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The 17 Minutes To Midnight Songs


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Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion about the seventeen songs that Linkin Park recorded and mixed for Minutes To Midnight. Starting with 100 to 150 "seeds" and slowly whittling them down over the course of months, they ended up with seventeen that they recorded for the album. Eleven of these final seventeen were chosen for Minutes To Midnight, plus Wake as an album intro.

The quote where the number originated is from 2007, ''The band whittled down the number of songs to 17, then narrowed that number even further until they had 12 songs.'' However, Rob said, "We ended up recording 17 total. We put 10 of those, plus an intro, on the album." This means Wake likely isn't counted as part of the 17.

 

The topic has been brought up again as Chance Of Rain from the LP Underground 15 album carries a date of 2006 and has vocals on it.

There is a debate on which seventeen the band is referring to. There are eleven actual songs on the album...

01. Wake
02. Given Up
03. Leave Out All The Rest
04. Bleed It Out
05. Shadow Of The Day
06. What I've Done
07. Hands Held High
08. No More Sorrow
09. Valentine's Day
10. In Pieces
11. In Between
12. The Little Things Give You Away

Beyond these eleven, five more have been released in the following years.

13. No Roads Left

NRL was released as a bonus track on iTunes for Minutes To Midnight, and Linkin Park actually came very close to playing it live in 2008. In July 2007, Rob said, "We have four or five other songs that are kind of really good and almost done." An interesting fact about this song is that a different version with additional sampled drums was released in the 2013 Studio Collection.

14. Across The Line

This song was released on the LP Underground 9 CD. Mike said about the song, "It was recorded during the “Minutes To Midnight” sessions, and was originally entitled “Japan.” Across the Line just baaarely missed the cut. If there were 12 songs, I think it was #13. It was in progress around the same time as most of the songs from MTM. No More Sorrow, LOATR, LTGYA, etc." It was later discovered that Linkin Park had edited the song down for release, removing its build-up intro, heard in full on the leaked LPU 9 Acetate CD.


15. Blackbirds

Blackbirds is one of these songs because it had strings recorded for it, seen on the Minutes To Midnight DVD. It was released as the final prize in the 8 Bit Rebellion game in 2010. At the time, Mike said, "When you finish the game, you get access to "Blackbirds" which is a brand new Linkin Park song that we basically finished specifically to this game." It wouldn't be surprising if the band did some final editing or work to the song, since that's common for them.

16. What We Don't Know

This song was released on the LP Underground X CD. It was mixed by Neal Avron, who mixed Minutes To Midnight, meaning it made it to the final stages aka the last batch of songs before the final ones for the album were selected. Brad said about the track, "That was the song that we started during the Minutes To Midnight writing period, and we kind of left it as it is, and then never really finished it."

 

The debate is that there is likely an eighteenth song, since Rob said they "ended up recording 17 total and put 10 of those, plus an intro, on the album." Ten songs is obviously incorrect...he meant eleven, but the point about an intro means that Wake wasn't counted as one of the 17. When No Roads Left was released, he mentions there are "four or five" more songs. At the end of the day, we seem to be one song short.
During the process of recording the album, there were obviously many other songs that did not make it to the final 17 that have been released. Some of these include QWERTY, Announcement Service Public, Pale, Debris, and the more recent Chance Of Rain. Pretend To Be has the 2008 date, meaning it was worked on after 2007.


The Last Line (Ammosick) is a song seen on the Minutes To Midnight DVD and was finally released in 2014 on the Mall soundtrack. The mixing was done by Neal Avron, but Neal also mixed A Thousand Suns too. Ammosick was seen on a songboard under Ammosick/The Last Line during the ATS DVD, so it was at least being worked on at that time. An interesting fact about the song is that the version actually in Mall appears to be an earlier version. Being the perfectionist that he is, Mike seems to have gone in more recently and changed the lyrics to the second verse before releasing it digitally on the soundtrack.

