Linkin Park is a band, founded 1996 in Los Angeles (California/USA). If you had to bring them together with a style it would be Nu Metal or something similar but, Linkin Park has really made a big change in their music. See #2: Style
History and Evolution
From Xero to Hero
Mike Shinoda (guitar, keyboard & vocals) and Brad Delson (guitar) knew eachother since Highschool. The idea to found a band came by visiting a concert of the Metal-band Anthrax together with the hip-hop crew Public Enemy. So they took Rob Bourdon (drums), David Farell (bass). Because they needed an leadshouter, Mark Wakefield joined, but after having recorded a demo he left and today's leadshouter Chester Bennington came in. Inmediately after joining Bennington canceled his job and moved from Arizona to California – together with his wife. Having all members together the band was founded with the name „Xero“. In 1998 they changed it's name in „Hybrid Theory“.
The Beginning of the great success
But because there was already another band with the same name they changed their name in „Linkin Park“. The name came from the „Lincoln Park“ in Sancta Monica and they changed it to linkin park, because they wanted to have a .com homepage for their band and „lincolnpark“ hasn't been free anymore.Additonally in their region Lincoln is spoken out like Linkin so it wasn't a big deal. This name had still an advantage: As there were a lot of „Lincoln Park“s in America they were taken for an local newcomerband whereever they played and activated attraction easyly. Their first album called „Hybrid Theory“ as a tribute to their old bandname and the from the album taken single „One Step Closer“ became a great success. It was played by all important american radio stations up and down and was the title melody to the german movie „Das Experiment“. The album was that popular that it became golden (100.000 sold copies) after three weeks and made it directly into the top 20 Billboard Charts. After that they toured as supporting act for „Deftones“ and could convince even in front of big audiences. In the summer '01 their new single „Crawling“ made it to the head of the european charts and as a result they had their first headliner-tour through europe.
Problems - fast end?
Caused by their success they are wanted to play on the big german music festivals but unfortunatally Chester Bennington gets kind of an illness that prevents him from singing and so the gigs have to be canceled. After an operation Bennington is „ready to rumble“ again and they completed big tours through the world.
Back after trubles with new style
2003 they came up with the new album „Meteora“ that the critics didn't like very much, but nevertheless it became an big (commercial) success. After a long artistic break with only one live album („Live in Texas“), an album of remixes with the rapper Jay-Z (Collision Course) and some singles, at the 11. Mai 2007 their new Album called „Minutes to Midnight“ popps out and they present it at „Rock am Ring“ and „Rock im Park“ (together with „Southside“ the two biggest german rock-festivals with around ~77.000 visitors each) in Germany. They also played at the „Life-Earth“ Concert in Japan in 2007 and on 15. June 2008 they'll play on the biggest Open-Air festival in swizerland (Openair Greenfield).
Their music is a connection between Rap music and metal. They said in interviews that it was their stated aim to bring rap together with metal. Meaning to make people who like rap music getting interested in metal and vice versa. The music that resulted in Linkin Park isn't really surprising if you are aware of the musical influences the individual band members name: Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, The roots, Aphex Twin and Depeche Mode. In their songs, slow parts alternate with more heavy parts and the vocals changes from rapping over singing to shouting - sometimes all in one song.
Linkin Park puts a lot emphasis on their web presentation (www.linkinpark.com), the design of their music videos and logos, album covers etc. - This could be one reason why there's a lot of Fan Art to get from Linkin Park.
The songs of linkin park narrate mostly of negative feelings, like relation-problems, intensity and how to deal with them („In the End“, „Figure 09“ and „Faint“ are good listening-examples here). Interesting is, that Linkin Park avoided any cusses in their songs which is very untipical for rap and metal music. Entirely in their latest album „Minutes to Midnight“ they use some cusses.
