10 oracle items tagged as cover
February 9, 2015 / submitted by Nacho, Spain
Q.  Hi, Oracle!
I have a question to ask you. It's about the music industry and the covers. If a group decide to cover a Coldplay song to record it on an album and ask the record company for permission to do it, is the group informed about that or is the record company staff who manage it? Could the group (Coldplay in this case) even ban the version if they didn't like it?
Thank you!

The band don't need to be consulted or even told; anyone can cover a song once its recorded as long they pay the songwriters royalties.
This also means that no, an artist can't ban a cover version if they don't like it.
They could however reject a request to sample any original parts of their songs in a new reworking.

September 24, 2014 / submitted by Jacob, United States of America
Q.  Do you know if any members of the band have an opinion on Frank Ocean's cover of Strawberry Swing? Thanks!

I can't give you a direct quote on that specific cover but I can assume they like it because they invited Frank to open for their European shows on the MX tour in 2012. Sadly, he had to cancel.

September 18, 2014 / submitted by Jackson, United States of America
Q.  Hello, mighty Oracle. I have a question regarding Spanish Rain/Don Quixote. If one were to record a cover of the song and release it, where would they have to get permission from? The song was never released officially, and was only performed live. Would someone still have to go through the record companies, or through Coldplay directly? I really would like an answer. Thank you for your time.

Just as a general note, when a song has not been recorded or released, a band can refuse to allow its release by another artist.
As Don Quixote / Spanish Rain was performed live, it's a registered song so you would still have to go through the same channels.
Universal Publishing own the publishing rights to all Coldplay's material.

August 12, 2014 / submitted by Danielle, United States of America
Q.  Hi Oracle!
I was in a restaurant the other day and I heard a song that sounded a lot like God Put a Smile Upon Your Face, so out of curiosity, I used SoundHound and found out Mark Ronson did his own version. I really liked it... How/Why was this version created and what does the band think of it??

It's funny you used the word version because Mark Ronson's album that GPASUYF feature on is called Version and comprised cover versions of contemporary songs.
No permission needed so no band involvement. I don't know what the band think of this version but I'm a fan of it and of Mark's work.
He won the Best British Male Brit Award back in 2008 which was rather unusual in that he's a great producer, rather than a solo artist.

September 10, 2013 / submitted by Patrick, United States of America
Q.  Dear Oracle,

I have a question about two of Coldplay's album covers. For A Rush of Blood, I either see the cover with the band and title written sideways or I see it without any writing at all. For Mylo Xyloto, sometimes it is shown with MX on a plain gray background or I see the one with the colorful background with Mylo Xyloto written out. Wouldn't it be better marketing to have one, universal cover for an album, such as with Parachutes or X&Y?

Thanks for your time!

As far as I know, there is only 1 official sleeve per album. Sometimes there may be a slight difference for limited editions, tour editions etc.
The Mylo album did have a choice of 2 covers from the 1 booklet. You could pick which image you wanted on show by reversing it.

June 17, 2013 / submitted by Lucas, United States of America
Q.  Hey Oracle,
This may seem like a random question, but I hope you can answer it.
You've talked before about making covers of songs (specifically Coldplay songs) But what are the rules when it comes to covering/performing or even recording an unreleased song?

For example, I'm a huge fan of a song called Until the Water Flows Over (I suppose it's also known as Solid Ground) that was never released (why it wasn't, I don't think I'll ever understand). It was played live once, I believe. And the instrumental leaked online some time ago.
With what we have of the song, could I be able to cover/perform or record a variation of this song without any problems? If not, what could I do about it?

Thanks Oracle!

Rules for cover versions aren't the exact same in every territory but generally speaking you can cover anything but you can't record a song that hasn't been recorded by the originators.

Playing it live is also tricky because unreleased songs aren't registered and therefore royalties and monies earned from live performance wouldn't reach the writers.

A song in existence whether recorded or not is still copyrighted to the publisher/label/artist...

November 3, 2009 / submitted by Ben, United States of America
Q.  Hey-lo Oracle person,
If I cover a Coldplay song and it is slightly successful, would I have to pay royalties on said song? How would I go about that? Or does Coldplay not even care?

Gosh, I admire your self-belief and confidence and maybe it's a good thing to consider such things but you may be a little ahead of yourself here Ben.
Anyone can do a straight cover of another's song; it's when you sample sections of a song it becomes a more complicated legal issue.
There are mechanical licenses available for such purposes too but I would strongly suggest you get legal representation (assuming you haven't got a manager/label etc.) if you intend to release a cover.
The fact that you did not write the song means that you would not get any money from the publishing income generated. Coldplay are signed to a publishing company who would collect those royalties.
There is a long process to go through before then though. For instance you'd have to record it, get some kind of release, receive some kind of promotion/radio play and then sell it and hope people buy it...

April 6, 2009 / submitted by Tom, United Kingdom
Q.  Hallo Oracle man/woman/thing,

How are you? (rhetorical!)

You see, I have a slight fascination with your album covers, and so I was wondering about a couple of things...

- Where was the picture of the band on the back cover of Parachutes taken?

- What is the meaning of the code/symbols used for all the X&Y album/single covers, and is it true (as I hear) that on the X&Y album cover there is a (deliberate?) mistake?

The photos for Parachutes were taken in Blackpool by Tom Sheehan on Saturday 6th May 2000, the day after the band supported Embrace at Tower Ballroom.

Pretty sure I've mentioned it before but the X&Y sleeve is based on the Baudot code and there's no (deliberate) mistake that I know of.

April 3, 2009 / submitted by Jean Baptiste, France
Q.  Dear Oracle. I recently bought the Blue room EP and I was wondering : "to who belongs the hand on the cover ?" Chris? Will? Guy? Jonny?

The design company chose that shot and it isn't actually a photograph of anyone in the band.

October 24, 2008 / submitted by Hector, United States of America
Q.  Who came up with the album cover of Coldplays 2nd album, A Rush of Blood to the Head? It's amazing.

The cover is the creation of Norwegian artist Solve Sundsbo.