The Legacy Of Linkin Park's 'Hybrid Theory'

  • Written by 
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020 11:49
Published in Music  
Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory 20th anniversary edition super deluxe box releases 9 October, 2020. Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory 20th anniversary edition super deluxe box releases 9 October, 2020.

It was the album that would herald the new age of the 21st century: Linkin Park's 'Hybrid Theory' would be the harbinger of repressed anger and outrage for the decades to come.

Released in October 2000, the meticulous fusion of 'Hybrid Theory's nu-metal, hip hop and electronica has echoed across the last two decades, selling more than 25 million copies to date, re-released as remix album 'Reanimation' in 2002 with the legacies of 'In The End', 'One Step Closer', 'Crawling' and 'Papercut' standing out as Hybrid’s top selling tracks.

And now two decades later, Linkin Park prepares to celebrate #HyrbridTheory20 with the release of 'Hybrid Theory's 20th anniversary edition.

Set for release on 9 October, the limited-edition super deluxe version of 'Hybrid Theory 2020' is jam-packed with Linkin Park goodies.

It includes rare and unreleased material on CD, vinyl and DVD with an illustrated 80-page book of previously unseen photographs, lithographs – and an oversize poster of the late, great Chester Bennington.

Hybrid Theory Boxset 2020

It was to the never-before-released track 'Pictureboard' the Californian musicians then known as the band Xero first heard Arizona-born Bennington’s incredible vocals.

"Unless my memory is super wrong which is very possible, but not likely,” guitarist Brad Delson reveals, "I think that was the first thing I heard Chester's voice on."

Delson continues: "I remember getting that and saying, 'Hey, what do you think of this guy? He just sent us this recording.' I wasn't like crying with joy – but almost.

"I was 'wow, I don't even know what that is'. He's so tiny and vulnerable on the verse and you can hear all those timbres and harmonics, and then all the overtones on the heavy part. To me, it just blew my hat off my head. And then we were like, 'We gotta meet this guy'."

Such would begin the journey of winning Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, MTV VMA and Europe Music Awards, World Music Awards, sold-out stadiums worldwide, headlining global music festivals – and the first Western rock band to play a five-stadium tour in China.

With Chester Bennington's outstanding vocal range inflamed with tortured, unreleased outrage and pain paired to Mike Shinoda's fluidity from edgy vocals to keys and guitar, DJ Joe Hahn's wheels of steel, Brad Delson's furious guitar and acute bass and Rob Bourdon's frenetic drumming, it was magic – with Bennington and Shinoda at the core of this alchemy.

Linkin Park were progressive, edgy and dark; reflective of the times then – and the times to come.

While Linkin Park's roots were first stemmed in nu-metal, they quickly broke free of the genre fusing to hip hop and electronic with 'Hybrid Theory' flawlessly embracing an audience open to the deeply sonorous sounds conventional to rock.

'Hybrid Theory', however, was never solely defined by any of its top selling tracks. In a singles-led era dominated by radio and the top pop videos, 'Hybrid Theory' reminded us what the record was: a unit of cohesively-bound tracks designed for an aural experience. We were refreshed in the joys of listening to an entire album again. 

'Hybrid Theory' connected deeply across the world, particularly articulating the deepest feelings of raging youth. 'Hybrid Theory' universalised anger and pain, with 'In The End' – released the month following 911 – particularly an omen.

Anger feeds change, and a change was a' coming. We had survived Y2K with Australia fresh from wrapping up the international limelight of Sydney's 2000 Olympics.

Rock bands like The White Stripes and The Strokes were leading the rock fray, but as Linkin Park stormed the nu-metal stages, they were establishing themselves immediately as going against the grain. No matter what genre you were into at the time, 'Hybrid Theory' had hooked into it.

When asked what they would tell their 20-something younger selves while going through the experience of creating 'Hybrid Theory', both Shinoda and Delson are emphatic: nothing.

While they may have a few words of wisdom for a younger Joe Hahn, the foundations Linkin Park laid for themselves to become one of the world's top musical icons were clearly the right ones.

As the dynamic heart and soul of the band, Bennington's passing has undoubtedly left an immense hole in the band and the world, but from the mosh pit to our car stereos, devices and home sound systems, the legacy of Linkin Park lives forever.

"It's incredible to think it's been 20 years since 'Hybrid Theory' was released," the band said in a joint statement.

"All gratitude to our fans who made this epic journey we started 20 years ago possible. We dedicate our music to you. We rededicate our 'Hybrid Theory' to you."



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