The band saw its and first beginings in emcee/vocalist Mike Shinoda's small bedroom studio, where he and Brad Delson recorded the band's first material in 1996. The two had attended high school together, where they met the band's drummer, Rob Bourdon. Shinoda hooked up with DJ Joseph Hahn while studying illustration at Art Center College in Pasadena. Meanwhile, attending UCLA, Delson shared an apartment with bassist Phoenix, who left the band after college and returned a year later. At this point, they named themselves Xero and recorded several demo tracks. They never got signed, and the project floundered. Then Shinoda decided to hire a vocalist, and put out an ad. They got Chester Bennington, a transplanted Arizona native who started making records when he was 16. 'When I was two, I used to run around singing Foreigner songs - there's tapes of me doing that... since I learned how to talk I've been telling everybody I was gonna grow up to be a singer.' laughs Bennington.
The band called itself Hybrid Theory after the addition of Bennington (the idea being that they were a hybrid of rock and rap), however, due to a trademark issue with a band called Hybrid, they were forced to change their name. Some discarded ideas (serious or not) were Clear (the band's favorite), Probing Lagers (which they thought was the lamest), Ten PM Stocker (because they would record every night at 10 pm at a place on Stocker Street) and Platinum Lotus Foundation. Eventually, they settled on Lincoln Park, suggested by Bennington because after band practice he would have to drive past there to get home. However the domain 'lincolnpark.com' cost more than the band could afford, so they changed the spelling to Linkin Park. However, it has also been suggested that the name 'Linkin Park' was suggested so that the band would appear right next to Limp Bizkit at record stores.
Working with an independent label, the band recorded the album Hybrid Theory EP, which featured 'Carousel', 'Technique', 'Step Up', 'And One', 'High Voltage', 'Part of Me'.
After being signed to Warner Brothers in 1999 their first album, Hybrid Theory, was released in 2000. It was the top-selling album in the United States and New Zealand in 2001, with the hit singles 'One Step Closer', 'Crawling', 'Papercut', 'In The End' and 'Points of Authority'. The album is notable for its absence of profanity, in contrast to many other nu metal bands' songs.
In 2002, they released a remix album of their Hybrid Theory album, called Reanimation, as well as releasing a remix version of their song, 'Points Of Authority'.
In 2003 their new studio album was released, titled Meteora, which debuted at #1 in the US and UK, and #2 in Australia. It contained the singles, 'Somewhere I Belong', 'Faint', 'Numb', 'From The Inside' and 'Breaking The Habit'. Later in the year, they joined forces with fellow nu-metal band Limp Bizkit and Metallica for the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003. From this tour, Linkin Park released a new CD/DVD set called Live in Texas. This set contains tracks from their three previous records, and was filmed on location at their Summer Sanitarium performances in Dallas and Houston, Texas .
On November 30, 2004, Linkin Park released Collision Course, a collaboration with rapper Jay-Z featuring rap-style remixes ('mash-ups') of songs from Meteora and Hybrid Theory using lyrics from Jay-Z's repertoire. Collision Course debuted at #1 in the US, but only got to # 17 in the UK. In Holland Collision Course made it to a 7th place. Their first Collision Course hit single 'Numb/Encore' reached #1 at the Free Record Shop Download Charts in Holland.
LP Underground v3.0 (2003) Audio Tracks of DVD Live In Texas (Gift to join in LP Fan club)
LP Underground v4.0 (2004) Sold My Soul To Yo Mama Mr. Hahn's Instrumental (with partials of Papercut), Standing In The Middle, Live versions of Breaking the Habit, 1Stp Klosr & a mix of Step Up/Nobody's Listening/It's Goin' Down (Gift to join in LP Fan club)
Somewhere I Belong - live-action plus CGI. This video for features some surrealistic creatures moving from a painting that may have been inspired by Salvador Dalν's works - possibly The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1946) or The Elephants (1948).
The New Metal Masters (Korn Audioslave Limp Bizkit P.O.D. Rage Against the Machine Linkin Park Tool and more!). Book. Softcover with CD. Guitar tablature. 96 pages. Backbeat Books #0879308044. Published by Backbeat Books