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Linkin Park - The Story So Far!
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory.
Its following studio album, Meteora, continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200 album chart in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work around the world.
In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth greatest band of the music video era and the third best of the new millennium behind Oasis and Coldplay.
Having adapted the nu metal and rap metal genres to a radio-friendly yet densely layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band explored other genres in their next studio album.
Minutes to Midnight, which was released in 2007. The album topped the Billboard charts and had the third best debut week of any album that year.
The band has collaborated with several other artists, most notably with rapper Jay-Z in their mashup EP Collision Course, and many others included on Reanimation.
Linkin Park has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and has won two Grammy Awards.
The band's most recent studio album, A Thousand Suns, was released on September 8, 2010.
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That Defines Us! - Linkin Park Logo
We began at 'Xero'
The Beginning As A High School Band
Originally consisting of three high school friends, Linkin Park's foundation was anchored by Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, and Rob Bourdon. After graduating from high school, the California natives began to take their musical interests more seriously, recruiting Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell, and Mark Wakefield to perform in their band, Xero.
Though limited in resources, the band began recording and producing songs within Shinoda's make-shift bedroom studio in 1996. Tensions and frustration within the band grew after they failed to land a record deal. The lack of success and stalemate in progress prompted Wakefield, at that time the band's vocalist, to leave the band in search of other projects. Farrell also left to tour with Tasty Snax and other bands.
And We All Came Together! - Formation Of The Real Linkin Park
After spending a considerable time searching for Wakefield's replacement, Xero recruited Arizona vocalist Chester Bennington. Bennington, formerly of Grey Daze, became a standout among applicants because of his unique singing style.
The band changed its name from Xero to Hybrid Theory. The newborn vocal chemistry between Shinoda and Bennington helped revive the band, inciting them to work on new material.
The band's renaissance culminated with a change in name; from Hybrid Theory, the band once again changed its name, this time to Linkin Park, a play on and homage to Santa Monica's Lincoln Park.
However, despite these changes, the band still struggled to sign a record deal. After failing to catch Warner Bros. Records on three previous reviews, Jeff Blue, now the vice president of Warner Bros. Records, helped the band sign a deal with the company in 1999.
The band released its breakthrough album, Hybrid Theory, the following year.
Hybrid Theory - Sweet Success! - Sold More Than 4.8 Million Copies In Its Debut
Linkin Park released Hybrid Theory on October 24, 2000.
The album, which represented half a decade's worth of the band's work, was edited by Don Gilmore.
Hybrid Theory was a massive commercial success; it sold more than 4.8 million copies during its debut year, earning it the status of best-selling album of 2001, while singles such as "Crawling" and "One Step Closer" established themselves as staples among alternative rock radio play lists during the year.
Additionally, other singles from the album were featured in films such as Dracula 2000, Little Nicky, and Valentine.
Picture Perfect at Grammy's
Won a Grammy Award for "Crawling"
Best Hard Rock Performance
Hybrid Theory won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song "Crawling" and was nominated for two other Grammy Awards: Best New Artist and Best Rock Album.
MTV awarded the band their Best Rock Video and Best Direction awards for "In the End".
Through the winning of the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, Hybrid Theory's overall success had catapulted the band into mainstream success.
Crawling (3:38) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music Video
It is the fifth track from their debut album Hybrid Theory. It was released in 2001 as Linkin Park's second single and won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2002.
The song portrays lead singer Chester Bennington's battle with depersonalization disorder, an anxiety based disorder in which the "fight or flight" response in the brain is turned on for an extended period of time (days, months, years), making the sufferer feel unreal and disconnected from others, almost like living in a dream.
We find support for this within the song, as people with depersonalization disorder often fear the condition as never ending, referenced in the line "This lack of self control I fear is never ending", and have trouble viewing themselves in the mirror, much like the lyrics in the song describe. In addition, the line "fear is how I fall," further points toward depersonalization disorder, as people who suffer the condition are still sane, and fear the condition itself, in turn prolonging it and making it habitual.
Bennington suffered many years of child abuse in his teen years, as figuratively described in the song.
One Step Closer (2:57) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music Video
It was released as the first single and second track of their debut album, Hybrid Theory. This song is also featured in the game Rock Band 2.
The video starts out with a group of teenage friends hanging out around a dark alley. Two of them (male played by local LA artist Tony Acosta who goes by the moniker "TonyMech") follow a strange man wearing a black hooded robe into a door which leads them to a dark misty room where the band is playing. Strange figures are around doing martial-arts moves. Midway through the song, they knock over a box, drawing the attention of the monk-like martial arts guys, causing them to flee the tunnel. Eventually the strange man appears at the end of the video.
While Chester screams the 'Shut up when I'm talking to you!' bridge, he is also upside-down as if gravity is inverted for him.
Papercut (3:13) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music Video
"Papercut" is a song about an individual who always looks out for himself, and is haunted by paranoia.
Chester Bennington has stated that "Papercut" is his favorite song from Hybrid Theory. In live performances, the line "something in here's not right today" is changed to "something inside's not right today". Also, Chester screams parts of the verses during live performances. It was also included in the soundtrack of 2001 film The One.