As Meteora is Linkin Park's most succesfull (and probably best) album it appears me worthy to be mentioned here. It begins with an 13 seconds long intro called foreword that leads into the first song:
Dont Stay: This Song gets started with a very heavy guitar / synthesizer riff and begings with a slow and melody sung text line "sometimes I need to remember just to breath", then the next line startes exactly the same way, slow and quiet: "Sometimes I need you to..." then Chester Bennington pops in, shouting "stay a way from me". Thats the way the verses go through the whole song: quiet singing, Chester Bennington shouts in - a very cool and diversified idea. The chorus is sang by Chester Bennington and this time Mike Shinoda pops in with some lines. After two minutes and the 2nd chorus you have a "B" part in a voice between shouting and singing by Chester Bennington that is followed by a refrain again. To sum up: you have a very powerful, angry rock / metal song with a varied verse, a powerful chorus and great riffing. Although I don't like shouting very much at all, this is still a great song, in my opinion. 8/10
Somewhere I Belong
This is one of my favourite songs on this album; it's said that Linkin Park has recorded more than 30 versions of this song until they could decide which to take on the album. Again the song starts with riffing and some sintheziser effects; again you have a "call and response" verse, Mike is rapping the second part of a line, Chester singing powerfully the first part. Than with a palm-muted guitar riff the chorus comes in, maybe a bit slower and more melodic than in Don't Stay but still very rocky. The chorus is - linkin park typical - sung by Chester, while Mike throughs in only some words. This song has no kind of anger in it, I would say, this song has a sad mood and it's besides two other ones one of my favourite song from this album. 10/10
Lying from You:
The beginning of this song could come out of any eminem / hip hop whatever album, it's syntheziser with the standard hiphop "bum tschack" - but after around 10 seconds the guitar joins. The song is again in a negative mood, but this time between anger and resignation, and because I don't like this song very much, it's too much hip hop in my opinion. I don't like the verse, than a - very great - chorus, where you can see the full potential of Chesters voice, but "unluckly" there's again a "B" part, that's shouting of Chester and destroys the song. If you like shouting, and if you likme hip hop, too, this song will please you, but as this is a rare combination, it's not one of linkin park greatest song. There are still some great passages in (guitarwork + refrain!) so I give it a 6/10.
Hit the Floor:
It starts with a very angry and frightening guitar riff, with a high freqeunzed beeping, that creates a very frightening mood, then the beeping dissappears, and makes space for a heavy guitar riff. With the incoming drums the voice comes in, a rapped verse by Mike - the guitar plays the "evil" beginning riff again. The chorus is shouted by Chester and rapped by Mike alternately. After the chorus they sing together "Than it's all gone" a couple of times, Mike sings every time the same way and Chester is getting from quiet to shouting. In this part the shouting fits perfectly and it's used decent. That's the way I like it I give it a 8/10 because the verse is little apathetic song, and - I can't give every song a 10/10 - can I ?;)
Easier to run:
The song starts with the sound of an empty road at night (I interprete it that way) then a accoustic guitar comes in playing a sad theme. After ca 30 seconds Chesters gigantic voice comes in, singing powerful some verses, after that the accoustic guitar comes in again, and afterwards Chester is again singing very melodious a verse, but the 2nd part of the verse is rapped by Mike. It follows a refrain by Chester. The intruments are very little to hear in this song, it's only a accoustic guitar with some notes here and there, and in the refrain a guitar strumming powerchords, the bass for sure, (but also close to not audible) and the drums. All in all a song to chill with, but in my opinion a little repetive, because it's verse - chorus etcetc without any break for about 3,5 minutes. 6/10.
