Last night, news broke that Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington had died in Los Angeles. In light of this tragic event, we thought we'd celebrate Bennington's extensive musical catalogue.
Linkin Park is one of the first bands that comes to mind when thinking of the early 2000s. They brought nu metal into the musical forefront and captivated audiences with a mix of emotional lyrics, raw singing, and complex rapping.
While we could put all 12 tracks of the band's debut, Hybrid Theory in this list, we decided to narrow it down to just five of their most influential. Get lost in nostalgia and pay tribute to Bennington's life, with the five Linkin Park songs that defined the 2000s.
"In The End"
Taken off the band's debut album Hybrid Theory released in 2000, "In The End" was probably most fans' introduction to Linkin Park. At it's core, "In The End" is a classic breakup song, ruminating on the futility of love with a seamless mix of rapping, passionate vocal work and straight-up screaming.
According to Billboard, Bennington didn't even want the song to be on the record. Luckily it made the album, becoming the band's breakout hit and earning them No. 2 on the Billboard charts, the band's highest solo ranking.
"One Step Closer"
"One Step Closer" is probably the most easily relatable of all of Linkin Park's tracks. What teen in the 2000s didn't fight with their parents, then go to their room to blare this song – screaming along to the lyrics that you need a "little room to breathe."
While this might not be everyone's favorite Linkin Park or Jay-Z track, it was undeniably influential for the time, paving the way for future genre-spanning mashups. The whole collaborative EP Collision Course gained cross-over fans, earning Linkin Park and Jay-Z a Grammy and No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, with Numb/Encore gaining the artists a No.1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
Taken off the band's 2003 second album, Meteora, "Faint" is Linkin Park's closest thing to stadium rock. The song's opening riff draws in the listener before Bennington powerfully screams "I can't feel the way I did before!/ Don't turn your back on me/ I won't be ignored!"
While rapper Mike Shinoda acknowledges that he's "a little bit insecure a little unconfident," this song is almost life affirming. By the time Bennington sings the course for the ninth time, the listener is empowered, "Don't turn your back on me/ I won't be ignored!"
"Crawling" puts Bennington's aching vocals front and center as he explores deep feelings of inadequacy and self-hatred. Despite the obviously dark subject matter, the song's raw energy serves as a sort of anthem for unhappy teens (and adults), showing them that at least someone understands what they're going through.
In an interview with Rolling Stone back in 2002, Bennington discussed where the lyrics stemmed from. "It's easy to fall into that thing – 'poor, poor me,'" the singer explained.
"That's where songs like 'Crawling' come from: I can't take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don't say 'you' at any point. It's about how I'm the reason that I feel this way. There's something inside me that pulls me down."
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