 

Not Alone was a song recorded during the MTM sessions but wasn't finalized until 2010. About the track, Mike said, "We had a demo [for 'Not Alone'] — the music was laid out, we had done the song a little while ago ... we just never used it because we never thought it was done." Brad said, "This was a track that we originally worked on with Rick Rubin during the Minutes To Midnight sessions, and one of our favorites, and it unfortunately didn't make it on the album, but fortunately we had it on a semi-finished form."

 

Our final conclusions are that it is possible that Not Alone and/or Ammmosick could be one or both of the tracks, or that those tracks are simply completely unknown to us in any regard. The mystery continues.

 

What do you think?

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I'm pretty sure the last one is Pretend To Be, not only does it sound like a Minutes to Midnight song, but here are some interesting quotes from Astat in the "Quick Question?" thread:

 

The band has said Pretend to Be originated from a Minutes to Midnight demo but they went back and re-recorded it later on. I suppose it's possible that it was one of the final tracks, but I doubt it.

 

http://lplive.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=6211&do=findComment&comment=116640

 

Pretend to Be = Common sense, really. If it was finished in 2008 and started before then like the band said...again, Fender Stratocasters = MTM demo.

 

http://lplive.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=7379&page=53&do=findComment&comment=218235

Edited by iPodwithnomusic
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I always thought that Pretend to Be was a track that was close enough to be one of the last tracks, but it wasn't completely ready for MTM, so it was finished afterwards and marked as a 2008 track. I don't think Not Alone was the one - people talked about that when it came out, but Mike's quotes implied that it was far from done in 2007, since I think they had to write lyrics for the entire song. I could be remembering that wrong, though.

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My take on these songs is that just because it has a specific year next to the demo, it doesn't mean that it can fit or can't fit with the MTM timeline.

 

Chance of Rain could have started in 2006. Maybe they got farther with it into 2007 but added parts to it that they ended up keeping on an actual track to a later album like ATS/LT.

 

I keep forgetting that Pretend to Be isn't considered a song of the 18 total, because it sounds so much like other tracks around that era. Maybe they picked it back up for the new album.

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It's hard to say what would be the 17 tracks on MtM. If I have to guess, with the songs we already have, I would say that the missing songs would be:

 

No Roads Left

Across the Line

What We Don't Know

Blackbirds (early version)

Ammosick/The Last Line

Pretend to Be (early version) or even a Not Alone demo (semi-finished form)

 

 

But, again, only a "official" confirmation by the band will clarify this question. Of course still is good try to guess :D , but will be hard to know. Also, Rob said about ten songs. He could be wrong in his statement, but... if he's talking about the bunch of songs without What I've Done, that was made "in the last minute"? Could be a possibility, no?

 

 

I would like a lot to LP release the two missing Meteora demos (Nocturnal and Shifter) in the final 6 demos from LPU15, so we could talk about it too :lol:

Also I don't remember the quote, but we have some info about a 15(?)-Track Meteora version? Or at least with two or three tracks that were scrapped in the last minute. I try to find out, but I can't :(

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I always thought that Pretend to Be was a track that was close enough to be one of the last tracks, but it wasn't completely ready for MTM, so it was finished afterwards and marked as a 2008 track. I don't think Not Alone was the one - people talked about that when it came out, but Mike's quotes implied that it was far from done in 2007, since I think they had to write lyrics for the entire song. I could be remembering that wrong, though.

If you read the full quotes from Mike and Brad you'll see the original demo of Not Alone had lyrics.

You can find them here.

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I would like a lot to LP release the two missing Meteora demos (Nocturnal and Shifter) in the final 6 demos from LPU15, so we could talk about it too :lol:

Also I don't remember the quote, but we have some info about a 15(?)-Track Meteora version? Or at least with two or three tracks that were scrapped in the last minute. I try to find out, but I can't :(

 

This is the first I've heard of this 15-Track Meteora, is there any info about it?

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Ammosick can't be one of the finished songs for MTM

It's the same deal as with Asbestos

Why not? There are two versions of the song with different vocal tracks. What's to say that the first vocal track that wasn't used on the Mall soundtrack wasn't recorded during the MTM sessions, and the second vocal track was recorded during the ATS sessions? It's entirely possible that the song wasn't revised at all beyond where it was during the ATS period when it was released on the soundtrack.

