is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996,
the band rose to international fame with their debut album Hybrid
Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and
multi-platinum in several other countries. Their following studio album
Meteora continued the band's success, topping the Billboard 200 album
chart in 2003, and was followed by extensive touring and charity work
around the world. In 2003, MTV2 named Linkin Park the sixth-greatest
band of the music video era and the third-best of the new millennium.
Billboard ranked Linkin Park No. 19 on the Best Artists of the Decade
chart. The band was recently voted as the greatest artist of '00s in a
Bracket Madness poll on VH1. In 2014, the band was declared as the
Biggest Rock Band in the World Right Now by Kerrang.
Having adapted nu metal and rap metal to a radio-friendly yet densely
layered style in Hybrid Theory and Meteora, the band explored other
genres in their next studio album, Minutes to Midnight (2007). The album
topped the Billboard charts and had the third-best debut week of any
album that year. The band continued to explore a wider variation of
musical types in their fourth album, A Thousand Suns (2010), layering
their music with more electronic sounds and beats. Their fifth album,
Living Things (2012), combines musical elements from all of their
previous records. Their sixth and most recent album, The Hunting Party
(2014), returned to a heavier rock sound. The band has collaborated with
several other artists, most notably with rapper Jay-Z in their mashup
EP Collision Course, and many others on the remix albums Reanimation and
Recharged. Linkin Park has sold over 60 million albums worldwide and
has won two Grammy Awards.
Both Hybrid Theory and Meteora combine the alternative metal, nu metal,
and rap rock sound with influences and elements from hip hop,
alternative rock, and electronica, utilizing programming and
synthesizers. William Ruhlmann from AllMusic regarded it as "a
Johnny-come-lately to an already overdone musical style," whereas
Rolling Stone described their song "Breaking the Habit" as "risky,
In Minutes to Midnight the band experimented with their established
sound and drew influences from a wider and more varied range of genres
and styles, a process Los Angeles Times compares to a stage in U2's
work. In it, only two of the songs feature rapping, and the majority of
the album can be considered alternative rock. NME magazine's Dan Silver
criticized the band's approach, calling it the "sound of a band trying
and failing to forge a new identity", and referring to the song "Hands
Held High", a song about terrorist attacks and war, as "far and away the
funniest thing you will hear all year".
The vocal interplay between Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda
plays as a major part within Linkin Park's music, with Bennington being
the lead vocalist and Shinoda as the rapping vocalist. On Linkin Park's
third album, Minutes to Midnight, Shinoda sings lead vocals on "In
Between", "Hands Held High", and on the B-side "No Roads Left". On
numerous songs from band's fourth album, A Thousand Suns, such as the
album's four singles ("The Catalyst", "Waiting for the End", "Burning in
the Skies", "Iridescent"), both Shinoda and Bennington sing. On most of
the record's tracks, the band notably used electronic drumbeats along
with outro drumbeats. The album has been regarded as a turning point in
the band's musical career, having a stronger emphasis on electronica.
James Montgomery, of MTV, compared the record to Radiohead's Kid A,
while Jordy Kasko of Review, Rinse, Repeat likened the album to both Kid
A and Pink Floyd's landmark album The Dark Side of the Moon. Shinoda
stated that he and the other band members were deeply influenced by
Chuck D and Public Enemy. He elaborated: "Public Enemy were very
three-dimensional with their records because although they seemed
political, there was a whole lot of other stuff going on in there too.
It made me think how three-dimensional I wanted our record to be without
imitating them of course, and show where we were at creatively". One of
the record's political elements is its samples of notable speeches by
American political figures.
Their fifth album, Living Things, is also an electronic-heavy album, but
includes other influences, resulting in a harder sound by comparison.
The band returns to a heavier sound, compared to their last three
albums, on The Hunting Party, being described as an alternative metal
and hard rock album.
Linkin Park's influences include Nine Inch Nails, Deftones, The Roots and Aphex Twin.