Linkin Park have enjoyed a stellar career that not only saw them forge to the front of the pack during the nu metal era, but also continue to evolve their sound and adapt with the ever-changing music climate.
One thing is for sure, the ever-evolving six-piece of Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn, Dave "Phoenix" Farrell and Rob Bourdon have always kept things interesting with a hybrid mix of rock, metal, rap and electronic music.
So, as we present this Top 10 countdown of Linkin Park songs, keep in mind that we tried so hard, but in the end we hope we chose the songs that really mattered. Check out our list of the 10 Best Linkin Park Songs below.
'Breaking the Habit'From: 'Meteora' (2003)
What started off as Mike Shinoda's epic instrumental track called 'Drawing' eventually turned into a more fleshed-out hit single called 'Breaking the Habit.' Though it was the final song released off their 'Meteora' album, it's turned into one of their more enduring tracks, perhaps due to the personal nature of the lyrics. Chester Bennington belts, "I don't know how I got this way / I know it's not alright / So I'm breaking the habit" with every ounce of emotion.
'Waiting for the End'From: 'A Thousand Suns' (2010)
'Waiting for the End' just has that bouncy groove that both differentiates itself and makes it a natural fit as one of Linkin Park's 10 best songs. Bennington described the track as having a "summertime vibe," and the combination of Rob Bourdon's drums and Joe Hahn's samples really give the track that special sound. Add in Shinoda's rasta-like rapping with Bennington's more melodic delivery and you've got the makings of something special.
'Crawling'From: 'Hybrid Theory' (2000)
'Crawling' will always hold a special place for Linkin Park as it gave them their first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance. Bennington delivers one of his fiercest screams to date, but admits it's one of the more difficult songs to perform. He told Spin, "[It's] about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol … This is just who I am, this is what I write about, what I do, and most of my work has been a reflection of what I've been going through in one way or another."
'Bleed It Out'From: 'Minutes to Midnight' (2007)
With 'Bleed It Out,' Shinoda got a chance to come to the forefront though the 'Minutes to Midnight' album as a whole featured less of his rap style that its predecessors. The clap-along rocker was a meta track about the perfection they put into their recording process, with Shinoda spelling out their drive in the opening line: "Here we go for the hundredth time / hand grenade pins in every line / Throw 'em up and let something shine / Going out of my f---ing mind." Thankfully they did bleed it out and dig a little deeper, cause this song is no throw away.
'Lying From You'From: 'Meteora' (2003)
'Lying From You' is the perfect example of what the band did best early in their career and is a must for the 10 Best Linkin Park Songs list. It starts with a Joe Hahn viola-infused keyboard sample, then gives way to some hard-hitting Bourdon drumming, gritty guitar and bass work from Brad Delson and Phoenix Farrell and is offset with some of Shinoda's best rhymes and Bennington's supreme screams. It's no wonder the track has become a live favorite over the years.
'Given Up'From: 'Minutes to Midnight' (2007)
Linkin Park delivered one of their hardest songs to date with 'Given Up' off the 'Minutes to Midnight' album. Guitarist Brad Delson shines on this track, not only for the infectious guitar lick that drives the song, but also for the keys jingling at the start of the cut. It's also notable for Bennington's excessive 17-second scream before the final chorus that drives home the alienation laid out in the lyrics.
'Faint'From: 'Meteora' (2003)
LInkin Park's early sampling along with a sped up guitar track from Delson and some dexterous drumming from Bourdon make 'Faint' one of the band's more distinguishable songs. Though the title is never uttered in the track, the song itself is about making sure that you're never so faint that your opinion isn't heard. As Bennington belts, "I can't feel the way I did before / Don't turn your back on me / I won't be ignored."
'One Step Closer'From: 'Hybrid Theory' (2000)
Need to blow off some steam? 'One Step Closer' is the track for you. Linkin Park's ode to frustration ended up being the song that broke them to a mass audience. As a calling card, you could do a lot worse that Bennington's in-your-face declaration, "Shut up when I'm talking to you." As for the question of who was about to make Bennington break, the vocalist revealed in a 2011 with Kerrang that some of the lyrics were inspired by producer Don Gilmore who had repeatedly asked the band to rework the song.
'Numb'From: 'Meteora' (2003)
'Numb' is definitely one of Linkin Park's more powerful songs, speaking heavily about trying to live up to someone else's expectations. Bennington cuts right to the heart of the matter, singing, "Don't know what you're expecting of me / Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes / Every step that I take is another mistake to you." Blending equal parts melody and aggression, 'Numb' has become one of the band's most beloved tracks.
'In the End'From: 'Hybrid Theory' (2000)
Though 'One Step Closer' was the song that broke Linkin Park, 'In the End' was the track that made sure that fans were around to stay. The song's perfect blend of melancholy melody and angst-driven aggression showed the range of what the band could do. While Bennington may say in the track that he tried so hard, but in the end nothing really mattered, Linkin Park fans might disagree. The craftsmanship put on this cut made it a solid choice for the top of the 10 Best Linkin Park Songs list.