The music video shows the band in a seemingly haunted house. They are playing the song in a room with little light with a rather spooky picture sampled from the cover artwork of the Xero demo tape. This was painted by Mike Shinoda the night before the video was shot. To their right of their room is a dark kitchen that sports a bound and writhing figure (likely the paranoid individual referenced in the song); to the left of their room is what appears to be a laboratory with a strange creature inside. It moves extremely fast and in an erratic manner.
Later in the song, the creature releases dragonflies (probably referring to the wings of a Hybrid Theory Soldier), while the baby picture and regions of the left wall bulge. Rob Bourdon's eyes appear melted as well (using special effects). Also, there is a statue of a bird which spins its head all the way around, and at one point, Mike's fingers stretch. There are parts of the song during which Mike is out of sync with the music, and at one point not even moving his mouth while he is speaking (whether or not this is intentional is unknown). In the video, the only member of the band to take notice of the strange goings-on is the drummer, Rob Bourdon (probably because he's the only one not playing an instrument).
The lyrics of the song appear scribbled along the walls in the dark rooms. Even though the song features heavy distorted electric guitars, both the guitarist Brad Delson and the bassist Dave Farrell play acoustic guitars in the video. The effects and imagery of the music video, brings to the audience a sense of irritation and certain paranoia, which is what the song is about. At some point in the middle of the video, around 2:03, a strange blue figure runs past the band. Also note that at the end after the screen flashes black once, the band is gone, but their instruments are left where the band members were.
In The End (3:37) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music Video
The song was released as the fourth single from their debut album Hybrid Theory.
"In the End" is one of Linkin Park's most popular and successful songs, reaching the top ten multiple times and reaching as high as #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The portions where Mike Shinoda raps first take place in a wasteland with thorny vines sprouting out of the ground, surrounding him and shattering into dust (first verse) and then grass and plants sprouting up around him (second verse). During the time Mike raps his verses, Chester stands atop a platform with gargoyles on the edges. This platform is in front of a door in the shape of a trapezoid. Near the end of the video, the skies turn dark and it begins to rain, and the band performs in the downpour until the end of the song, where the rain stops and the camera pans away from the tower, showing the wasteland where Shinoda had rapped in is now a lush Greenland. During the rain the statues on the tower begin to move.
A strange-looking whale can be seen flying around the large statue during most of the video, specifically at the end of the video. The whale in the video was Joe Hahn's idea. He has been quoted as saying, "It's not like I pulled it out of my ass; it made sense to me." The reasoning behind its inclusion is still unknown. The whale could be identified as a "space whale" which takes the concept that life (or time) is too short for one to absorb all its mass surroundings.
With You (3:13) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music video
Points Of Authority (3:37) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music Video
Runaway (3:06) - Hybrid Theory - Song Track
By Myself (3:11) - Hybrid Theory - Song Track
Place For My Head (3:06) - Hybrid Theory - Song Track
Forgotten (3:18) - Hybrid Theory - Song Track
Cure For the Itch (2:37) - Hybrid Theory - Song Track
Pushing Me Away (3:23) - Hybrid Theory - Watch Music Video
Buy Reanimation - Hybrid Theory - Bonus Remix Album
This is not just another remix album. All the songs of Hybrid Theory have been reinterpreted, plus 'High Voltage' and 'My December.' Just a few of the remixers/featured artists (since the list is so long) include Jay Gordon (Orgy), Evidence (Dilated Peoples), Aaron Lewis (Staind), Chali 2Na (Jurassic 5) & Black Thought (the Roots). Digipak. 2002.
Meteora - Music Album - Linkin Park
Following the success of Hybrid Theory and Reanimation, Linkin Park spent a significant amount of time touring around the United States. The band members began to work on new material amidst its saturated schedule, spending a sliver of their free time in their tour bus' studio. The band officially announced the production of a new studio album in December 2002, revealing its new work was inspired by the rocky region of Meteora in Greece, where numerous monasteries have been built on top of the rocks.
Meteora features a mixture of the band's previous nu metal and rapcore styles with newer innovative effects, including the induction of a shakuhachi (a Japanese flute made of bamboo) and other instruments. Linkin Park's second album debuted on March 25, 2003 and instantly earned worldwide recognition, going to #1 in the US and UK, and #2 in Australia.
Meteora sold more than 800,000 copies during its first week, and it ranked as the best selling album on the Billboard charts at the time. The album's singles, including "Somewhere I Belong", "Breaking the Habit", "Faint", and "Numb", received significant radio attention. By October 2003, Meteora sold nearly three million copies.
Meteora earned the band multiple awards and honors. The band won the MTV awards for Best Rock Video for "Somewhere I Belong" and the Viewer's Choice Award for "Breaking the Habit". Linkin Park also received significant recognition during the 2004 Radio Music Awards, winning the Artist of the Year and Song of the Year ("Numb") awards.
