"Death and All His Friends" is a song by English alternative rock band Coldplay. It was written by all members of the band for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. The song begins with Chris Martin singing softly to a piano accompaniment before morphing into an uplifting arrangement featuring drums, piano, chiming guitars, and choir recorded in an art gallery in Barcelona. A hidden song featured on the album, entitled "The Escapist", shares this track with "Death and All His Friends", bringing the length of the track up to over six minutes.
The "quiet half" of the song was originally a separate song altogether named "School". "School" was originally intended to be an introduction to another Coldplay song entitled "Rainy Day" that was later featured on the Prospekt's March EP. However, "School" was eventually re-worked into the current state of the "Death and All His Friends".
Singer Chris Martin also revealed in a interview for MTV that the name of the song was supposed to be the theme of the album, he said: "We're aware of all the bad stuff in life, you know , but that doesn't mean you should ever give in to it, you know? So we all sing that bit together really loudly, as kind of a message to ourselves: never giving up and never focusing on the bad stuff too much."
While the band was working on the song, producer Brian Eno was the most obsessed with finishing it, even creating the line "I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge".
The song was recorded in several different places around the world such as Barcelona, London and New York City, taking several months for it to be finalized.
A live version of "Death and All His Friends" was featured on the band's 2009 live album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft.