Linkin Park is one of the most influential and successful rock bands of the 21st century. They have over 100 million records sold worldwide and countless awards and accolades. The band’s music spans a wide range of genres, from nu metal and rap rock to alternative and electronic.
They have touched the hearts and minds of millions of fans across the globe. But which songs are the best of the best? Which ones define the essence of Linkin Park and showcase their artistic evolution and diversity? Here is our definitive ranking of the top 10 Linkin Park songs, based on their popularity, impact, quality, and personal preference.
10. Bleed It Out (Minutes to Midnight, 2007)
Minutes to Midnight, Bleed It Out is a fast-paced and energetic song that combines rap verses with a catchy chorus. It is the lead single from their third studio album. The song is about the frustration and exhaustion of making music and dealing with the pressure of the industry.
Linkin Park have said that they literally “bled it out” in the studio, rewriting the lyrics over 100 times until they were satisfied. The song also features a drum solo by Rob Bourdon and a guitar solo by Brad Delson. The song showcases their musical skills. Bleed It Out is a fan favourite and a staple of their live shows, often extended with sing-alongs and improvisations.
9. One More Light (One More Light, 2017)
One More Light is a heartbreaking and emotional ballad that deals with the loss of a loved one. It is the title track and final single from Linkin Park’s seventh and last album with Chester Bennington. The song was originally inspired by the death of a friend of the band, but it took on a new meaning after Bennington’s tragic suicide in 2017.
The song is a tribute to his life and legacy, as well as a message of hope and comfort to anyone who is struggling with grief or depression. It also features a simple but beautiful piano melody, accompanied by Bennington’s soulful vocals and Mike Shinoda’s gentle rap bridge. The song’s chorus asks the poignant question: “Who cares if one more light goes out? Well I do.”
8. Faint (Meteora, 2003)
Faint is a powerful and explosive track that showcases their signature nu metal sound. It is one of the most iconic and recognisable songs by Linkin Park. The song features Shinoda’s rapid-fire rap verses, Bennington’s soaring chorus, Delson’s heavy guitar riffs, Bourdon’s pounding drums, Dave Farrell’s thumping bass, and Joe Hahn’s scratching and sampling.
The song is about feeling ignored and unappreciated by someone, and demanding respect and attention. It also has an impressive music video, directed by Mark Romanek. The video features the band performing in front of a large crowd of fans.
7. Numb (Meteora, 2003)
The third single from Meteora, Numb is one of Linkin Park’s most successful songs. It reached number one on several charts and becoming their first song to be certified gold by the RIAA. The song is about feeling alienated and misunderstood by someone, especially a parent or an authority figure. It is about wanting to be free from their expectations and pressure.
The single features Bennington’s anguished vocals on the chorus, singing “I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there”, while Shinoda raps the verses from the perspective of the person who feels numb. The song also has a memorable music video, directed by Joe Hahn. The video depicts a teenage girl who feels out of place in her school and family.
6. In the End (Hybrid Theory, 2000)
The fourth single from their debut album Hybrid Theory, In the End is one of Linkin Park’s most popular and acclaimed songs. It ranked at number two on Billboard’s Hot 100 decade-end chart for the 2000s. The song is about accepting the failure of a relationship or a goal, and realizing that nothing you do matters in the end.
The song features Shinoda’s philosophical rap verses, Bennington’s melodic chorus, Hahn’s piano intro and outro, and Delson’s guitar solo. It also has an epic music video, directed by Nathan Cox and Hahn. The video features the band performing on a CGI-created wasteland.
5. What I’ve Done (Minutes to Midnight, 2007)
The first single from Minutes to Midnight, What I’ve Done is a departure from Linkin Park’s previous nu metal style. The single incorporates a more alternative rock sound. The song is about seeking redemption and forgiveness for one’s mistakes and sins, and making a change for the better.
The song features Bennington’s vocals on the verses and chorus, Shinoda’s backing vocals and keyboard, Delson’s guitar riff and solo, Bourdon’s drums, Farrell’s bass, and Hahn’s strings and effects. It also has a powerful music video, directed by Hahn, that shows various scenes of human history, both good and bad, and ends with the band burying their instruments in the desert.
4. Crawling (Hybrid Theory, 2000)
The second single from Hybrid Theory, Crawling is one of Linkin Park’s most personal and emotional songs. The single reflects Bennington’s own struggles with drug addiction and abuse. The song is about feeling trapped and helpless in one’s own skin, and being unable to escape from the pain and suffering.
The song features Bennington’s vocals on the verses and chorus, Shinoda’s rap bridge, Delson’s guitar chords, Bourdon’s drums, Farrell’s bass, and Hahn’s ambient sounds. It also has a dark and disturbing music video, directed by Brothers Strause. The video depicts a woman who has a dragon-like creature under her skin.
3. Breaking the Habit (Meteora, 2003)
The fifth and final single from Meteora, Breaking the Habit is a unique and innovative song. It differs from Linkin Park’s usual style. The song is entirely sung by Bennington, with no rap parts from Shinoda. It also features electronic beats and sounds, created by Hahn, instead of the usual guitar and drums.
The song is about overcoming addiction and self-destructive behaviour, and breaking free from the cycle of pain and guilt. It has an amazing music video, directed by Hahn and Kazuto Nakazawa. It uses rotoscoped animation to tell a story of six people who are facing different problems in their lives.
2. Numb/Encore (Collision Course, 2004)
A mash-up of Linkin Park’s Numb and Jay-Z’s Encore, Numb/Encore is a brilliant collaboration that combines the best of both worlds: rock and rap. The song is part of the Collision Course EP, which features six mash-ups of Linkin Park and Jay-Z songs. It is about celebrating one’s success and achievements, while also acknowledging the pressure and expectations that come with fame.
The song features Bennington’s chorus from Numb, Shinoda’s rap verse from Numb, Jay-Z’s rap verses from Encore, Delson’s guitar riff from Numb, Bourdon’s drums from Numb, Farrell’s bass from Numb, Hahn’s scratching from Numb, and Kanye West’s production from Encore. It has a live performance video, directed by Kimo Proudfoot, that shows Linkin Park and Jay-Z performing together on stage.
1. Somewhere I Belong (Meteora, 2003)
The first single from Meteora, Somewhere I Belong is arguably Linkin Park’s best song ever. The song is about finding one’s identity and purpose in life, and feeling comfortable and confident in oneself. It features Bennington’s vocals on the verses and chorus, Shinoda’s rap bridge, Delson’s guitar riff and solo, Bourdon’s drums, Farrell’s bass, Hahn’s samples and effects.
The song also features a sample of an old unreleased song by the band called Rhinestone. It has a stunning music video, directed by Hahn. It shows the band performing in a room filled with various objects that represent their influences and inspirations.
The Bottom Line
Linkin Park is a band that has constantly evolved and experimented with their music over the years. They are never afraid to try new things and challenge themselves. Their songs have touched on various themes and topics that resonate with many people around the world.
Linkin Park songs have also influenced many other artists and genres in the music industry. The band deserves respect and admiration for their achievements and contributions to music. These are our top 10 Linkin Park songs: a definitive ranking that reflects their musical diversity and excellence.