Linkin Park

  • Alt rock/Rap rock band formed in 1996 from Agoura Hills California. Members during their successful years were Chester Bennington (lead vocals, died in 2017 by suicide), Mike Shinoda (vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Brad Delson (guitar, backing vocals), Dave Farrell (bass guitar, backing vocals), Joe Hahn (turntables, keyboards, backing vocals), and Rob Bourdon (drums).
  • Shinoda, Delson and Bourdon were high school friends. After graduating, they wanted to take music more seriously. Their band was named Xero, and they recruited Farrell, Hahn and vocalist Mark Wakefield to perform with them in 1996. They recorded a demo tape in Shinoda’s makeshift studio in his basement, but they couldn’t generate interest from record companies. Wakefield subsequently left to find other projects, as did Farrell (who rejoined the band in 2001). Needing a vocalist, in 1999 they recruited Chester Bennington, formerly from a grunge band named Grey Daze. They changed the name of the band to Hybrid Theory, and then again to Linkin Park. They originally preferred Lincoln Park, but the internet name was taken, so they changed it to Linkin and established their website linkinpark.com.
  • By 1999, they finally signed a record deal, and their debut album Hybrid Theory was released in 2000. It was one of the most successful debut albums in music history – worldwide sales have exceed 30 million copies, and U.S. sales are certified at over 11 million. The huge single from the album was In the End, which hit #1 on the Alternate Songs chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song Crawling won a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
  • They toured heavily to support the album. Over a year period, they played over 320 concerts.
  • Their next release was a remix album in 2002. Named Reanimation, the songs were new versions of the songs that were on the Hybrid Theory album. It has sold nearly 2 million copies, and is the third largest selling remix album of all time (behind albums from Michael Jackson and Madonna).
  • In 2003, their second studio album was released – Meteora. It was another huge hit, with 7 millions albums sold in the U.S. Four singles hit #1 on the Alternative Songs chart – Somewhere I Belong, Faint, Numb and Breaking the Habit. 
  • After several years of working on side projects and collaborations with other artists (most notably, work with Jay-Z on an EP called Collision Course, which included a single titled Numb/Encore, a Grammy award winning mash-up of the songs Numb by Linkin Park and Encore by Jay-Z), the band released their third studio album, Minutes to Midnight, in 2007. It continued the band’s run of success – it was a #1 album in the U.S., Australia and every country in Europe, selling over 4 million copies in the U.S. The biggest hit was What I’ve Done, which sold over 5 million copies as a single.
  • From 2010 to 2017, 4 more studio albums were released. Sales were not as large as the previous records, though 2 have sold over 1 million albums in the U.S. These albums show somewhat of a change from the style of their earlier work – less of a heavy metal sound, more electronic elements, but still with a rap rock sound. Three singles reached #1 on the Alternative Songs chart – The Catalyst, Waiting for the End, and Burn It Down.
  • A tribute concert to honor Bennington occurred on October 27, 2017, at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. It was the band’s first performance since Bennington’s death in July.
  • Whatever becomes of the band, it will be different than what it was. They are still on hiatus since Bennington’s death. Bennington was a fabulous vocalist, and in tandem with Shinoda’s rapping, the sound of Linkin Park was distinctive – when you hear them, you immediately know it is their song. Listen to his wonderful vocal in their hit Numb. Suicide sucks! See my July 30 “Gone Too Soon” post on the death of Chester Bennington.

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