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During an interview, Chris Martin revealed how George Harrison‘s “Isn’t It a Pity?” inspired Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” Martin discussed how he created “The Scientist” because he felt Coldplay’s album A Rush of Blood to the Head was missing something. Subsequently, Martin said he thinks the song is “awful” when he hears it on the radio even though he doesn’t completely dislike it.

Chris Martin of Coldplay with a microphone
Chris Martin of Coldplay | Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

What happened when Chris Martin tried to play George Harrison’s ‘Isn’t It a Pity?’

During a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone, Martin revealed the origin of “The Scientist.” “On the second album I was thinking there was something missing,” he recalled. “I was in this really dark room in Liverpool, and there was a piano so old and out of tune.”

Martin decided to play “Isn’t It a Pity?” “I really wanted to try and work out the George Harrison song ‘Isn’t It a Pity,’ but I couldn’t,” Martin admitted. “Then this song came out at once. I said, ‘Can you turn on the recorder?’ The first time I sung it is what’s out there.”

Chris Martin doesn’t enjoy hearing Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’ but he enjoys playing it

During a 2021 interview with Apple Music, Martin said he doesn’t like listening to his songs but he enjoys playing them. “It’s the same as when you hear your voice on an answering machine,” he explained. “I always love playing and singing the songs that we’ve released.”

Martin said something similar about “The Scientist.” “First off, we have a song called ‘The Scientist,'” he said. “When we first did that, I thought it was amazing, the recording. But now if I hear it, I just feel like, ‘Oh, this is awful.’ But then if we’re playing the song … we were just rehearsing last week … Oh, I love … it’s so nice to get into the song.”


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The way the world reacted to George Harrison’s ‘Isn’t It a Pity?’ and Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’

“Isn’t It a Pity? became a huge hit in the United States. George released “Isn’t It a Pity?” and “My Sweet Lord” as a double A-side single. The single reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks. The songs’ parent album, All Things Must Pass, was a juggernaut. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the chart for 41 weeks.

“The Scientist” became a hit as well. “The Scientist” reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 18 weeks. Meanwhile, A Rush of Blood to the Head hit No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 108 weeks. “The Scientist” is one of Coldplay’s most famous ballads and it might not exist without one of George’s most famous ballads.