundbites of music that fade in and out to provide gravitas and meaning to key moments in a documentary from the actual greatest hits of the band.
‘We had a nice 2 hour documentary, covering the early years, the big stadium tours, the move to ‘art rock” noted producer Phil Jones. ‘The problem was when we handed it over to the editing team. Layering any sad moment, tough decision or resolution of a problem with a 30 second piece of Coldplay music has become the default in documentary making over the last fifteen years.’
‘We had a segment with Chris Martin struggling to complete the complex lyrics and melody in ‘Clocks’ and the music the editors placed over the top was Clocks,’ sighed Jones. ‘Footage of Jonny Buckland being wearily optimistic with the other members of the band about needing to add an extra track to A Rush of Blood to the Head: they suggested 30 seconds of ‘In My Place’ in the background. The band’s drum kit falling over and needing to be Fixed Up…well you can guess the rest.’
‘Segment music self-circularity is sadly increasingly common in pop’, noted musicologist Peter McVeigh. ‘For example, it is a little known fact that Keane have tried to split up a number of times due to falling royalties, only to be propped back up by the increased royalties from the segments of their ‘Everybody’s Changing’ anthem that are inevitably played in montages where they announce they are splitting up.’
‘Producers need to find ways to reduce the opportunities for music editors to gratuitously insert segments of Coldplay music into their documentaries’, noted McVeigh. ‘To be honest though, that really is The Hardest Part. My advice is Don’t Panic. And if you aren’t happy with the results, you really need to go back to Square One.’
Posted: Aug 30th, 2021 by chrisf