The most powerful song on this album a synth plays a very high and catchy line, then the guitar comes in, playing a perfect fitting melody in powerchords and the drum kicks in - what a beginning. Than great verse and chorus, followed by a shouting part of Chester that seems not to be human anymore, I'm always deeply impressed by that voice. (If you have the possibilty to see a live video of LP playing this song, it's funny to see Chester becoming a very red face when shouting there on the maximum on his voice;) ). All in all, a perfect song. The ultimative party hit (if there's anyone of linkin park) 10/10
Oh guys, bad news, I have again to give 10 points. This is my favourite besides Faint. But stick to the facts: It starts with a getting louder and louder guitar and a drums. At the point of maximal volume the guitar gets turns into powerchords and shortly after the lyric comes in. After a verse of Mike that can be best described as lurking, and a guitar thats angry and thats the sound I imagine when 5 people walking towards you who whant to beat you up;) After the verse an incredible refrain is fired out by Chester. He has a very large Delay on his voice and the last line is "I let my self become YOU" and the you is repeated by the delay 3 times getting more and more quiet. After a short period of instrumently only a whispered verse that is between rapping and sining is to hear, that creats a lot of exitement. After that a "B" shouting part comes in, that seem to discharge all the built up anger. After another refrain the song ends. 10/10
Breaking the Habit
This is a more hip hop song, and the synth beginning with an actuateing drum beat a refrain from Chester is to be heard, that, in my opinion could fit into every radio-pop song. The chorus is a little stronger but still on low level. Because the drum is always actuateing but the other instruments play only fragments and the "boring" voice, this piece sounds a bit, I don't know how to express - ridicoulous?! After 2minutes it gets better and the vocals also became more expressionful, but thats too late for me to make the 3 minutes song a hit. 7/10
From the Inside
A very epic song. A synth / guitar begin with incoming drums that gets more and more exiting, but then the song starts slow with a very sad and despaired duo of Chester and a "cool" rapped part by Mike. Than together with the (lead) guitar the (short) refrain comes. Showing it's powerful "potential" but the moment you think the full power is enloaded, the quiet verse interrupts. But not this way in the 2nd refrain; it leads into a shouting part by Chester supported by the intro-theme, you can really feel how Chester shouts all the despair away. After another (long) refrain, it's already over. 9,5/10 for being only 3minutes long.
The song starts with jungle sounds and a "yo, yo, yo" by Mike. Directly a verse follows, rapped 100%, only supported by drums and jungle sounds (played by a synth flute I suppose). The refrain is sung aggressivly by Chester and the 2nd verse souds also nice aggressivly, which is a benefit of the unusual drums and the oppressive flute. So although this song is a 75% hiphop song, and only a 4 line refrain is sung and guitar can be heard nowhere in this song, I like it. I'm a little open to abuse by good hip hop I think so I give it a 6/10 as it's a very untipical song, that you could find on a 50cent album.(stylewise).
It starts with dark, high noises, that are inerrupted by a very loud and desciding drum. Slowly a melody builds up. Some scratches that don't fit really in the atmosphere are mixed by. After about one minute a piano melody can be heard, but it's close to get overpowered by a scratchy synth, a guitar and the drums. The point you think it's getting interesting, it's over. 1/10 A very bad instrumental piece, because in my opinion, that needs a strong melody or at least a hook. But if your song has only fragments of any sound, it can't be good. My guitarteacher said once to me: if you play a 3-5min piece of music withouth vocals, and the audience is not able afterwards to sum a melody line, you made something wrong. This is very true I think. Besides that I think it's unusual to place a instrumental piece in the middle of the album.
Meteora ends with a highlight: Numb is probably the most popular song of Linkin Park, that was played in the radio day and night when the album was new. Although it's unnesessary to describe Numb, because I think everyone has heard it, I'll do: A very meaningful intro, i admire in genereal how linkin park is able to "tell" in 10seconds of intro what the song will be about. Than a call and response verse by Mike and Chester followed by a nearly perfect refrain by Chester and a "after-chorus" by Chester. The mentionable thing in this song is, that in the eye of a metalhead-linkin park fan, this is a very average song, the thing that made it this popular and played in the radio is, that it is a) a great song (like many others) but has also no shouting part in it. So as it's a great song, I'm no metaller and I like Linkin Park 10/10.
In general this is (in my opinion) the best album of Linkin Park. It's probably not "better" than hybrid theory but it was sold much oftener than Hybrid Theory, it's clear that this album became more popular, although the critis hated it, because they said, Linkin Park would not develop in their style. Now, they DID change ("Minutes to Midnight"), the critcs are happy but the "old" fands aren't. So what to say here anymore? A great album, that everyone who likes Linkin Park should have, and I give it a 9/10. Because there are two pieces I don't like (and that aren't liked very much at all).
Linkin Park was often confrontated with one problem: After the apperance of the Meteora Album all critics and a lot of people accused Linkin Park they wouldn't develop in their musical style. And now, as their music became more and more softer and mainstream, many of the „older“ fans from Linkin Park say that they had commercialisized themself to 100%. This accusation comes therefore, that the music of Linkin Park can't be called „metal“ anymore. If you listen to their new album, the shouting parts and the unsual rap-parts disappeared almost completely in favour of melodic vocal lines. It's a fact that Linkin Park lost a lot of fans of the metal and alternate rock-area but on the other hand – they opened themselves up a new resort of fans.
