Twenty years ago this October, Linkin Park’s debut album Hybrid Theory was released. In case it wasn’t painfully obvious, the band has left an indelible mark on both music and culture with their risk-taking nature. While the band’s later material explored varying influences and even a concept album on 2010’s A Thousand Suns, Linkin Park clearly never forgot where they came from – songs from Hybrid Theory were integral staples of their setlist for as long they played shows. And not many songs were as important – or as big – as the single release of “One Step Closer”.
The single, which launched and hit radio soon after on this day in September of 2000, was the band’s real introduction to the world. It was just one part in the band’s journey to get here, though.
The band initially was turned down by every major label (and a bunch of indies, too), eventually signing with Warner Bros. after multiple failed attempts to do so. “One Step Closer” emerged as the band’s debut onto the national scene. It immediately showed off Chester Bennington’s powerful voice, and its aggressive, confrontational nature propelled the band to what would eventually become the highest-selling debut album of the 21st century. On an album where every musician in the band had a prominent place on it, it’s still mind-blowing to think about how many labels passed up the opportunity to sign what was (and still is) one of the most important rock bands of our generation.