One of the 5 highest-selling albums since the dawn of the new millennium, Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory has earned its place as one of the most important rock albums of the last 20 years. Full of youthful charisma and including zero profanity (which was a strong catalyst for their all-encompassing appeal), there’s plenty of reasons why it succeeded. Right place, right time? Perhaps. Timeless music? That’s more like it.
Earlier this year, the band mentioned they’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of said record all year long, with stories, memorabilia, and plenty of stories to go along with it. And according to Mike Shinoda, that’s not all – Linkin Park is also planning a special 20th anniversary release for the influential record. as well. In fact, this is all happening while the band is working on new music.
Not that it needs much in the way of introduction, but Linkin Park’s landmark debut album, Hybrid Theory, turns 20 later this year. Buoyed by massive rock radio staples like “In The End” and “One Step Closer”, the record is still an essential modern rock template that’s aged incredibly well, too. Now, the chart-topping band wants YOU to be a part of the 20 year anniversary celebration, and here’s how you can do it.
20 years ago this October, Linkin Park released their groundbreaking debut full-length, Hybrid Theory. An album where pretty much every song could’ve been a single, we already know the kind of impact the record has had on popular culture, so we’ll try not to rehash old news on that note. “In The End”, “Crawling”, and “One Step Closer” were massive radio hits so inescapable and popular, they’re still rock radio staples to this day. While it’s generally known that Hybrid Theory sold a ridiculous amount of albums, it now ranks as one of the highest-selling albums of all time, too.
Imagine being a member of Linkin Park (well, Xero or Hybrid Theory) in the late 1990’s. You’ve been rejected by every major label under the sun, A&R reps are leaving your shows midway through the set, and you’re sleeping on couches working jobs that you hate in order to fund the recording of an EP that you wonder if anyone will actually care about. In short, you’re facing the same struggles as every up and coming band since the beginning of time, wondering when your big break would come. The greatest and most popular bands of all time faced this constant rejection – U2, The Beatles, even The 1975 – and there will be plenty more to come in the future.
Linkin Park rose above, though. Time has a funny way of making these rejections look foolish. The late Chester Bennington was a role model that fans could look up to, as well as an embodiment of “the struggle”. Whether that was substance issues, anger problems, or even mental health problems, Chester and Linkin Park as a whole provided a sort of catharsis that many similar acts simply did not have at the time. A timeless sound, songwriting abilities, and fearlessly evolving their style over time gave Linkin Park much more substance than anyone thought possible for a nu-metal band. Linkin Park, essentially, was for everyone.
We’re here to take you through the band’s evolution, from their initial demo tape, to their 2017 album One More Light. In between, we’ll examine Linkin Park’s history, their evolution, and how time truly changed the band for the better. Buckle up, this is a lengthy read.