"Lost!" is a song by the English alternative rock band Coldplay. The band co-produced it with Brian Eno and Markus Dravs for their fourth album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.
According to drummer Will Champion in a fan mailout, "Lost!" had been developed long before they began recording tracks for Coldplay's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and was not getting completed. The track was created from scratch: "I was starting to get into using a particular drum programming programme. I was messing around with that and I built this beat up from scratch. ... Then Chris overheard it and played 'Lost!' over the top of it."
"Lost!" was one of the earliest songs the band worked on for the album. Coldplay revealed that "Sing", a track off English alternative rock band Blur's 1991 debut album Leisure, was a source of inspiration in having provided a starting point for writing "Lost!". While in Detroit, Michigan, for a concert tour, the band was listening to "Sing" in their dressing room. Once they went on stage for a soundcheck, they thought of writing a song based from it. According to guitarist Jonny Buckland, "We recorded some of it in a church up the road that's now a studio. In a huge room with a piano and organ going at the same time." In an interview with The Sun, Martin said, "The line in this song 'Just because I'm losing doesn't mean I'm lost' is what the whole record came out of because we were feeling down at the end of the last tour. That line arrived and it was, 'OK, that's how we kinda feel. We know we can improve." The ensuing track evolved in different versions.
The song's musicscape features a church organ riff, tribal drum-circle groove, and minimal handclaps. Towards the end of the track, it builds into a "rhythmically soaring, Edge-like" guitar solo. Coldplay's use of "exotic" instruments for majority of tracks in the album, including "Lost!", was a result of a goal in wanting to present their songs differently, something "which have never been heard" in previous releases. In a review Alex Denney of The Guardian, he described the music of "Lost!" as "tabla-assisted gospel-hop". Kitty Empire of The Guardian wrote in a review that "Lost!", "a great organ-driven tune, alive with handclaps and foot-stomps", is the most obvious homage to Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire among other tracks off the album.
According to Chris Willman of Entertainment Weekly magazine, the lyrics to "Lost!" are "a lament about spiritual bereftness". Rolling Stone magazine's Will Hermes interpreted the lyrics as about "holding on against the odds that has the breathtaking loft" of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", a song off Irish band U2's 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The chorus to the lyrics is noted by Ian Youngs of BBC "a typical Chris Martin chorus that mixes insecurity with determination".
Several official versions of the song exist, including vocalist Chris Martin's separate recording with a piano accompaniment, and a version that features American rapper Jay-Z.
The song was released on 10 November 2008 as the third official single (fourth overall) off the album to generally positive critical reviews. A live version was released via iTunes following a performance of the band and Jay-Z at the 2009 Grammy Awards, spurring high digital sales and giving "Lost!" a new peak at number 40 in the United States. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at number 54 due to no physical release.
The accompanying music video to the single features a live performance of the band in the United States. Coldplay launched a contest through their website, in which fans submitted self-made music videos. The winning entries were posted on the band's website.