The Linkin Park Albums
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. 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.
During this time, Linkin Park received many invitations to perform on many high-profile tours and concerts including Ozzfest, Family Values Tour and KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas. The band also formed its own tour, Projekt Revolution, which featured other notable artists such as Cypress Hill, Adema, and Snoop Dogg. Within a year’s stretch, Linkin Park had performed at over 320 concerts. The experiences and performances of the precocious band were documented in its first DVD, Frat Party at the Pankake Festival, which debuted in November 2001. Now reunited with former bassist Phoenix, the band began work on a remix album, dubbed Reanimation, which would include works from Hybrid Theory and non-album tracks also. Reanimation debuted on July 30, 2002, featuring the likes of Black Thought, Jonathan Davis, Aaron Lewis, and many others. Reanimation claimed the second spot on the Billboard 200, and sold nearly 270,000 copies during its debut week. Hybrid Theory is also in the RIAA's Top 100 Albums.
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 No.1 in the US and UK, and No.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. The album's success allowed Linkin Park to form another Projekt Revolution, which featured other bands and artists including Mudvayne, Blindside, and Xzibit. Additionally, Metallica invited Linkin Park to play at the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003, which included well-known acts such as Limp Bizkit, Mudvayne and Deftones. The band released an album and DVD, entitled Live in Texas, which consisted of audio and video tracks of some of the band's performances in Texas during the tour. In early 2004, Linkin Park started a world tour titled the Meteora World Tour. Supporting bands on the tour included Hoobastank, P.O.D., Story of the Year and Pia.
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. Although Meteora was not nearly as successful as Hybrid Theory, it was the third best selling album in the United States during 2003. The band spent the first few months of 2004 touring around the world, first with the third Projekt Revolution tour, and later several European concerts.
Linkin Park returned to the recording studios in 2006 to work on new material. To produce the album, the band chose producer Rick Rubin. Despite initially stating the album would debut sometime in 2006, the album was delayed until 2007. The band had recorded thirty to fifty songs in August 2006, when Shinoda stated the album was halfway completed. Bennington later added that the new album would stray away from its previous nu metal sound. Warner Bros. Records officially announced that the band’s third studio album, entitled Minutes to Midnight, would be released on May 15, 2007 in the United States. After spending fourteen months working on the album, the band members opted to further refine their album by removing five of the original seventeen tracks. The album’s title, a reference to the Doomsday Clock, foreshadowed the band's new lyrical themes. Minutes to Midnight sold over 625,000 copies in its first week, making it one of the most successful debut week albums in recent years. The album also took the top spot on the Billboard Charts.
The album's first single, "What I've Done", was released on April 2, and premiered on MTV and Fuse within the same week. The single was acclaimed by listeners, becoming the top-ranked song on the Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts. The song is also used in soundtrack for the 2007 action film, Transformers. Mike Shinoda was also featured on the Styles of Beyond song "Second to None" which was also included in the film. Later in the year, the band won the "Favorite Alternative Artist" in the American Music Awards. The band also saw success with the rest of the albums singles, "Bleed It Out", "Shadow of the Day", "Given Up", and "Leave Out All the Rest", which were released throughout 2007 and early 2008. The band also collaborated with Busta Rhymes on his single "We Made It", which was released on April 29.
Linkin Park's touring and live shows have, among other things, included a performance at Live Earth Japan on July 7, 2007. and headlining Download Festival in Donington Park, England and Edgefest in Downsview Park, Toronto, Canada. The band completed touring on its fourth Projekt Revolution tour before taking up an Arena tour around the United Kingdom, visiting Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester, before finishing on a double night at the O2 arena in London. Bennington stated that Linkin Park plans to release a follow-up album to Minutes to Midnight. However, he stated the band will first embark on a United States tour to gather inspiration for the album. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bennington said that the band had already begun writing new material for the album, and Shinoda too stated that the album could well be released in late 2009. Mike Shinoda also announced a live CD/DVD entitled Road to Revolution: Live at Milton Keynes, which is a live video recording from the Projekt Revolution gig at the Milton Keynes Bowl on June 29, 2008, which was officially released on November 24, 2008.
In May 2009, Linkin Park announced they were working on a fourth studio album, which was planned to be released on 2010. Shinoda told IGN that the new album would be 'genre-busting,' while building off of elements in Minutes to Midnight. He also mentioned that the album would be more experimental and "hopefully more cutting-edge." Bennington also addressed the media to confirm that Rick Rubin would return to produce the new album. The band later revealed the album would be called A Thousand Suns.
While working on the new album, Linkin Park worked with successful film composer Hans Zimmer to produce the score for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The band released a single for the movie, entitled "New Divide". Joe Hahn created a music video for the song, which featured clips from the film. On June 22, Linkin Park played a short set in Westwood Village after the premier of the movie. After completing work for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the band returned to the studio to finalize their album.
On January 19, 2010, Linkin Park released a new song entitled "Not Alone" as part of a compilation from Music for Relief called Download to Donate for Haiti in support of the Haiti Earthquake crisis. On February 10, 2010, Linkin Park released the official music video for the song on their homepage.
On April 26, the band released an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, a game called 8-Bit Rebellion! It featured the band as playable characters, and a new song called "Blackbirds" which was unlockable by beating the game. The song was also later released as an iTunes bonus track on A Thousand Suns.