Chester Charles Bennington is born on the 20th of march 1976 in Arizona, his band collegues call him also „Chazy Chaz“. He cancelled his job as a waiter to be able to concentrate himself full on the band.+ Bennington had a very hard childhood and grew up in a shatters family situation. At the age of 11 he was abused sexually and in fact he didn't had any positive contact with people of his age he said himself. He became soon an outsider and seeked refuge in drugs. That's why he was long time cocain addicted. In his social environment some of his friends commited suizide what was the reason for him to stop taking drugs. At the age of 20 he married Samantha (that was in 1996), at the 19th of april 2002 their son Draven Sebastion was born. In 2005 they got divorced. Still in 2005 Bennington married Talinda who was pregnant from Tyler Lee and got a child with him on 17th of march 2007. He had very bad eyes, because of that he had to wear glasses but after an laseroperation he didn't need them anymore. Today he wears glasses only for look.
Mike Shinoda was born on the 11th february 1977 in Agoura (California). His full name is Michael Kenji Shinoda and his bynames „Spike Minoda“, „Shinnizle“ and „The Glue“. He is called „the Glue“ by Joseph Hahn because he is mediating arguments in the band, and keeps the band together with way. His Father is native Japanese and his mum is an american with russian roots. After having passed the local college he studied „Illustration & Graphic design“ on the „Art Center college of Design“ in Pasadena. Afterwards he worked as a graphic designer. Because of that he designed the website of Linkin Park and the Cover of the Hybrid Theory album. He has his own little record label called „Shinoda Imprint“. On the 22th november 2005 his soloalbum „The Rising Tied“ came out. His soloproject is named Fort Minor. In the band he sings mostly the rapped verses and accidental he plays the 2nd guitar or some keyboard lines (Numb). On the „Minutes to Midnight“ album he is singing the first time a whole song. Since the 10th of Mai 2003 Shinoda is married to his girlfriend Anna Alexis Lovejoy.
He was born on the 1st decembre 1977 in Agoura (California). He's a religious jew and had a very protected childhood. His full name is Bradford Phillip Delson. His nickname is „Big Bad Brad“ and therefore he writes autograhps with „BBB“. You can detect him easly by the giant headphones he wears on every concert. He says, he'd be „only in his matrix“ when wearing them. Since the 16th of semptembre 2003 he's married to his wife Monica.
He was born on 8th february 1977 in Plymouth (Massachusetts), at the age of five his family moved to Californica, where he met the other bandmembers. He was a catholic, but later in his live he converted to the Protestants. His nickname is „Phoenix“. In the band Linkin Park he plays Bass, but besides that he plays cello, viola and guitar. Since the 28th of decembre 2002 his married to Lindsey.
He was born on the 20th January 1979 in Calabasas (California). His full name is Robert Gregory Bourdon. His nickname is „Bourdie“ He's the drummer in the band. He came to play the drums because he visited an Aerosmith concert. The drummer from Aerosmith was a friend of his mum and as a result he learned him how to play the drums. Besided that he can also play the piano. It is said that he is a perfectionist at the drums and because of that he writes all his drumparts himself. Before the time with Linkin Park he worked as a waiter.
He's born on 15h of march 1977 in Glendale (California). His parents are native koreans. His nickname is simple „Joe“. He's the DJ in the band and does the samples and the scratches. He's the stage dirctor of as good as all Linkin Park music videos.
1997 Xero (Demotape)
1999 Hybrid Theory EP
2000 Hybrid Theroy
2003 Live in Texas
2004 Collision Course
2007 Minutes to Midnight
From Hybrid Theory:
One Step Closer
In the End
Points of Authority / High Voltage
Somewhere I belong
Lying from You
Breaking the Habit
From the Inside
From Collision Course:
Numb / Encore
From Minutes to Midnight:
What I've Done
Bleed it out
Shadow of the day
Leave Out All The Rest