I have made this selection knowing perfectly well that it may ruffle some feathers in the anti-pop crowd. A large number of audiophiles with high tastes would immediately dismiss LP as a group that rode out the wave of late-90’s rap-rock long past its logical conclusion. What they don’t realize, as far as I’m concerned, is that Linkin Park is an extremely talented group of musicians. Perhaps they are not technically proficient on their instruments, but as explorers of sound, few groups can match them while writing interesting and catchy songs.
What has surprised me about LP is that my interest in them has not waned like my interest in other popular hard rock bands has in the past few years. I used to love Limp Bizkit and Korn back in the day (“the day” being, say, 1999). Then, I loved Nickelback, Default, and pretty much every other band that charted a #1 mainstream rock single. Linkin Park was popular along with those bands, but they managed to keep my interest by adding a bit of creativity to the otherwise drab metal landscape.
Having said all that, LP has only released two traditional long-play sets of songs, Hybrid Theory in 2000 and Meteora in 2003. While both are still in my rotation of heavily-played CDs in my car, that’s not a huge body of work. The band has a new release due in the coming year, but I couldn’t wait to include that on this list. As a result, I’ll scale back down from the 20 songs I listed for Collective Soul and only include the top 10 for LP:
- One Step Closer
- In The End
- Somewhere I Belong
- A Place For My Head
- Breaking The Habit
- Nobody’s Listening
- Points of Authority
- Lying From You
- Numb/Encore (with Jay-Z)
- P5hng Me A*wy (Reanimation version of Pushing Me Away)
Typically, my favorite song for a particular band has been the song that got me interested in them in the first place. That rule holds true in the case of LP, as “One Step Closer” was the band’s first major release. After that, there are no big surprises, except for a couple of non-singles (Papercut, A Place For My Head, Nobody’s Listening) jumping ahead of the band’s radio releases (Lying From You, etc.).
It was honestly very hard for me to rank Linkin Park ahead of bands like Collective Soul and Sister Hazel, but I think LP’s future is brighter than other older bands’, as long as Chester Bennington’s voice holds up.