A Thousand Suns was released on September 14. The album’s first single, "The Catalyst", was released on August 2. The band promoted their new album by launching a concert tour, which started in Los Angeles on September 7. Linkin Park also relied on MySpace to promote their album, releasing two additional songs, "Waiting for the End" and "Blackout" on September 8. Furthermore, a documentary about the album's production, entitled Meeting of A Thousand Suns, was available for streaming on the band's MySpace page. On August 31, 2010, it was announced that the band would perform the single live for the first time at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010. The venue of the debut live performance of the single was Griffith Observatory, an iconic location used in Hollywood movies. "Waiting for the End" was released as the second single of A Thousand Suns.
Linkin Park reached No.8 in Billboard Social 50, a chart of the most active artists on the world's leading social networking sites. In other Billboard Year-End charts, the band reached No.92 in the "Top Artists" chart, as well as A Thousand Suns reaching No.53 in the Year-End chart of the Billboard Top 200 albums and No.7 in the 2010 Year-End Rock Albums, and "The Catalyst" reaching No.40 in the Year-End Rock Songs chart.
On January 11, 2011, an updated version of Download to Donate for Haiti was launched, called Download to Donate for Haiti V2.0, with more songs to download. For the updated compilation, the band released Keaton Hashimoto's remix of "The Catalyst" from the "Linkin Park featuring YOU" contest. "Burning in the Skies" was released as the third official single of A Thousand Suns on March 21, 2011.
Shinoda designed two t-shirts, in which the proceeds will go to Music For Relief to help the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami disasters. Music For Relief released Download to Donate: Tsunami Relief Japan, another compilation of songs, in which the proceeds will go to Save the Children.
On April 13, 2011, Shinoda confirmed that the album's fourth single will be "Iridescent". He also confirmed that there will be a new, slightly shorter version of the song, which will be part of the soundtrack of the upcoming film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, continuing the streak of Linkin Park songs being the theme songs of the Transformers films (after "What I've Done" and "New Divide"), as well as the fact that a music video will be shot for the single. The video was directed by Joe Hahn, who directed the videos for both of the previous songs.
The band was nominated for six Billboard Awards in 2011 for Top Duo or Group, Best Rock Album for A Thousand Suns, Top Rock Artist, Top Alternative Artist, Top Alternative Song for "Waiting for the End" and Top Alternative Album for A Thousand Suns, but did not win any award.
The band charted in numerous Billboard Year-End charts in 2011. The band was No.39 in the Top Artists Chart, No.84 in the Billboard 200 Artists chart, No.11 in the Social 50 Chart, No.6 in the Top Rock Artists Chart, No.9 in the Rock Songs Artists Chart, No.16 in the Rock Albums Chart, No.4 in the Hard Rock Albums Chart, and No.7 in the Alternative Songs Chart.
In June 2011, Bennington revealed to Kerrang! that Linkin Park has begun working on new material for their next album. He explained, "We've been working on a new record for the past two months. The music is great and we're well ahead of where we're expecting to be. There aren't a whole lot of noises going on, but there are a lot of good songs."
Rick Rubin will be a producer on the new album. "Typically we'll have a once-a-week meeting to go listen to the songs that they're coming up with and talk about them. For so early in the project, they are much further along than they have been on the last two albums we did. On A Thousand Suns there were still a lot of irons in the fire. We knew, 'OK, we can't do this forever. Let's leave this batch and we'll come back and address it when we start up again'", Rubin said.
In July 2011, Bennington told Rolling Stone that Linkin Park aims to produce a new album every eighteen months, and that he would be shocked if a new album did not come out in 2012. The band continues to record and produce new material even while touring. Bennington commented on Linkin Park's schedule, stating, "Touring for two years is excruciating. When we would tour for two years even the most resilient person in the band, at the end of that, was fucking miserable." He further elaborated on their ideas in an interview with MTV saying, "We do have a really great head start. We've got some great music, some good ideas. The creativity has continued to flow for us for the last few years, consistently." He later revealed in another interview in September 2011 that the band was still in the beginning phases of the next album, saying "We just kind of began. We like to keep the creative juices flowing, so we try to keep that going all the time...we like the direction that we're going in."
In an interview featured in the March 21, 2012 issue of Kerrang! magazine, Bennington stated that the band has returned to more 'familiar' territory on their new record, saying "with this [new] album, we've incorporated a lot of guitar work with big choruses and the heavier electronic stuff to give it that really big wall of sound feeling without getting too metal. This will be more familiar to people than 'A Thousand Suns' was, where we were like 'Fuck it, we're just going to go bonkers." Bennington also said that the new album's lyrics would be personal and avoid being political, adding "We've been writing a lot about relationships."
On March 28, 2012, Shinoda confirmed that the band is filming a music video for "Burn It Down", which will be the album's first single to be released for radio-play on April 16. Joe Hahn directed the video. Shinoda spoke to Co.Create about the album's art, saying that it will "blow them [the fans] away...the average person is not going to be able to look at it and go, I understand that that's completely new, like not just the image but the way they made the image is totally new. So there's going to be that."
On April 15, 2012, Shinoda announced via his website that Living Things would be the title of Linkin Park's fifth album, with the pre-release sale to start on the April 16. Mike Shinoda stated that they chose the title Living Things because the album is more about people, personal interactions, and it's far more personal than their previous albums.