"Paradise" is a song released by the British alternative rock band Coldplay, the second single off their fifth studio album, Mylo Xyloto. The song was released in the United Kingdom on September 12, 2011, as a free track for pre-purchasing Mylo Xyloto.
Music video plot
The video is presented in the format of a nature documentary. After titles, it shows an elephant fursuiter stuck in a cage at a zoo. Initial shots show he is missing three friends, and has been imprisoned for 50 days. He breaks the lock and escapes, chased by two police constables (really two children in police costumes) before commandeering a bicycle. He rides to a London Underground station when the first verse starts. He manages to board an underground train, and eventually makes his way to London Heathrow Airport, where he stows away in a trunk on a jet. During the interlude for the first verse, he lands in Cape Town, South Africa, where he breaks out of the trunk and makes a run for it.
In Cape Town, the elephant engages in street performing to beg for money, switching between dancing and showing the lyrics to the song on cardboard placards, similar to Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" or INXS's "Mediate". Eventually, he gets enough money to make it to Johannesburg. There, he finds a bike shop, and plunks down the money he has left, hoping to purchase a bicycle. The shopkeeper only agrees to part ways with a unicycle for that price.
During the first chorus, the elephant is shown riding the unicycle on country roads. At various points, he tries unsuccessfully to hitch rides. Near the end of the first chorus, the fursuiter takes off his suit head, revealing it to be Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin. As the day ends, he goes off-road and hikes through the veld. Eventually, he finds his friends, who turn out to be his bandmates, and they perform together. During the interlude in the final chorus, a daydream is shown of them performing a sold-out concert. At the end of the music video, they are shown running across the veld together as a herd.
Coldplay initially announced that the single's music video would be directed by Hype Williams but that version was scrapped after shooting and the band decided instead to record a new version directed by long-time collaborator Mat Whitecross. The band called Whitecross just a day before the shooting and the video's concept was finished just hours before the director traveled from London to South Africa. The band's frontman Chris Martin created the video's concept storyline. The unicycle and elephants suits had to be found in a hurry. The suits had to be as lo-fi and spontaneous as possible; in fact, the suit worn by the bassist, Guy Berryman, doesn't even have footpaws. The video was released on 19 October 2011.
The music video was shot on location in London, Cape Town, the Klein Karoo in the Western Cape and Johannesburg. The bike shop shown is Woodstock Cycleworks in Woodstock, Cape Town. The concert segment was filmed at the end of a live show at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, on 8 October 2011. After performing this song live, the band donned their elephant heads and gloves, wearing them as partial fursuits, and pretended to perform as the last minute of the studio recording played. The concertgoers were encouraged to cheer as if they were really performing. While preparing for the shoot, Chris told the waiting crowd, "When you're not as attractive as Beyoncé, you have to do what you can for videos."
As of May 2012, the video has over 115,000,000 views on Youtube.
- "Paradise" music video on YouTube.