It's hard to say what would be the 17 tracks on MtM. If I have to guess, with the songs we already have, I would say that the missing songs would be:

 

No Roads Left

Across the Line

What We Don't Know

Blackbirds (early version)

Ammosick/The Last Line

Pretend to Be (early version) or even a Not Alone demo (semi-finished form)

 

 

But, again, only a "official" confirmation by the band will clarify this question. Of course still is good try to guess :D , but will be hard to know. Also, Rob said about ten songs. He could be wrong in his statement, but... if he's talking about the bunch of songs without What I've Done, that was made "in the last minute"? Could be a possibility, no?

 

 

I would like a lot to LP release the two missing Meteora demos (Nocturnal and Shifter) in the final 6 demos from LPU15, so we could talk about it too :lol:

Also I don't remember the quote, but we have some info about a 15(?)-Track Meteora version? Or at least with two or three tracks that were scrapped in the last minute. I try to find out, but I can't :(

There isn't really an "early version" of Blackbirds, they didn't work on that song at all after MTM was finished like they did with Not Alone and Pretend to Be. The version that was released is the same as the "2007 version."

 

As far as I'm concerned, No Roads Left, Blackbirds, Across the Line, What We Don't Know, and Ammosick are the 5 b-sides, which bring us to a total of 17 tracks. The only question is whether the total was actually 17 or 18, since it seems iffy as to whether the band included Wake in the total. Chance of Rain is the best candidate for a last b-side that we've heard, being that it has Chester on it and finished lyrics, but it sounds very unfinished instrumentally, and it's notably dated as being from 2006, which would seem to put it earlier in the process than No Roads Left, What We Don't Know, or Across the Line, which have all been labeled as being from 2007.

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  • 5 months later...

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't LP interviewed stating after they put the album together (10 songs + Wake), they realized they were missing "just one more track" and went back and finalized What I've Done?

It was probably already a 12-track album at that point. WB didn't feel like the album had a clear contender for a first single, so they went in and did WID at the last minute. Mike's on record as saying Across the Line was the last song they cut, that was probably the song that got shuffled out when WID was added to the tracklisting.

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Mike Shinoda said in the track by track video for Chance Of Rain that the final title of the song was called ''Voices'' and was cut from the CD last minute. I'm confident this was the remaining song that Rob was talking about.

I'm not. http://lplive.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=12131&do=findComment&comment=262170

 

Mike manages to contradict himself in that short of a video. He says that it was cut at the last minute during mixing, but then also says the song "never made it past demo phase." It can't be both. And again, anything that got a final mix has Neal Avron credited on it, which is true of Blackbirds, No Roads Left, Across the Line, What We Don't Know, and The Last Line/Ammosick. I realize Chance of Rain is a fairly recent release and full production credits may not surface for a while (if at all), but so far, it doesn't seem to hold up to the other 5 in terms of circumstantial evidence. I think Chance of Rain sounds WAY more unfinished than the others, too.

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I'm not. http://lplive.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=12131&do=findComment&comment=262170

Mike manages to contradict himself in that short of a video. He says that it was cut at the last minute during mixing, but then also says the song "never made it past demo phase." It can't be both. And again, anything that got a final mix has Neal Avron credited on it, which is true of Blackbirds, No Roads Left, Across the Line, What We Don't Know, and The Last Line/Ammosick. I realize Chance of Rain is a fairly recent release and full production credits may not surface for a while (if at all), but so far, it doesn't seem to hold up to the other 5 in terms of circumstantial evidence. I think Chance of Rain sounds WAY more unfinished than the others, too.

Actually, you are probably right. I also didn't know that Blackbirds was mixed by Neal Avron. Interesting. No Roads Left, Across The Line, Blackbirds and What We Don't Know are definitely the ones. Maybe The Last Line too since it was mixed by Neal Avron, even though he also mixed ATS. Maybe they had finished it in 2007 and had Neal mix it and decided to see if maybe it could be reworked for ATS and decided no. Who knows. Maybe we don't even have the final MTM track yet.

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