The History of Linkin Park

Formed in 1996 in Agoura Hills, California, Linkin Park initially struggled to achieve success until they signed to a major label in 1999. The next year, they had an instant hit with their debut, "Hybrid Theory," which introduced the world to their mix of nu metal, rap metal, alternative metal and rock. Ever since, the band has continued to find commercial success with their albums. They've collaborated with Jay-Z, lent their songs to two "Transformers" movies and are still going strong. In this WatchMojo.com video, we take a look at the history of the rock band, Linkin Park.
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All they want to do is be more like them and be less like you. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today, we’re taking a look at the history of Linkin Park.

Formation


Rock band Linkin Park was formed in Agoura Hills, California in 1996 by high school friends Brad Delson, Mike Shinoda and Rob Bourdon. Originally named Xero, the band recruited Joe Hahn, Dave Farrell and Mark Wakefield and used what limited money and resources they had to record a demo. Following several failed attempts at landing a record deal, Wakefield and Farrell left.

Hybrid Theory


After hiring singer Chester Bennington, the band changed their name to Hybrid Theory. Along with vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Shinoda, guitarist Delson, drummer Bourdon and turntablist Hahn, the re-invigorated group began working on new material. They released a self titled EP in 1999 and attempted to get their songs heard online through chat rooms and internet communities. Soon, they assumed the name Linkin Park, but still had trouble getting signed. Finally, Warner Bros. Records took them on later that year.

Debut


Linkin Park dropped their debut, Hybrid Theory, in 2000. Featuring music they had worked on over the last five years, the album was a smash hit and was certified gold within five weeks. Thanks to its blend of nu metal and hip hop elements, it became the best-selling record of the year, with help from the Grammy-winning single “Crawling,” the alt rock standard “One Step Closer,” and the extremely popular “In the End.”

Remixes


While embarking on an extensive tour, the band reunited with Farrell and began working on their next project. The remix album Reanimation featured reworked versions of songs off their debut, and sold almost 300 thousand copies in its first week, plus it reached the Billboard 200’s second spot.

Sophomore Effort


Despite a grueling tour schedule, Linkin Park managed to find some time to record their next album. 2003’s Meteora topped multiple charts around the world, including U.S. and UK lists, while singles like “Numb,” “Faint,” and “Somewhere I Belong,” received heavy airplay. A world tour, live DVD/album and MTV awards soon followed.

Side Projects and Jay-Z


In the aftermath of Meteora’s success, the members of Linkin Park took some time collaborating with different artists and focusing on personal projects, like Dead by Sunrise and Fort Minor. The band then joined forces with rapper Jay-Z to release the remix/mash-up EP, Collision Course, in 2004. The album combined music and lyrics from both parties, and immediately found itself at the number one spot on the Billboard 200.

Topping the Charts


The band’s third album, Minutes to Midnight, was released in 2007. With legendary producer Rick Rubin and Shinoda at the helm, the effort moved over half a million copies in its first week and topped over fifteen charts worldwide. With less rapping and more guitar, the disc enabled the group to enjoy great success with many of its singles, especially the top ten hit, “What I’ve Done.”

Transformers


Next on tap for Linkin Park was more touring and another DVD/album, and before their next record, they also scored music for the Hollywood blockbuster “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” In 2010 they had another number one record with A Thousand Suns, despite mixed reviews from fans and critics for its diverse blend of genres. Singles from the record included “The Catalyst” and “Waiting for the End.”

“Living Things”


After a short break, Linkin Park came out with “Burn It Down,” in 2012, which was the first single from their next album. Living Things debuted once again at the top of U.S. charts and hit number one in sixteen other countries. They released a second single, “Lost in the Echo,” later that year.

Continued Success


Linkin Park’s ability to seamlessly transition from alternative rock to nu metal and rapcore has garnered them legions of fans from all walks of life. Meanwhile, their work ethic, combined with a lack of drama or tension among band members, makes them a rare example of how a band should behave. In the end, Linkin Park doesn’t let their egos get the better of them; instead they let the music speak for itself.
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