Don't Stay (3:21) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
Somewhere I Belong (3:45) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
"Somewhere I Belong" was released as the first single from their second studio album Meteora and entered the top ten on the majority of the charts on which it appeared.
The video presents the band playing the song in front of a fire, with occasional shots of Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda in front of a waterfall with what appears to be monks around them. The doors in what is supposedly Bennington's room has the Chinese characters for fire and water, which possibly represent the waterfall and burning fire behind Shinoda while rapping. Near the ending of the video, tall, long-legged, tusked creatures that were on a painting behind Chester's bed march past, even at one point the creature paintings seemed to move before stopping again.
It was awarded as Best Rock Video at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, and was the first music video broadcast on Fuse TV.
Lying From You (3:04) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
Hit the Floor (2:45) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
Easier To Run (3:25) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
Faint (2:45) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
Almost the entire video is shot from behind the band, allowing the strong lighting to portray them in silhouettes. Therefore, the faces of the band are not shown throughout most of the video, except at the final chorus where the band is then shown from the front. They perform in front of a derelict building structure with graffiti, such as a monstrous version of the Hybrid Theory Soldier and some Linkin Park symbols.
Figure.09 (3:18) - Meteora - Watch Music Video
Breaking The Habit (3:19) - Meteora
The music video for "Breaking the Habit" uses an anime-stylization which was supervised by Kazuto Nakazawa, who had previously directed the animated segment of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 among other things. The video was shot of the band performing the song and was later rotoscoped. The video has gone on to be a favorite amongst MTV viewers, going as far as winning the 2004 MTV VMA Viewer's Choice Award.
From The Inside (2:59) - Meteora
The song is one of Linkin Park's heavier songs and is written in a 6/8 time signature. It progresses from a more melodic-stylization at the song's beginning, but then grows more intense towards the end.
The music video takes place during a riot. In the middle of the riot are Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington, and are shown singing during their respective parts. The rest of the band appear playing their instruments in the center of the town where the riot is taking place each time the chorus returns. The video is centred around a child (Jamie Bennington, Chester's son) who is abandoned by his guardian during the chaos. The child wanders around in the midst of the riot. Towards the climax the child screams, which knocks down the entire crowd and therefore stops the riot and all the rubble starts rising and eventually falls when the child runs out of breath. Near the end of the video, the child looks at the destruction, smiles, then screams again.
Nobody's Listening (2:56) - Meteora
Session (2:25) - Meteora
Numb (3:06) - Meteora
The video follows the domestic and social problems faced during a day in the life of an unpopular outcast young female student.
The girl apparently spends much of her time drawing pictures (a reference to the song "Drawing," which was a demo for the song "Breaking The Habit," another song on the album), revealing that she probably has dreams of becoming an artist. She is largely shunned and ridiculed at school, considering that when she is told off by the teacher for drawing in class everybody laughs at her and teases her, when she trips on the stairs nobody stops to help her up, and that when she tries to join a group of girls at a lunch table they immediately get up and leave.
Also, there is a scene where her mother is ridiculing her for not being the daughter she wanted. There are also self-inflicted cut marks on her arms, which actually say "NUMB" - the title of the song. In the end of the video, she is shown sitting in her room, as she ties up her hair with a paintbrush, and throws paint at a canvas in anger.
At the end, she runs into the church that the band was playing in, almost as if she heard them.
Minutes to Midnight - Music Album - Linkin Park
In an interview, lead singer Chester Bennington explained that the album is "a mix of punk, classic rock, and hip-hop standards" and that "Rick has brought more of a stripped down, classic-rock and hip-hop kind of feel."
In another interview, Bennington stated: "This time around, Mike Shinoda is singing a lot more. It may seem like he's not on the record, but he's doing a lot of the harmonies. He also sings a couple of songs alone. We're presenting ourselves in a different way."
Wake (1:41) - Minutes to Midnight
Given Up (3:12) - Minutes to Midnight
On Chester Bennington's official blog, he stated when the video was being shot and that it features live performance from the band.
The video consists of live clips from various shows and has been edited together in a sharp, rugged manner which contains short cut scenes with many special effects mainly altering the coloring. Transitions between cut scenes are in a style of warn analog tape distortion giving the video an even more rugged, tough appearance. Bennington performs his seventeen-second scream perched on the guard rail, inches from the audience.
Leave Out All the Rest (3:27) - Minutes to Midnight
In a Kerrang! review/interview of the band, and the album, vocalist Chester Bennington had this to say about the song, "We knew this was going to be a single from the very beginning, so we worked really hard on making sure it had great lyrics. I'm singing 'Pretending someone else can come and save me from myself' during it because it's supposed to feel like an apology letter, as though I'm moving on but I want people to remember the good things and not the bad things. A lot of the song is about humility."
The video takes place in a futuristic, sci-fi influenced setting, and depicts what the daily life of the band's members would be like if they lived in outer space. The band lives in a rundown, artificial habitat that's making its way across the galaxy. At first, they are seen passing the time performing mundane tasks, but then gravity is lost onboard the vessel, sending the members floating into what looks like the sun or a star.